Parshas Bereishis-Summary of the Parsha

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Parshas Bereishis

Pesukim: 146 [Siman:אמציה]

Haftorah: Yeshayahu 42:5-21[1]


Number of Mitzvos:

There is a total of One Mitzvah in Parshas Bereishis; One positive command and Zero negative commands. The following are the commands in the order listed by the Sefer Hachinuch.

1.      Mitzvah 1/Positive 1: Peru Urevu. To multiply and have children


  1. Creation:
  • Hashem created the heaven and earth. At first, the world was Tohu and Vohu [i.e. Desolate]; in darkness, and the spirit of G-d rested over the water.
  • Day 1: On the first day, Hashem created light, and separated between the light and darkness, and night and day.
  • Day 2: On the second day, Hashem created the firmament which separated between the higher and lower waters and called it the sky.
  • Day 3: On the third day, Hashem created land, having the water separate from the land and remain gathered only in the sea. Hashem then commanded the earth to bring forth plants, vegetation, and fruits
  • Day 4: On the fourth day, Hashem created luminaries to separate between night and day and to determine the time of festivals, days, and years. The sun for the day, the moon for the night, and the stars.
  • Day 5: On the fifth day, Hashem created the birds, sea animals, and fish. Hashem then commanded them to be fruitful and multiply.
  • Day 6: On the sixth day, Hashem commanded the earth to sprout forth all the various animals and insects. Hashem created mankind in his image, a male and female, to rule over all the other creatures of the earth. Hashem blessed man and commanded him to have children and to rule all the creatures of the earth, the animals, birds, and fish. Hashem told man and all the living creatures that all the produce of the earth is given to them to eat.
  • Day 7: On the 7th day, Hashem completed His work and rested from all His work. Hashem blessed and sanctified the 7th



  1. Creation of man:
  • The earth had not yet sprouted as there was no rain on the earth before man was created. Hashem caused dew to ascend from the earth which moistened it to form man. Hashem blew a soul into man, through his nostrils and man became a living being.
  • Gan Eden and the tree of knowledge: Hashem planted a garden in Eden with many beautiful trees and fruits and placed man there to work it and guard it. A river left Eden to irrigate the garden and it split to four rivers. In the garden there was the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil and Hashem commanded man that he may eat the fruit of all the trees, but he may not eat from the tree of knowledge lest he die.
  • Adam’s wife: Hashem said it is not good for man to be alone and decided to make man a helpmate.
  • Adam was given the rights of naming all the animals and creatures.



  1. Creation of woman:
  • Adam named all the animals but did not find a partner amongst them. Hashem put Adam to sleep and extracted one of his ribs and then closed up the area. Hashem built the rib into a woman. Adam named her Isha, being that she was taken from man.
  • Adam and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
  1. The sin of the tree of knowledge:
  • The sin: The snake, who was the most cunning of all creatures, approached the woman and asked her if she was told by G-d not to eat any of the fruits of the garden? She replied that they can eat from all the fruits except for the middle fruit tree of the garden from which they may not even contact, lest they die. The snake replied that in truth they will not die if they eat from it and will simply be like G-d and have knowledge of good and evil. She then had a lust for the fruit, desired it, and ate it, and then gave to her husband to also eat.
  • Hashem confronts them: Their eyes were opened; they suddenly realized that they were naked and took leaves from a fig tree to cover their extremities. They heard G-d walking around the garden and hid from Him in the garden amongst the trees. Hashem called to Adam and said, “Where are you?” Adam replied that he hid from Hashem because he is naked. Hashem replied “Who told you that you are naked? Did you eat from the forbidden tree?” Adam replied that the woman gave him to eat from the fruits of the tree. The woman, upon being questioned, replied that she was tricked by the snake.
  1. The punishments to the snake, woman, man:
  • The snake’s punishment: The snake was cursed to walk on its belly, eat only earth, and be cursed more than any creature all the days of its life. There will be hatred between you and the woman and her offspring. They will step on you and you will sting their heels.
  • The woman’s punishment: The woman was told that she will have difficulty in raising her children, and in pregnancy and births, and will desire her husband and will be ruled by him.
  • The man’s punishment: Adam was told that the earth would be cursed and will give forth food with difficulty, and that it will grow thorns and weeds. You will work by the sweat of your brow and die and be buried in the earth.
  1. Naming the woman/clothing:
  • Adam named his wife Chava as she is the mother of all mankind.
  • Hashem made clothing for Adam and Chava.



  1. Banishing man from Gan Eden:
  • Due to worry that man may eat from the tree of life and live forever, Hashem banished them from Gan Eden, and placed angels there as a guard, in the east side.


  1. Birth of Kayin/Hevel:
  • Adam knew his wife Chava and had a son whom he named Kayin and then a son who he named Hevel.
  • Hevel worked as a shepherd while Kayin worked in agriculture.


  1. Murder of Hevel:
  • The Karban: Kayin and Hevel after some time each brought a Karban to Hashem, Kayin brought produce of the land and Hevel brought from the best of his sheep. Hashem accepted the Karban of Hevel but not of Kayin. Kayin was furious and was rebuked and encouraged by Hashem to do the right thing.
  • The murder: Kayin fought with Hevel and killed him. Hashem confronts Kayin about the whereabouts of Hevel and his murder. Kayin is punished that the earth will not produce food for him and that he will wander the land. Kayin is promised to live seven generations, and G-d placed a sign on him so he is not killed.
  • Kayin moved to Nod.
  1. Offspring’s of Kayin:
  • Kayin had Chanoch who had children, and his children had children until the birth of Lemech.



  • Lemech had two wives, and had Yaval and Yuval born from the wife called Adah.
  • Yaval was a cattle farmer and Yuval innovated music.
  • The second wife, Tzilah, had a son named Tuval Kayin, who created metal and weaponry.
  • The sister of Tuval Kayin was Naamah.



  1. Death of Kayin:
  • Lemech pleads with his wives that they return to him [despite his accidental murder of Kayin and Tuval-Kayin]. He tells them that he will certainly live for 77 generations.
  1. Offspring of Adam:
  • Adam knew his wife Chava and had a son whom he named Sheis in place of his son Hevel who was killed by Kayin.
  • Sheis had a son named Enosh. Then people started to profane the name of Hashem.
  • Adam had Sheis at age 130.
  • Adam lived to the age of 930.
  • The life and children of Sheis.
  • The life and children of Enosh
  • The life and children of Keinon.
  • The life and children of Mahalaleil.
  • The life and children of Yared.
  • The life and children of Chanoch. Chanoch lived a short life because he walked with Hashem and Hashem took him.



  • The life and children of Mesushalach.
  • The life and children of Lemech. Lemech fathered Noach.
  • At age 500, Noach fathered three sons, Sheim, Cham and Yafes.


  1. Depravity of society and G-d’s wrath:
  • Man began to multiply, and daughters were born. The Bnei Elokim took daughters from whomever they wanted, including married women and fathered giants.
  • Hashem said that He will not judge man forever and he will give them 120 years to shape up. Hashem saw that all man is doing is evil and he regretted their creation. Hashem decided to wipe out all of humanity and animals.
  • Noach found favor in the eyes of Hashem.


[1] So is followed by most Ashkenazi and Chabad communities. However, some Ashkenazi communities, as well as the Sephardim, read until verse 43:10.

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