Sedra Shorts

Ideas and commentaries on the weekly Torah readings.

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Location: Bet Shemesh, Israel

I taught Tanach in Immanuel College, London and in Hartman, Jerusalem. I was also an ATID fellow for 2 years. At present, I work for the Lookstein Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora, in Bar-Ilan University, Israel. The purpose of this blog is to provide "sedra-shorts", short interesting ideas on the weekly Torah reading. Please feel free to use them and to send me your comments.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Parshat Bereshit

The Good the Bad and the Woman

God created the world in six days and six times the Torah declares: “God saw that it was good”

However there was one thing that was not good. “The Lord God said, "It is not good that man is alone; I shall make him an Ezer Kenegdo” (Bereshit 2:18).

Unlike the animal kingdom, which was created “according to their kind” (ibid 1:21), humanity was created “male and female He created them” (ibid 27). Obviously there were male and female animals, nevertheless the Torah points that the creation of the two sexes was an integral part of humanity’s being.

Indeed, “God created humanity in His image; in the image of God He created it”. According to this understanding it is only when the man and the woman were together that they are in the image of God. Independently, they were not a complete image of God.

Without each other they are incomplete, but when they get together they become one and restore the image of God, or as the Torah puts it: “a man shall…cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (ibid 2:24).

Therefore it was not good for the man to be alone.

Being godly requires partnership, someone to share with and to care for. Choosing to be a hermit, alone and a celibate is not the way of the Torah. It is choosing to be an incomplete image of God.

Last year's Sedra Short for Parshat Bereshit, entitled: "Shattering Ancient Creation Myths" can be found at:


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