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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 6, v. 13: "Va'yomer Elokim el Noach keitz kol bosor" - And Elokim said to Noach the end of all flesh - Hashem said that this would be the end of ALL flesh, and yet He spared Noach and his family. Again in verse 17 we find the word "kol" twice. In 7:1 we find the Holy Name of mercy, Hashem, when He said that Noach and his family would be saved. Similarly we find this same Name in 6:7, where the verse says "Va'yomer Hashem emcheh es ho'odom," but no mention of "kol." It seems that all can be explained by noting that Hashem/Elokim said that all that is "upon the earth" will perish or be destroyed. Whoever and whatever is in the ark is not on the face of the earth. Although our verse does not say "al ho'oretz," the Ramban translates "es ho'oretz" as "min ho'oretz." (Nirreh li)

Ch. 6, v. 17: "Hamabul mayim" - The deluge of water - The M.R. explains "chomos" as immoral behaviour in the monetary realm that was not outright theft. A person would have a large amount of bricks piled up at his building site. One person after another would take only one brick, an item whose value is almost negligible, and could surely not be retrieved in court. This continued until there was not a brick left, a monumental loss for the builder, but an insignificant theft by each brick snatcher. Similarly, Hashem punished them by destroying the world with a downpour of rain. Each droplet on its own does absolutely no damage, but the accumulative affect was massively destructive. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 6, v. 18: "U'vosso el ha'teivoh" - And you shall come into the ark - In the holy writings of the Ar"i z"l, Breishis shaar psukim drush 4, he states that a spark of the soul of Noach entered Moshe. Moshe compensated for the shortcomings of Noach. (A most salient comment on these words was offered in Sedrah Selections parshas Ki Siso 5759.) Note that both Noach and Moshe were saved by being in a container that floated upon the water. Noach was saved through the "teivoh," while Moshe was saved by Bisyoh. The letters of "teivoh" and of "Bisyoh" are the same. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 7, v. 10,11,12: These 3 verses seem out of place. Their message would seem to more logically in order when placed after verse 16. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Ch. 7, v. 11: "Chomos" - Theft - This shortcoming sealed the decree of destroying the world (gemara Sanhedrin 108a). The numerical value of "chomos" is that of "mei Noach." (Baal Haturim)

Ch. 7, v. 17: "Va'y'hi hamabul arbo'im yom" - And the flood was 40 days -The gemara Sanhedrin 108a says that their decree was sealed because of theft, "gezel." This word has the numerical value of 40, the same as the number of days that rain poured down from above. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 7, v. 17: "Va'y'hi hamabul arbo'im yom al ho'oretz" - And the flood was forty days upon the earth - The gemara Z'vochim 116a brings the opinion that the mabul did not rain upon Eretz Yisroel. This is the intention of the verse in Yechezkeil 22:24, "Lo gushmoh b'yom zo'am." The Ramban explains that this only means that rain did not pummel Eretz Yisroel, but since there is no wall around E.Y. when the water rose, it flowed into E.Y. Since water did not forcefully rain down from above the trees remained intact. We might add that for the same reason once the water reached Eretz Yisroel it had already cooled down somewhat.

Chein Tov writes that the flood waters purified the world. Since no water rained down upon E.Y. its air was not purified, and this is why the Canaanites were the most depraved people upon the face of the earth. This is the intention of the verse, "Vo'efkode avonoh o'lehoh" (Vayikra 18:25) - I will retain her sin upon her. This refers to the sins of the generation of the flood. Its sins were not totally cleansed in E.Y. This also explains why E.Y. has the most limited tolerance for sins in the realm of immorality.

