Questions tagged [parashat-bereishit]

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

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5
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3answers
124 views

Why doesn't the Torah start with “And God spoke to Moses: In the beginning God created, etc”?

Both Talmudic opinions about the dictation of the Torah to Moses (either at once or scroll by scroll, Gittin 60), agree on the fact of the dictation. Therefore the Torah must reflect that fact and, ...
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1answer
73 views

Was the Tree of Knowledge less than or equal to 3 years of growth?

Was the Tree of Knowledge less than or equal to 3 years of growth in Bereishit 2:17? We learn in Vayikra 19:23 about the age of forbidden Trees : "When you enter the land and plant any tree for ...
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0answers
35 views

Why does God curse and how does it align with justice?

וְעַתָּה אָרוּר אָתָּה מִן־הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר פָּצְתָה אֶת־פִּיהָ לָקַחַת אֶת־דְּמֵי אָחִיךָ מִיָּדֶךָ׃ - >Therefore, you shall be more cursed than the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your ...
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1answer
54 views

How could Cain know that Hebel was actually dead?

Maybe I'm missing something in the story, but I see no obvious way for Cain to know that he actually killed Hebel and the latter will not wake up, heal or resurrect. How could Cain know that Hebel was ...
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0answers
30 views

Why was Gan-Eden a garden?

The narrative says there was a place called Eden or being eden (a watered valley) and then God planted a garden inside of it where Adam was placed. Why was this place a garden, and not a city, a ...
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55 views

Source that Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge because they desired autonomy

I remember hearing once that Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge because they found G-d's presence in the Garden of Eden to be overbearing and they desired autonomy, so they rejected his sole ...
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45 views

Why does the shva in Bereishit 1:2 express “vav” as an adverb (Now) in JPS 1917 translation?

Why does the shva cause the "vav" to be expressed in English as an adverb Now : "Ve" (וְ) instead of the conjunction And : "Va" (וַ), "Ve" (וְ), "U" (...
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1answer
52 views

Understanding עָרוּם in bereishit [duplicate]

I just began to study the Torah. It was interesting to see that both man and snake are described as עָרוּם, translated to english, in my version, as "naked" with respect to man, and "...
2
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1answer
156 views

Why is Shem known by the name Malchai-Tzedek?

Malchai Tzedek was also Shem, son of Noach according to Targum Yonatan and Targum Yerushalmi to Bereishis 14:18–20 and Talmud Bavli to Nedarim 32b. Why give him two names? It seems confusing for no ...
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32 views

Why don't we start reading Parshat Bereshis at the beginning of the year, from Rosh Hashana? [duplicate]

It just doesn't seem to make sense to me. Why start later?
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3answers
80 views

What positive knowledge was earned from eating the forbidden fruit?

Implicitly, the tree was called "the tree of knowledge of good and bad", and we all know the "bad" part - they realized the wickedness of their nakedness. My question is simple: ...
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1answer
70 views

An unformed and unfilled earth covered

I was looking at Genesis 1:2 the other day and I was wondering if I understood it correctly was the earth unformed and unfilled and covered (surrounded) by water and darkness?
3
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1answer
121 views

Cain feared death, married and had children with a woman because there were already other people in the world?

I'm new to the site. When Cain speaks to God, after killing his brother Hebel, Cain says, "I will be wandering and nomadic in the land; whoever finds me will kill me!" (Bereshit 4:14), this ...
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0answers
55 views

Did Adam commit an act of Ahavas Yisroel or self-sacrifice to eat from the Tree of Knowledge?

I've seen on non-Jewish websites explaining the fact that Adam ate from the tree was because he loved Eve more than he loved God, or that he did an act of self-sacrifice so that Eve wouldn't suffer ...
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44 views

Why is the birth of Kayin written strangely?

In Bereishis 4:1, the Pasuk describes the birth of Kayin: וְהָאָדָם יָדַע אֶת־חַוָּה אִשְׁתּוֹ וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד אֶת־קַיִן וַתֹּאמֶר קָנִיתִי אִישׁ אֶת־יְהוָה Now the man knew his wife Chava, and she ...
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1answer
104 views

The second yod in Mechiyael

Bereishit 4:18 contains the word: וּמְחִיָּיאֵ֗ל There is no vowel under the second yod, so I assume that it is not pronounced at all. What is its function? Is it a mater lectionis? Is a yod ever ...
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64 views

On what day was the air created?

