Bereshit – Sheini

A Little More Detail

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Now the Torah recaps some high points of the Creation narrative, focusing on some details that weren’t provided in the overview.

After G-d had created the Earth, the plants had not yet sprouted because He hadn’t yet caused it to rain. G-d brought a mist that watered the ground. Then, He formed man from the ground and breathed life into him. G-d planted a Garden in Eden, in the east and placed man there. Every kind of tree could be found in the Garden, including the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge between good and evil.

A river flowed from the Garden and split into four rivers: Pishon, Gichon, Chidekel and Fras. (The latter two are the Tigris and Euphrates.)

G-d placed the man in the Garden with instructions to care for it. The man was given permission to eat from any tree except the Tree of Knowledge between good and evil. If he ate from it, on that day he would die. (Of course, Adam did not literally die on that very day, but on that day he became subject to death.)

G-d decided that it was not good for man to be alone, without any comparable creature. He brought every creature to the man, who named them. But none of the creatures of the world were compatible to be a mate for the man.

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