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In the Beginning

When God was about to create heaven and earth, the earth was a chaos, unformed, and on the chaotic waters' face there was darkness. - Genesis 1:1-:2

  • God creates the world and everything in it in six days and rests on the seventh. (1:1-2:3)
  • Adam and Eve are placed in the Garden of Eden, where they eat the forbidden fruit and are subsequently exiled. (2:15-3:24)
  • Adam and Eve have two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain kills his brother, Abel. (4:1-24)
  • Adam and Eve have another child named Seth. The Torah lists the ten generations from Adam to Noah. (4:25-5:32)
  • God regrets having created human beings and decides to destroy everything on earth, but Noah finds favor with God. (6:5-6:8)


When do we read B'reishit?

2016 Oct 29 /27 Tishri, 5777
2017 Oct 14 /24 Tishri, 5778
2018 Oct 6 /27 Tishri, 5779


  • By Ellen M. Umansky

    The more complicated our lives become, the more difficult it is to count our blessings. At times, we may become overwhelmed by feelings of anger, loneliness, frustration, despair, or sorrow. We may be wracked by physical pain or unable to free ourselves from serious bouts of depression. As in this week's Torah portion, B'reishit, darkness precedes light and chaos precedes order. Metaphorically, we may have so much on our plates that we can't decide what to do first and when we do, may frequently lose focus. Sometimes I begin my day by saying to myself: "I have so much to do, I wish today were 48 instead of 24 hours." Consequently, I rush to accomplish as much as I can, often feeling harried and dissatisfied, not fully able to enjoy moments for which in hindsight, I wasn't fully present. When we begin the cycle of Torah readings each year, however, I am reminded that God's first creative act, even before God brought the sky and earth into being, was to create light.... Continue Reading

  • Torah for Tots

    Parashat B'reishit, Genesis 1:1-6:8

  • Torah for Tweens

    B'reishit, our first parashah in the Torah cycle, begins with the creation of the world. God creates the world in seven days, concluding with the first Shabbat. The parashah provides a second version of the creation story, in which Adam is created from the dust of the earth rather than as a result of a divine breath. Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden for eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and have two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain kills Abel out of jealousy and anger, and God sends Cain off to wander. Adam and Eve have another son named Seth, from whom Noah descends. Although God expresses disappointment with human corruption, God finds favor in Noah's character.

  • Torah for Teens

    B'reishit is the first parshah in the Torah. It is read during the chag of Simchat Torah and during the following Shabbat service.

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