Questions tagged [parashat-bereishit]

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

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What is the meaning of this Midrash about Eve in the Garden?

In the Zohar Hadash 91D, Midrash Ha-Ne-elam on Ekhah, in reference to Eve and the serpent (who is described as female), it states: "קָרֵיב הַהוּא נָחָשׁ לְגַבֵּי אִיתְּתָא, דְּדַעְתָּא קַלָּה ...
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How is it physically possible for all four of the rivers in parshas breishis to come from Gan Eden?

I read that Gihon is actually the Nile and I was wondering how that’s physically possible considering that the Nile flows from Lake Victoria which isn’t remotely close to the Tigris or the Euphrates.
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What Rabbinic interpretations of the Garden of Eden narrative treat "the serpent" as more the protagonist, instead of the antagonist?

Most interpretations of the Garden narrative treat Adam and Even as protagonists, and the serpent as the antagonist. I am interested here in interpretations that flip some roles. As one example, I ...
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How did Adam and Eve sin before they ate from the Tree of Knowledge?

We see in chapter three of Genesis that although Adam and Eve were commanded not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge by G-d, the serpent was able to make it desirable in their eyes and lead them to sin. ...
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What does the introduction of ה' אלהים change in the creation narrative?

The second chapter of Genesis makes consistent use of ה"א, instead of אלהים in the first chapter (see here). The researchers famously attribute the discrepancy to different sources. How is this ...
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ויהיה ערב ויהיה בוקר - what's the nature of those emergences?

"וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים  לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה וַיְהִי־עֶרֶב וַיְהִי־בֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד׃" "God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening ...
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Why did God plan to create both "בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ" but only created "בְּצֶלֶם"?

"וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ..." "וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא אֹתוֹ...׃" "And God said, “Let us make ...
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Why didn’t the sages sense a problem with "in God's image"?

The Talmud (Megillah.9b and Tractate_Sefer_Torah.1.9) lists the 13 places/verses that felt problematic in the translation into Greek. "י״ג דברים שינו בה: אלהים ברא בראשית. אעשה אדם בצלם ודמות ...
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Why does plant life come after the earth, waters and the firmament, but before the planets?

This question only addresses the blueprint of the creation as described in the first chapter of Bereshit. It does not address the sequence of the actual creation, as described in Bereshit 2, or the ...
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Order of Creation: why the creation of man was grouped with animals and did not stand alone?

On the 6th day, God created both animals and humans, according to the main creation narrative (Gen 1). I would speculate that it would be more reasonable to dedicate each day to a specific niche: a ...
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Why was Chanoch/Enoch taken but Noach/Noah was not?

In Beresheith/Genesis 5:24 it states: וַיִּתְהַלֵּ֥ךְ חֲנ֖וֹךְ אֶת־הָֽאֱלֹהִ֑ים וְאֵינֶ֕נּוּ כִּֽי־לָקַ֥ח אֹת֖וֹ אֱלֹהִֽים׃        Enoch walked with G-d; then he was no more, for G-d took him ...
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Walking behind a woman if you can't see her

The gemara in עירובין יח has a very interesting discussion, it wants to know according to the מ"ד that אדם and חוה were created together back-to-back שני פרצופים, who walked first (i.e. which ...
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When did עבודה זרה start?

Rashi says on the posuk (בראשית,ד,כ) of: וַתֵּ֥לֶד עָדָ֖ה אֶת־יָבָ֑ל ה֣וּא הָיָ֔ה אֲבִ֕י יֹשֵׁ֥ב אֹ֖הֶל וּמִקְנֶֽה וּמִדְרַשׁ אַגָּדָה בּוֹנֶה בָתִּים לַעֲ"זָ, כְּמָה דְּאַתְּ אָמַר סֵמֶל ...
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How did Rashi come to the conclusion that the heavens were created from fire and water?

In his commentary of Beresheith/Genesis 1:1, Rashi states: And a further proof that the heavens and earth were not the first thing created is that the heavens were created from fire (אש) and water (...
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How did Serpent the animal know the wrong before Adam?

