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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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IN HONOUR OF THE BIRTH OF OUR GRANDDAUGHTER 27 TISHREI
SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS NOACH 5774 BS"D

Ch. 6, v. 9: "Eileh toldos Noach" - These are the generations/happenings of Noach - Just as the verse says, "Eileh toldos hashomayim v'ho'oretz b'h iborom" (Breishis 2:4), indicating that this was a beginning, here too, we have "Eileh toldos Noach," because he lived through the great deluge and generated a new post-deluvian world. (Rabbi Shimshon ben R'foel Hirsch)

Ch. 6, v. 9: "Eileh toldos Noach Noach" - These are the generations/happenings of Noach Noach - The doubling of the word Noach might simply be needed so we don't incorrectly understand this verse. "Ish tzadik tomim hoyoh b'dorosov" might have meant that during the earlier generations of his life (He was 600 years at the onset of the mabul.) there also lived a completely righteous man, namely Mesushelach. By predicating this phrase with "Noach" it becomes clear that the "tzadik tomim" was no other than Noach himself. (n.l.)

Ch. 6, v. 9: "Noach ish tzadik tomim hoyoh b'dorosov es hoElokim his'ha'leich Noach" - Noach was a totally righteous man in his generations with G-d Noach brought himself to walk - Noach was totally righteous but did not go about chastising those who behaved incorrectly. He only walked with Hashem and not the general populace. This is why he was considered a totally righteous person. Had he gone from place to place chastising people, they would have thought up many flaws that he possessed. It was only because he was only with Hashem that he was considered totally righteous. (Yalkut haGeirshuni)

Ch. 6, v. 12: "Va'yar Elokim es ho'oretz v'hinei nish'chosoh" - And G-d saw the earth and behold it was corrupt - Only Hashem was able to realize that the earth was corrupt. Even those few who themselves didn't descend to the depths of depravity, nevertheless became acclimated to it by being in such a depraved environment. they did not take note of the spiraling moral descent. It was only Hashem Who was able to sense this. (Rabbi Shmuel Alter) History seems to be repeating itself R"l, as we become acclimated to total moral corruption, much of it sanctioned by government law, to the point that those who speak up against it are considered backwards, insensitive, bigots, etc.

Ch. 6, v. 14: "A'sei l'cho teivas atzei gofer" - Make for yourself an ark of acacia wood - Noach lived a spiritually insulated life. People were not influenced to change their bad ways as a result of living with this most righteous man. In turn he made an ark L'CHO, only for himself, for his immediate family, and creatures. (Holy Alshich)

Ch. 6, v. 18: "Uvosso el ha'teivoh" - And you shall come into the ark - There is a later command to enter the ark, "Bo atoh v'chol beis'cho." That is a command, while our verse is not a command. Rather than translate "uvosso" as "and you shall come," it is an assurance that he, all his retinue, all the creatures, and all the supplies will fit into the ark. (Maa'sei Hashem)

Ch. 6, v. 19: "Umikol hochai tovi el ha'teivoh" - And from all living creatures shall you bring into the ark - Hashem had many ways in which to save a sampling of all His creatures, which could then carry on in repopulating themselves. Hashem's giving Noach the extremely tedious task of tending to their needs for a year in the ark shows that Hashem wants us to be cognizant of the importance of not letting any species become extinct. (n.l.)

Ch. 6, v. 21: "V'atoh kach l'cho" - And now take for yourself - "L'cho" taught Noach that he had no permission to take whatever he would find at hand, even if it belonged to another. He might have thought that everything was free for the taking given that the world was about to be washed away. Nevertheless, Hashem told him to only take that which was his. (Kli Yokor)

Alternatively, take supplies only for yourself, and miraculously it will be, "V'hoyoh l'cho v'lohem l'ochloh," it will suffice for all those in the ark. (Kli Yokor)

This insight is puzzling, as the gemara says that Noach fed each creature food that was appropriate for it.

Ch. 7, v. 1: "Va'yomer Hashem l'Noach bo atoh v'chol beis'cho el ha'teivoh " - And Hashem said to Noach come you and all your household into the ark - The name Hashem is invoked here because only through clemency did Noach find refuge in the ark. (B'eir Mayim Chaim)

This can be understood in two ways, each according to one of two opinions that explain that Noach found "favour" in Hashem's eyes at the end of parshas Breishis. There is a disagreement between Tarum Yerushalmi and Sforno. One says that Noach needed favour and it was not through his own merit that he survived the mabul. The other opinion is that the "favour" was for his family to be saved as it did not have sufficient merits. Noach himself had sufficient merits to be saved. Accordingly, the Name of mercy is invoked here either for Noach himself to enter the ark or because the verse goes on to say that all of his household should also enter, and they needed mercy (See Divrei Sho'ul). (n.l.)

Ch. 7, v. 16: "Va'yisgor Hashem baado" - And Hashem closed it for him - Noach wasn't able to close the door of the ark himself because the creatures came on their own. He was not aware of how many different species there were so he didn't know when to close the ark. (Shaar Bas Rabim)

B'derech musor: Hashem closed the ark because had Noach closed it he would have likely taken one last longing look at a world that was no longer to be. This would have connected him to the past and he already had to have a mind set of a future new world. This is akin to "Al ta'beit acha'recho." (n.l.)

Ch. 8, v. 6: "Va'yiftach Noach es hachalone asher ossoh" - And Noach opened the window he made - Rashi cited an opinion that "tzohar" was an illuminating stone. Not a window. According to this opinion there seemed to be no window. We must say, based on these words of our verse that Noach made a window without a command to do so. This explains the seemingly superfluous words "asher ossoh," as he made everything. "Asher ossoh" means that he made the window of his own volition. (Imrei Shefer)

Ch. 9, v. 13: "Es kashti nosati be'onon" - My rainbow I have set in the cloud - Clouds darken, a sign of negativity. The rainbow has a beautiful, prismatic array of colours. This is a message that every cloud has a silver lining. (Hadrash V'ho'iyun)

Ch. 11, v. 6: "Hein am echod v'zeh hachilom laasose" - Behold one nation and this has brought them to start doing - The characteristic of unity is a most positive trait. However, when it is a catalyst for bad behaviour it becomes bad. "V'zeh hachilom laasose," and this has brought them to start doing. This means that if there was no total unity they would have been afraid to go into this enterprise of going into the heavens and fighting with Hashem. It was only because they knew that Hashem held the trait of unity so dear that they thought that they would not be punished. Since this trait was the motivator of their sin it could not stand in their good stead. This is akin to the mishnoh R.H., which says, "Ho'omeir echeta v'oshuv ein maspikin b'yodo laasose teshuvoh," - one who says I will sin and repent, we do not provide him with the opportunity to repent. This is because the concept of repentance is what motivated him to sin in the first place.

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See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a


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