Parashah 1 – B’resheet

Parashah 1: B’resheet (In the beginning) Genesis 1:1–6:8

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was unformed and void, darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the water. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So there was evening, and there was morning, one day.

God said, “Let there be a dome in the middle of the water; let it divide the water from the water.” God made the dome and divided the water under the dome from the water above the dome; that is how it was, and God called the dome Sky. So there was evening, and there was morning, a second day.

God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let dry land appear,” and that is how it was. 10 God called the dry land Earth, the gathering together of the water he called Seas, and God saw that it was good.

11 God said, “Let the earth put forth grass, seed-producing plants, and fruit trees, each yielding its own kind of seed-bearing fruit, on the earth”; and that is how it was. 12 The earth brought forth grass, plants each yielding its own kind of seed, and trees each producing its own kind of seed-bearing fruit; and God saw that it was good. 13 So there was evening, and there was morning, a third day.

(A: ii) 14 God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to divide the day from the night; let them be for signs, seasons, days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the dome of the sky to give light to the earth”; and that is how it was. 16 God made the two great lights — the larger light to rule the day and the smaller light to rule the night — and the stars. 17 God put them in the dome of the sky to give light to the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19 So there was evening, and there was morning, a fourth day.

20 God said, “Let the water swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open dome of the sky.” 21 God created the great sea creatures and every living thing that creeps, so that the water swarmed with all kinds of them, and there was every kind of winged bird; and God saw that it was good. 22 Then God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful, multiply and fill the water of the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 So there was evening, and there was morning, a fifth day.

(A: iii) 24 God said, “Let the earth bring forth each kind of living creature — each kind of livestock, crawling animal and wild beast”; and that is how it was. 25 God made each kind of wild beast, each kind of livestock and every kind of animal that crawls along the ground; and God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, in the likeness of ourselves; and let them rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the animals, and over all the earth, and over every crawling creature that crawls on the earth.”

27 So God created humankind in his own image;
in the image of God he created him:
male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them: God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air and every living creature that crawls on the earth.” 29 Then God said, “Here! Throughout the whole earth I am giving you as food every seed-bearing plant and every tree with seed-bearing fruit. 30 And to every wild animal, bird in the air and creature crawling on the earth, in which there is a living soul, I am giving as food every kind of green plant.” And that is how it was. 31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good. So there was evening, and there was morning, a sixth day.

2 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, along with everything in them. On the seventh day God was finished with his work which he had made, so he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. God blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day God rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.

(A: iv, S: ii) Here is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created. On the day when Yehovah, God, made earth and heaven, there was as yet no wild bush on the earth, and no wild plant had as yet sprung up; for Yehovah, God, had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no one to cultivate the ground. Rather, a mist went up from the earth which watered the entire surface of the ground.

Then Yehovah, God, formed a person from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so that he became a living being. Yehovah, God, planted a garden toward the east, in ‘Eden, and there he put the person whom he had formed. Out of the ground Yehovah, God, caused to grow every tree pleasing in appearance and good for food, including the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 A river went out of ‘Eden to water the garden, and from there it divided into four streams. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it winds throughout the land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there. 13 The name of the second river is Gichon; it winds throughout the land of Kush. 14 The name of the third river is Tigris; it is the one that flows toward the east of Ashur. The fourth river is the Euphrates.

15 Yehovah, God, took the person and put him in the garden of ‘Eden to cultivate and care for it. 16 Yehovah, God, gave the person this order: “You may freely eat from every tree in the garden 17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You are not to eat from it, because on the day that you eat from it, it will become certain that you will die.”

18 Yehovah, God, said, “It isn’t good that the person should be alone. I will make for him a companion suitable for helping him.” 19 So from the ground Yehovah, God, formed every wild animal and every bird that flies in the air, and he brought them to the person to see what he would call them. Whatever the person would call each living creature, that was to be its name. (S: iii) 20 So the person gave names to all the livestock, to the birds in the air and to every wild animal. But for Adam there was not found a companion suitable for helping him.

21 Then God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the person; and while he was sleeping, he took one of his ribs and closed up the place from which he took it with flesh. 22 The rib which Yehovah, God, had taken from the person, he made a woman-person; and he brought her to the man-person. 23 The man-person said, “At last! This is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh. She is to be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 This is why a man is to leave his father and mother and stick with his wife, and they are to be one flesh.

25 They were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed.

3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any wild animal which Yehovah, God, had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You are not to eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman answered the serpent, “We may eat from the fruit of the trees of the garden, but about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, ‘You are neither to eat from it nor touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “It is not true that you will surely die; because God knows that on the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it had a pleasing appearance and that the tree was desirable for making one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her; and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together to make themselves loincloths.

They heard the voice of Yehovah, God, walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, so the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yehovah, God, among the trees in the garden. Yehovah, God, called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I ordered you not to eat?” 12 The man replied, “The woman you gave to be with me — she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Yehovah, God, said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman answered, “The serpent tricked me, so I ate.”

14 Yehovah, God, said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all livestock and wild animals. You will crawl on your belly and eat dust as long as you live. 15 I will put animosity between you and the woman, and between your descendant and her descendant; he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.”

