Parsha : bereishit

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1 Tur OC 263. 2 Some families have the custom that all the womenfolk light candles and make a blessing over them - Aruch Hashulchan 263:7. This was also the custom at the home of the Brisker Rov - Harav Dovid Soloveitchik (quoted in Az Nidberu 6:68). 3 Aruch Hashulchan 263:7. 4 Mishnah Berurah 263:12; 264:28 5 Or electric lights - see Halacha Discussion to Parashas Shoftim for clarification. 6 Shulchan Aruch Harav 263:5; Ktzos Hashulchan 74 (Badei Hashulchan 11). See also Biur Halacha 263:6 7 Mishnah Berurah 262:11. 8 Oral ruling by Harav M. Feinstein (quoted in The Radiance of Shabbos pg. 7); Shmiras Shabbos K'hilchasa 43:fn46. 9 Shmiras Shabbos K'hilchasa 43:7. 10 Harav S.Z. Auerbach (quoted in Shmiras Shabbos K'hilchasa 45:fn34). 11 Mishna Berura 263:11. 12 See Toras Shabbos 263:4; Tehilla L'Dovid 88:3; Aruch Hashulchan 263:7; Hagahos Imrei Baruch 263:6. 13 Oral ruling by Harav M. Feinstein (quoted in The Radiance of Shabbos pg. 7) Shmiras Shabbos K'hilchasa 43:9. 14 Igros Moshe OC 1:158; EH 1:59; Minchas Yitzchok 4:83; Harav S.Z. Auerbach (quoted in Yom Tov Sheini Khilchaso pg. 187). 15 See Halacha Discussion on Parshas Bamidbar. 16 Shu"t Yaavetz 107. 17 See Igros Moshe EH 2:12 (concerning a husband who held that a wig is not enough of a hair cover) that the wife does not need to listen to him since this is "her" Halacha. See also Igros Moshe EH 4:100-4. 18 According to Harav S.Z. Auerbach (ibid) a husband may allow his wife to keep her former customs in all cases. For instance, she does not have to change her Nusach of Davening after her marriage.



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 Henot 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?


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

Answers to this Week's Questions

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.


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



Each article is copywrited by individual author and/or institution and is distributed free on the Internet.

1. Phil Chernofsky, OU/NCSY Israel Center, Jerusalem

Home Page :

2. Extract from SHABBAT-B'SHABBATO, published by the Zomet Institute

of Alon Shevut, Israel, under the auspices of the NRP

3 NCYI Weekly Divrei Torah, From:Kenneth Block (

4. Mordecai Kornfeld 6/12 Katzenelenbogen St Har Nof, Jerusalem,ISRAEL

|Email:| Tl/Fx(02)6522633

5 Project Genesis, the Jewish Learning Network

3600 Crondall Lane, Ste. 106

Owings Mills, MD 21117 (410) 654-1799 FAX: 356-9931

Mikra, by Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom and Project Genesis, Inc.

6 Yeshivat Har Etzion, Virtual Beit Midrash, Alon Shevut, Gush Etzion 90433

e-mail:, Home Page:


In Memory of Rabbi Abraham Leibtag


9 Rav Riskin

10 Ateret Cohanim

11 Shiur HaRav Soloveichik. This summary is Copyright 1996 by Dr. Israel Rivkin and Josh Rapps,

Edison, N.J.

12. Selected Halachos Relating To Parshat HaShevua By Rabbi Doniel Neustadt

Dustributed by The Harbotzas Torah Division of Congregation Shomre Shabbos

13 OR SOMACH Home Page :

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