I remember hearing or reading once that ideas/lessons taught early on in the Torah (she'biksav), say in Be'reishis, are more primary ideas than those that are presented later on.

My question is, does anyone have a source for this idea? (It might have been said in the name of Rav Tzadok HaKohen, I don't remember.)

  • 1
    What does it mean for an idea to be "more primary"?
    – Double AA
    Oct 27, 2014 at 21:55
  • I'm not entirely sure. I was hoping that my question would ring a bell for someone and that I could look up the idea in the/a original source.
    – Gavriel
    Oct 28, 2014 at 17:54

2 Answers 2


Perhaps this is what you're thinking of:

Rabbi Moshe Shapiro's book ממעמקים, at the start of one of the essays on פרשת לך־לך, indicates that there's a tradition in the name of the G'ra, and it's well accepted, that the first time something appears in the Torah tells us something of its true nature. Thus, he cites for example from Bava Kama 55, seeing the letter tes in a dream is good omen, because the first time tes appears in the Torah is in the word "tov" ("good").


There might be a big difference between "ideas" and "lessons", but perhaps you are referring to the assumption that the g'mara gives preference to earlier p'sukim over later ones when choosing prooftexts.

For example, Tosafos assumes that a pasuk from Vayikra should have been preferred over one from Yirmiyahu by default in the discussion of monetary transaction sources on Kidushin 2.

והא דלא מייתי קנין שנכתב בתורה מכסף מקנתו (ויקרא כה) משום דבעי לאתויי קנין לשדה

Another possible example of this (once again, exemplified by its absence/exclusion) is that Rava should have preferred to teach how to interpret the Torah's legal round numbers (as in "40" == 39) from a pasuk in Vayikra rather than the one in D'varim that he chose. See for example this sheet.

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