Parsha Q&A - Bereishis

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Parsha Q&A

Parshas Bereishis

For the week ending 29 Tishrei 5757; 11 & 12 October 1996

Contents:
  • Parsha Questions
  • Bonus Question
  • I Did Not Know That!
  • Recommended Reading List
  • Answers to Parsha Questions
  • Answer to Bonus Question
  • Back issues of Parsha Q&A
  • Subscription Information
  • Ohr Somayach Home Page

    This publication is also available in the following formats: [Text] [Word] [PDF] Explanation of these symbols


  • Parsha Questions

    1. What happened to the light that was created on the first day?
    2. Why isn't the word "good" associated with the second day?
    3. How were the trees supposed to taste?
    4. On which day were the sun and moon created?
    5. Hashem blessed the birds to be fruitful and to multiply. Why did He not do so with the beasts?
    6. In whose likeness was man fashioned?
    7. Man was created to have dominion over the animals. What happens when he debases himself?
    8. What kind of food did Adam eat?
    9. Why is "the sixth day" written with the definite article?
    10. At the end of the sixth day what was the world still lacking?
    11. Why was man made from dust gathered from the entire Earth?
    12. How is man superior to the animals?
    13. Where do we learn that one must not add to a commandment from Hashem?
    14. What does it mean that Adam and Chava "knew that they were naked"?
    15. When was Cain born?
    16. Why did Hevel choose to be a shepherd?
    17. What was the marital practice of the generation who lived before the flood?
    18. What did Tuval-Cain invent?
    19. Why did Chanoch die at a young age?
    20. What was the sign that Shem born with great propensity for righteousness?

    Bonus Question
    Answer
    Contents
    Rabbi Yitzchak said that the Torah should have begun with the first mitzvah given to Israel but instead began with creation. When the nations will claim that the Jewish People stole Eretz Yisrael we will be able to reply that Hashem created the world, and chose to take the Land from the Canaanites and give it to us (Rashi 1:1). If so why do we need all the other stories in Bereishis and Shemos prior to the giving of the first mitzvah?

    I Did Not Know That!

    The creation narrative begins with the letter beis (numerical value = 2) hinting at the two Torahs given to the Jewish People: the Written Torah and the Oral Torah. This teaches that the world was created for the sake of Torah and its study.
    Ba'al HaTurim


    Recommended Reading List

    Ramban
    1:1
    The Need for Bereishis
    1:14
    The Sun and the Moon
    1:26
    Man
    1:29
    Vegetarianism
    2:3
    Shabbos
    2:20
    Names
    3:16
    Punishment of Chava
    5:4
    Length of Life
    Sforno
    2:3
    The Blessing of Shabbos
    2:25
    Naked and Unashamed
    3:17
    The Curse of Work
    4:26
    Calling Out in Hashem's Name
    5:1
    The Image of Hashem
    6:8
    Noach

    Rashbam
    1:27
    What's Missing?
    2:23
    The Birth of Chava

    Answers to this Week's Questions

    Questions | Contents

    All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated

    1. 1:4 - Hashem saw that the wicked would be unworthy of it so He placed it in the World to Come for the righteous.
    2. 1:7 - Because the work with the water wasn't completed until the third day. Anything that is incomplete is not "good".
    3. 1:11 - The wood was to have the taste of the fruit.
    4. 1:14 - They were created on the first day and suspended in the firmament on the fourth day.
    5. 1:22 - He did not want the serpent, who was to be cursed, to receive a blessing.
    6. 1:26 - In the likeness of the angels.
    7. 1:26 - His status drops below that of the animals, and thus, they have dominion over him.
    8. 1:30 - Man was vegetarian until Noach emerged from the ark.
    9. 1:31 - "The" in Hebrew is the letter hey, which has a numerical value of five. Hashem created the world on the condition that it will endure only if the Jewish People accept the Five Books of the Torah.
    10. 2:2 - Rest.
    11. 2:7 - So that wherever he might die the Earth would receive his body.
    12. 2:7 - He was given understanding and speech.
    13. 3:3 - From Chava. Hashem commanded not to eat from the tree but she added not to touch it. Because she added to His command she eventually came to transgress it.
    14. 3:7 - They had been given one commandment and they had stripped themselves of it.
    15. 4:1 - Prior to the expulsion of Adam and Chava from Gan Eden.
    16. 4:2 - Since the ground had been cursed he refrained from cultivating it.
    17. 4:19 - They took two wives, only one for bearing children.
    18. 4:22 - He perfected the work of Cain by making weapons for murder. Tuval comes from the word "tavlin" (spice).
    19. 5:22 - Though he was righteous, he was easily influenced; therefore Hashem took him before his time to protect him from sinning.
    20. 5:32 - He was born already circumcised.

    Bonus Question
    Question
    Contents

    If the Torah had only mentioned the story of creation, then the nations, knowing Hashem's righteousness, would see no reason why He should favor the Jewish People, and they would maintain that our claim to the Land was fabricated. Only upon teaching how the nations angered Hashem and how the Avos and their children came and served Him faithfully, does the Torah show clearly why Hashem chose to take the Land away from other nations and give it to the Jewish People.

    Gur Aryeh

    Written and Compiled by Rabbi Eliyahu Kane
    General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
    Production Design: Lev Seltzer
    HTML Design: Michael Treblow
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