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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Torah Parshah Noach

Torah Parshah: Noach
Book: Bereishit
Book Number: I

Life Before The Flood
After Adam’s sin, mankind no longer lived in Gan Eden. However before the flood, the life-style was that of living in Gan Eden. Life was good for people living before the flood. Life was good for the people, but the people weren’t good for life. All of mankind served idols, served the sun and moon as gods, and make idols out of woods and stones. Our sages teach us that before the flood, man would live for hundreds of years, live to see his children grew up and his grandchildren. Women would conceive and give birth on the same day. Children would be born able to speak, stand, and walk. The generation before the flood, we are taught that there were giants on the earth. Although the people before the flood had great lives, they sinned. They would serve idols, denyG-D as one true G-D. They would rob each other and kill each other and they try to become immoral.

Noach, The Righteous One
Noach and his family were the only righteous people on earth. Noach had a wife called Na’ama and they had three sons, Yefes, Cham, and Shaim. All of them followed G-D and didn’t serve idols. Shaim is listed first in the Torah because he was the greatest of all of them and Avraham, the first Jew descended from him.

G-D Reveals The Future Event Of The Flood To Noach
G-D spoke to Noach and told him that He is going to destroy the entire earth, all the men, women, children, and animals that live on it. Noach was also told by G-D to take one male and one female of each non-kosher animal and seven pairs of each kosher animals. Noach questioned G-D on how he can catch all those animals. When Noach said this, he lost the chance to fulfill the mitzvah and G-D told him that He will gather the animals for him, Noach will just have to build the ark.

Noach Builds The Ark
Noach spent 120 years building the ark. G-D told Noach in secret where to get all the wood and how to build everything. The question might be brought up as to why G-D had Noach build an ark to survive the flood, surely G-D could have commanded Noach to build a house and live in it and G-D will make sure that the flood water won’t touch the house during the flood, but our sages teach us that there are a few reasons for why Noach was commanded to build an ark: 1.The preparations for building the ark attracted worldwide attention. People came from far and near to see why an old man was building an ark in the middle in land. The people asked Noach why he was building an ark and made fun of him when he gave them the answer.
2.By building the ask himself, Noach fulfilled the mitzvah and he became spiritually elevated.

The Giant Og
Another special passenger was allowed in the ark, he was the giant Og. Og was allowed to survive the flood because in the future G-D saw that Og would be of service to Avraham. Noach drilled a hole in the wall and gave food to Og everyday during the flood.

Rain Begins To Fall
On the 17th of Cheshvan in the Hebrew year 1656, the rain began to fall. G-D told Noach and his family to enter the ark. At the beginning the rain drops came slowly but as the days went by, the drops came more and more and faster and faster. It came down slowly at first in order to show the evil people that it is not to late to change their evil wars and they will be spared. We are taught that when the rain started Noach didn’t want to enter the ark, he hoped that G-D will show mercy on the world. But when Noach saw the angel of death coming towards he and his family quickly entered the ark. The evil people said that when Noach enters the ark they will chop down the ark, but lions protected the ark and prevented the evil people from going near the ark.

Life In The Ark
During the flood, the heavenly planets didn’t operate in order and so Noach couldn’t tell if it was day or if it was night. A year had past with Noach and his family in the ark. It was a hard year for Noach’s family because each day they had to feed and maintain the animals. Each animal ate at a different time, so it took a whole day just to feed the animals! Throughout the year of Noach’s stay in the ark he prayed. All men, women, children, and animals who weren’t in the ark all drowned in the flood. Only the fish survived.

Noach Sends Out The Raven And Dove
After many days of being in the ark, Noach sent out a raven to see if the earth was dry. The raven stayed near the ark and Noach knew that the earth was not yet dry. He waited a week and sent out a dove, the dove couldn’t find a dry spot and therefore returned to the ark after a short time. Noach waited another seven days and sent out the dove again, this time the dove came back with an olive leaf. Noach waited another week and sent the dove out again, this time the dove didn’t return and Noach knew that the earth must be drying up. On the 20th day of Chesvan, the earth finally dried up.

After The Flood
Even after the earth dried up Noach still didn’t leave the ark. He said that just has G-D told him to enter the ark, he will wait until G-D tells him to leave the ark. Then finally Noach heard G-D say that he and his family shall leave the ark. When Noach saw the earth he didn’t recognize it. When Noach came out of the ark he offered sacrifices to G-D at the future site of the Bais Hamikdash in Yerushalayim.

The Rainbow
G-D told Noach that he will never again destroy the earth with a flood. As a promise G-D showed Noach a rainbow.

Noach’s Intoxication
Noach planted vineyards. When it started growing he rejoiced and drank some of the wine. The plant bore fruit on the same day that Noach planted it. Noach had three cups of wine from the plant, Noach became drunk from this. Noach’s grandson, Canaan, entered the tent where Noach was staying and he saw Noach drunk and naked. Canaan went to tell his father, Cham, and Cham entered the tent and mistreated Noach for the way he was acting. When Noach awoke and found out that his son mistreated him while he was drunk, he cursed Cham.

The Towel Of Bavel
Cham had a son who was Kush. Kush had a son who became the King Nimrod. King Nimrod decided that all of the people should live in a city and in the middle of the city they should build a huge tower so incase G-D decides to destroy the earth with a flood they will be saved. That wasn’t enough, the people even decided to put an idol with a sword in it’s hand on top of the tower to make it look like the idol was fighting G-D.G-D sent down 70 angels to stop the people from building the towel. Each angel went after a different group of people and all of the people were separated into 70 different nations with a different language (they all spoke Hebrew up until the Tower of Bavel) and were scattered throughout the world.

Ten Generations From Noach To Avraham
There were ten generations between Noach and Avraham, they were:
1.Shaim
2.Arphachsad
3.Shelach
4.Aiver
5.Peleg
6.R’u
7.S’rug
8.Nachor
9.Terach
10.Avraham

G-D was looking for a righteous, G-D fearing man who would be the father of a righteous nation, He found Avraham to be that righteous, G-D fearing man.

Avram Protests Idols
When Avram was growing up, he saw that idols can not be true gods. He thought that maybe the sun and moon were gods, but he noticed that the sun only rules the day and the moon only rules the night. Avram then thought that there must be one G-D who is a creator and ruler of everything. Avram decided to stop idol worship and accept one true G-D. Although his father actually makes and sells idols, Avram tries to get his family and his families customers to accept one true G-D and give up idols. Avram’s father doesn’t accept G-D at first but when Avram and his family decide to move to the land of Canaan so it will be safe, Avram’s father eventually decides to give up idol worship, worship G-D and repent.

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