Summary of Genesis: Chapters 1-11

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Parashat Bereishit

Verses: 146 [Siman:אמציה]

Haftorah: Isaiah 42:5-21[1]

Number of Mitzvot:

There is a total of One Mitzvah in Parashat 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


Chapter 1

First Aliyah

  1. Creation:
  • G-d 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, G-d created light, and separated between the light and darkness, and night and day.
  • Day 2: On the second day, G-d created the firmament which separated between the higher and lower waters and called it the sky.
  • Day 3: On the third day, G-d created land, having the water separate from the land and remain gathered only in the sea. G-d then commanded the earth to bring forth plants, vegetation, and fruits
  • Day 4: On the fourth day, G-d 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, G-d created the birds, sea animals, and fish. G-d then commanded them to be fruitful and multiply.
  • Day 6: On the sixth day, G-d commanded the earth to sprout forth all the various animals and insects. G-d created mankind in his image, a male and female, to rule over all the other creatures of the earth. G-d blessed man and commanded him to have children and to rule all the creatures of the earth, the animals, birds, and fish. G-d told man and all the living creatures that all the produce of the earth is given to them to eat.

Chapter 2

  • Day 7: On the 7th day, G-d completed His work and rested from all His work. G-d blessed and sanctified the 7th


Second Aliyah

  1. Creation of man:
  • The earth had not yet sprouted as there was no rain on the earth before man was created. G-d caused dew to ascend from the earth which moistened it to form man. G-d blew a soul into man, through his nostrils and man became a living being.
  • Garden of Eden and the tree of knowledge: G-d 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 G-d 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: G-d 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.

Third Aliyah

  1. Creation of woman:
  • Adam named all the animals but did not find a partner amongst them. G-d put Adam to sleep and extracted one of his ribs and then closed up the area. G-d 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.

Chapter 3

  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.
  • G-d 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. G-d called to Adam and said, “Where are you?” Adam replied that he hid from G-d because he is naked. G-d 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.
  • G-d made clothing for Adam and Chava.


Fourth Aliyah

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


Chapter 4

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


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


Fifth Aliyah

  • 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 Cain, who created metal and weaponry.
  • The sister of Tuval Cain was Naamah.


Sixth Aliyah

  1. Death of Cain:
  • Lemech pleads with his wives that they return to him [despite his accidental murder of Cain and Tuval-Cain]. He tells them that he will certainly live for 77 generations.

Chapter 5

  1. Offspring of Adam:
  • Adam knew his wife Chava and had a son whom he named Seth in place of his son Abel who was killed by Cain.
  • Seth had a son named Enosh. Then people started to profane the name of G-d.
  • Adam had Seth at age 130.
  • Adam lived to the age of 930.
  • The life and children of Seth.
  • 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 Hanoch. Hanoch lived a short life because he walked with G-d and G-d took him.


Seventh Aliyah

  • The life and children of Metushalach.
  • The life and children of Lemech. Lemech fathered Noah.
  • At age 500, Noah fathered three sons, Sheim, Cham and Japheth.


Chapter 6

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

Parashat Noah

Verses: 153 [Siman: בצלאל]

Haftorah: Isaiah 54:1-10[2]


Number of Mitzvot:

There are no Positive or Negative commands mentioned in Parashat Noah.


Chapter 7

First Aliyah

  1. Who is Noah?
  • Noah was a righteous man, a pure man in his generation.
  • Noah had three children, Shem, Cham and Japheth.
  1. The depravity of the world:
  • The world became depraved before G-d, and was filled with corruption. G-d took notice of this, as all the creations perverted their nature on the earth.
  • G-d told Noah that He has become fed up with the corruption of the world and that it will have to be destroyed.


