Questions tagged [parashat-bereishit]

The weekly Torah portion of Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

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Do any commentators say that Adam was not literally the first human being?

Bereshis seems to imply that Adam was literally the first human being (at least according to the normal translation). Do any commentators (preferably not modern ones) disagree with this?
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Shadal Gen.2,24.1

Please can anyone give me an English translation (does not exist) of Shadal Gen.2,24.1? על כן יעזב איש: על כן אינו משמש אלא על מה שעבר ועל מה שהוא עתה, ולכן על העתיד, לפיכך אין אלה דברי אדם, אלא ...
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1answer
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Contesting the line between Torah and secular knowledge [closed]

Isn't it the case that the Rambam, for one, thought that astronomy, medicine, mathematics, for examples, were a part of Torah knowledge? At least the line for him is not simple and clear cut (eg see ...
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1answer
80 views

Genesis 6.4: Nephilim, Gibborim and Benei ha’Elohim

The question I’ve asked is not centered on the identity of the benei ha’Elohim but on the text itself and whether the text has sufficient grammatical support to identify the subject with respect to “...
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1answer
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and daughters were born to them (bereishis 6:1)

There is a strange way of saying that the human population increase on parsha Bereishis (6:1). The pasuk says: וַֽיְהִי֙ כִּֽי־הֵחֵ֣ל הָֽאָדָ֔ם לָרֹ֖ב עַל־פְּנֵ֣י הָֽאֲדָמָ֑ה וּבָנ֖וֹת יֻלְּד֥וּ ...
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Zohar's interpretation of Bereshit 1

The Zohar's interpretation of the words 'Bereshit bara Elohim', usually translated as 'In the beginning G-d created', seems not to understand the word Elohim to be the subject of the verb bara, but ...
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31 views

Two beginnings related to heavens and earth

IIRC, there is a medrash conecting the first letter of torah (beit) + the word reshit by saying that with 2 beginnings (meaning the heavens and earth) the world came into existence. Does anyone happen ...
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152 views

Arguments against evolution

In trying to find the best, most factually based argument against evolution, I found this which said that it just doesn't make sense because why would a creator take so long. Are there any other ...
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Rashi on Adam and on the Snake cunningness

The snake was able to speak from its creation (Likutei Sichos (10) p. 13) so why is man singled out as being capable of speech (דעה ודבור acc. to Rashi) if the snake already had it?
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What time of day was the world first created?

It's well known that the world was created on the 25th of Elul, but what time of day? Yes it says "and it was evening, and it was morning, one day", implying it was created during the night, but what ...
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Why is the term “Know” used between Adam and Chava? [duplicate]

Why does the Torah refer to the process of Adam having children with Chava as "knowing" her? (Bereishis 4:1) וְהָאָדָם יָדַע אֶת־חַוָּה אִשְׁתּוֹ וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד אֶת־קַיִן וַתֹּאמֶר קָנִיתִי ...
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Who is more truthful in the Garden of Eden Story, God or the Serpent?

The Garden of Eden Story is very complex and it seems to me that both the Serpent and God fall short of telling the absolute truth. Genesis 2:16-17 טז וַיְצַו יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים, עַל-הָאָדָם לֵאמֹר:...
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Is man really more similar to HaShem now or did the nachash just lie?

The snake claimed that once you eat from the tree, ‘Your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.' The commentators (I believe the Ramchal) explain that before the sin ...
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How do Jews view the word “han·nā·ḥāš” in Genesis 3:1?

Genesis 3:1 a. Now THE serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made b. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You can't eat from any tree in the garden?'" ...
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Why Abel didn't ask Cain to bring his sacrifice?

The Torah declares that before Matan Torah, the firstborns were responsible for bringing sacrifices and Cohanim replaced them after the Golden Calf incident (Num 3,40): :וְלָקַחְתָּ אֶת־הַלְוִיִּם ...
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1answer
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Difference between blessing and hallowing in Vaykhulu

We read Vaykhulu three times on the Shabbat eve, which includes the verse Bereishit 2:3: וַיְבָ֤רֶךְ אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶת־י֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔י וַיְקַדֵּ֖שׁ אֹת֑וֹ כִּ֣י ב֤וֹ שָׁבַת֙ מִכָּל־מְלַאכְתּ֔וֹ ...
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Why did Cain build a city? [duplicate]

The Torah says (Bereishes 4:17) ‘Cain knew his wife. She conceived and gave birth to Chanoch. Cain was building a city, and he named the city Chanoch, after his son.’ So the obvious question is, if ...
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Body Parallels to the Creation

Inspired by this question. Some commentaries viewed maaseh bereishis to be the literal description of the creation, and some interpret it in an allegorical fashion. I recall hearing somewhere that ...
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What was Adam's private name?

