Questions tagged [parashat-bereishit]

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

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Effect of God Removing Adam's Rib

In what way (if any) was Adam's physical body and mental/spiritual state altered when God removed his rib to create Eve (Genesis 2:21–22)? Was there a specific reason the rib was removed?
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Was the universe created by soundwaves?

Was the universe created by soundwaves? Hashem said in Genesis: Let there be light.
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Is שמים (Shamayim) the spiritual world or just the sky?

When the Torah talks about the שמים, does it means the spiritual world or the sky? The most relatable example for my question would be the first Pasuk of the Torah, right at the beginning of Bereshit: ...
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1answer
281 views

Adam and Eve as parable or literal

Was the story of Adam and Eve meant as a parable for the dawn of civilization after human species evolved for millennia or is Adam and Eve to be literally read as the first humans to ever be created.
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When exactly was Eve named?

While reading Paradise Lost, I noticed that at some point in the text before the forbidden fruit is consumed, Adam refers to Eve by name. This bothered me: I read the beginning of Genesis a couple ...
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How was Adam to conquer the land?

In Bereshis 1:28 God tells Adam to to conquer the land, וְכִבְשֻׁהָ. How or in what way was Adam supposed to do this? Build buildings? Farm? Something else?
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Who is Adam guarding Eden from?

In Bereshis 2:15 Adam is placed in Gan Eden to work and guard it. Guard it from what or whom?
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Why did Hevel suffer?

I've heard many times from Rabbis and Morims that every suffering we have in life is the consequence of something bad we've done. And for babies that suffer at birth and righteous people that seem to ...
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34 views

Did Kayin offer up honey?

I recall learning somewhere that Kayin's offering was honey, produced from fruit (dates or figs). What is the source for this approach?
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was only the serpent able to speak?

In Genesis we find the serpent is described as the most cunning of all animals. He is not desccribed as the only one who can speak. does this mean other primordial animals could also speak?
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Bereshit 2:9 all trees or one tree?

Bereshit 2:9 reads 'kol etz' which is revering to the whole tree species, so rendered as 'all trees'. I wondered if a literal (word-by-word) translation could read 'kol etz' as a 'whole tree': And ...
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34 views

Are animals commanded (Bereishit 1:22)?

In two places in parshat Bereishit Gd commands "be fruitful and multiply". The second place is the familiar commandment directed to humans (Gen 1:28). In the first place, the same words are used but ...
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Why did Cain (Kayin) kill Abel (Hevel)?

In Bereshis 4:8 we read: וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן, אֶל-הֶבֶל אָחִיו; וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹתָם בַּשָּׂדֶה, וַיָּקָם קַיִן אֶל-הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיַּהַרְגֵהוּ And Cain spoke unto Abel his brother. And it came to pass, ...
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Why do fish die?

There's an interesting Rashi in Parshas Bereishis (3:6): וַתֵּ֣רֶא הָֽאִשָּׁ֡ה כִּ֣י טוֹב֩ הָעֵ֨ץ לְמַאֲכָ֜ל וְכִ֧י תַֽאֲוָה־ה֣וּא לָעֵינַ֗יִם וְנֶחְמָ֤ד הָעֵץ֙ לְהַשְׂכִּ֔יל וַתִּקַּ֥ח ...
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What is the purpose of naming animals?

In Genesis 2,19 it is written that the animals were brought to Adam so that he would name them. Of course we cannot say what exactly the purpose of living is but there are some 'explanations'. For ...
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Was man created before or after the animals?

According to Genesis chapter 1, it seems that the animals were created first. According to Genesis chapter 2, it seems that man was created first. What are the different understandings that have been ...
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Adam 's sin out of deveikut?

I found this online: In his sefer "Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh," R' Itamar Shwartz emphasizes the important point that our existence in this world is for the purpose of being davuk to our Creator; to be ...
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1answer
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Adah and Tzillah, what is known of them? Could one name daughters after them?

