Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Parshat Noach


"Tzadik in His Times"

  G‑d instructs Noah the only righteous man in a world consumed by violence and corruption to build an ark, coated within and without with pitch. A great deluge, says G‑d, will wipe out all life from the face of the earth; but the ark will float upon the water, sheltering Noah and his family, and two members (male and female) of each animal species.
       Rain falls for 40 and nights, and the waters churn for 150 days more before calming and beginning to recede. The ark settles on Mount Ararat, and from its window Noah dispatches a raven, and then a series of doves, “to see if the waters were abated from the face of the earth.” When the ground dries completely—exactly one solar year (365 days) after the onset of the Flood—G‑d commands Noah to exit the teivah and repopulate the earth.
         Noah builds an altar and offers sacrifices to G‑d. G‑d swears never again to destroy all of mankind because of their deeds, and sets the rainbow as a testimony of His new covenant with man. G‑d also commands Noah regarding the sacredness of life: murder is deemed a capital offense, and while man is permitted to eat the meat of animals, he is forbidden to eat flesh or blood taken from a living animal.
         Noah plants a vineyard and becomes drunk on its produce. Two of Noah’s sons, Shem and Yafet, are blessed for covering up their father’s nakedness, while his third son, Cham, is punished for taking advantage of his debasement.
The descendants of Noah remain a single people, with a single language and culture, for ten generations. Then they defy their Creator by building a great tower to symbolize their own invincibility; G‑d confuses their language so that “one does not comprehend the tongue of the other,” causing them to abandon their project and disperse across the face of the earth, splitting into seventy nations.
            The Parshah of Noach concludes with a chronology of the ten generations from Noah to Abraham, and the latter’s journey from his birthplace of Ur Casdim to Charan, on the way to the land of Cnan.

In its mouth:
Rashi comments that the dove said It is better to eat bitter food from G-d than a sweet food from the hand of the human being for a person always should rely on the mercy of G-d and not a mortal human being.
As it says in Psalms 146:2:
Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man in whom there is no salvation.
Another explanation: In its mouth is a reference to prayer, because only through praying genuinely to G-d can we hope to be saved.
צהר תעשה לתבה
Make an opening for daylight in the ark(6:16)
Rashi notes that some believe that צהר means a window and some believe צהר is a precious, luminescent stone.
Another explanation is that the צהר or window is only symbolic and is meant to teach us a lesson in perspective, to teach us to try and view the events and situations in our lives from both sides of the window.

Something to think about?!?!?!?!?!
Even if the entire world considers you a Tzadik you should nevertheless think of yourself as if you were sinful (Niddah 30b).

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