And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Isaiah 8:17


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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Week Five : Jewish Footnotes on Genesis 1 (Bereshit)

sea monsters
Or 'whales,' or 'dragons.' Taninim in Hebrew; see Exodus 7:9. The Midrash states that it alludes to a pair of particularly great sea creatures, the Leviathan and its mate. See Isaiah 27:1, Psalms 74:14, 104:26, Job 3:8, 40:25.

with our image and likeness
Moreover, of all creation, only man resembles God in having free will (Maimonides, Yad, Teshuvah 5:1).

Be fertile...
Some say that this is a commandment (cf. Chinukh), while others maintain that it is a blessing (see Tosafoth, Yevamoth 65b, s.v. VeLo; Maharsha, Sanhedrin 59b, s.v. VeHarey).

God
For the rest of chapter 2-4, the Torah uses two names, Adonoy Elohim, usually translated as 'the Lord God.' In the earlier chapter, only the name Elohim (usually translated 'God') was used. According to tradition, Elohim denoted a creation with unmitigated justice, whereas the name Adonoy denotes an admixture of mercy. Since there is no simple, contemporary way to translate Adonoy Elohim, we translate it as 'God'.

Notes selected from http://bible.ort.org/ , an online bar/bat mitzvah tutor

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