16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pain in childbirth. You will bring forth children in pain. Your desire will be toward your husband, but he will rule over you.”

17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to what your wife said and ate from the tree about which I gave you the order, ‘You are not to eat from it,’ the ground is cursed on your account; you will work hard to eat from it as long as you live. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat field plants. 19 You will eat bread by the sweat of your forehead till you return to the ground — for you were taken out of it: you are dust, and you will return to dust.”

20 The man called his wife Havah [life], because she was the mother of all living.

21 Yehovah, God, made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

(A: v, S: iv) 22 Yehovah, God, said, “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, to prevent his putting out his hand and taking also from the tree of life, eating, and living forever — ” 23 therefore Yehovah, God, sent him out of the garden of ‘Eden to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. 24 So he drove the man out, and he placed at the east of the garden of ‘Eden the k’ruvim and a flaming sword which turned in every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

4 The man had sexual relations with Havah his wife; she conceived, gave birth to Kayin [acquisition] and said, “I have acquired a man from Yehovah.In addition she gave birth to his brother Hevel. Hevel kept sheep, while Kayin worked the soil. In the course of time Kayin brought an offering to Yehovah from the produce of the soil; and Hevel too brought from the firstborn of his sheep, including their fat. Yehovah accepted Hevel and his offering but did not accept Kayin and his offering. Kayin was very angry, and his face fell. Yehovah said to Kayin, “Why are you angry? Why so downcast? If you are doing what is good, shouldn’t you hold your head high? And if you don’t do what is good, sin is crouching at the door — it wants you, but you can rule over it.” Kayin had words with Hevel his brother; then one time, when they were in the field, Kayin turned on Hevel his brother and killed him.

Yehovah said to Kayin, “Where is Hevel your brother?” And he replied, “I don’t know; am I my brother’s guardian?” 10 He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground! 11 Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood at your hands. 12 When you farm the ground it will no longer yield its strength to you. You will be a fugitive, wandering the earth.” 13 Kayin said to Yehovah, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 You are banning me today from the land and from your presence. I will be a fugitive wandering the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 Yehovah answered him, “Therefore, whoever kills Kayin will receive vengeance sevenfold,” and Yehovah put a sign on Kayin, so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Kayin left the presence of Yehovah and lived in the land of Nod [wandering], east of ‘Eden.

17 Kayin had sexual relations with his wife; she conceived and gave birth to Hanokh. Kayin built a city and named the city after his son Hanokh. 18 To Hanokh was born ‘Irad. ‘Irad fathered Mechuya’el, Mechuya’el fathered Metusha’el, and Metusha’el fathered Lemekh.

(S: v) 19 Lemekh took himself two wives; the name of the one was ‘Adah, while the name of the other was Tzilah. 20 ‘Adah gave birth to Yaval; he was the ancestor of those who live in tents and have cattle. 21 His brother’s name was Yuval; and he was the ancestor of all who play lyre and flute. 22 Tzilah gave birth to Tuval-Kayin, who forged all kinds of tools from brass and iron; the sister of Tuval-Kayin was Na‘amah. 23 Lemekh said to his wives,

“‘Adah and Tzilah, listen to me;
wives of Lemekh, hear what I say:
I killed a man for wounding me,
a young man who injured me.
24 If Kayin will be avenged sevenfold,
then Lemekh seventy-sevenfold!”

25 Adam again had sexual relations with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she named Shet [granted], “For God has granted me another seed in place of Hevel, since Kayin killed him.” 26 To Shet too was born a son, whom he called Enosh. That is when people began to call on the name of Yehovah.

(vi) Here is the genealogy of Adam. On the day that God created man he made him in the likeness of God; he created them male and female; he blessed them and called them Adam [humankind, man] on the day they were created. After Adam lived 130 years he fathered a son like himself and named him Shet. After Shet was born, Adam lived another 800 years and had both sons and daughters. In all, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died.

Shet lived 105 years and fathered Enosh. After Enosh was born, Shet lived another 807 years and had sons and daughters. In all, Shet lived 912 years; then he died.

Enosh lived ninety years and fathered Kenan. 10 After Kenan was born, Enosh lived another 815 years and had sons and daughters. 11 In all, Enosh lived 905 years; then he died.

12 Kenan lived seventy years and fathered Mahalal’el. 13 After Mahalal’el was born, Kenan lived another 840 years and had sons and daughters. 14 In all, Kenan lived 910 years; then he died.

15 Mahalal’el lived sixty-five years and fathered Yered. 16 After Yered was born, Mahalal’el lived another 830 years and had sons and daughters. 17 In all, Mahalal’el lived 895 years; then he died.

18 Yered lived 162 years and fathered Hanokh. 19 After Hanokh was born, Yered lived 800 years and had sons and daughters. 20 In all, Yered lived 962 years; then he died.

21 Hanokh lived sixty-five years and fathered Metushelach. 22 After Metushelach was born, Hanokh walked with God 300 years and had sons and daughters. 23 In all, Hanokh lived 365 years. 24 Hanokh walked with God, and then he wasn’t there, because God took him.

