subscribe.gif (2332 bytes)

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

This Torah thought is being dedicated to my beloved father, Nachman Shimon ben Yehuda Meir Hakohan, Z"L.


"And from the animals which are not clean [non-kosher]............(7:8)

G-d is bringing the flood to destroy the evilness that existed in the world, Noah is thereby commanded to gather the animals that are going to be saved from the destruction. There were 2 types of animals, Kosher and non- Kosher. The Talmud (Pesachim 3a ) asks why the Torah uses the longer expression of " not clean" (3 words and 13 letters inHebrew) in contrast to using a single expression of "unclean" (1 word and 5 letters)? The Talmud answers that the Torah uses 8 extra letters to teach us the lesson that we should always try to express ourselves in decent language, even if it means using extra words. (PLease refer there for further details). Yet another question can be asked as follows: Why is the Torah specifically teaching this particular lesson here by Noah and the flood? There must, therefore, exist a connection between "decent language" and the flood ! I would like to propose the following original answer, Bezrat Hashem, as follows: G-d wished to destroy the world due to the great evilness that existed, namely violence, immorality and thievery. But this downfall of mankind had to start somewhere. By connecting speech with the flood, the Torah is teaching us that perhapes evil speech is the initial catalyst that thrust mankind into such a decrepit state.G-d is , thereby, informing Noah and us that our speech patterns are of vital importance when it comes to preserving a healthy spiritual state. If a person curses, uses profanity and speaks evil gossip about his neighbor than that person is on the road to spiritual destruction. Many people want to know where to begin making changes, especially after Yom kippur. Perhapes the best place to begin is with our speech. A person might ask, why is my speech patterns so important,and whose to say that this will perhapes lead me down the wrong path? However, let us consider well the words of our great Sages, as follows:In Sukkah 52a it states in the name of Rava, "In the beginning the evil inclination is called a traveler, then a guest, and finally , the host......." Sin can start with evil speech , and continue along the path towards total immorality. Have a Good Shabbos


This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael
Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or
on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.
For information on subscriptions, archives, and
other Shema Yisrael
send mail to

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel

Feedback is Appreciated at