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Breishit

PARSHA ON PARADE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND REBBI:
HARAV HAGAON RAV YESHAYA SHIMANOWITZ Z'TZL ,
ROSH YESHIVA
IN
YESHIVAS RABAINU YAAKOV YOSEF
(RABBI JACOB JOSEPH YESHIVA - RJJ)
IN NYC FOR OVER 23 YEARS.
NIFTAR ON 20 ADAR 5758 - MARCH 18, 1998.
MAY HE BE A MAYLITZ YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL.

AND

MY DEAR MOTHER
REBITZEN BRACHA ETEL SHIMANOWITZ A'H
WHO DEVOTED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO MY FATHER AND HIS TORAH,
NIFTERA ON 21 TEVET 5770 - WED EVE. JANUARY 6, 2010.
MAY SHE BE A MAYLITZA YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL


Menachim Z. Shimanowitz

You too can dedicate a Parsha or any other section of Torah Tots in honor or in memory of someone close to you.
For further info, click here.


PARSHA
FACTS

NUMBER OF MITZVOT: 1
ONE MITZVAT ASEH (POSITIVE COMMANDMENT)

NUMBER OF PESUKIM (SENTENCES): 146

NUMBER OF WORDS: 1931

NUMBER OF LETTERS: 7235

HAFTORA: (Additional portion, from Prophets, which is read after the Parsha)
Yeshayahu
/ Isaiah 42:5 - 43:10 (Ashkenazim);
Yeshayahu / Isaiah 42:5 - 21 (Sepharadim
)

Shabbat Mevarchim Chodesh MarCheshvan
Rosh Chodesh - Tuesday & Wednesday - November 1 - 2


פרשת בראשית
IN THE
'BIG
INNING'
How do we know that they played baseball during creation?

Because it says "In The 'Big Inning' Hashem created the heavens and the earth."

Well, every game has its beginnings and the creation game begins 2000 years before "The Big Inning."


There was once a king who wanted to build a palace. Now what do you suppose he did first?

A palace needs bricks so he called a mason, who asked "How many bricks do you need?" The king did not know.

A palace needs windows. But when the glass maker asked, how large, and where do they go, the king did not know.

"How tall must the ceilings be? How many stairs will there be?" The king did not know what to answer.

Now the king realized what he must do... He called an architect who then designed the palace and drew it on a paper called a blueprint. Once the king had the blueprint, he could see the entire structure before him and answer all the questions that the builders had asked.

Hashem, too, had a blueprint when He created the world - the Torah!

For each commandment in the Torah, He has created a way to fulfill that Mitzvah! He saw in the Torah the commandment to eat kosher so He created kosher animals.

Hashem saw the commandment to "Honor Your Father and Mother" so He created a world in which parents and children could live and follow His Torah.


DAY ONE:

On the first day of creation Hashem makes a double play, creating the "heavens" and the "earth." But there's chaos on the field! The "earth" and "heaven" teams fumble around. Well, that's about to be fixed. Hashem has just flipped the light switch with the declaration "Let there be light!" Hashem calls the light "day" and the darkness "night." And at the end of one inning - Creation scores a first day!

DAY TWO:

On the second day Hashem is the umpire, separating team "heaven" and team "earth." The heavens head up, and the earth sticks to the homefield.

DAY THREE:

The problem with earth is that it's all wet! Water, water everywhere!

Just when you think the game's about to be rained out, Hashem makes a big splash with dry land! That's right, the waters separate into oceans, seas, rivers, lakes and streams.

With the water out of the way, the earth sprouts grass and trees, and a personal favorite of the Boss, Gan (the Garden of) Eden. And that's a wrap of day number three!


DAY FOUR:

The fourth inning has creation seeing stars - up in the heavens, that is!

Hashem "high-pops" the sun, moon, planets and stars into the sky.


DAY FIVE:

Hashem turns back to the field in the fifth, creating insects, birds and fish.

