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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha


And Noach , a man of the earth, began, and he planted a vineyard." (9:20)

After the flood, Noach plants a vineyard,and thus becomes unconsciously drunk which then led to lewdness.Rashi comments that,"Noach made himself profane, he should have busied himself with another kind of planting first." A question can be asked, why are the Rabbis so critical of Noach planting a vineyard? Haven't we learned in Mishlei 31:6-"and wine for the embittered soul"?Noach witnessed the destruction of the world, its understandable that perhpes he needed some consulation! I would like to propose the following original answer, Bezrat Hashem.

There are 2 basics ways a person can face a tragic event, (1)by escaping reality through various distractions,or (2) by contemplating the root causes of the tragedy ,and thereby trying to prevent it from occuring again. We know that the people of Noach's generation were guilty of "chumas" -violence and various other sins.These acts brought destruction to the world.

However, Noach chose to escape in a bottle of wine after emerging from the ark and being saved.. He was essentially inactive. He should have been proactive in instilling in himself and his children of the dangers of sinfull behavior. Rashi comments that he should have busied himself in a different type of "planting", yet Rashi does not comment as to what that planting should have been. Its left open, perhapes wheat would be more suitable . However, homolitically one can perhapes say that this vague "planting"could mean the "planting" of proper respect for one another as a preventative means from destruction.Perhapes, I can illustrate this point with an original parable,as follows: There was once a traveller that traveled to many distant places. As he was travelling, he took meticulous notes about his travels. For example, which roads are safer and easier to travel on, or which hotels are the best to stay at.

This notebook was very important to him, it could potentially save him alot of hardship and time in the future if he were to vist the local again. However, we can all imagine what hardships he would encounter if no notes were taken at all. He would literally be lost. Noach knew well the dangers of sin, yet he chose to be drunk at a pivotal moment of world history. What a missed opportunity. Have a good shabbos.


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