  1. G-d instructs Noah to build an ark:
  • G-d instructs Noah to build a wooden ark that is covered in tar. These instructions include the following:
    • The Ark is to be 300 cubits [144 meters] long, 50 cubits wide [24 meters] and 30 cubits tall [14 meters].
    • The Ark is to have a Tzohar [window] and is to be constructed with a pitched roof.
    • It is to have three stories.
  • G-d said to Noah: The world will be flooded and all its creatures destroyed. I will make my covenant with you, and you and your wife and children and their families will survive on the Ark. You are to enter into the Ark a male and female creature of every species, animals, birds and insects. Gather food and store it in the Ark.
  • Noah followed the instructions of G-d in detail.

Second Aliyah

  1. The final instructions given days before the flood:
  • G-d instructed Noah to bring himself and his family into the ark seven days before the flood.
  • Animals: Seven pairs of male and female animals and birds of every Kosher species is to enter the Ark. [Seven male and their wives.] From the impure animals take two of every species, a male and his wife.
  • The flood would last for 40 days and nights.
  • Noah was 600 years old at the time.
  • Noah did as he was instructed. He and his family, Noah and his wife, Sheim and Cham and Japheth and their three wives, entered the Ark. The animal pairs entered the Ark.
  1. The flood:
  • After the passing of seven days, on the 17th of the 2nd month [Marcheshvan] the torrential rain began and the depths of the earth began to shoot forth water. The rain lasted 40 days and nights.

Third Aliyah

  • Fifteen cubits of water covered over even the highest mountains.
  • All the living creatures on earth perished, besides for Noah and his family and the animals that remained with him.

Chapter 8

  • The water recedes: The water remained on earth without receding for 150 days. It began to recede after 150 days. On the 17th of the 7th month [Iyar] the Ark landed on the mountain of Ararat. The peak of the mountains began to appear on the 1st of the 10th month [Av].
  • Noah sends out a bird: 40 days later Noah opened the window of the ark and sent out the raven. The raven did not find land to rest on. He then sent out a dove, who returned to the ark after not finding dry land. Seven days later the dove was resent and the dove returned with an olive branch. He resent the dove seven days later and it did not return.
  • The Ark is opened: On the first of the first month [Rosh Hashanah] the earth became free of water and Noah opened the cover of the Ark.
  • The earth finally became dry on the 27th of the 2nd month [27th of Marcheshvan]

Fourth Aliyah

  1. The survivors exit the Ark:
  • G-d spoke to Noah and told him that he and his family, and all the living creatures, are to leave the Ark. They are to spread out on the land and multiply. Noah did as he was told, and him, his family, and all the living creatures, left the Ark.


  1. The Sacrifices and G-d’s blessings and promises:
  • Noah built an altar and offered sacrifices to G-d from the Kosher animals and poultry. G-d smelled the scent and promised to never again to curse the earth, destroy all creations, or stop the seasons and celestial creations.

Chapter 9

  • Command to have children: G-d blessed Noah and his children, that they should be fruitful and multiply.
  • Inherent fear of humans: G-d stated that all animals will fear man.
  • Permission to eat meat: G-d gave man permission to eat any living creature on earth.
  • Prohibition against murder: Nonetheless, G-d warned them against committing murder against each other. “I will avenge the blood of man that is spilled by the hands of an animal, or by the hands of another human.”

Fifth Aliyah

  1. The covenant and rainbow:
  • G-d makes a covenant with Noah and all future descendants, and all the living creatures, to never again bring a flood to destroy the earth.
  • G-d designates the rainbow to be the sign of this covenant. It is positioned in the clouds between heaven and earth as a reminder to G-d of this covenant.

Sixth Aliyah

  1. Noah gets drunk:
  • The new world was established by the children of Noah who left the Ark.
  • Noah degraded himself and planted a vineyard. He drank from the wine and became drunk and was unclothed within his tent. Cham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brother who were outside. Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon their shoulders, walking backwards, and covered the nakedness of their father. They did not see their father’s nakedness.
  • Noah curses Canaan: Noah awoke from his drunken slumber and realized what his youngest son had done to him. He cursed Canaan that he should be a slave to the other two brothers, and blessed Japheth and Sheim.
  • Noah lived after the flood for 350 years, his total years being 950 years.