Super-fish, Leviyatan, makes a brief appearance, before being thrown out of the game for hogging the field. But Torah fans can get a piece of it at the feast for scholarly ticket holders in Olam Habah (the world to come).


DAY SIX:

It's a six-inning game and at the top of the sixth Hashem brings out the beasts. Lions, tigers, elephants and all! There's a population explosion on the field as the cattle take a bite out of the asphalt.

In the bottom of the sixth Hashem hits the big one - a grand-slam homer, creating man from the dust of the earth.


"MAN'S
THE
MAN"

Now that the world is created, Hashem huddles with the Malachim (Angels) to discuss the "Piece de resistance," the highlight of all creation, Man. The Malachim aren't too keen on the idea, though: "He's not going to be perfect; you know he's going to sin and blow the whole balance of the world; why make a bad investment?

But in this stadium, Hashem's the umpire, and He makes the final calls. Man's the plan!

On the first day of Tishrei, the sixth day of creation, Hashem forms man's body. He gathers dust from all four corners of the earth and places it on Har Hamoria. (Mt. Moriah), the future site of the Mizbayach (Altar) in the Beit Hamikdash (Holy Temple). The first man is named "Adam" from the word Adamah - "earth."

Hashem breathes the breath of life - a Neshoma (soul), - into Adam and the still body comes to life. He is the first man, a perfect man. Hashem places Adam into Gan Eden, where he will live forever - if he can keep just one commandment!


THE "REST"
OF
THE STORY

LEARN ALL ABOUT SHABBAT
HERE

For six days Hashem creates the heavens and the earth. On the seventh He rests. That's what the idea of Shabbat is all about.

Six days a week we go about our lives working and playing and doing what it takes to live in this world. But by the time the sun sets on Friday night, the hustle and bustle of the world is put behind us and the Shabbat celebration surrounds us. On Shabbat we don't perform any work. Instead, we proclaim that Hashem is the master of all creation.

If you look carefully at the Parsha you will find parts of the Kiddush that we recite on Shabbat. This reminds us that Hashem is the one true G-d, creator of the universe.


SPARE RIB

In the Garden, Adam's first job is to name all the animals. Two by two, the male and female of each species passes before Adam. He names them, first in Lashon Hakodesh (Hebrew), and then in all the other 70 languages of the world. As he performs this monumental task, Adam realizes that he is the only creature in the world missing a mate.

Good observation! Hashem agrees: "It's not a good thing for man to be alone." Hashem decides to give Adam a companion. So He places Adam into a deep sleep. Now, giving Adam a companion has been Hashem's plan all along. Here's the proof: Adam's got thirteen ribs; we've only got 12. Hashem removes that thirteenth rib from Adam and creates Chava, the first female, Adam's mate; his wife.


ALL IN A
DAY'S WORK

There is only one Mitzvah for Adam to observe in the Garden: He is commanded not to eat from the Eitz HaDa-at (the tree of knowledge) of Good and Evil. If he can pull this off for one day, Adam and his descendants will live forever! If he or Chava blow it, they'll die. Simple enough, eh? Well, we'll see about that!

There's one more character in the garden scene, the snake. This is no ordinary snake, though; this snake can walk and talk. Why, he's walking up to Chava right now! The snake plays it innocent: "Did Hashem tell you not to eat any of the fruit of the garden?" the snake asks.

Chava responds, "We can eat fruit from any tree but the one at the center of the garden. Why, my husband, Adam told me we're not even allowed to touch it!"

That's the kind of intro the snake's been waiting for. He knows that Hashem never commanded Adam not to touch the tree, but Chava doesn't know that! The snake shoves her against the tree of knowledge. It's a miracle.... she doesn't die! This doesn't make sense to Chava. If she didn't die from touching the tree, maybe her dear husband was lying to her about eating from the tree! Well, she'll just have to try this out!

