Parsha Q&A - Bereishis

Library Library Library

Parsha Q&A

Parshas Bereishis

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

  • 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
    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

    The Need for Bereishis
    The Sun and the Moon
    Punishment of Chava
    Length of Life
    The Blessing of Shabbos
    Naked and Unashamed
    The Curse of Work
    Calling Out in Hashem's Name
    The Image of Hashem

    What's Missing?
    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

    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
    © 1995 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved. This publication may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue newsletters. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission, and then send us a sample issue.

    This publication is available via E-Mail
    Ohr Somayach Institutions is an international network of Yeshivot and outreach centers, with branches in North America, Europe, South Africa and South America. The Central Campus in Jerusalem provides a full range of educational services for over 685 full-time students.

    The Jewish Learning Exchange (JLE) of Ohr Somayach offers summer and winter programs in Israel that attract hundreds of university students from around the world for 3 to 8 weeks of study and touring.

    Ohr Somayach's Web site is hosted by TeamGenesis

    Copyright © 1995 Ohr Somayach International. Send us Feedback.
    Dedication opportunities are available for Parsha Q&A. Please contact us for details.
    Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) and your donation is tax deductable.