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Bereishit Aliyah Summary

Bereishit Aliyah Summary

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General Overview: In the Torah's opening reading, Bereishit, G‑d creates the world in six days and rests on the seventh. Adam and Eve eat from the Tree of Knowledge and are expelled from the Garden of Eden. Cain slays Abel and is punished accordingly. Enumeration of the ten generations between Adam and Noah, the birth of Noah, and the degeneration of mankind.


First Aliyah: This section recounts the story of creation in six days. On the first day G‑d made darkness and light. On the second day He formed the heavens, dividing the "upper waters" from the "lower waters." On the third day He set the boundaries of land and sea and called forth trees and greenery from the earth. On the fourth day He fixed the position of the sun, moon and stars. Fish, birds and reptiles were created on the fifth day; land-animals, and then the human being, Adam, on the sixth. G‑d ceased work on the seventh day, and sanctified it as a day of rest.


Second Aliyah: This section discusses the events of the sixth day of creation in greater detail. After Adam was formed from the earth, G‑d placed him in a garden just east of Eden. G‑d permitted Adam to eat from any tree in the garden, with the exception of the Tree of Knowledge. Adam named all the animals and birds, and G‑d decided that Adam needed a mate.


Third Aliyah: G‑d caused Adam to fall into a deep slumber and formed a woman, Eve, from one of his sides. Adam was delighted with his new mate. The serpent, at the time the wisest of all animals, sweet-talked Eve into eating from the fruit of the forbidden Tree of Knowledge. Eve shared the fruit with Adam, and imbued with a new sense of knowledge and awareness, they were ashamed of their nakedness and clothed themselves. The fallout was quick to come: G‑d cursed the serpent, Eve, and Adam too, with various maledictions.


Fourth Aliyah: Adam and Eve were then expelled from the idyllic Garden of Eden. Eve gave birth to two sons, Cain and Abel. When Abel's offering to G‑d was accepted, while Cain's was rejected, Cain murdered his brother in a jealous rage. G‑d punished Cain, designating him to be a lifelong wanderer, but postponing his ultimate punishment for seven generations.


Fifth Aliyah: The sixth generation descendent of Cain was Lemech, who fathered several children -- seventh generation descendents of Cain.


Sixth Aliyah: Lemech accidentally killed his great-great-great-great-grandfather Cain in a hunting accident; the blood of Abel was finally avenged. Adam and Eve gave birth to a third son, Seth. This section then chronicles the first seven generations of mankind, from Adam to the righteous Enoch.


Seventh Aliyah: The next three generations are chronicled in this section -- concluding with Noah, the tenth generation from Adam. At this point in time, the wickedness and immorality of the people on earth reached such proportions that G‑d regretted creating man. G‑d gave the world 120 years to clean up their act or be destroyed. Noah, on the other hand, was an exception. He was righteous and found favor in G‑d's eyes.

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Anonymous 11375 October 8, 2015

what is something that is not so known in this parsha Reply

Anonymous M.M. October 21, 2014

Thank You Rabbi Posner for an answer. Was the sin of Cain avenged in full by what happened with Lamech? Hashem let us know that His favoring Abel for his offering was His lesson to mankind that he liked the nature of the second son, sibling?

Does this sin keep repeating? What sin? The sin of the oldest son killing the second son emotionally or physically? If a diligent family worked with help to make a transformation to make all three sons like the second son in nature would that bring about Mochiac?

I wonder if the Abel story keeps coming back so that Abel's soul has descendants that are or become Jewish?

And do you think that there is evidence of the same thing happening again to avenge Cain and Abel and Seth story? The same type of jealousy and favoratism problems due to our human nature between brothers and parents, sisters on another level(meaning the human level).

Did Hashem express his thoughts, His immutable way to think about us? And Has Hashem already told us what he wants from us in this story? Reply

Menachem Posner Skokie October 20, 2014

RE: avenging In 4:23-24, we read of a very cryptic conversation between Lemech and his wives:
"...have I slain a man by wounding (him) and a child by bruising (him)? If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, then for Lemech it shall be seventy seven fold."

What does this mean? There is an element of Lemech having killed and revenge for Cain. The Midrash quoted by Rashi fills us in on what happened:

Lemech was blind, and his son Tubal-cain was leading him. He spotted Cain, who appeared to him as an animal, and he told his father to draw the bow, and he killed him. As soon as he learned that it was his grandfather Cain, he clapped his hands together [in anguish] and clapped his son between them and killed him.

Rashi explains how each element of Lemech's conversation ties in to his accident. Reply

Anonymous m.m. October 15, 2014

avenging Can you explain more about how one knows that the blood of Abel was finally avenged by Cain killing his great great great grandfather by accident? How did one derive the connection from the Torah that there really was a tie to the two happenings many years apart? Reply

Menachem Posner for Chabad.org October 4, 2010

RE: Generations You can see a discussion of whom Cain and Abel married here. Reply

Anonymous NYC, NY September 28, 2010

Generations Where did the women come from that gave birth to Cain and Abel''s descendant's? Reply

Menachem Posner for Chabad.org October 26, 2008

RE: Adam Yes, that is correct. The Garden of Eden was called such because it was right near Eden. The garden was not in Eden. Rather, it was just outside of it and irrigated by a river which streamed from it. Reply

suzy Forest Hills Gardens, NY October 25, 2008

Adam In the second aliyah, G-d puts Adam in a garden east of Eden. In the fourth aliyah, He expells Adam from the Garden of Eden. How are we to understand this? Reply

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