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Summary of Parshat Bereishit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

by the editors    
of Torah from Dixie    

The first portion of the Torah begins with Hashem’s creation of the world in six days and His "resting" on the seventh. Everything, from the separation between light and darkness on the first day, to the establishment of the heavenly spheres on the fourth, to the climactic fashioning of Man (Adam) and Woman (Eve) in Hashem’s image and their placement in the Garden of Eden on the sixth, is created and arranged in its proper place during this first week. Humans are given dominion over the entire world with only one restriction to refrain from consuming the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Eve is enticed by the serpent to partake of the forbidden fruit, and she offers some to her husband as well. Hashem responds by punishing them for their transgression, and they are removed from the paradise of Eden.

After the expulsion, their first two sons, Cain and Abel, each bring an offering to Hashem. Abel’s superior offering is accepted by G-d, while Cain’s inferior offering is rejected. Cain jealously responds by killing his brother, and Hashem sends him into exile to wander the face of the earth. The Torah then gives a genealogy of the first ten generations of the world, beginning with Adam, his son Seth, and leading up to the birth of Noah and his three sons. Disgusted by Man’s wickedness, the portion ends with Hashem expressing His "regret" for creating the world and His vow to destroy every living thing, except for the righteous Noah and his family.

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