Is there any other information available on Adah and Tzillah, who are mentioned briefly in Bereshit chapter 4? Were they positive or negative role models? Would it be appropriate to give one's ...
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Who is the Serpent in Genesis? [duplicate]

I've read in the book "The Essential Zohar" by Rav Philip Berg that the Serpent was none other than the "Klipah"mentionned by name in Isiaiah 34:14. Yet Rabbi Mordechai Kraft appeared in a youtube ...
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How to translate Olam in the Torah?

Bereshit 3:22: ‏…וְלָקַח גַּם מֵעֵץ הַחַיִּים וְאָכַל וָחַי לְעֹלָם In search for a definition of the word עֹלָם (Olam), as in this verse, I found different translations: 'Universe', '...
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1answer
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How might one reconcile a non-literal reading of the timespan of creation with literal 7th day Shabbat observance? [duplicate]

I am wondering, in the light of discussions regarding the possibility for non-literal readings of Bereishit, how we are to then understand a quite literal observation of Shabbat on the 7th day. To ...
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Understanding the bestowment and receiving the greatest good (HaShem Himself)?

The Ramchal, in short, teaches (Derech HaShem) that HaShem is absolutely, completely and perfectly good; His essence/nature so to speak is the totality of goodness. Because of this He wanted to bestow ...
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Is the blessing “Oseh Ma'aseh Breishit” to be understood literally?

The term "ma'aseh breishit" means, literally "the makings (or creations) of the beginning." The "beginning" seems to me, to refer to the first 6 days of creation. Certain things that we recite "Oseh ...
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119 views

Scaling Time to Reconcile Genesis with Science [duplicate]

Some scientists try to reconcile the biblical account of creation with the modern scientific view. see for example Gerald Shroeder's at http://www.aish.com/ci/sam/48951136.html There he claims the ...
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Why do all women deserve to suffer for the sin of one woman, Chava?

In the Torah, Bereshit 3:16, all women receive the curse of a painful childbirth and their subservience to men. This is all because Chava made the choice to make Adam eat from the tree. Why should all ...
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1answer
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searching for the source for Kulo Tov?

What is the original source for HaShem being called 'Kulo Tov', 'Completely Good'? It seems to be the source for the idea that HaShem created the creation to bestow His goodness. Could anyone explain ...
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What does HaShem benefits from making the human being?

HaShem made the human being with free will (to choose), but what does it mean to HaShem, or what does He gain/benefits from making the human being and why making this human being with the the ability ...
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What is the opposite of shalom?

Could anyone explain me the antonym of shalom? The antonym of light is darkness, but Yeshayahu seems to tell that the antonym of shalom is rah.. but isn't rah the antonym of tov, like in the etz hada'...
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Why was it forbidden to take knowledge of rah?

Why was it forbidden to take knowledge of rah if HaShem created rah, or created the tree of knowledge tov v'rah? Why wouldn't HaShem allow the first human beings to take knowledge of rah, because ...
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Meaning and usage of different names for Sunday [duplicate]

At the end of davening, when we introduce the daily psalm, for Sunday, we use the term - יום ראשוז בשבת - The first day in the week. (I'm translating the word שבת as "week", here. It's a valid ...
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hints from verses that 6 days of creation is not literal

Are there hints in the verses of Genesis that the 6 "days" of creation are not literal, i.e. not 24 hour periods but rather some kind of "era".
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1answer
174 views

And it was so? Perhaps mistranslated?

A speaker of modern Hebrew would translate the following expression from Genesis 1: וַיְהִי-כֵן "And it will be so." But every translation of Torah I have seen says "and it was so." Couldn't it ...
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633 views

How were fish formed? Did Adam name them?

Animals (including birds) are formed from the dust of the ground in Bereshit 2:19, and Adam gave them names according to verse 20. But what about the fish (animals of the sea)? Are they also formed ...
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3answers
468 views

The serpent of Gan Eden [duplicate]

Does the Torah mean that there really was a "talking snake," or was it just a symbol of the Yetzer Hara (Satan/adversary)?
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Can someone help me understand Genesis Rabbah 4?

