CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS NOACH 5773 - BS"D
1) Ch. 6, v. 9: "B'dorosov" - In his generations - Rashi says that some deduce from this word that had Noach lived in the generation of Avrohom he would had been considered negligible, a pejorative explanation. Why would one interpret negatively if it is just as easy to interpret positively, as is the opinion of our Rabbis, which is mentioned earlier in this Rashi?
2) Ch. 7, v. 2: "Mikole habheimoh hat'horoh" - From each ritually pure animal - The gemara Z'vochim 116a asks, "Were there then kosher and non-kosher species at the time of the great deluge?" The gemara answers that this refers to those that would be kosher and non-kosher in the future. The gemara then asks, "How indeed did Noach know to differentiate?" The gemara answers that Noach brought the animals in front of the ark and those that were able to enter were the future kosher species from which he took seven. Our Rashi says that Noach knew because he learned the teachings of the Torah. If so, why does the gemara say that Noach passed them in front of the ark to know?"
3) Ch. 7, v. 2: "Hat'horoh tikach l'cho
asher lo t'horoh hee shnayim" - The ritually pure you shall TAKE for yourself
that is not ritually pure two - Why by the kosher species does the verse say TAKE and by the non-kosher is there no mention of taking?
4) Ch. 7, v. 14: "Ho'ofe
tzipor" - Bird
.. bird - What is the difference between these two words?
5) Ch. 8, v. 2: "Va'yiko'lei ha'geshem" - And the rain ended - We find the word "va'yiko'lei" in one other place in the Torah, "va'yiko'lei ho'om mei'hovi" (Shmos 36:6), - and the nation ended bringing. What is the connection?
The Yalkut Shimoni remez #42 says that although his name was Noach, Hashem brought about that people called him Menachem. Since Noach was so righteous, some people wanted to destroy him through the evil powers of magic. By not knowing his true name they were thwarted from doing this. The gemara Sanhedrin 67b says that a sorceress attempted to take sand from below the feet of Rabbi Chanina bar Poppo and use it to cause him damage. People who saw this stopped her. Rabbi Chanina bar Poppo said that they should not bother since he would be impervious to her attempts at harming him. The gemara explains that Rabbi Chanina bar Poppo was safe since he had very great merits and was a true tzadik. Since the Torah testifies that Noach was a tzadik, why was it necessary to have him called Menachem? Was he not also impervious to magic? This is why Rashi explains that some say that in the generation of Avrohom he would have been considered as naught. Having great merits, "noffish zechu'sei," requires that he be considered a complete tzadik in all generations. (Eishel Avrohom of Frankfurt)
Rabbi Yoseif Kohein asks this question. Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel answers in the name of Rabbi Aharon, the son of Rabbi Yoseif Kohein, that Rashi's remark is on our verse, which discusses the kosher animals. The gemara must add its answer to explain verse 3, which exhorts Noach to do the same with birds. Even if Noach learned the laws of kosher and non-kosher birds, nevertheless, it is required to have a tradition, a "mesoroh," to know which is a kosher species.
Since the seven kosher were to later be used as sacrifices, the verse tells us that Noach would have to put in the effort of getting them, as when it comes to a mitzvoh, one should put in his own effort. (The Rebbe Reb Bunim says a similar thought regarding Rivkoh's drawing water from the well for her family and for Eliezer and his entourage.) Those that were to be saved to continue procreating their species came on their own. (Rabbeinu Bachyei)
Alternatively, those who were to be slaughtered were not given the instinct to come on their own, to walk to their death. (Ramban)
"Ofe" refers to a bird that flies close to the ground, while "tzipor" is one that flies to great heights. (Rokei'ach)
"Ofe" is a small bird, while "tzipor" is a large bird. (Rada"k)
"Ofe" refers to birds only, while "tzipor" includes any species that has wings. (Ibn Ezra)
We sometimes see the precursor for an upcoming rain, dark clouds and strong winds. Often this is accompanied by rains in short order. However, sometimes things clear up and we experience a "false alarm." Why does Hashem bring a "false alarm," which causes anguish, either because people are hopeful for a much needed rain, or they sometimes needlessly put in much effort to cover items, bring them indoors, etc.? If we carefully pay attention to the wording "va'yiko'lei ho'om MEI'hovi" we see that the literal translation is "and the nation ended FROM bringing." This means that people pledge a donation for charity and they "end FROM bringing," they stop even before they give, i.e. they don't honour their pledge. By pledging they indicate that a donation will be given, but they are not true to their word. In kind Hashem sends a sign of precipitation in the near offing, but doesn't send it. (Divrei Yoseif)
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