‘CAIN LEADETH Abel to death,’ James Tissot, 1896-1902: ‘Why is it forbidden to murder?’.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The first two parashot in the Torah, Bereishit and Noah, act as a sort of preface to the Torah’s central story. The main part of the Torah is the story of a family, and of a nation, of fathers and mothers, of tribes that were in exile and emerged from it, received the laws of God and marched toward the Promised Land.The first two parashot do not deal with the people of Israel but with the basis of human existence. They are universal parashot that express a position on the most basic of foundations: the concept of creation; the world as good or bad; work and rest; relationships; man versus sin; sin and punishment; et al.
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