In Parashat Bereshit, G-d creates the heavens, the world, Adam and Eve, and Sabbath. A serpent convinces Eve, who then invites Adam, to eat the fruit of tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which G-d had forbidden to them. So G-d curses them and 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. Each generation becomes more and more degenerate until G-d, despairing, decides to destroy humanity. Only one man, Noah, finds G-d’s favor.
In the Haftorah, Isaiah reminds Israel that G-d alone created the entire world and called them out from among the nations to be a light to them. He says that HaShem called them out and sent destruction and ruin upon Israel for their disobedience, but the prophet assures Israel that he will redeem Israel and see His will done for His own sake, closing with “besides me there is no deliverer.”
In the Apostolic Writings, Romans 5 recalls the fall of Man through Adam and the work of redemption through grace that will be completed by the Second Adam, the Messiah.
The first portion of the book of Beresheet/Genesis is Beresheet, which means “In the Beginning.” This is the 1st Torah Portion.
Torah: Genesis 1:1-6:8
Haftorah: Isaiah 42:5-43:11
Apostolic: Romans 5:12-21
You can read or listen to the portions below:
Thus says G-d, HaShem,
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, HaShem, 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 HaShem; 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.”
Sing to HaShem 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.
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!
Let them give glory to HaShem
and proclaim his praise in the coastlands.
HaShem 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.
“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.
I will devastate mountains and hills,
wither all their vegetation,
turn the rivers into islands
and dry up the lakes.
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.
Those who trust in idols,
who say to statues, ‘You are our gods,’
will be repulsed in utter shame.
Listen, you deaf! Look, you blind! —
so that you will see!
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 HaShem?”
You see much but don’t pay attention;
you open your ears, but you don’t listen.
HaShem was pleased, for his righteousness’ sake,
to make the Torah great and glorious.
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!”
Which of you will listen to this?
Who will hear and give heed in the times to come?
Who gave Ya‘akov to be pillaged,
Isra’el to the plunderers?
Didn’t HaShem, against whom we have sinned,
in whose ways they refused to walk,
he whose Torah they did not obey?
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.
But now this is what HaShem 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 HaShem, your G-d,
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.”
“You are my witnesses,” says HaShem,
“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.
I, yes I, am HaShem;
besides me there is no deliverer.
Here is how it works: it was through one individual that sin entered the world, and through sin, death; and in this way death passed through to the whole human race, inasmuch as everyone sinned. Sin was indeed present in the world before Torah was given, but sin is not counted as such when there is no Torah. Nevertheless death ruled from Adam until Moshe, even over those whose sinning was not exactly like Adam’s violation of a direct command. In this, Adam prefigured the one who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the offence. For if, because of one man’s offence, many died, then how much more has G-d’s grace, that is, the gracious gift of one man, Yeshua the Messiah, overflowed to many! No, the free gift is not like what resulted from one man’s sinning; for from one sinner came judgment that brought condemnation; but the free gift came after many offences and brought acquittal. For if, because of the offence of one man, death ruled through that one man; how much more will those receiving the overflowing grace, that is, the gift of being considered righteous, rule in life through the one man Yeshua the Messiah!In other words, just as it was through one offence that all people came under condemnation, so also it is through one righteous act that all people come to be considered righteous. For just as through the disobedience of the one man, many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the other man, many will be made righteous. And the Torah came into the picture so that the offence would proliferate; but where sin proliferated, grace proliferated even more. All this happened so that just as sin ruled by means of death, so also grace might rule through causing people to be considered righteous, so that they might have eternal life, through Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord.