Questions tagged [parashat-bereishit]

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

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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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Bent/Inverted Kaf in Torah Scroll, Parshas Bereishis

If a Torah reader finds certain writing errors in a Torah scroll, the scroll may be invalid, and the congregation would be required to take out a different one to continue the service. Some errors, ...
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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 was the snake punished?

In Michtav M'Eliyahu vol2. page 137 Rabbi Dessler explains that the primordial snake was an external manifestation of the evil inclination which entered man after the sin. If so, why was the snake ...
ray's user avatar
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מחויאל and מחייאל Bereshis perek 4:18

Why did the pasuk change מחויאל to מחייאל in Bereshis 4:18? Is there any peirush who discusses this change and it significance?
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Rabbi Dovid Tzvi Hoffmann: The tree of knowledge of good and evil and morallity

Rabbi Dovid Tzvi Hoffmann in his commentary to Bereishis 2:7 explains (thanks to AlHaTorah for making this available) that originally, it was the will of Hashem that man was going to learn knowledge ...
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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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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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Beresheit 3:21: What was the material Hashem used to cover Adam and Chava?

I'm seeking a general consensus on what material Hashem used to clothe Adam and Chava. I realize there are various translations stating they were leather or animal skins. Commentaries range from ...
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Is there any significance in the distinction between Avos d’Rebbi Nassan and Bereishis Rabbah regarding Chavah and the snake?

In Avos d’Rebbi Nassan 1:5, as quoted and linked by DanF here, when Chavah told the snake that Hashem commanded them not to touch nor eat from the Etz HaDa’as, the snake touched the tree, saying, “...
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What are the 3 worlds of the Kli Yakar?

The Kli Yakar talks about 3 created worlds. What is he referring to? Kli Yakar Bereshit 1:1: ‏ויש עוד דרך שלישי, אבל אין כל אדם יכול לעמוד עליו והוא להכיר מציאת‏ השם ית' מתוך החקירה וידיעת כל הנמצאים ...
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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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Did Kayin and Hevel grow quickly or were they born fully developed?

The sefer Seder Hadorot brings different opinions as to how old Hevel was when he was killed by Kayin. Bershit Rabbah Ch. 22: 50 days (or 90 days [Seder Hadorot says 50 is a printing mistake]) Ibn ...
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What's the simple meaning, per Rashi, of the "upper waters", and where are they?

B"H In the simple meaning of the verse of "He separated between the water that is below the sky (/beginning of "outer space"/"firmamemt") to the water that is above it&...
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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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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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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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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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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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What's the difference between נכה and הרג?

In בראשית chapter/verse 4:15 and in various other places the words הכות) נכה) and הרג are used which both seem to be interchangeable in english translations. וַיֹּ֧אמֶר ל֣וֹ יְהוָ֗ה לָכֵן֙ כָּל ־ ...
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Commentaries concerning the meaning of Breishit 1:1

What do the Rabbis say about the meaning of the beginning of the Tanach – specifically, do they read the first verse as a kind of overview of creation (since Shamayim and Aretz did not exist before ...
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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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Hashem's will is not "nihilo", so why is it "creatio ex nihilo"?

The traditional objection is to any material having existed prior to the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, but then why not call it "creation without material"? The will of Hashem is not "nihilo" ...
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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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Who is "us" in Genesis 1:26 if God is one?

Gen 1:26 says: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness What does the word "us" imply here? There are also other instances of this "us" found in Gen 3:22: Behold, the ...
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Who was Methuselah?

Who was Methuselah? The Torah tells us not much about him. What does the Talmud and the Rabbis say about Methuselah?
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Is Rashi teasing us?

In Bereishit 3:22 Rashi says the following: and now, lest he stretch forth his hand, etc.: And if he were to live forever, he would be likely to mislead people to follow him and to say that he ...
Ani Yodea's user avatar
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How do we explain genaelogy differences between Genesis 4 and 5?

I read in The Collegeville Bible Commentary: Old Testament "Genesis" by Diane Bergant that the similar names in both Cainite and Sethite genealogies found in Genesis 4 and 5 such as Lamech, Enoch, ...
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Why did Chava give Adam the fruit to eat?

For what reason did Chava give Adam fruit from the tree of knowledge to eat?
not-allowed to change my name's user avatar
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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. ...
treenuts15's user avatar
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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 ...
Castle's user avatar
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Birthmarks - What are they?

I personally have a Mongolian birthmark that consumes half my chest and right leg. I've heard of Mongolian birthmarks being indicators of someone being Jewish. But otherwise, it's just a mark. ...
Re'eh's user avatar
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Oldest Tree and Creation

Since it can be shown that there is a tree over 9,500 years old https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080416104320.htm , and according to the dates in the Torah, mankind has been around for ...
Yirmiyahu Fischer's user avatar
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The light hidden in Torah?

In Bereshit 1:3-4 there is light(ness), and HaShem saw that it was good and seperated it from the dark(ness). I read (Baal Shem Tov, Zohar), that HaShem hid this light in the Torah? Could someone ...
Levi's user avatar
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What sin was Hevel killed for? [duplicate]

In Judaism we believe that someone who is murdered is being killed as punishment for his sins. What sin did Hevel commit to deserve to be put to death?
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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 ...
J.Levi's user avatar
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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 מוֹת ...
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What's the essence of the root עבד

The root עבד is often used as a verb in context of doing work, of service (doing work for someone), worship (doing work for a god). The noun (avodah) is used likewise. The related word עבד (eved) is ...
Levi's user avatar
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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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Genesis 3:22 as a reference to Yona?

I was told that there is a midrash that learns Genesis 3:22 as a reference to the navi (prophet) Yona ben Amitai, but cannot find the source. Do you know where it is?
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Nefesh Chaya in Bereshit and Rashi

In Parashat Bereshit, Rashi comments 3 times the words Nefesh Chaya נפש חיה (Bereshit 1:20 ; 1:21 and 1:24) the same way which is: "נפש חיה: שיש בה חיות", translated by www.chabad.org "living ...
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Explain details of Creation of the Sun and the Moon

Regarding the purposes of the sun and the moon, Breishit 1:18 says (my translation): "To rule during the day and the night, and to separate between the light and the darkness. G-d saw that it was ...
DanF's user avatar
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Was only the serpent able to speak in Eden?

In Genesis, we find the serpent is described as the most cunning of all animals. He is not described as the only one who can speak. Does this mean other primordial animals could also speak?
ray's user avatar
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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 ...
Rem Dav Nan's user avatar
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2 answers
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Adom eating from tree of knowledge

Why didn't Adom eat from the tree of life first and then eat from the tree of knowledge so he can live forever? Do any Medroshim discuss this?
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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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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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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 was G'd "hiding" the good and evil knowledge from Adam and Eve?

My brother, an atheist, asked me that, but I did not know to answer him. If you stop and reflect, after eat the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve knew a totally new world. They came out of a "dark cave" ...
Pedro Vinícius's user avatar
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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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