This question deals exclusively with the literal interpretation of the Serpent as a biological species, not as metaphorical evil (see my previous question "Stripping-satan-of-his-legs"). In ...
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Meaning of stripping Satan of his legs and walking on his belly

This question deals exclusively with the metaphorical interpretation of the Serpent as Satan/evil inclination/Devil/etc, not as a biological species. The Serpent was cursed by God with : "...
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Why Shemot 20:11 (4th commandment) refers to Bereshit's history of six days earth creation and Devarim 5:15 doesn't refer to it?

Why Shemot 20:11 refers to Bereshit's history of six days earth creation and Devarim 5:15 doesn't refer to it? In Shemot it refers to Bereshit's history of six days of creation,and in Devarim 5:15 it ...
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How are humans that were formed "from dust" different from animals that were formed "from earth"?

"וַיִּיצֶר ה"א אֶת־הָאָדָם עָפָר מִן־הָאֲדָמָה" Genesis.2.7 "וַיִּצֶר ה"א מִן־הָאֲדָמָה כָּל־חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה..." ibid. 19 So according to Rashi and others, Adam was ...
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Why "God formed Adam dust" and not "from dust"?

"וַיִּיצֶר ה"א אֶת־הָאָדָם עָפָר מִן־הָאֲדָמָה" Genesis.2.7 Literally, the verse reads "God formed Adam dust from the earth", like if "dust" was an adjective. ...
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Overpopulation and the Tree of Life

Had it not been for the sin of Adam and Chava, I've read sources that say we would have been able to eat from the Tree of Life, which would means that humanity would never die. What would keep the ...
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Has anyone ever eaten from the Tree of Life?

Obviously, the Tree of Knowledge was eaten from by Adam and Chava, but is there any evidence or sources that discuss the Tree of Life?
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Why does the Torah not write about or mention the creation of the Angels/Melachim? When were they made?

It's something I've interested in for a while ;) Thank you!
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The descendants of kayin are going to be destroyed according to Baraishis, but we know descendants of kayin so how can this be?

Rashi (Beraishis 4:24) writes that the descendants of Kayin are to be decimated as it is indicated in the Pasukim, but we know people that are descendants of Kayin, so how can this be?
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Making sense of God's different actions of the creation

I'm trying to categorize different actions God takes in the process of creation as appears in Genesis.1: Part of creation | Said? | Then | Then | Then 1. Heaven and Earth: | No ...
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Adam wiser than angels - meaning and implications

אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן מֶה הָיְתָה חָכְמָתוֹ? כְּשֶׁבִּקֵּשׁ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לִבְרֹאת אֶת הָאָדָם ... אָמַר לָהֶם אָדָם שֶׁאֲנִי רוֹצֶה לִבְרֹאת חָכְמָתוֹ מְרֻבָּה מִשֶּׁלָּכֶם, מֶה עָשָׂה כִּנֵּס ...
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(Why) Were animals expelled from Eden?

And the LORD God formed out of the earth all the wild beasts and all the birds of the sky, and brought them to the man (in Eden). Genesis.2.19 I'm confused about what happened to the animal: God ...
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Why are the sun and moon not named during creation?

During the 6 days of creation, many things are made and named (sky, grass, seeds, water, land, stars) but the sun and moon are referred to only as the lights/luminaries (Ber 1:16) וַיַּ֣עַשׂ ...
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Could animals in Eden eat from the tree of life and what would happen to them?

Following "Could animals in Eden eat from the tree of life", Could animals in Eden eat from the tree of life and what would happen to them?
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What's the point of the tree of life staying in Eden after Adam's fall?

"He drove the man out, and stationed east of the garden of Eden the cherubim and the fiery ever-turning sword, to guard the way to the tree of life" Genesis.3.24 The tree was left in Eden ...
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Could animals in Eden eat the forbidden fruit of knowledge and what would happen to them?

I don't see an objection to the fact that the animals of Eden have different diets prior to Adam's sin. And many animals eat fruits: mammals, birds, worms, etc, especially "the tree was good for ...
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What is the exact meaning of "ha Elohim" in Genesis 22:1?

In Genesis 22: 1 we read: "And it came to pass after these things, that ha Elohim tested Abraham, and He said to him, "Abraham," and he said, "Here I am." I see that the ...
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Why did G-d choose to speak creation into existence

“Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world.” - Edward Hopper. In Menoras Hameor R. Yitzchak Abuhav ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 "...
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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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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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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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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?
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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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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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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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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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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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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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