SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS BREISHIS 5766 BS"D
Ch. 1, v. 1: "Breishis" - In the beginning of - The letters of this word form
"Beis reishis," two beginnings. There is this physical world and the
world-to-come. (Baal Haturim)
They also form two words, "boroso," and "shai." The hope is for everyone on
this world to live a proper life and merit a portion in the world-to-come. The
final mishnoh of the final volume of the Talmud, Okotzin, says that Hashem
will give an inheritance of "ShaI," - 310 - worlds to each righteous person. So,
not only does our verse, in the word "Breishis," mention the beginning of
creation of this world, but also alludes to the 310 "worlds" prepared for each
righteous person. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 1, v. 1: "Breishis" - In the beginning of - The letters of this word form
two words, "B'yud areshes," with 10 expressions. This alludes to the mishnoh
in Pirkei Ovos 5:1, which states, Bo'asoroh maamoros nivro ho'olom." (Rabbeinu
Ch. 1, v. 1: "Hashomayim" - The heavens - Rada"k in his Sefer Hashoroshim,
etymology of Biblical words, writes that the word "shomayim" is sourced from
"shom," there. This means at a distance. The plural suffix ".ayim" indicates that
the distancing is great, i.e. the heavens are far from the earth. I assume
that Haksav V'hakaboloh did not see this, as he writes exactly the same.
Ch. 1, v. 28: "Urdu bidgas ha'yom" - And have mastery over the fish of the
sea - In this verse Hashem gives mankind mastery over fish, birds, and all
living creatures of the earth. The gemara Brochos 60b says that when one ties his
shoes he should make the blessing "she'ossoh li kol tzorchi," Who has done for
me all my needs. Although there is great benefit from wearing protective
footwear, why is this considered "ALL my needs"?
In T'hilim 8:7,8,9 the verses say, "Vatchasreihu m'at meiElokim, Tamshi'leihu
b'maasei yo'decho kole shatoh tachas raglov." The intention of these words is
to convey that Hashem has created different levels, inanimate, vegetation,
animal life, and human. Each level draws from and masters over the lower level,
plants draw their sustenance from the earth's minerals, etc. "Tamshileihu,"
You give mankind mastery over all Your creations, they are "tachas raglov,"
under his foot. When man takes the hide of an animal, tans it, turns it into
footwear, and then wears it, it is then that he is physically showing mastery of
"tachas raglov" over the animal kingdom, and surely over the lower levels. Once
he shows his mastery over ALL creations it is appropriate to recite the
blessing of "She'ossoh li KOL tzorchi." (Siddur HaShalo"h in the name of his Rebbi
Ch. 2, v. 17: "U'mei'eitz hadaas tov voro lo sochal mi'menu" - And from the
tree of wisdom good and bad you shall not eat from it - The M.R. 16:7 says that
this is the esrog tree. Note that the snake told Chavoh that the prohibition
was to not partake of the FRUIT of the tree (3:3), while in our verse the
command does not specifically point out the FRUIT. Although it is obvious that one
does not eat the bark or wood of a tree, bur rather, only its fruit, it could
well be that Hashem was indicating to Odom the reason for the restriction. Of
all the fruit-bearing trees that came into existence it was only the esrog
tree that complied with Hashem's wish that they have the taste of their wood
match that of their fruit. All other trees did not comply.
It is quite possible that Hashem gave fruit-producing trees leeway to come
into existence in any form, but preferred that they have the taste of their wood
and fruit match (See Mahari"l Diskin). He allowed for this so that mankind
should find himself in a world that already has some non-compliance with
Hashem's wishes. This would allow for some amelioration when mankind would eventually
sin. The esrog tree totally complied with Hashem's wishes and was therefore
"spiritually" elevated beyond mankind, albeit that he had not yet sinned. This
could serve as an insight into why specifically the esrog tree was prohibited.
Ch. 3, v. 16: "B'etzev teildi vonim" - With anguish will you give birth to
children - In verse 19 we find man's punishment, that he will produce bread only
after expending great effort. It is obvious that woman's punishment is
greater than man's and rightly so, as she not only ate, but also caused man to sin.
