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Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “Fundamental questions.”

One of Rashi’s most well-known exegetical questions can be found in his first comment on the Torah, where he famously asks, “Why does the Torah begin with the account of the Creation?”

However, according to Nahmanides, the very question is unwarranted.

While it is true, as Rashi points out, that Genesis lacks the sheer quantity of mitzvot that can be found in the other books of the Torah, Genesis stands out as a source of all the basic principles of our faith.

Genesis is preoccupied with fundamental questions, its narratives brimming with exemplary figures whose actions shape our lives today.

Clearly, it would have been impossible to begin the Torah without them.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

From Talks on the Parasha