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And Kayin told this to his brother Hevel, and it came to pass while they were in the field and Kayin rose up against Hevel his brother and slew him. (4:8)

What can we learn from that first tragic murder in the human family? It seems implied from the narrative that Kayin was in no way provoked by his brother Hevel, since no mention is made regarding the rejection of his offering. The Torah mentions only that Hashem was pleased with Hevel’s offering as opposed to Kayin’s. It seems that Kayin’s act of violence was not induced by a momentary impulse of blind jealousy. For were this true, Kayin would have killed him on the spot. The Torah only relates that a conversation took place between the brothers, which was folllowed…

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And Adam named all the domestic animals and the birds of the heavens, and all the wild animals. (2:20)

The Midrash states that Adam, after having named the various creatures, was asked by Hashem, “What shall your name be?” He answered, “I shall be called Adam . And what is My Name? asked Hashem. To this Adam responded, “Hashem.” This interchange between Hashem and Adam obviously demands explanation. We may suggest the following: Man is able to achieve the greatest levels of intelligence and culture. He can attain such heights of profundity that he is able to select the correct name which truly describes the essential characteristic of every living creature. However, he still may not understand his own…

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But from the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat of it. (2:17)

It is interesting to note that the first “you shall not” given to man concerned forbidden food. This is a very significant introduction to the Torah for Klal Yisroel, whose daily domestic activities includes keeping the laws of Kashrus. From childhood till the end of life, the Jew is confronted with prohibitions regarding the various species which are rendered unfit due to organic blemishes, improper slaughter, admixtures of milk and meat, “chometz” on Pesach, and other restrictions. The need to eat and drink is basic, immediately after the need to breathe. Therefore, this history of the first sin of mankind…

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And Hashem spoke to them: Be fruitful and multiply. (1:28)

Hashem blessed both Adam and Chava, and to both of them He gave the command to fulfill the mission of mankind on earth. However, the increase of the human race presupposes something more than just begetting children. If the development of all species depends on the care which they give their young, how much more so is that true of humans. From the purely physical point of view, a child would have no chance of survival were it not for parental care. But the real increase of the human race lies not in the actual birth, but rather in the…

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