Chava picks a fruit from the Eitz HaDa'at and bites into it. Then she runs over to Adam and gives him a taste. As soon as they take a bite of that forbidden fruit, Adam and Chava change. The Yetzer Hora enters their bodies. They are now true human beings in the worst way, no longer perfect. Their eyes are now opened. They realize many new things. The first thing they realize is that they've got to fire their tailor - they don't have any clothes on! Quickly they cover themselves with fig leaves.

Suddenly, Hashem calls out to the two - "Where are you?" Adam and Chava foolishly try to hide among the trees. Of course, there's no hiding from Hashem. Now Adam and Chava both know that they should never have eaten the forbidden fruit. But instead of admitting their mistake and doing Teshuva, they play "the blame game." Adam blames it all on Chava and Chava blames the snake. Bad move! All Hashem wanted was to hear "I'm sorry!" Now Adam, Chava and the snake will be punished for their sin.


DO THE CRIME,
DO THE TIME:

First the snake's punishments:
  1. Believe it or not, snakes originally had arms and legs and could talk! Hashem decrees that from now on all snakes will crawl on their bellies and speak snake language.

  2. The original plan was for the snake to be greater than all other animals. It was supposed to be a servant to mankind. Now the snake would be lower than all other animals!

  3. The snake's skin will shed once every seven years - and oy, will it hurt!

  4. All food will now taste like dust to the snake....even pizza!

  5. Man will have a natural hatred toward the snake.

  6. The snake would become a mortal being and die.

Next, Hashem turns to Chava. For listening to the snake, eating from the tree of knowledge and feeding the fruit to Adam, Chava's eternal life is taken away. She will die like a mortal being. During childbirth, she will experience great pain. Raising kids will also be a pain!

Finally, Adam is punished. Of course, he loses his eternal life. Originally, all food grew from the ground naturally. Now, man would have to till the soil and sweat it out to earn his bread.


GET LOST

Hashem takes one look a the fig-leaf fashions that clothe Adam and Chava and He decides that this just won't do! Hashem takes the shedded skin of the snake and sews some nifty clothes for his two fallen stars to wear. Then Hashem gives the two the boot! Adam and Chava are forced to leave Gan Eden. From now on, they're on their own! Two Malachim with flaming swords are placed at the garden's gate to keep them out.

INSTANT
FAMILY

A lot happens on day number six of creation. Between being created and getting kicked out of the garden, Chava manages to pop out five kids;
Kayin and his twin sister, and a set of triplets, Hevel and his two sisters.

Since Kayin and Hevel are the first siblings on earth, they are meant to marry their sisters.

Kayin and Hevel are as different as day and night. Kayin likes the challenge of tilling the soil. He becomes a farmer. Hevel becomes a shepherd.

On the 14th of Nisan, Adam gathers up his two sons and explains to them that in the future, the Jews will offer korbanot (sacrifices) on this day. Kayin and Hevel each decide to offer a Korban to Hashem. Kayin picks flax-seed. Now, out of all the stuff that grows on the Kayin plantation, flax-seed is the most inferior. When Kayin places the flax-seed on the Mizbayach, the Heavenly fire is a no show.

Hevel, on the other hand, offers up his best lambs on the Mizbayach. Poof! The heavenly fire zaps the Korban and Hevel has scored big-time in the Korban portion of the "competition" between the brothers. Kayin is totally embarrassed by the situation. The brothers begin to brawl. Kayin is so enraged that he hits his brother with a rock until Hevel is dead!

Now Kayin is paranoid. What should he do? Where can he go? Who can he turn to? Before he can do anything, Hashem appears to Kayin. "Where is your brother Hevel?" Hashem asks. Instead of admitting his mistake, Kayin comes up with one of the top ten family quotes of all time, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Good quote, bad move! What does Kayin think, that Hashem doesn't see Hevel lying dead on the ground?

