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Bereisheit ~ 5773 ~ בראשית
G-d creates the Heavens and Earth, Light and Darkness on the first day. On the second day G-d separated the seas and oceans from the dry land. On the third day, all vegetation, herbs, trees, bushes, flowering and seed plants were created. On the fourth day, G-d created the Sun and Moon to differentiate Day from Night. On the fifth day, the Sea and Air Animals were created and commanded to procreate.
The great Land Animals were created on the sixth day. G-d created Man and placed him over all creation. On the seventh day G-d rested. The specifics of Creation are given here in greater detail, as well as topography of the region of the Garden of Eden. A helpmate is made for Man. A series of cascading events leads to the sin and punishment for eating the forbidden fruit.
Man is expelled from Eden. Eve gives birth to Cain and Abel. Cain slays Abel in an act of jealous rage and G-d sentences him to perpetual wandering. Humanity begins with the continued birthing of Adam and his descendants.
The generation of Adam, the descendants of Seth are enumerated here. The generations leading up to Noah are given. Man begins to sin greatly and to develop pathos inconsistent with G-d’s designs. Therefore, G-d resigns to destroy the Evil Society, excluding Noah, the only righteous.
MAFTIR Genesis 6:5 – 8 ~ page 21
HAFTARAH Isaiah 42:5 – 43:10 ~ page 21
Speaking in the name of the Creator of the heaven and earth, Isaiah addresses the exiles in Babylon. Israel, the ‘Servant of the Lord’, he declares, is destined to become a source of enlightenment by spreading the knowledge of G-d and the practice of righteousness among all the peoples. Israel’s disobedience has been punished and now the scattered exiles, with Divine aid, will be restored to their Homeland. No other nation but Israel, in view of their past experience, can testify to the Unity and Supremacy of G-d –‘Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord’.
Parashah Study Questions
1. Why is the first day of creation ‘cardinal’ (Day ONE) but all the rest are ‘ordinal’ (second, third, fourth, etc)?
2. What interesting note about evolution is relative to v. 1:22?
3. According to v.2:2 did G-d work on Shabbat?!
4. The Hebrew word that means “A-rum” is translated as crafty and shrewd, how then, throughout Proverbs, is it defined as a positive attribute ‘prudent’ or ‘sensible’?
5. What does the Hebrew word ‘Hevel’ mean? Is that any kind of name to give a child (4:2)?