Ch. 7, v. 21: "Va'yigva ..v'chole ho'odom" - Why did minors die? The gemara Sanhedrin 108a says that their decree to be destroyed was sealed because of theft. In truth, this generation had served false gods as well. However, the merit of unity is so powerful that it staves off immediate retribution, as per the verse in Hoshei'a 4:17, "Chavur atzavim Efroyim hanach lo" (see M.R. 38:6). Once they also stole one from another their unity unraveled. Then the sin of worshipping false gods came back in full force. (Yalkut Dovid) When the majority of a community, and in this case, all of society, has sinned with avodoh zoroh, even children are punished, as is the ruling by an "ir hanidachas" (Rambam hilchos avodoh zoroh chapter 9). This also explains why their property was destroyed and not left intact for Noach and his family to enjoy. The property of the inhabitants of an "ir hanidachas" is also destroyed. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 7, v. 23: "Va'yimach .. mei'odom" - And He erased .. from man - M.R. 28:3 says that mankind was so totally erased that even the indestructible "luz" bone did not remain. This is because this bone is the basis for the reconstruction of the body for the world-to-come, and the people who perished in the flood would not be resurrected, hence no need for the preservation of this bone.

Ch. 8, v. 7: "Va'yishalach es ho'oreiv" - And he sent out the raven - In 8:16 we have the command from Hashem to leave the ark, "Tzei atoh." Commentators say that it was only after this command that Noach left the ark. If so, why did he send out the raven and afterwards the dove to scout if the surface of the earth was dry? In any case he had to wait for the word of Hashem. Once Hashem said to leave the ark he would leave no matter what the dryness level. Some commentators bring a proof that Noach would not leave the ark without permission from a Rashi on the words in Daniel 3:26, "Beidayin nofkin." Daniel was in the lions' den and was told to exit by the king. Rashi says that he surely would not have left without the king's permission. Likewise here, Noach would not leave without Hashem's permission. This comparison to the situation with Noach seems inconclusive because by Daniel the king had him thrown in to become the lions' main course. There was no implicit permission to leave. When he miraculously survived he therefore waited to be granted permission to leave. Not so by Noach. Hashem said he would destroy the world with a flood and Noach would survive. Once this had passed why not just leave? This would answer the original question.

Hashem's granting permission in verse 16 was to allow for resumption of marital relations, as mentioned in Rashi (M.R. 34:8). (Nirreh li)

Ch. 8, v. 20: "Va'yaal olos" - And he offered oloh sacrifices - Why specifically "olos?" Yad Yoseif answers that an "oloh" offering brings atonement for sinful thoughts. Noach was "mikta'nei emonoh" (Rashi 7:7). He had limited faith in Hashem.

A simple answer might be that as a non-Yisroel he could only offer an "oloh."

Ch. 8, v. 22: "Ode kol y'mei ho'oretz" - There remained all the days of the earth - There is a disagreement in the gemara Yerushalmi P'sochim 1:1 if the constellations functioned during the great deluge. In Breishis 1:14 the verse says that the heavenly bodies serve to give light and divide between day and night, and also serve as signs and for festivals, days, and years. It is obvious that they illuminated during the flood, as Noach had a window (even if "tzohar" is a brilliant stone, see verse 6, which states that there was a window). Regarding the changing of times they might not have functioned, as time was suspended, as we see that even creatures that cannot live for a year survived, as they did not procreate in the ark. The disagreement in the gemara might be which was the primary function. If it was to illuminate, it is easier to say that the constellations, indicators of time passing, did not function. If their primary function was to serve as time indicators, one would be very reluctant to say that their primary function was suspended. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 9, v. 23: "Va'yikach Shem voYefes es hasimloh" - Shem and Yefes took the garment - The gemara Sanhedrin 70a says that in the merit of Shem's taking the garment his descendants received the mitzvoh of "talis shel tzitzis." The question is asked: The gemara Chulin 89a seems to say otherwise. The merit for tzitzis is Avrohom's saying "Im michut v'ad sroch naal" (Breishis 14:23). In a previous edition of Sedrah Selections we differentiated between the merit for a four cornered garment needing tzitzis, hence Rashi's expressing the reward as "TALIS shel tzitzis," and the merit for tzitzis themselves. Yalkut Dovid says that a merit was required to have the white strings and a separate merit for the "tchei'les" string.

N.B. - A correction on parshas Breishis - Ch. 1, v. 1: "Breishis" - In the beginning of - Every word that has six letters, and none of which is a repetition, has 720 permutations, that is, 720 possible combinations. Thus the first word of the Torah, Breishis, has this amount of combinations. Thus the entirety of the Torah's 613 mitzvos and the additional 7 Rabbinic mitzvos are alluded to in this word. These words should be deleted. Sorry.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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