Hashem explains to Kayin that by murderering his brother, he not only killed Hevel but he also killed all of Hevel's unborn descendants. As a punishment, Kayin is doomed to wander the earth for the rest of his life. The moment he settles, people will terrorize him until he is forced to move on. Even the earth will quake beneath his feet. Furthermore, when Kayin dies he will not be buried like a mentsch.

Kayin can't take the pressure! He immediately does Teshuva, admitting his sin and asks Hashem for mercy. Amazingly, Hashem accepts Kayin's atonement and gives Kayin a little leeway. He places a sign on Kayin's head - a warning to animals and people of future generations to keep away from him. Additionally, Hashem promises not to punish Kayin for seven generations.


HOW
KAYIN
DIES

A seventh generation great..great grandson, Tuval Kayin, son of the blind Lemech escorts his father on a hunting trip.

He sees an animal in the distance, and tells his father to draw his bow and shoot. Lemech shoots in the direction his son tells him. When they approach the "animal" they see that it is Kayin that is dead by an arrow. The blind Lemech, in his anguish, claps his hands together, and kills his son Tuval Kayin with the blow.

In this way Hashem wipes out Kayin and all his wicked descendants.


GENERATING
THE
GENERATIONS

After Adam and Chava sin, Adam takes the cue from Kayin and spends his time doing Teshuva. 130 years later, Adam and Chava have a third son they name Shait. Shait grows up to be a righteous man. Over the years, as Kayin's descendants go down the "idol highway," Shait's descendants manage to turn out a few good children. Noach, who shows up ten generations after Adam, however, is the real star. Until his time, life is pretty tough for farmers. Even wheat grows with thorns attached! Imagine farm animals constantly rebelling against their masters. All this changes with the birth of Noach. Noach's name means "comforter." He is an inventor. He builds the first plowshare, sickle and spade. He is a Tzadik who stands out as the greatest man of his generation. But more about him next week.

GENERATION
GAP

Adam lives to be 930. When Adam and Chava die, Hashem buries them in the Cave of Machpailah. (More about that cave in Parshat Chayeh Sarah).

From Adam to Noach ten generations pass, each generation brings the world down a notch:

  • ADAM: He starts out as the perfect man. He's built to live forever on the condition that he keeps his hands off the forbidden fruit. But in a matter of hours, Adam blows his immortality and every creature that is born is doomed to die.

  • SHAIT: As a saint himself, he's okay. But he's surrounded by a generation of Kayin's descendants who aren't exactly the best influence on mankind.

  • ENOSH: His generation comes up with the bright idea of worshipping the sun, the moon and the stars out of respect for Hashem. Bad move! That's idolatry. Hashem doesn't like that! As a warning, Hashem floods one third of the world.

  • KAYNAN: This wise and mighty leader tries to put his generation on the right path, but it doesn't work.

  • MAHALEL:He lives for 895 years.

  • YERED: Another tzadik surrounded by an evil generation.

  • CHANOCH: Chanoch separates himself from the rest of the world. He concentrates on tefillah and improving himself as a servant of Hashem. He is one of a few people who enter Gan Eden - (Olam Habah) alive.

  • MESUSHELACH: He's the Tzadik of his time, and the record holder for the longest lifespan of all time - 969 years! He spends his life warning people that if they don't make a major change a flood will wipe them out. Of course, no one listens.

  • LEMECH: (Not the same one who kills Kayin). In his time a worldwide famine hits. But mankind doesn't catch the warning. Hashem's patience is running out.

  • NOACH: Finally, Hashem decides that the people of the world are too corrupt to fix. Only Noach and his family deserve to live. Hashem declares that He will bring a flood and wipe out mankind. Only Noach and his family will survive.
But how?

Tune in next week when Hashem gives Noach the plans to build the largest floating wildlife conservatory in history... in the next exciting episode of:

Parsha on Parade

See the Midrash Maven on Bereishit


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