Since we're back to Bereyshis, I was wondering, the air is not mentioned in the Torah, besides the wind, of course. THe Hebrew "אויר" is actually the Greek "aero" as they ...
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4answers
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Who or what did G-d use while creating?

I’ve a question, G-d created the heavens and the earth, but in order to do so did He used an 'agent’ i.e. a tool or instrument of some kind, a way or manner in which others were involved? The spirit ...
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1answer
55 views

What happened to the male Leviathan?

According to tradition (see Rashi to bereishis 1:21), Hashem created a male and female Leviathan, but then He killed the female and salted it for the righteous. What happened to the male? Did it die ...
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329 views

Skin color Adam and Chava

What skin color did adam and chava have? I learned that if all people indeed came from them at least one of them had to have a dark skin color.
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Did Adam and Chava have a child before they sinned? Was childbirth not painful before they sinned?

Did Adam and Chava have a child before they sinned? Was childbirth not painful before they sinned? In Bereshit 3:16, it says, To the woman He said, "I shall surely increase your sorrow and your ...
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3answers
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How was Eve “flesh of my flesh”?

According to Bereishit Rabbah 18:1, Eve was built out of the rib of Adam: https://www.sefaria.org/Bereishit_Rabbah.18.1?lang=en&with=all&lang2=en If Eve was made from Adam's rib, that ...
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2answers
329 views

Why do English translations use the name “Eve” rather than “Chava”?

When the Bible is translated into English, most Hebrew names are simply transliterated into Roman characters. In a few cases though, a completely different name is used. In the case of Hadassah/...
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2answers
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The proposed killing of Yosef would have left 11 tribes

We know the Patriarchs and Matriarchs prophetically had knowledge there would be the Shevatim (12 tribes) descended through Ya'akov. Source: (Bereshit Rabbah 72,5) concerning the fact that Ya'akov ...
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Doubling the reason for the flood in the Torah

At the end of Parashat Bereishit (6,7) the Torah repeats two very similar statements twice - in a form of "ABAB" instead of "AABB": Aוַיִּרְא֤וּ בְנֵי־הָֽאֱלֹהִים֙ ...וַיִּקְח֤וּ לָהֶם֙ נָשִׁ֔ים ...
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What does “the tree of life” mean when G-d decides on life solely?

My question is maybe an elaboration on this question "How does the tree of life work?: The Gemmorah says that G-d decides exclusively on a person’s lifespan. But the Torah says that G-d Himself is ...
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1answer
121 views

How can constant creation of new stars explained theologically?

"... we get on average about one new star per year, and one star dying each year as a planetary nebula in the Milky Way.... therefore there are about 275 million [born] per day, in the whole ...
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2answers
103 views

What does it mean to bless anything?

In the first chapter of the Torah G-d Himself blesses various things: people, animals, days. What does it mean for G-d to bless anything after creating it?
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1answer
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Why was the commandment on eating the fruit said in single?

The Torah says that G-d created "them": וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאָדָם ... זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה בָּרָא אֹתָם׃ And God created man ... male and female He created them. Later He blesses them: ...
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What is so special about Taninim to be mentioned separately?

וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הַתַּנִּינִם הַגְּדֹלִים וְאֵת כָּל־נֶפֶשׁ הַחַיָּה הָרֹמֶשֶׂת אֲשֶׁר שָׁרְצוּ הַמַּיִם לְמִינֵהֶם וְאֵת כָּל־עוֹף כָּנָף לְמִינֵהוּ וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים כִּי־טוֹב׃ God created ...
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1answer
30 views

Redundancy in the commandment to multiply

וְאַתֶּם פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ שִׁרְצוּ בָאָרֶץ וּרְבוּ־בָהּ׃ Be fertile, then, and increase; abound on the earth and increase on it.” (Ber 9) Why the repetition of רבו - increase?
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54 views

How did animals get their soul?

