D’var Torah for Bereishit 5781
Chapter 1 starts with the story of creation. The enlarged “Beit” (ב) that opens up the Torah has the gematria (number) of two. This means there are two beginnings: the world and the Jewish nation.
In six “days”, Hashem creates the Universe. During the first day, the earth is empty and G-d creates light and darkness and separates them. On the second day, G-d creates a firmament that separates the waters, above and below. On the third day, G-d gathers the water and separates it from the dry land, which G-d calls “Earth”, which sprouts vegetation yielding fruit and seed.
On the fourth day, G-d creates the luminaries in the heaven, the sun, moon and stars; these are to serve as signs for days and years, and festivals. On the fifth day, Hashem created living creatures and fowl that fly, as well as sea creatures and beings that creep on the earth. On the sixth day, G-d created animals and beasts. G-d also created man on the sixth day after His own Image.
Chapter 2 starts off describing the seventh day during which G-d rested and abstained from work.
Hashem planted a garden in Eden and placed man there to work and guard it. In it was all sorts of trees and vegetation. He also placed the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. G-d warned man that he can have anything in the garden except those two trees. G-d then created woman to be with man after causing a deep sleep to come over man and take part of him to create her.
There was a serpent in the garden who was cunning. The serpent approached the woman and convinced her to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, saying that she wouldn’t die if she ate of it. She then approached the man and gave him the fruit as well.
They now realized they were naked and sewed leaves of fig tree to cover themselves. They then heard the presence of Hashem in the garden and hid. Hashem saw that they had disobeyed by eating of the fruit and punished the serpent by making him crawl on his belly for enticing them.
He took man and woman out of the Garden and told the woman that she will experience pain during childbirth. Man would now have to work the soil for it to produce food. Adam, the man, name the woman Eve because she becomes the mother of all the living.
Eve gives birth to two sons: Cain and Abel. Abel becomes a shepherd and Cain becomes a farmer. Both offer their produce to Hashem. Abel offers the finest of this flock and G-d accepts it; Cain offers produce not his best and G-d does not accept it. Jealous, Cain murders Abel.
Hashem sees that and he banishes Cain, making him wander the earth. Cain builds cities. Cain marries and they produce Enoch. Enoch’s son is Irad, Irad’s son is Hehujael, Mehujael’s son is Methushael, and Methushael’s son is Lamech.
Adam and Eve bear another son: Seth, their third son. Seth’s eighth generation descendent is Noah.
Man began to increase. G-d saw that Man had developed evil in his heart and was sad. G-d thought that He would destroy man.