The beginning of Genesis Rabbah 4 talks mainly about the firmament in creation account. It goes as follows (from the Artscroll Mesorah publication): (4:2): "At the moment the Holy One, Blessed is He,...
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is one an apikores for believing that only Darwin's evolution is a possibility? [duplicate]

Given that the torah's account of creation clearly seems to state that man was created independently from the animals, and likewise, the animals, plants, were created from the ground, would someone ...
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Inner being: Soul or Spirit?

Bereshit (Genesis) 2:7 reads: 'vayipach beapav nishmat chayim vayehi ha'adam lenefesh chayah' Is my inner being a 'soul' or a 'spirit', or am I a 'soul' or am I a 'spirit'? Let me make myself clear: ...
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How did G-d make animals and how did they became living beings?

I read a couple of questions and answers that are related to mine, but I could not find any answer to my specific question. The first human being was formed from the dust of the ground; this became ...
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Human v.s. Animal: spiritual v.s the most fine physical entity kind of soul?

If animals don't have spirits (Does anyone have a proof text that animals *don't* have spirits?), then what is the meaning of nishmat ruach chayim in Bereshit 7:22? And in what way does it differ ...
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Questions regarding unusual trope combination

I am relaying a question that my friend emailed to me, last night. (It's a mitzvah to credit others): There are two places in the Torah that have an unusual dual trope note combination on a single ...
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3answers
508 views

Adam masculine and feminine?

I've gotten the advice to ask this question apart from another question i asked (Elohim plural singular): so here it is Bereshit 5:1 reads according to my own words: 'In/On the day that Elohim ...
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0answers
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Ages in Genesis 5 [duplicate]

Are the life spans in Genesis 5 meant to be taken literally? Wasn't the life span of ancient people drastically shorter back then? I have read that the numbers are spiritual numbers that are used to ...
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2answers
238 views

Elohim plural singular [duplicate]

Reading many questions relating to mine and the comments that were given, made me wonder. When Elohim thought of creating the human being (Bereshit 1:26) He spoke (singular): “Let Us make… and after ...
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1answer
205 views

Was Adam with Chava when she first ate the fruit?

My impression (since childhood) of the incident in the garden is that the serpent persuaded Chava to eat, and then she took some fruit to Adam and he ate it. This question asks if he knew where the ...
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2answers
162 views

Definitions of Creative Words

What is the difference between יצירה, בריאה, and עשייה? (Three terms for creation). The first is used in Genesis (1:1), the second in Genesis (2:7), the third in Genesis (1:11).
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Was Adam placed in Gan Eden to keep the service of HaShem?

Bereshit 2:15 reads: לְעָבְדָהּ וּלְשָׁמְרָהּ, but it seems that this can't be referring to: 'to work the earth and keep it', because after the chet (the sin) it reads in Bereshit 3:23 that Adam was ...
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295 views

Meaning of יְהִי in Genesis 1:3

What is the meaning and root of the verb "יְהִי" in Genesis 1:3. I want to know more about its root, its other meanings and etc. Does it mean "create?" וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי אוֹר; וַיְהִי-אוֹר. ...
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What's the difference between לְמִינוֹ and לְמִינֵהוּ?

B'reshis 1:11–12, :25; Sh'mini 11:15–22; and R'e 14:14–15 seem to use "לְמִינוֹ" and "לְמִינֵהוּ" interchangeably, and both words are generally translated the same way (usually ...
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2answers
178 views

What drove humans to their first sin?

What caused Adam and Chava to sin; to do the wrong thing; to make the wrong choice: What was it in their human being, thats being called Tov me'od (Bereshit 1:31), that drove them into eating from the ...
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180 views

Applications of word tzipor

Can the Hebrew word "tzipor" mean any kind of flying creature in Genesis 1, or is the word only referring to fowls such as sparrows, hawks, etc.?