פ’ נח תשע”ח
Volume 21, 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.
ונח מצא חן בעיני ה’
“Noach found favor in the eyes of Hashem…” (6:8)
The name of the Ribbono Shel Olam used here is the name that represents midas harachamim – attribute of mercy. It was only through midas harachamim that Noach found favor in the Ribbono Shel Olam’s eyes, not midas hadin – attribute of justice. (Alshich)
אלה תולדת נח נח איש צדיק
“These are the offspring of Noach, Noach was a righteous man…” (6:9)
Noach is referred to as a compete tzaddik. The name “Noach” means that he is “noach l’Makom v’noach l’briyos,” pleasing to Hashem and pleasing to people. How does one reach the level of being noach l’Makom v’noach l’briyos? When one follows the will of Hashem with noach, peace and tranquility. (Od Yosef Chai)
שנים שנים באו אל נח
“Two, two, they came to Noach…” (7:9)
QUESTION: There is a wondrous Midrash on this verse stating “אילין יומין דמשלימין בהון הלל” – “These are the days in the year when we say a full Hallel.” What is the meaning of this seemingly strange MIdrash?
ANSWER: At certain times in the year we say a full Hallel, and at other times parts of Hallel are omitted. The occasions for full Hallel, as noted in many siddurim, may be remembered through the word “בבטח”. This stands for the first two days of Pesach (ב), the two days of Shavuot (ב), the nine days of Sukkot including Simchat Torah (ט), and the eight days of Chanukah (ח).
Our verse is also hinting to the above: “Shenayim” – two – days of Pesach, “Shenayim” – two – days of Shavuot. “Ba’u” (באו) has the numerical value of nine, which refers to the nine days of Sukkot. “El Noach” (אל נח) has the numerical value of 89, which is exactly the same numerical value as the word “Chanukah” (חנוכה). On these days we say the complete Hallel. (R’ Shimon M’Ostropali)
וידבר אלקים אל נח לאמר צא מן התבה
“G-d spoke to Noach, saying “Leave the ark!” (8:15-16)
As we have seen, “entering the ark” is a metaphor for the need to immerse ourselves in Torah study and prayer. However, the true purpose of entering the ark is to leave it. G-d command us – as He commanded Noach – not to remain in the protective spiritual environment of Torah study and prayer, but to emerge from it, enter the world, and transform the world into G-d’s home. (Likutei Sichot)
שפך דם האדם באדם דמו ישפך
“One who sheds the blood of man in the man, his blood shall be shed.” (9:6)
QUESTION: “In the man” seems repetitious and unnecessary?
ANSWER: The Gemara (Bava Metziah 58b) states that if one publicly embarrasses another, it is as if he spills his blood, because the one who is embarrassed blushes, and blood rushes to his face (as if trying to leave his body). Then his face pales as the blood rushes to other parts of the body, and it takes on the ashen, pallid appearance of a corpse. The difference between actual murder and embarrassment is that in murder, the blood actually leaves the body, whereas in embarrassment, the blood changes location within the body. In this pasuk, the Torah teaches us two things: 1) If one “sheds the blood of man” – by actually killing him – or 2) even if one sheds the blood “in the man” – by embarrassing him and causing him to blush and pale, “his blood shall be shed,” for he has committed a mortal sin. (Alshich)
את קשתי נתתי בענן והיתה לאות ברית ביני ובין הארץ
“My rainbow I place in the clouds and it will be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.” (9:13)
The rainbow symbolizes peace and unity. A rainbow is made up of various colors and shades of colors and although they are very different from each other, they come together to make one entire whole. Similarly, people are very different from each other. They come from different national backgrounds, and they have different personalities. But if they will look at themselves as one unit there can be peace and harmony despite the differences between them. This is basic for the existence of the world and for the welfare of individuals. For this reason the rainbow is the symbol of the covenant between the Almighty and the earth.
Whenever you see a rainbow, or a picture of a rainbow, let it be a reminder to work towards harmony with other people even if there are major differences between you. While differences in interests and personality might make it difficult for you to become close friends with a specific person, you can still have a harmonious and peaceful relationship with him. (Otzer Chayim)
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