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Leon R. Kass, in The Beginning of Wisdom, page 27, agrees that because the Hebrew lacks the definite article, the popular translation, “In the beginning” is incorrect. He cites Robert Alter (Genesis Translation and Commentary), who treats the first (and second) verse not as a declarative sentence but as a subordinate clause: “When God began to create heaven ...


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Interesting thing word is only used 3 times in the Bible two times in the 1 Samuel 22:6 and 31:13 where it means some type of tree (tamarisk) but Rashi doesn't want to accept this version and trying to find other solution! Also good thing to note many different sages have different opinion what does this word mean! * From Rashi: אשל [AND ABRAHAM ...



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