by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS BREISHIS 5769 BS"D
Ch. 1, v. 8: "Lorokia shomoyim" - To the firmament heavens - Here the verse does not say that Elokim saw that it was good. This is because in the future the heavens would rain down upon the earth and destroy almost all living matter. (Hadar Z'keinim)
"Ki tov" was omitted because this term is only used when there is a benefit for mankind, and the creation of the firmament is of no benefit for earthly beings. A proof for this is that "ki tov" was likewise omitted by the creation of darkness serving during the night. (Rokei'ach)
Ch. 1, v. 11: "Mazria zera" - Produces a seed - Here it does not say "l'mi'neihu." Why when the earth produced vegetation in the next verse does it say "l'mineihu?"
Ch. 1, v. 11: "Eitz pri o'seh pri l'mino" - A fruit tree that produces fruit to its species - Rashi takes note that in the next verse, where the tree came into existence, the first word "pri" is omitted. He explains that Hashem wanted the fruit trees to be such that the taste of their fruit would be present in their actual wood itself, "eitz pri," but the trees did not comply. Rashi adds that when Odom was cursed for his sinning, the tree was likewise cursed for its having sinned. In other words, Hashem waited until He cursed mankind and at the same time cursed the fruit trees.
Rashi on Dvorim 30:19 d.h. "Ha'idosi vochem es hashomayim v'es ho'oretz" comments that the earth bearing witness means that we can learn from its produce. When we plant it always grows; when we plant wheat kernels, the earth does not produce barley. Take a lesson from this. These items, which were not created to receive reward or punishment, and nevertheless always comply with Hashem's command, we, who were created to receive reward when we comply and the reverse when we don't, should surely learn to comply.
It would seem from Rashi's words on our verse that when plant-life does not comply, it indeed receives a punishment. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Ch. 1, v. 11: "O'seh pri l'mino asher zaro vo" - That produces fruit to its species that has its seed in it - Why when the next verse tells us that the tree came into creation, does it first mention that its seed is within it and only afterwards that it is to its species, the reverse of our verse?
Ch. 1, v. 12: "L'mi'neihu" - To its species - The Rokei'ach says that the seeds of fruit, when planted produce a tree that can in turn produce the same fruit, with one exception. Although a pomegranate has many seeds in it, if its seed is planted it will not develop into a tree. One must take a branch of the pomegranate tree and plant it to produce further pomegranate trees. Do we have a botanist among our readership?
Ch. 1, v. 12: "Ki tov" - That it is good - Why is the expression "ki tov" doubled on this day?
It is because "Gan Eden" was also created on this day. (Chizkuni)
It is because of the creation of both the tree of life and the tree of wisdom. (Minchoh V'luloh)
Ch. 1, v. 21: "Kol ofe konof l'mi'neihu" - Each bird with wings to its species - The angels that were created on the fifth day are included in "kol ofe konof." "L'mi'neihu" teaches us that they were not created equal. There are angels of varying stature. (Rabbeinu Bachyei)
This concept has been dealt with in previous issues, in parshas Yisro and in parshas Haazinu, in both places citing the Moshav Z'keinim.
Ch. 1, v. 22: "Va'y'vo'reich osom" - And He blessed them - The verse clearly states that the blessing was for the fish to proliferate. Abarbanel says that the blessing also refers to the birds, mentioned at the end of the verse. He explains that these two creatures require a special blessing to multiply because they do not give birth to creatures in their form. Rather they lay eggs, which still have to be brought to maturity. This requires a special blessing.
Ch. 1, v. 22: "Leimore" - Thus saying - What is the intention of this word? Perhaps the blessing to multiply greatly is not only based on laying numerous eggs, but also that they be easily fertilized. This might be alluded to in the word "leimore," whose numerical value is the same as "hei'royon," 271. (n.l.)
Ch. 1, v. 22: "V'ho'ofe yi'rev bo'oretz" - And the bird shall multiply on the land - Even though birds have a great component of water in their creation and not earth, and many of them spend much of their time floating on water, nevertheless they will not lay their eggs on the water, but rather on the earth, ""yi'rev bo'oretz." (Rabbi Yehudoh Chalavoh)
Ch. 1, v. 24: "B'heimoh vo'remmes v'chaiso eretz l'minoh va'y'hi chein" - Animal and crawling creature and undomesticated animal of the land to its species and it was so - The next verse begins with "Va'yaas Elokim es chayas ……" This is most unusual, as the previous verse just ended with saying that it was so, meaning that they came into being. What creation is being added with "Va'yaas Elokim?" Minchoh V'luloh on verse 24 says that the words "es chayas ho'oretz l'minoh" teach that Hashem put a unique nature of behaviour into each of these creatures. It seems that he derives this from the word "l'minoh" or "l'mi'neihu" being mentioned by each of the three types of creatures, something we do not find in the previous verse. This would indicate different natures for each one. We might now have an answer for our original question. Indeed, they came into existence as mentioned at the end of our verse, but Hashem's added doing after this was to then place unique behaviour natures into each species and creature. (n.l.)
Ch. 1, v. 26: "Naa'seh" - We will make - Since in truth Hashem alone made man, why the plural? Rashi, as well as many other commentators deal with this. Tosfos Hasholeim answers that if the verse were to say "e'e'seh," we would mistakenly think that Hashem had only made Primary Man, and all humans created afterwards are the result of only the man and woman. However, the gemara Nidoh 31 says otherwise, that there are three partners in the creation of a human. The verse therefore says "na'aseh," meaning that although Primary Man was created by Hashem alone, future generations of man will be created through a joint effort of Hashem, the father, and the mother, hence "naa'seh."
Ch. 1, v. 27: "B'tzelem" - In the form - This word is sourced from "tzeil," a shadow. Just as a shadow's form comes from the item that casts the shadow, so too, Hashem created an imprimatur on man that is in His likeness.
Ch. 3, v. 23: "Zose hapaam etzem mei'atzomai" - This time bone from my bones - This is the standard translation. This time a woman was created from a man, but in the future a man comes from a woman. (Chizkuni)
This time a woman was taken from me, but previously there was a woman who was a direct creation of Hashem. This was the negative Lilis. (Tosfos Hasholeim)
Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel translates "hapaam" as one who emits sounds, as in "vatipo'eim rucho," his spirit pounded. He saw a new creation but did not know that it came from him until he heard it speak. These sounds made him realize that she was also a human and taken from his body.
Moshav Z'keinim translates "hapaam" as an edge of the body, as we find Rashi translating "paamosov" in parshas Trumoh as the corners or edges of the Holy Ark.
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