Torah Portion

Bereshit

בראשית

Genesis 1:1-6:8
Isaiah 42:5–43:10

The Gender of God

The Gender of God

What is the gender of the God of creation? Of YHWH in general?[1]

Prof.
Marc Zvi Brettler
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God Abandons the Garden of Eden and Dwells with the Cherubim

God Abandons the Garden of Eden and Dwells with the Cherubim

Four Aramaic targumim (ancient translations) have God, and not just cherubim, taking up residence east of the garden. This is based on a slightly different vocalization of the Hebrew text, which is likely a more original reading than our current biblical text (MT).[1]

Dr.
Raanan Eichler
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The Evolution of Civilization: The Biblical Story

The Evolution of Civilization: The Biblical Story

Reading Cain’s murder of Abel and the account of Cain’s descendants as a metaphor for the trajectory of human development and the change in patterns of human behavior.

Dr. Rabbi
Samuel Z. Glaser
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The Making of Adam

The Making of Adam

Understanding the Midrash in Light of Plato and the Pseudepigrapha

Dr.
Malka Zeiger Simkovich
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Cain's (Im)Penitent Response to his Punishment

Cain's (Im)Penitent Response to his Punishment

Eight possible meanings of Cain’s response and what this tells us about his character as presented in the Torah

Dr. Rabbi
Eliezer Finkelman
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Reintroducing the Myth of the Fallen Angels into Judaism

Reintroducing the Myth of the Fallen Angels into Judaism

Literature and art are replete with images of angels descending to earth and joining humanity. One source for this image is a terse account in Genesis describing fallen angels, which is expanded upon in Second Temple literature. This interpretive tradition is suppressed in the classic rabbinic literature only to resurface again in the late narrative midrash, Pirqe de-Rabbi Eliezer.

Dr.
Rachel Adelman
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The Exposition of the Garden of Eden Story

The Exposition of the Garden of Eden Story

The Garden of Eden story includes a lengthy introductory exposition (vv. 2:4b-3:1a), whose seemingly tangential details contrast the utopia of Eden with the dystopia of the real world.

Prof.
Yairah Amit
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Gender Equality at Creation

Gender Equality at Creation

A methodologically rigorous reading of the account of the Woman's creation reveals a fundamentally egalitarian view of the sexes that is both nuanced and psychologically sensitive.

Dr.
Raanan Eichler
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Did God Bless Shabbat?

Did God Bless Shabbat?

“And the Lord Blessed the Seventh Day and Consecrated It” (Genesis 2:3). Can time be blessed?

Dr. Rabbi
David Frankel
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Why Are there Demigods in a Monotheistic Torah?

Why Are there Demigods in a Monotheistic Torah?

Genesis 6 presents a narrative about divine beings who come to earth and have offspring with humans. What is a story which sounds like a pagan myth doing in the Torah?

Prof.
Benjamin D. Sommer
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In the Beginning There Is the Question

In the Beginning There Is the Question

The bridge that enables the annual traversal from the ending of the Torah back to its beginning is the anticipation of new questions.

Prof.
James A. Diamond
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My Encounter with the Firmament

My Encounter with the Firmament

The Torah describes God’s fashioning the firmament (רקיע) on the second day of creation. This piece of the universe, however, doesn’t actually exist—a problem obfuscated in my yeshiva education.

Oren Fass M.D.
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Bereshit

בראשית

Genesis 1:1-6:8

וַתִּפָּקַחְנָה עֵינֵי שְׁנֵיהֶם וַיֵּדְעוּ כִּי עֵירֻמִּם הֵם וַיִּתְפְּרוּ עֲלֵה תְאֵנָה וַיַּעֲשׂוּ לָהֶם חֲגֹרֹת׃

בראשית ג:ז

Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they perceived that they were naked; and they sewed together fig leaves and made themselves loincloths.

Gen 3:7

Genesis

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