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Weekly Parsha Summary

Hashem creates the world in six days. On the first day He makes darkness and light. On the second day He forms the heavens, dividing the “upper waters” from the “lower waters.” On the third day He sets the boundaries of land and sea, and calls forth trees and greenery from the earth. On the fourth day He fixes the position of the sun, moon and stars as timekeepers and illuminators of the earth. Fish, birds and reptiles are created on the fifth day; land animals, and then the human being, on the sixth. Hashem ceases work on the seventh day, and sanctifies it as a day of rest.

Hashem forms the human body from the dust of the earth, and blows into his nostrils a “living soul.” Originally Man is a single person, but deciding that “it is not good that man be alone,” Hashem takes a "side" from the man, forms it into a woman, and marries them to each other.

Adam and Chava are placed in the Garden of Eden, and commanded not to eat from the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.” The serpent persuades Chava to violate the command, and she shares the forbidden fruit with her husband. Because of their sin, it is decreed that man will experience death, returning to the soil from which he was formed, and that all gain will come only through struggle and hardship. Man is banished from the Garden.

Chava gives birth to two sons, Kayin and Hevel. Kayin quarrels with Hevel and murders him, and becomes a rootless wanderer. A third son, Shays, is born to Adam; Shay’s eighth-generation descendant, Noach, is the only righteous man in a corrupt world.

Rabbi's Shabbos Message

"And dust you shall eat all the days of your life" (3:14)

The snake received the punishment of slithering on the ground and eating 'dust'. Now, for most people who enjoy the culinary arts, this is certainly a curse. Especially if you do not enjoy eating rats and guinea pigs. Yet, the curse is deeper than it initially seems.

It's interesting to note that the food options that the snake has, while may be not appetizing, is still plentiful. As long as they can open their unhinged jaw to eat it, it's considered food. It seems that he doesn't have to worry so much about starving to death, since he has a rather large menu. This is certainly true compared to man, who now has to toil the ground and hope to G-d, he will be able to feed himself and his family. The snake seems to be getting off pretty easy.

When the snake was cursed, it was told by Hashem to 'beat it'. Hashem says, "You know what? Get out of here. Take your food and never come back". And this is what happened. The snake has food wherever it goes. It has no need to turn to Hashem and ask for it! Yet, man on the other hand is different. In order for his harvest to be successful, he NEEDS to come to Hashem and ask for help. For without Hashem's help, he will certainly die.

Now we are seeing the differences in the curse. The snake was thrown out of the house. Hashem gave him what he needed to survive and wishes to have nothing to do with him. Man on the other hand, was given a punishment that brought him close to Hashem. In order to survive, man was going to have to be in constant communication with Hashem. And unlike the snake, Hashem will listen to us.

This is a lesson to be learned. While sometimes hardships hit us, we think that Hashem has completely abandoned us. Yet, this is the farthest thing from the truth. Sure, perhaps we are punished or tested here or there, but we ALWAYS have one thing that the snake no longer has: an open ear and heart to listen to us. Have a great Shabbos!