Interestingly, in English and other languages, we treat "Adam" as the private name, not as a noun, but in the Torah it is a noun, for example (Ber 2.25): וַיִּהְיוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם עֲרוּמִּים הָאָדָם ...
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Where Ish (איש) comes from and how Adam became Ish?

Adam is called Adam through the whole Torah (I think) except for one time where he calls his wife Ishah to dignify that she was taken from Ish (Ber 2.23): וַיֹּאמֶר הָאָדָם זֹאת הַפַּעַם עֶצֶם ...
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Cursing Adam and Eve in addition to punishment?

When Adam was commanded not to eat from the tree of knowledge, G-d presented him with the punishment (Ber 2.17): וּמֵעֵץ הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע לֹא תֹאכַל מִמֶּנּוּ כִּי בְּיוֹם אֲכָלְךָ מִמֶּנּוּ ...
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Did G-d and angels appeared dressed or naked to Adam in Eden?

First, we know that Adam and Eve were naked in Eden and didn't feel ashamed (Ber 2.25). "וַיִּהְיוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם עֲרוּמִּים הָאָדָם וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וְלֹא יִתְבֹּשָׁשׁוּ׃ The two of them were naked, ...
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“Amar Rabbi Yitzchak” - Who is Rabbi Yitzchak?

Rashi opens his commentary to the Chumash with the words Amar Rabbi Yitzchak, "Rabbi Yitzchak said." However I am unsure the identity of this Rabbi Yitzchak. I have been unable to find a source for ...
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Where was Adam when Chava cheated with the snake?

Where Adam was when Chava was sinning with the snake? For me, it looks that Eden doesn't seem to be a huge place to walk around and Adam was so excited to have a woman by his side, also Adam and ...
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41 views

Did Adam and Chava have a house in Eden?

I remember Adam was put in Eden and Chavah was created and they hid in bushes, but I don't recall them building a house or a shelter. I also remember a Midrash saying G-d made a Chupah for them and ...
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1answer
35 views

Why G-d regretted creation of the Man single?

וַיֹּאמֶר ה"א לֹא־טוֹב הֱיוֹת הָאָדָם לְבַדּוֹ אֶעֱשֶׂהּ־לּוֹ עֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדּוֹ׃ God said, “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a fitting helper for him.” Bereishis 2, 18 As we can ...
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Naming animals - different names for males, females and offspring?

My last question "Adam's about naming taxonomy" wasn't so popular, but it presented my view on the logic of naming the animals. Acc. to Bereishit_Rabbah.17.4 naming the animals represents the ...
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Were the domesticated animals created domesticated or wild?

"וַיִּצֶר ה"א מִן־הָאֲדָמָה כָּל־חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה וְאֵת כָּל־עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם" "And the LORD God formed out of the earth all the wild beasts and all the birds of the sky..." Bereishis 2,19: ...
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“Let's make the Man” - isn't the Man the purpose of the creation?

"וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹקים נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ" And God said, “Let US (plural) make man in our (plural) image, after our (plural) likeness..." Bereshis 1,26 To resolve the apparent ...
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Why didn't the Snake kill Adam only and keep Chava for himself?

Tosefta on Soytah (Liehbermann): "הנחש בקש להרוג את אדם ולישא את חוה" Rashi on Shabbos 146a: "כשבא נחש על חוה - כשנתן לה עצה לאכול מן העץ בא עליה דכתיב (בראשית ג:יג) הנחש השיאני לשון נשואין" ...
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3answers
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Hashem's will is not “nihilo”, so why is it “creatio ex nihilo”?

The traditional objection is to any material having existed prior to the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, but then why not call it "creation without material"? The will of Hashem is not "nihilo" ...
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How are we to understand the first Rashi in the Torah?

How can we understand the first Rashi in the Torah? בראשית. אָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק לֹֹֹֹֹא הָיָה צָרִיךְ לְהַתְחִיל אֶת הַתּוֹרָה אֶלָּא מֵהַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם, שֶׁהִיא מִצְוָה רִאשׁוֹנָה ...
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Tagin on letter Tet

Shalom! I recently read that in Genesis 1:4, the word Tov is used for the first time and when written in Hebrew, the Tet is crowned with 4 tagin instead of the usual 3. I have been searching for ...
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Order of events in parashas Bereishis

BH I am having a lot of trouble understanding the order of the following events: The creation of Man The births of Cain and Hevel The death of Hevel The snake Eating from the ...
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1answer
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Why should we be punished for Adam's sin?

My kid asked: I understand that Adam and Eve violated God's command by eating from the tree of knowledge and thus deserved punishment: as described in Genesis, Adam would have to work for his food ...
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1answer
229 views

On the interpretation of Genesis 1: 1

I'm an Italian noahide. Here are some observations on Genesis 1: 1, about which I would very much like to know your opinion. 1 In most translations I have consulted, the verse is thus render:” In ...
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G-d is formless even if we have divine spark

If G-d is formless, how then did He take a piece of Himself and put it in Adom? And the L-rd G-d formed man of dust from the ground, and He breathed into his nostrils the soul of life, and man ...
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Did Ralbag's predecessors help him, or make things more difficult for him?

At the end of his commentary to Parshat Bereishit, Ralbag writes that he had difficulty composing his commentary to this parshah because the earlier commentaries practically pushed him away from ...
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Difference Between Shamayim and Rakia

In parshas Berashis, the words Shamayim and Rakia keep on coming up. someone asked me what is the difference between the 2, and I had no idea.
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Understanding the cantillation of Bereshit 5:29 [duplicate]

In Bereshit 5:29 it states וַיִּקְרָ֧א אֶת־שְׁמ֛וֹ נֹ֖חַ לֵאמֹ֑ר זֶ֠ה יְנַחֲמֵ֤נוּ In every chumash I have seen the word זה has 2 cantillation marks on it a telisha and a gershayim (according to the ...
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The Aliyot in Parshat Bereisheet

According to the Hertz (Soncino Press) chumash, the aliyot for Bereisheet are (excuse my poor formatting) Aliyah...…. begins at 2...…………..1:14 3...………….1:24 4...…………..2:4 5...…………..3:22 6......
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82 views

What sources say that Kayin inspired Hevel to bring an offering?

I've heard the idea that Kayin was the one who inspired his brother Hevel to bring an offering to Hashem (Genesis Chapter 4). One possible place I saw this was from Rabbi David Fohrman, although I don'...
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113 views

What was the size of the כָּתְנוֹת עוֹר?

What was the size of the כָּתְנוֹת עוֹר (garments of skins for Adam and his wife) (Genesis 3:21)? By "size", I mean, was the garment just covering the area that an underwear would cover, or was it a ...
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40 views

Why does Rashi specifically tell us his interpretation method on 3:8?

In Bereishis 3:8, Rashi makes the following comment about his method of interpretation: וישמעו. יֵשׁ מִדְרְשֵׁי אַגָּדָה רַבִּים וּכְבָר סִדְּרוּם רַבּוֹתֵינוּ עַל מְכוֹנָם בִּבְ"רַ וּבִשְׁאָר ...
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1answer
49 views

Which sources tell how Eve got to know they could not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil?

The command not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil is given to Adam in 2(17) before the creation of Eve. In 3(3) and with Rashi's comments we read that Eve knew of the prohibition. ...
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3answers
207 views

Beresheit 3:21: What was the material Hashem used to cover Adam and Chava?

I'm seeking a general consensus on what material Hashem used to clothe Adam and Chava. I realize there are various translations stating they were leather or animal skins. Commentaries range from ...
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3answers
99 views

Don't Touch: Fruit of the tree versus Non-kosher corpses

The Hizkuni on Bereshies 3:3, where Chava tells the serpent that they can't TOUCH or eat from the Eitz, writes ולא תגעו בו. לאכלו, כמו ובנבלתם לא תגעו (ויקרא יא ח), לפי הפשט. והאמת כל המוסיף ...
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1answer
122 views

Is there any significance to the age at which Methuselah died?

Bresheit 5:27 records the death of Methuselah as 969 years. His is the longest lifespan recorded in the Torah. Is there any meaning for his death at such an age, or is there significance to the ...
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1answer
68 views

Men's Earth vs. Women's Bone

Someone recently mentioned to me that there is a Chazal saying אדם was created from עפר which gets hot quickly but doesn’t retain the heat too long, while women were created from bone which takes ...
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1answer
41 views

Is there any significance in the distinction between Avos d’Rebbi Nassan and Bereishis Rabbah regarding Chavah and the snake?

In Avos d’Rebbi Nassan 1:5, as quoted and linked by DanF here, when Chavah told the snake that Hashem commanded them not to touch nor eat from the Etz HaDa’as, the snake touched the tree, saying, “...