Parshah and Haftorah for Bereishit (בְּרֵאשִׁית ), in Hebrew “Bereishit” = “In begining.” The word “Beresheit” is the first words in the parshah Beresishit, Genesis 1:1-6:8, to be read on Tishrei 21-27, 5779 a.k.a., Sep 30 – Oct 6, 2018.
Parshah In a Nutshell for Bereishit
G*d creates the world in six days. On the first day He makes darkness and light. On the second day He forms the heavens, dividing the “upper waters” from the “lower waters.” On the third day He sets the boundaries of land and sea and calls forth trees and greenery from the earth. On the fourth day He fixes the position of the sun, moon and stars as timekeepers and illuminators of the earth. Fish, birds and reptiles are created on the fifth day; land-animals, and then the human being, on the sixth. G*d ceases work on the seventh day, and sanctifies it as a day of rest.
G*d forms the human body from the dust of the earth and blows into his nostrils a “living soul.” Originally Man is a single person, but deciding that “it is not good that man be alone,” G*d takes a “side” from the man, forms it into a woman, and marries them to each other.
Adam and Eve are placed in the Garden of Eden and commanded not to eat from the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.” The serpent persuades Eve to violate the command, and she shares the forbidden fruit with her husband. Because of their sin, it is decreed that man will experience death, returning to the soil from which he was formed, and that all gain will come only through struggle and hardship. Man is banished from the Garden.
Eve gives birth to two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain quarrels with Abel and murders him, and becomes a rootless wanderer. A third son is born to Adam, Seth, whose tenth-generation descendant, Noah, is the only righteous man in a corrupt world.
Parshah reading for Bereishit
1. In the beginning of G*d’s creation of the heavens and the earth. 2. Now the earth was astonishingly empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep, and the spirit of G*d was hovering over the face of the water. 3. And G*d said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4. And G*d saw the light that it was good, and G*d separated between the light and between the darkness. 5. And G*d called the light day, and the darkness He called night, and it was evening and it was morning, one day. 6. And G*d said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the water, and let it be a separation between water and water.” 7. And G*d made the expanse and it separated between the water that was below the expanse and the water that was above the expanse, and it was so. 8. And G*d called the expanse Heaven, and it was evening, and it was morning, a second day. 9. And G*d said, “Let the water that is beneath the heavens gather into one place, and let the dry land appear,” and it was so. 10. And G*d called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas, and G*d saw that it was good. 11. And G*d said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, seed yielding herbs and fruit trees producing fruit according to its kind in which its seed is found, on the earth,” and it was so. 12. And the earth gave forth vegetation, seed yielding herbs according to its kind, and trees producing fruit, in which its seed is found, according to its kind, and G*d saw that it was good. 13. And it was evening, and it was morning, a third day. 14. And G*d said, “Let there be luminaries in the expanse of the heavens, to separate between the day and between the night, and they shall be for signs and for appointed seasons and for days and years. 15. And they shall be for luminaries in the expanse of the heavens to shed light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16. And G*d made the two great luminaries: the great luminary to rule the day and the lesser luminary to rule the night, and the stars. 17. And G*d placed them in the expanse of the heavens to shed light upon the earth. 18. And to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate between the light and between the darkness, and G*d saw that it was good. 19. And it was evening, and it was morning, a fourth day. 20. And G*d said, “Let the waters swarm a swarming of living creatures, and let fowl fly over the earth, across the expanse of the heavens.” 21. And G*d created the great sea monsters, and every living creature that crawls, with which the waters swarmed, according to their kind, and every winged fowl, according to its kind, and G*d saw that it was good. 22. And G*d blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters of the seas, and let the fowl multiply upon the earth.” 23. And it was evening, and it was morning, a fifth day. 24. And G*d said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kind, cattle and creeping things and the beasts of the earth according to their kind,” and it was so. 25. And G*d made the beasts of the earth according to their kind and the cattle according to their kind, and all the creeping things of the ground according to their kind, and G*d saw that it was good. 26. And G*d said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and they shall rule over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the heaven and over the animals and over all the earth and over all the creeping things that creep upon the earth.” 27. And G*d created man in His image; in the image of G*d He created him; male and female He created them. 28. And G*d blessed them, and G*d said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and rule over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the sky and over all the beasts that tread upon the earth. ” 29. And G*d said, “Behold, I have given you every seed bearing herb, which is upon the surface of the entire earth, and every tree that has seed bearing fruit; it will be yours for food. 30. And to all the beasts of the earth and to all the fowl of the heavens, and to everything that moves upon the earth, in which there is a living spirit, every green herb to eat,” and it was so. 31. And G*d saw all that He had made, and behold it was very good, and it was evening and it was morning, the sixth day.
1. Now the heavens and the earth were completed and all their host. 2. And G*d completed on the seventh day His work that He did, and He abstained on the seventh day from all His work that He did. 3. And G*d blessed the seventh day and He hallowed it, for thereon He abstained from all His work that G*d created to do.
4. These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, on the day that the L*rd G*d made earth and heaven. 5. Now no tree of the field was yet on the earth, neither did any herb of the field yet grow, because the L*rd G*d had not brought rain upon the earth, and there was no man to work the soil. 6. And a mist ascended from the earth and watered the entire surface of the ground. 7. And the L*rd G*d formed man of dust from the ground, and He breathed into his nostrils the soul of life, and man became a living soul. 8. And the L*rd G*d planted a garden in Eden from the east, and He placed there the man whom He had formed. 9. And the L*rd G*d caused to sprout from the ground every tree pleasant to see and good to eat, and the Tree of Life in the midst of the garden, and the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. 10. And a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it separated and became four heads. 11. The name of one is Pishon; that is the one that encompasses all the land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12. And the gold of that land is good; there is the crystal and the onyx stone. 13. And the name of the second river is Gihon; that is the one that encompasses all the land of Cush. 14. And the name of the third river is Tigris; that is the one that flows to the east of Assyria, and the fourth river that is the Euphrates. 15. Now the L*rd G*d took the man, and He placed him in the Garden of Eden to work it and to guard it. 16. And the L*rd G*d commanded man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat. 17. But of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat of it, for on the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die.” 18. And the L*rd G*d said, “It is not good that man is alone; I shall make him a helpmate opposite him.” 19. And the L*rd G*d formed from the earth every beast of the field and every fowl of the heavens, and He brought [it] to man to see what he would call it, and whatever the man called each living thing, that was its name.
20. And man named all the cattle and the fowl of the heavens and all the beasts of the field, but for man, he did not find a helpmate opposite him. 21. And the L*rd G*d caused a deep sleep to fall upon man, and he slept, and He took one of his sides, and He closed the flesh in its place. 22. And the L*rd G*d built the side that He had taken from man into a woman, and He brought her to man. 23. And man said, “This time, it is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This one shall be called ishah (woman) because this one was taken from ish (man).” 24. Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25. Now they were both naked, the man and his wife, but they were not ashamed.
1. Now the serpent was cunning, more than all the beasts of the field that the L*rd G*d had made, and it said to the woman, “Did G*d indeed say, ‘You shall not eat of any of the trees of the garden?’” 2. And the woman said to the serpent, “Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat. 3. But of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, G*d said, “You shall not eat of it, and you shall not touch it, lest you die.’” 4. And the serpent said to the woman, “You will surely not die. 5. For G*d knows that on the day that you eat thereof, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like angels, knowing good and evil.” 6. And the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes, and the tree was desirable to make one wise; so she took of its fruit, and she ate, and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7. And the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves and made themselves girdles. 8. And they heard the voice of the L*rd G*d going in the garden to the direction of the sun, and the man and his wife hid from before the L*rd G*d in the midst of the trees of the garden. 9. And the L*rd G*d called to man, and He said to him, “Where are you?” 10. And he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I am naked; so I hid.” 11. And He said, “Who told you that you are naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12. And the man said, “The woman whom You gave [to be] with me she gave me of the tree; so I ate.” 13. And the L*rd G*d said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent enticed me, and I ate.” 14. And the L*rd G*d said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed be you more than all the cattle and more than all the beasts of the field; you shall walk on your belly, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. 15. And I shall place hatred between you and between the woman, and between your seed and between her seed. He will crush your head, and you will bite his heel.” 16. To the woman He said, “I shall surely increase your sorrow and your pregnancy; in pain you shall bear children. And to your husband will be your desire, and he will rule over you.” 17. And to man He said, “Because you listened to your wife, and you ate from the tree from which I commanded you saying, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed be the ground for your sake; with toil shall you eat of it all the days of your life. 18. And it will cause thorns and thistles to grow for you, and you shall eat the herbs of the field. 19. With the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, until you return to the ground, for you were taken therefrom, for dust you are, and to dust you will return.” 20. And the man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all life. 21. And the L*rd G*d made for Adam and for his wife shirts of skin, and He dressed them.
22. Now the L*rd G*d said, “Behold man has become like one of us, having the ability of knowing good and evil, and now, lest he stretch forth his hand and take also from the Tree of Life and eat and live forever.” 23. And the L*rd G*d sent him out of the Garden of Eden, to till the soil, whence he had been taken. 24. And He drove the man out, and He stationed from the east of the Garden of Eden the cherubim and the blade of the revolving sword, to guard the way to the Tree of Life.
1. Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, and she said, “I have acquired a man with the L*rd.” 2. And she continued to bear his brother Abel, and Abel was a shepherd of flocks, and Cain was a tiller of the soil. 3. Now it came to pass at the end of days, that Cain brought of the fruit of the soil an offering to the L*rd. 4. And Abel he too brought of the firstborn of his flocks and of their fattest, and the L*rd turned to Abel and to his offering. 5. But to Cain and to his offering He did not turn, and it annoyed Cain exceedingly, and his countenance fell. 6. And the L*rd said to Cain, “Why are you annoyed, and why has your countenance fallen? 7. Is it not so that if you improve, it will be forgiven you? If you do not improve, however, at the entrance, sin is lying, and to you is its longing, but you can rule over it.” 8. And Cain spoke to Abel his brother, and it came to pass when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and slew him. 9. And the L*rd said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10. And He said, “What have you done? Hark! Your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the earth. 11. And now, you are cursed even more than the ground, which opened its mouth to take your brother’s blood from your hand. 12. When you till the soil, it will not continue to give its strength to you; you shall be a wanderer and an exile in the land.” 13. And Cain said to the L*rd, “Is my iniquity too great to bear? 14. Behold You have driven me today off the face of the earth, and I shall be hidden from before You, and I will be a wanderer and an exile in the land, and it will be that whoever finds me will kill me.” 15. And the L*rd said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be wrought upon him sevenfold,” and the L*rd placed a mark on Cain that no one who find him slay him. 16. And Cain went forth from before the L*rd, and he dwelt in the land of the wanderers, to the east of Eden. 17. And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch, and he was building a city, and he called the city after the name of his son, Enoch. 18. And Irad was born to Enoch, and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehijael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lemech.
19. And Lemech took himself two wives; one was named Adah, and the other was named Zillah. 20. Now Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have cattle. 21. And his brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who grasp a lyre and a flute. 22. And Zillah she too bore Tubal cain, who sharpened all tools that cut copper and iron, and Tubal cain’s sister was Na’amah.
23. Now Lemech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, hearken to my voice; wives of Lemech, incline your ears to my words, for I have slain a man by wounding (him) and a child by bruising (him). 24. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, then for Lemech it shall be seventy seven fold.” 25. And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son, and she named him Seth, for G*d has given me other seed, instead of Abel, for Cain slew him. 26. And to Seth also to him a son was born, and he named him Enosh; then it became common to call by the name of the L*rd.
1. This is the narrative of the generations of man; on the day that G*d created man, in the likeness of G*d He created him. 2. Male and female He created them, and He blessed them, and He named them man (Adam) on the day they were created. 3. And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and he begot in his likeness after his image, and he named him Seth. 4. And the days of Adam after he begot Seth were eight hundred years, and he begot sons and daughters. 5. And all the days of Adam that he lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died. 6. And Seth lived one hundred and five years, and he begot Enosh. 7. And Seth lived after he had begotten Enosh eight hundred and seven years, and he begot sons and daughters. 8. And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died. 9. And Enosh lived ninety years, and he begot Kenan. 10. And Enosh lived after he had begotten Kenan eight hundred and fifteen years, and he begot sons and daughters. 11. And all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years, and he died. 12. And Kenan lived seventy years, and he begot Mahalalel. 13. And Kenan lived after he had begotten Mahalalel eight hundred and forty years, and he begot sons and daughters. 14. And all the days of Kenan were nine hundred and ten years, and he died. 15. And Mahalalel lived sixty five years, and he begot Jared. 16. And Mahalalel lived after he had begotten Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and he begot sons and daughters. 17. And all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety five years, and he died. 18. And Jared lived a hundred and sixty two years, and he begot Enoch. 19. And Jared lived after he had begotten Enoch eight hundred years, and he begot sons and daughters. 20. And all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty two years, and he died. 21. And Enoch lived sixty five years, and he begot Methuselah. 22. And Enoch walked with G*d after he had begotten Methuselah, three hundred years, and he begot sons and daughters. 23. And all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty five years. 24. And Enoch walked with G*d, and he was no longer, for G*d had taken him.
25. And Methuselah lived a hundred and eighty seven years, and he begot Lamech. 26. And Methuselah lived after he had begotten Lamech, seven hundred and eighty two years, and he begot sons and daughters. 27. And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty nine years, and he died. 28. And Lamech lived a hundred and eighty two years, and he begot a son. 29. And he named him Noah, saying, “This one will give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands from the ground, which the L*rd has cursed.” 30. And Lamech lived after he had begotten Noah, five hundred and ninety five years, and he begot sons and daughters. 31. And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy seven years, and he died. 32. And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
1. And it came to pass when man commenced to multiply upon the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them. 2. That the sons of the nobles saw the daughters of man when they were beautifying themselves, and they took for themselves wives from whomever they chose. 3. And the L*rd said, “Let My spirit not quarrel forever concerning man, because he is also flesh, and his days shall be a hundred and twenty years.” 4. The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of the nobles would come to the daughters of man, and they would bear for them; they are the mighty men, who were of old, the men of renown. 5. And the L*rd saw that the evil of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of his heart was only evil all the time. 6. And the L*rd regretted that He had made man upon the earth, and He became grieved in His heart. 7. And the L*rd said, “I will blot out man, whom I created, from upon the face of the earth, from man to cattle to creeping thing, to the fowl of the heavens, for I regret that I made them.” 8. But Noah found favor in the eyes of the L*rd.
Haftorah In a Nutshell for Bereishit
The haftorah of this week’s reading opens with a statement by “the Almighty G*d, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who laid out the earth and made grow from it.” This echoes the Torah portion’s recounting of the creation of the world in six days.
G‑d speaks to the prophet Isaiah, reminding him of his life’s purpose and duty, namely that of arousing the Jewish people to return to being a light unto the nations, “To open blind eyes, to bring prisoners out of a dungeon; those who sit in darkness out of a prison.”
The prophecy continues with a discussion regarding the Final Redemption, and the song that all of creation will sing to G*d on that day. G*d promises to punish all the nations that have persecuted Israel while they were exiled. The prophet also rebukes Israel for their errant ways, but assures them that they will return to the correct path and will be redeemed.
Haftorah reading for Bereishit
5. So said G*d the L*rd, the Creator of the heavens and the One Who stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and what springs forth from it, Who gave a soul to the people upon it and a spirit to those who walk thereon. 6. I am the L*rd; I called you with righteousness and I will strengthen your hand; and I formed you, and I made you for a people’s covenant, for a light to nations. 7. To open blind eyes, to bring prisoners out of a dungeon, those who sit in darkness out of a prison. 8. I am the L*rd, that is My Name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to the graven images. 9. The former things, behold they have come to pass, and the new things I tell; before they sprout I will let you hear. 10. Sing to the L*rd a new song, His praise from the end of the earth, those who go down to the sea and those therein, the islands and their inhabitants. 11. The desert and its cities shall raise [their voice]; Kedar shall be inhabited with villages; the rock dwellers shall exult, from the mountain peaks they shall shout. 12. They shall give glory to the L*rd, and they shall recite His praise on the islands. 13. The L*rd shall go out like a hero; like a warrior shall He arouse zeal; He shall shout, He shall even cry, He shall overpower His foes. 14. I was silent from time immemorial; I am still, I restrain Myself. Like a travailing woman will I cry; I will be terrified and destroy them together. 15. I will destroy mountains and hills, and all their grass I will dry out, and I will make rivers into islands and I will dry up the pools.
16. And I will lead the blind on a road they did not know; in paths they did not know I will lead them; I will make darkness into light before them, and crooked paths into straight ones. These things, I will do them and I will not forsake them. 17. They shall turn back greatly ashamed, those who trust in the graven image, who say to the molten idols, “You are our gods.” 18. You deaf ones, listen, and you blind ones, look to see. 19. Who is blind but My servant, and deaf as My messenger whom I will send? He who was blind is as the one who received his payment, and he who was blind is as the servant of the L*rd. 20. There is much to see but you do not observe, to open the ears but no one listens. 21. The L*rd desires [this] for His righteousness’ sake; He magnifies the Torah and strengthens it.