Myth and Facts of Creation
This week we examine the myth and facts of creation. Dealing with the christian claims vs. Torah Judaism facts of creation. Bereishees (בְּרֵאשִׁית — Hebrew for “in beginning,” the first word in the parashah) is the first weekly Torah portion (פָּרָשָׁה, parashah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading. The parashah consists of Genesis 1:1–6:8. The parashah is made up of 7,235 Hebrew letters, 1,931 Hebrew words, and 146 verses, and occupy about 241 lines in a Torah Scroll (סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה, Sefer Torah).
Jews read it on the first Sabbath after Simchat Torah, generally in October or, rarely, in late September. Jews also read the beginning part of the parashah,Genesis 1:1–2:3, as the second Torah reading for Simchat Torah, after reading the last parts of the book of Deuteronomy, Parashah V’Zot HaBerachah,Deuteronomy 33:1–34:12.
In the parashah, God creates the world, and Adam and Eve. They eat fruit that God had forbidden them, and God expels them from the Garden of Eden. One of their sons, Cain, becomes the first murderer, killing his brother Abel out of jealousy. Adam and Eve have other children, whose descendants populate the Earth, but each generation becomes more and more degenerate until God, despairing, decides to destroy humanity. Only one man, Noah, finds God’s favor.