Chapter 10

  1. Offspring of Noah:
  • The following are the offspring of Noah: Shem, Cham, and Japheth, and they had children after the flood. The following are the names of those children:
  • Japheth:
  • Gomer
    • Ashkenas
    • Rifas
    • Togarma
  • Magog
  • Maday
  • Yavan
    • Elisha
    • Tarshish
    • Kitim
    • Dodanim
  • From the above were created different nations, each according to their language and family.
  • Tuval
  • Meshech
  • Tiras
  • Cham:
    • Kush
      • Seva
      • Chavila
      • Savta
      • Raama
      • Sheba
      • Dedan

Who was Nimrod: Nimrod became a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before G-d. The start of his reign was in Babel, Erech, Accad, and Kalna in the land of Shinar. Ashur left from that land and built the city of Ninveh which is the great city, Rechovos Hair, Calah, and Resen.

  • Mitzrayim
    • Ludim
    • Anamim
    • Lahabim
    • Naphtuchim
    • Pasrusim
    • The Phlishtim and Caphtorim came from them.
  • Put
  • Canaan
    • Tzidon
    • Ches
    • Jebusite
    • Amorite
    • Girgashi
    • Hivvite
    • Arki
    • Sini
    • Arvadi
    • Tzemari
    • Chamasi
  • The Canaanite boundary extended from Tzidon to Gera, to Gaza, reaching Sodom, Amora, Adam and Tzvoyim.
  • Shem:
    • Eilam
    • Ashur
    • Arpachshad
      • Shalach
        • Ever
          • Peleg [see Seventh Aliyah for his descendants]
          • Yaktan
            • Almodad
            • Shalef
            • Tzarmaves
            • Yarach
            • Hadoram
            • Uzal
            • Dikla
            • Oval Abimale
            • Sheva
            • Ofer
            • Chavila
            • Yovav
          • Lud
          • Aram
            • Utz
            • Chul
            • Geser
            • Mash


Chapter 11

Seventh Aliyah

  1. Tower of Babel:
  • Building the tower: The entire earth spoke one language and was unified in words. When they migrated from the east they found a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there. Each man told his friend let us make bricks and build a city and tower whose top reaches the heavens. We will make for ourselves a name, lest we be dispersed throughout the earth.
  • G-d confuses their language and disperses them: G-d descended to see the city and tower that they built. And said “They are one nation and language and this they have begun to do. Shall we not withhold them? Let us descend and confuse their languages, so that they should not understand each other’s speech.” G-d dispersed them throughout the entire earth and they stopped building the city.
  • For this reason, the city is called Babel, as there G-d confused the language of man, and from there He dispersed them.
  1. The descendants of Shem, the length of their lives and the birth of Abraham:
    • Shem lived a total of 600 years.
    • Arpachshad was born when Shem was 100 years old. He was born two years after the Mabul. He had Shalach at age 35. He lived a total of 438 years.
  • Shalach had Ever at age 30. He lived a total of 433 years.
  • Ever had Peleg at age 34. He lived a total of 464 years.
  • Peleg had Reu at age 30. He lived a total of 239 years.
  • Reu had Serug at age 32. He lived a total of 239 years.
  • Serug had Nahor at age 30. He lived a total of 230 years.
  • Nahor had Tarach at age 29. He lived a total of 148 years.
  • Terach had Abraham, Nahor and Haran at age 70. He lived a total of 205 years.
  • Haran had Lot. Haran died in the presence of his father in the land of Kasdim.
  • Avram marries: Avram and Nahor got married. The wife of Avram was named Saraiy, and the wife of Nahor was named Milka. Milka and Yiska [i.e. Saraiy] were both the daughters of Haran. Saraiy was barren, she had no children.
  • Traveling to Haran: Terach took his son Avram, his grandson Lot, and Saraiy his daughter in law and they traveled from Ur Kasdim towards the land of Canaan. They arrived in Haran and settled there. Terach passed away in Haran.


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

[2] So is followed by Sepharadi and Chabad communities. However, Ashkenazi communities read until verse 55:5.

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