> Weekly Torah Portion > Parents & Kids > Family Parsha

In the Beginning

Bereishit (Genesis 1:1-6:8 )

by Nesanel Yoel Safran


Once upon a time there was nothing, absolutely nothing, except God, that is.

Then God decided to create the universe. He made huge galaxies, stars and planets whirling in space. Among the planets, God created the Earth. He filled it with stormy seas and giant forests bursting with every type of flower and tree. He filled it with animals and birds and fish of all shapes and sizes.

Then, finally, God made a man, the very first person to ever walk the Earth. God named him Adam. But Adam was alone. He needed a wife to help him start the human race. So God created Eve.

They led a wonderful life together in the beautiful Garden of Eden. They could do anything they wanted, except one thing. God told them that they could not eat the fruit of one special tree in the garden.

But then the sneaky serpent came along and convinced Eve to disobey God and to eat that special fruit. As soon as she did it, she got scared and gave it to Adam, who also ate some.

God, of course, was watching. When God asked Adam why he ate the fruit, Adam said, "Don't blame me. My wife told me to eat it." God asked Eve why she did that. She said, "Don't blame me. The serpent told me to eat it!"

God said, "I trusted you in My special garden but now you have to leave. Someday your children can all come back, but it's going to be a long, long time."

We're still waiting to go back to the Garden of Eden till this very day.

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Sam was taking his friends for a ride in his parent's car.

"Hey Sam! This car is going so slow - it's a turtle!" His friends laughed out loud.

"Give me a break guys," Sam answered with a nervous smile. "I just got my license, and besides, I'm going the speed limit."

"Speed limits are for old ladies," scoffed Sam's friend, Kurt.

"Nobody's looking, hit the gas, Sam!" added Johnny.

Sam sped up a little. "After all," he thought, "these guys seem to know what they're talking about."

All of a sudden a police car pulled up behind Sam's car, flashing its lights and signaling to pull over to the side of the road.

"Oh no!" was all that Sam could say.

The boys who had been so rowdy were suddenly as quiet as mice.

Officer Wilson came over to the car, checked Sam's license and gave him a stern look. "Well, young man, you are the driver -- what do you have to say?"

"My friends told me to speed up," whispered Sam, holding back tears. "They said it was okay."

The policeman looked at Sam's friends. "What they did was wrong," he said. "They shouldn't have told you to speed," he said. "But still, it's no excuse. You didn't have to listen to them. You knew the speed limit and you chose to break it. So now you'll have to pay."

Officer Wilson handed Sam a ticket and slowly drove off.

"Thanks a lot guys!" said Sam as he looked at his friends. "Next time I'll do what I know is right."

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Ages 3-5

Q. Why did Sam go faster?
A. His friends told him to.

Q. In the end, was Sam happy that he listened to his friends and went faster?
A. No.

Q. Should we listen to people when they tell us to do something wrong?
A. No. It's more important to do what's right than to listen to your friends.

Age 6-9

Q. Why did the policeman give Sam a ticket even though it wasn't his idea to speed?
A. He was the driver and he was responsible for his actions.

Q. Do you think Sam is going to listen next time his friends tell him to do something wrong?
A. Hopefully he won't since he learned it was not worth the price. We are responsible for our own choices. We always need to do what we think is right, even if people are going to laugh at us.

Ages 10-13

Q. Sam knew it was wrong to speed, so why did he listen to his friends?

Q. Sometimes a person's friends try to pressure him or her to do something wrong. He/she has to choose to either do it or not. a) If he does it, how does he feel at the time? How does he feel afterwards? b) If he doesn't do it, how might he feel at the time? How does he feel afterwards?

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