Breishit 1:1-6:8

  1. [1:1] “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” The most common way of translating the first pasuk in the Torah is, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Rashi translates it, “In the beginning of the creation of the heavens and the earth, the earth was unformed and void…” What is the difference between these 2 translations?  How do we see creation of the world differently according to each of the translations?
  1. [1:3] “And God said, “Let there be light, and there was light.” God created the world with words. What types of things can we create with words?  In what ways or in what situations are words not sufficient for us? Why does the Jewish mystical tradition attach so much power to  words?
  1. [1:27] “And God created man in His image, in the image of God…” How are we created in the image of God?
  1. [3:12] “…she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Some commentaries say that Adam’s worst sin was blaming Chava and God, and not accepting responsibility. Certainly blaming others is not acceptable behaviour, but why is it considered  such a  very serious sin?
  1. [3:22] “…man has become like Me knowing good and evil…” What did Adam and Chava lose by eating from the tree and what did they gain?

Commentary

[Breishit 1:1] “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

This one verse is sufficient to teach us to see the world as God’s world and ourselves as God’s creatures, to prepare us for the demand that we are to recognize this world and ourselves as emanations of God, and therefore, as God’s sacred possessions, and that in this world of God, we are to use all of our energies—which also belong to him—solely for the purpose of doing His will.

–R. Shimshon Raphael Hirsch, 1808-1888, Germany.

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker

And to the memory of Sarah Beila Kummer bat Yitzchak and Chana, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer