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, Seth, is born to Adam; Seth’s eighth-generation descendant, Noah, is the
only righteous man in a corrupt world.
בראשית ברא אלקים את השמים והארץ
In the beginning G-d created the heaven and earth(1:1)
Why does the Torah start with the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, ב, and not the first letter, א?
According to the קבלה or Kabbalah, before G-d created the world, all the the letters came up to G-d and begged Him to chose them to create the world. When G-d choose the letter ב, the א stood shamefully and when G-d approached her and asked her Why did you not ask to be chosen? She replied that she did not want to interfere with G-ds decision. G-d said to her, Becouse you belittled yourself, I will glorify you that you will contain my Essence, as it says in the first of the Ten commandments, which begin with the letter א,
שמות כ:ב) אנוכי ה אלקיך)
I am Hashem, your G-d(Excodus 20:2)
This is also to teach us that though we might start learning the Torah with the letter ב, the second letter, we should always strive to reach greater heights in our study of the Torah to achieve the level of the first letter, א.
Another explanation is that the numerical value of the letter ב, which is 2, teaches us that G-d created the word with מידת הדין (Midat Hadin is G-ds quality of judgement) and מידת הרחמים (Midat Harachamim is G-ds quality of compassion) for one can not exist without the other.
Finally, the use of the letter ב teaches us that we always have a second chance at connecting with the Torah and with G-d; if we fall or stumble, we should always remember that the Torah begins with the second letter, and not the first.
In the image of G-d.
The word בצלם contains the word צל, the Hebrew word for shadow. From this we can learn that G-d always follows us and watches over us like our shadow.
Even though when times may seem dark and hard to see Hashem, He is standing right beside you.
“On the day G-d created man, He made him in the likeness of G-d ... and He named them Adam."
Adam’s soul was a composite of the souls of all his descendants-all of mankind. The Hebrew term for a human is adam.
Kabba writes that adam is an acronym for the names of three central figures: Adam, King David and Moshiach. The Baal Shem Tov derives from this that there is a spark of the soul of Moshiach within every single Jew. Thus he concludes that it is incumbent upon every individual Jew to perfect and prepare that part of the spiritual stature of Moshiach to which his soul is related.
By virtue of his bond with every Jew, because there is a part of him within every Jew, Moshiach is able to redeem the entire Jewish people.
Conversely, every Jew is able to effect and hasten the actual manifestation of Moshiach. This is accomplished by means of Torah and mitzvot. For Torah and mitzvot effect a purification of the world, gradually diminishing its impurity until “I shall remove the spirit of impurity (altogether) from the earth” (Zechariah 13:2). This will be with the coming of Moshiach, for he will reveal goodness and holiness in the world until “The earth shall be full with the knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the sea!” (Isaiah 11:9)
The earth was unformed and empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep; and the spirit of G-d hovered over the face of the water.”
The Midrash (Bereishit Rabba 2:4) reads this verse as a prophetic allusion to Jewish history. The terms “unformed,” “empty,” “darkness” and “deep” refer to the four empires which oppressed, persecuted and exiled the Jewish nation. The phrase “the spirit of G-d hovered...” refers to Moshiach, the ultimate redeemer, as it is said: “The spirit of G-d will rest upon him” (Isaiah 11:2).
The principle of Moshiach thus is found in the very beginning of the Torah, at the very beginning of creation. In later passages of the Torah it is mentioned again, in some cases quite explicitly. Maimonides rules, therefore, that “Anyone who does not believe in [Moshiach], or whoever does not look forward to his coming, denies not only the [words of] the other prophets but [also those] of the Torah and of Moses” (Hilchot Melachim 11:1).
The Messianic era has two stages. Of the first it is said: “One is not to presume that anything of the ways of the world will be set aside, or that there will be any innovations in the order of creation. The world will continue according to its norms... The essential difference will be [our deliverance from] subjugation to foreign powers” (Ibid. 12:1-2).
In the second stage, however, the norms and the natural order of the world will change. It will be a time of wondrous miracles such as the resurrection of the dead and the fulfillment of all the other prophecies of ultimate bliss in the Messianic era.
The fact that the Torah refers to the principle of Moshiach at the very beginning of creation, even before the creation of man (thus also long before the giving of the Torah), teaches us an important lesson:
The concept of Moshiach includes everything that is related to him, not only the basic principle of the initial redemption of Israel, but also all the details of theultimate wonders and miracles.
The belief in Moshiach and the anticipation of his coming, therefore, must include awareness and knowledge of all the details of the Messianic era. First and foremost we must believe in, hope for, and look forward to the time when “Israel will enjoy relief from the wicked tyranny that does not leave them to occupy themselves with Torah and mitzvot properly, so that they will find rest and grow in wisdom” (Hilchot Teshuvah 9:2)-“they will be free for Torah and its wisdom, without anyone to oppress and disturb them” (Hilchot Melachim 12:4).
Even so, we must also keep in mind the later stage which transcends the first one. Practically speaking, this means the following:
As we “live with Moshiach,” our service of G-d must be even now not only on the level of the first stage with its “normative order” marked merely by the removal of external impediments, but also on the level of the final stage which is marked by innovations. In other words, our service must transcend the calculations and restrictions of mundane boundaries.
When we act as if Moshiach were here already, we effect that the “as if” will become a fact of reality with the actual redemption and its bliss.
The ultimate goal of the world’s creation, the Messianic era, is firmly established in the very origin of the world: “last in deed, but first in thought.” The very beginning of the Torah indicates the final purpose towards which all our aspirations must be devoted. This alone, already, infuses us with the ability to attain that goal.