We know that in the process of the creation of Man, his body was shaped from the earth but his soul (נשמה) was blown by G-d. Animals, IIRC, appeared from the earth and from the water already with ...
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0answers
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Torah confusion between “daylight” and “a day”

The Torah uses the same word יום in the same verse to denote both "daylight" and "24 hours": וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה וַיְהִי־עֶרֶב וַיְהִי־בֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד׃ ...
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1answer
71 views

How did Adam and Chava know what's good or bad before eating from the tree? [duplicate]

Hashem Elohim allowed the human being to eat the product which was produced by every tree in Gan Eden, except from the tree of knowledge (understanding) of what’s good and bad. So with this knowledge ...
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0answers
79 views

How did Noah react to being childless?

Rashi to Genesis 5:32 reads: אמר רבי יודן מה טעם כל הדורות הולידו למאה שנה וזה לחמש מאות אמר הקב״ה אם רשעים הם יאבדו במים ורע לצדיק זה ואם צדיקים הם אטריח עליו לעשות תיבות הרבה כבש את מעיינו ולא ...
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1answer
141 views

Why did people under 100 die in the mabul?

On Bereishis 5:32, Rashi brings an explanation that Noach had children when he was 500 so that Japheth, his eldest son, should not be liable for punishment before the Flood, as it is written (Isa. 65:...
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1answer
48 views

What does it mean that G-d calls names to things?

In the process of Creation G-d eventually calls names of different things: וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה ...׃ God called the light Day, and the darkness He called ...
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1answer
90 views

What does it mean “a man leaves his father and mother”?

Please help me understand the meaning of this phrase (Gen 2.24: עַל־כֵּן יַעֲזָב־אִישׁ אֶת־אָבִיו וְאֶת־אִמּוֹ וְדָבַק בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ וְהָיוּ לְבָשָׂר אֶחָד׃ Hence a man leaves his father and ...
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0answers
52 views

Why should G-d correct His Creation as He goes?

THe Torah and the commentaries clearly suggest in several places that G-d corrected His Creation while still in the process: וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאוֹר כִּי־טוֹב וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים בֵּין הָאוֹר ...
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0answers
28 views

Why should G-d look at the parts of His creation?

THis part of the story of the Creation seriously puzzles me: G-d looking at His creation and checking/judging/evaluating it. Examples: וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאוֹר כִּי־טוֹב וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים ...
2
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1answer
149 views

Why no Torah or wisdom or knowledge is mentioned presented by G-d to Adam?

IIRC, the passing of the Tora/wisdom/divine knowledge in our tradition didn't start with Moses or even Abraham. Allegedly, the 19 generations of Tzadikim from Adam to Abraham studied/dealt with it ...
3
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2answers
86 views

Why was the purpose of the creation of Man was so dull?

On the 6th day of the Creation, G-d consults angels (see my other question) and presents them with what looks like His vision of Man's goal on Earth: וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹקים נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ ...
7
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2answers
92 views

Why so much genealogical detail in Bereshit?

I'm looking for reasons (Pshat, but not only) in giving so much detail in Bereshit regarding the sons of Adam, Kain, and so on. Some of the characters born and die, and have no clear role, at least in ...
6
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1answer
71 views

Why did Da'as Zekeinim leave out the mitzvah to procreate?

Da'as Zekeinim (compilations of teachings from the Ba'alei Tosafos) to Genesis 1:1 ask a question on one of the first comments of Rashi: ועוד פרש"י א"ר יצחק לא היה צריך להתחיל התורה וכו', וקשה שהרי ...
2
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1answer
63 views

What's so bad about Kayin's flax?

Rashi (Bereishis 4:3) says מפרי האדמה. מִן הַגָּרוּעַ, וְיֵשׁ אַגָּדָה שֶׁאוֹמֶרֶת זֶרַע פִּשְׁתָּן הָיָה: OF THE FRUIT OF THE GROUND —of the worst fruits (Genesis Rabbah 22:5); there is an Agada ...
2
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0answers
32 views

Beracha and Kedusha referring to the generation of the desert

Rashi in his commentary on Bereishis 2:3 explains that the beracha of shabbos is in the future when the mannah fell during the week and an extra portion fell on Friday and kedusha is also in the ...
7
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2answers
508 views

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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2answers
173 views

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
92 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
141 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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