(vii) 25 Metushelach lived 187 years and fathered Lemekh. 26 After Lemekh was born, Metushelach lived 782 years and had sons and daughters. 27 In all, Metushelach lived 969 years; then he died.

28 Lemekh lived 182 years and fathered a son, 29 whom he called Noach [restful]; for he said, “This one will comfort us in our labor, in the hard work we do with our hands [to get what comes] from the ground that Yehovah cursed.” 30 After Noach was born, Lemekh lived 595 years and had sons and daughters. 31 In all, Lemekh lived 777 years; then he died.

32 Noach was 500 years old; and Noach fathered Shem, Ham and Yefet.

6 In time, when men began to multiply on earth, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were attractive; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. Yehovah said, “My Spirit will not live in human beings forever, for they too are flesh; therefore their life span is to be 120 years.” The N’filim were on the earth in those days, and also afterwards, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them; these were the ancient heroes, men of renown.

(Maftir) Yehovah saw that the people on earth were very wicked, that all the imaginings of their hearts were always of evil only. Yehovah regretted that he had made humankind on the earth; it grieved his heart. Yehovah said, “I will wipe out humankind, whom I have created, from the whole earth; and not only human beings, but animals, creeping things and birds in the air; for I regret that I ever made them.” But Noach found grace in the sight of Yehovah.

Isaiah 42:5-43:10

Thus says God, Yehovah,
who created the heavens and spread them out,
who stretched out the earth and all that grows from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk on it:
“I, Yehovah, called you righteously,
I took hold of you by the hand,
I shaped you and made you a covenant for the people,
to be a light for the Goyim,
so that you can open blind eyes,
free the prisoners from confinement,
those living in darkness from the dungeon.
I am Yehovah; that is my name.
I yield my glory to no one else,
nor my praise to any idol.
See how the former predictions come true;
and now new things do I declare —
before they sprout I tell you about them.”

10 Sing to Yehovah a new song!
Let his praise be sung from the ends of the earth
by those sailing the sea and by everything in it,
by the coastlands and those living there.
11 Let the desert and its cities raise their voices,
the villages where Kedar lives;
let those living in Sela shout for joy;
let them cry out from the mountaintops!
12 Let them give glory to Yehovah
and proclaim his praise in the coastlands.
13 Yehovah will go out like a soldier,
like a soldier roused to the fury of battle;
he will shout, yes, he raises the battle cry;
as he triumphs over his foes.

14 “For a long time I have held my peace,
I have been silent, restrained myself.
Now I will shriek like a woman in labor,
panting and gasping for air.
15 I will devastate mountains and hills,
wither all their vegetation,
turn the rivers into islands
and dry up the lakes.
16 The blind I will lead on a road they don’t know,
on roads they don’t know I will lead them;
I will turn darkness to light before them,
and straighten their twisted paths.
These are things I will do without fail.
17 Those who trust in idols,
who say to statues, ‘You are our gods,’
will be repulsed in utter shame.
18 Listen, you deaf! Look, you blind! —
so that you will see!
19 Who is as blind as my servant,
or as deaf as the messenger I send?
Who is as blind as the one I rewarded,
as blind as the servant of Yehovah?”

20 You see much but don’t pay attention;
you open your ears, but you don’t listen.
21 Yehovah was pleased, for his righteousness’ sake,
to make the Torah great and glorious.
22 But this is a people pillaged and plundered,
all trapped in holes and sequestered in prisons.
They are there to be plundered, with no one to rescue them;
there to be pillaged, and no one says, “Return them!”
23 Which of you will listen to this?
Who will hear and give heed in the times to come?
24 Who gave Ya‘akov to be pillaged,
Isra’el to the plunderers?
Didn’t Yehovah, against whom we have sinned,
in whose ways they refused to walk,
he whose Torah they did not obey?
25 This is why he poured on him his blazing anger
as well as the fury of battle —
it wrapped him in flames, yet he learned nothing;
it burned him, yet he did not take it to heart.

43:1 But now this is what Yehovah says,
he who created you, Ya‘akov,
he who formed you, Isra’el:
“Don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed you;
I am calling you by your name; you are mine.
When you pass through water, I will be with you;
when you pass through rivers, they will not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire, you will not be scorched —
the flame will not burn you.
For I am Yehovah, your God,
the Holy One of Isra’el, your Savior —
I have given Egypt as your ransom,
Ethiopia and S’va for you.
Because I regard you as valued and honored,
and because I love you.
For you I will give people,
nations in exchange for your life.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
I will bring your descendants from the east,
and I will gather you from the west;
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Don’t hold them back!
Bring my sons from far away,
and my daughters from the ends of the earth,
everyone who bears my name,
whom I created for my glory —
I formed him, yes, I made him.’”

Bring forward the people who are blind but have eyes,
also the deaf who have ears.
All the nations are gathered together,
and the peoples are assembled.
Who among them can proclaim this
and reveal what happened in the past?
Let them bring their witnesses to justify themselves,
so that others, on hearing, can say, “That’s true.”

10 “You are my witnesses,” says Yehovah,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you can know and trust me
and understand that I am he —
no god was produced before me,
nor will any be after me.

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