פ’ נח תשע”ט
Volume 26, Issue 2
INSIGHTS from the SEDRA
Insights from the Sedra is a project of the Scholar’s Kollel of Great Neck. It aims to provide several questions and answers about the Sedra, culled from various commentaries, including the following: Baal Haturim, Darash Moshe, Vedebarta Bam by Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky, Torah Treasures by Dov Furer, Wellsprings of Torah by Alexander Friedman, and Kol Dodi by Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, Great Torah Lights by Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Goodman, Something To Say by Dov Wasserman, The Vilna Gaon, and Growth Through Torah by Zelig Pliskin.
אלה תולדת נח נח איש צדיק תמים היה בדרתיו את האלקים התהלך נח
“These are the offspring of Noach; Noach was a righteous man, perfect in his generation; Noach walked with G-d…” (6:9)
Why did the Torah write the name “Noach” three times in this verse, when once would seem to have been sufficient? Perhaps we can suggest the following: Every individual has three different facets: the one that he chooses to show the world, the one he chooses to show Hashem, and – the true self as it exists on its deepest level.
The Torah here testifies that Noach was consistent, serving Hashem with all three facets, and truly was righteous and “straight” with Hashem. (Rabbi Nison Alpert)
The Zohar HaKadosh explains the reason why the nations of the world are referred to as Bnei Noach, and not Bnei Adam: Adam caused there to be death in this world, while Noach brought life to this world. How did Noach bring life into this world? Noach was moser nefesh to sustain all the living creatures that were on the teivah for a year. He prepared food for all of the animals, the food that they needed at the times that they needed it. He had to contend with garbage and refuse, and sustained all of the vermin and bugs. This act of mesiras nefesh by Noach was the highest form of chessed – chessed without boundaries. “Olam chessed yibaneh” – the world is sustained through chessed – Noach sustained the world through his chessed.
Klal Yisrael is called Bnei Avraham. Avraham superseded Noach in his chessed. When Avraham engaged in chessed with a passerby who found his way to Avraham’s tent, he would explain to them that the food he served them is all from Hashem, and would teach them how to thank Hashem properly. Through his providing travelers with all of their material needs – gratis – he brought them closer to Hashem, thus sustaining the world through his chessed on both physical and spiritual levels. This was even greater than Noach’s boundless chessed, which was only of the physical sort. (R’ Munk)
ויאמר אלקים קץ כל בשר בא לפני כי מלאה הארץ חמס מפניהם
“G-d said to Noah: ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me for the earth is filled with robbery through them.” (6:13)
QUESTION: “Divine sentence was finally passed upon them only as a result of their robbery” (Rashi). Our Sages tell us that Hashem’s reward or punishment is in accordance with the nature of the person’s original act. What connection is there between humanity’s crime of robbery and the flood with which they were punished?
ANSWER: The initial 40 days of intense punishment were a result of their committing robbery – the numerical value of the three letters of “gezel” (גזל), the Hebrew word for “robbery,” totals 40!
The flood began with 40 days of continuous rain, followed by 150 days of unabated flood before the water began to descend in level – a total of 190 days. The numerical value of the two letters of the Hebrew word “keitz” (קץ) meaning “end” is 190. The “end of all flesh” was decided by Hashem to come in the form of 190 days of intense punishment. (Ba’al HaTurim)
ואלה תולדת בני נח
“And these are the generations of Noach’s sons…” (10:1)
The Torah names seventy male descendants of Noach and from these derived the seventy languages. They are mentioned so that we will know from whom Avraham descends from – Shem.
Ramban writes that the Torah shows us that Avraham was a witness to the fact that G-d created the world. Avraham was fifty-eight years old when Noach died, and had spoken with him personally. Noach had told him of his father Lemech, who had seen and spoken with Adam, who had been created by G-d alone. Avraham told this to Yitzchak and Yaakov had seen Shem who had been in the ark and who attested to the Flood. Yaakov in turn passed this on to his children. The text lists the names of Shem and his children to show this to us. (Tzenah U’Rena)
This week’s Divrei Torah sheet is sponsored by Josh & Nadine Shatzkes in honor of Steve Zuckerman publishing his sefer on the Parsha. For future sponsorship opportunities or to receive this publication, please call Steve Zuckerman at 516 652 5266 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Rabbi Lichter at email@example.com. Sponsorships in memory of or in honor of someone are $50.00 per issue.