Questions tagged [parashat-bereishit]

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

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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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. ...
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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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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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49 views

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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2answers
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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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170 views

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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43 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
40 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: ...