Questions tagged [parashat-bereishit]

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

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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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499 views

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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3answers
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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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2answers
480 views

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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1answer
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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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558 views

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 benefit 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 make this human being with the ability to ...
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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 ...
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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
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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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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
545 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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3answers
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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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2answers
251 views

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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3answers
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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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3answers
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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
635 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
259 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
229 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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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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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 ...
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3answers
414 views

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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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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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.?
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1answer
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What does Mimenu mean in Bereishis 3:22

Bereishis 3:22 writes: וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים, הֵן הָאָדָם הָיָה כְּאַחַד מִמֶּנּוּ, לָדַעַת, טוֹב וָרָע; וְעַתָּה פֶּן-יִשְׁלַח יָדוֹ, וְלָקַח גַּם מֵעֵץ הַחַיִּים, וְאָכַל, וָחַי לְעֹלָם The ...
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1answer
182 views

What is significant about nakedness in Bereishit?

In the story of Adam and Eve we see that "they were both naked, the man and his wife, but they were not ashamed." Bereishit 2:25 Then after they eat the fruit they become aware of their nakedness and ...
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1answer
57 views

How does “וירא א׳ את האור כי טוב” imply goodness per se?

Haamek Davar to B'reshis 1:4 explains that "טוב" can mean either "good for its intended purpose" (even if that purpose is not good) or "good in truth". The אור (light, let's say) created on the first ...
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What exactly was Adam and Chava's sin?

Bereshit 2:9-10 tells about HaShem Elohim made to spring up every tree (in Gan Eden) pleasing to the sight, and tov for food and the Etz HaChayim (Tree of Life) also in the midst of Gan Eden, and the ...
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1answer
224 views

Did HaShem forget Chava in the creation?

After the creation HaShem says: Bereshit 1:31: 'And Elohim saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was tov me’od (very good).' I guessed that Adam was also tov me'od, but then i red the ...
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What are the origins of Qayin?

This article is expressing that "Qayin" derived from the 1st millenium BC South Arabic word Qyn, and that Cain is not a name old enough in Bible times of the 2nd millenium. Is it plausible that this ...
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1answer
124 views

Why say Adam listened to Eve if she merely gave him fruit?

In Genesis 3 Eve simply hands over to Adam the forbidden fruit. If this is so, then why did G-d say "because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree"?
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Identity of the Serpent [duplicate]

Is there a consensus on whether the serpent in the Garden of Eden was Satan or not? Is it possible that the application of the word serpent is an adjective?
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1answer
124 views

Adam and the tree of life?

I have been considering Adam and what G-d said about Adam pertaining to the tree of life directly after the fall. After Adam had transgressed, G-d commanded that the tree of life be withheld from him ...
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3answers
506 views

Why is it called “Eden”?

God planted a garden in Eden (Genesis 2:8). Why is it called Eden? I don't see that any of the commentaries in my mikraos g'dolos discuss this.
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153 views

G-d and the serpent, what happened?

G-d said: "Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.'" And the serpent said: "Ye shall not surely die; 5 for G-d doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall ...
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2answers
339 views

Abel was a shepherd, wasn't it a crime?

Shepherds kill animals, and make food from their meat. It wasn't allowed in the antediluvian era. Abel was a shepherd, wasn't it a crime? Wasn't it at least problematic?
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271 views

Sforno on the Nachash

The Sforno on Bereishis 3:1 explains that the Nachash, snake, is not an actual snake but is rather the Satan/Yetzer Harah. With that in mind, what does the Sforno do with the curse Hashem gives the ...
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197 views

Why was the knowledge of good and evil embodied in the fruit of a tree?

In the story of creation man is forbidden from eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Why was the knowledge of good and evil embodied in a tree and fruit specifically?
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When did people living for 900 years start to look old?

In the early days of the world, the standard age of living was well into the hundreds, with many people living until they were 800 or 900. Being that people lived so long, when did they start to "look ...
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4answers
281 views

Age of Universe and Shabbat

If one believes that our world is billions of years old, i.e. accepting the idea of each day in Sheshis Imei Berieshit (the Six Days of Creation) as eras and not literal days, then how does one ...
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2answers
189 views

Did Cain and Hevel have דעת?

Kayin and Hevel were born before Adam and Chava sinned and ate from the Tree of Knowledge. (See Rashi to 4:1.) Did Kayin and Hevel ever receive the understanding that their parents got from the fruit?...

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