Every woman goes through the traumatic experience of a painful childbirth,
while only some men bring home the bread with the sweat of their brow. Others
make a livelihood without expending much physical effort. (Rabbi Yehudoh Chosid)
Ch. 3, v. 17: "Asher tzivisicho leimore" - That I have commanded you so
saying - Although some commentators say that "leimore" (see Moshav Z'keinim on
2:17) was a command to Odom to tell his wife that she likewise has the same
restriction, Rabbeinu Bachyei writes that "leimore" of our verse teaches that Hashem
told Noach to advise all creatures to likewise not partake of the fruit of
Ch. 3, v. 17: "Aruroh ho'adomoh" - cursed is the earth - What was the sin of
the earth? It gave forth its nutrients in such abundance that the fruit was
extremely luscious. This made it all the more appealing. (Tzror Hamor)
Ch. 6, v. 5: "Va'yar Hashem ki raboh ro'as ho'odom" - And Hashem saw that
mankind's sinning was immense - The Rambam in hilchos teshuvoh 3:1 derives from
these words that if and when ch"v the sins of mankind as a total exceed its
merits He immediately sets about to destroy the world.
We find in Pirkei Ovos 5:3 the statement that the ten generations from Odom
until Noach increased their sinning, until finally Hashem extracted
retribution. The mishnoh goes on to say that similarly the ten generations from Noach
until Avrohom increased their sinning, and Avrohom received the reward of those
who lived during the previous ten generations. Why didn't Hashem either give
Noach the reward of the previous generations as He gave to Avrohom, or why
didn't He destroy the world again in the days of Avrohom as he did in the days of
Rabbeinu Yonoh answers that Avrohom in his great righteousness fulfilled all
the shortcomings of all the sinners of the previous ten generations, and this
staved off the devastating destruction, while Noach, albeit a righteous
person, did not do so.
Ch. 6, v. 8: "V'Noach motzo chein b'einei Hashem" - And Noach found favour in
the eyes of Hashem - The next verse, which is the first verse of parshas
Noach, tells us that Noach was a righteous man. If so, asks the Sforno, why does
Noach need special "chein," favour, to be saved? Targum Yerushalmi seems to say
that he was not fully righteous (see Rashi on "b'dorosov" in the name of
"yeish dorshim ligani"), while the Sforno answers that the "chein" was needed to
save his children, who did not merit of their own right to be saved.
Ramban on 9:9 explains that had his children not been saved this would have
caused much aggravation to Noach, which he did not deserve. Rashi's words on
18:32 clearly indicate that they had their own merit.
Rabbi D.M. Silber writes that possibly Noach needed "chein" because he was
guilty of not moving away from the spiritually polluted society within which he
found himself, as per the Rambam hilchod dei'os 6:1. However, it seems that
this is only true if there is a place that is not polluted. The Torah clearly
states that "vatimo'lei ho'oretz chomos" (6:11), that there was no place free of
sin. This is further substantiated by the fact that the surface of the earth
was washed away, indicative of cleansing the earth of contamination. Thus
Noach had no place to run.
CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS BREISHIS
5766 - BS"D
1) Ch. 1, v. 3: "Y'hi ohr" - There shall be light - What is the difference
between "y'h'yeh" and "y'hi"?
2) Ch. 1, v. 5: "Va'y'hi erev va'y'hi voker yom ECHOD" - Why doesn't the
verse use the ordinal word "rishon," as it does from the second day onward,
"sheini," rather than "shnayim"?
3) Ch. 1, v. 2: "Hamoyim" - The water - Why does this word always appear in
the plural form?
Ch. 1, v. 25: "Va'yaas Elokim .. kol remmes ho'adomoh" - For what purpose did
Hashem create bugs?
5) Ch. 3, v. 16: "Itzvoneich v'heironeich"- The gemara Eiruvin 100b says that
"itzvoneich" refers to the difficulty of raising children, while "heironeich"
refers to the difficulty of pregnancy. Why is the order switched since
pregnancy comes before raising children?
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