(1:1) In the beginning God created heaven and earth.
[Bereishit] in the beginning Why does the account of Creation begin with the letter bet of bereishit? Shouldn't it start with an alef, the first letter of the alef bet? Because the bet is the initial letter of the word berachah, “blessing, ” whereas the alef is the first letter of arirah, “curse.” God said: I will not create the world with an alef, so that people should not say: How can you expect the world to endure if it was created with a letter that brings to mind arirah, “curse.” Instead, I will create the world with the letter bet that suggests berachah, “blessing, ” and I wish that it will endure (Jerusalem Talmud, Chagigah 2:5).
In the beginning God created It happened that King Ptolemy of Egypt gathered seventy-two sages and placed them in seventy-two chambers without telling them why he had brought them together. He went to each one, telling him: Translate for me the Torah of your master Moses into Greek. God then prompted each of them so that they all reached the same idea about how to translate a number of passages in the Torah whose literal translation King Ptolemy might misconstrue. And so they all rendered for him in Greek, “God created in the