Parshat Noach Highlights


First Portion

  • They must have been pretty bad, for G-d to say “THATS IT, I’VE HAD IT!! I’M DESTROYING THE WORLD!”
  • G-d gave Noach 120 years to build the ark to give people a chance to repent and join Him.
  • Why is the flood called MAY NOACH – the waters of Noach, the flood of Noach? In other words, why is his name attached to it? It was Noach that G-d empowered the gift and ability to sway others into repentance. Unfortunately, he didn’t step up to the plate. So he takes the responsibility for other’s misdeeds. It’s important to realize that we to have a responsibility for our brethren and not take the deaf-ear New York approach and mind my own business. Some of us have tremendous capabilities and could influence others.
  • G-d asked Noach to build the ark himself. Why weren’t others involved? Why didn’t he contract the work to the Mexicans?….cheaper labor. The Torah teaches a very important concept; when someone creates something himself, the creation is an embodiment of himself; his essence, his merits are found in the creation. He was the Tzadik in his generation and G-d found favor in Noach. That favor carries a lot of weight. Maybe now one can understand the controversy, in Israel, many years ago, with playing the music of the composer Wagner, a member of the Nazi German regime. Music is very penetrating and when listening to it, one absorbs the essence, character of the composer. One must be careful listening to some Rock n Roll songs composed by drugged out, suicidal, angry, depressed individuals. Maybe now, one can have a better understanding of copy-caters who mimic what the songs suggests. Another important note, we also find on Pesach; many eat MATZOH-SHMURAH baked by a Jew. There is no soul in machine matzohs. It is all circuits and wires. Matzoh has to be made by a Jew, and every Jew has the status of pure kedusha (holiness), no matter what level he is at. Matzoh is such an important commandment; it should be baked by a Jewish soul. Deep down, every Jew has a pure soul.
  • Stealing was common; swapping wives was the norm; they would have two wives, one for pleasure… what else is new? We see that in our society today. What do you think a mistress does, bake cakes? In addition to what we have mentioned, it would be quite common where they would perform marriages between humans and animals; cross breeding was the norm. That society would crave for any pleasure. There would be no rules, unlimited access.

Second Portion

  • Noach was 600 years old when entering the ark. He was joined by Na’ama, his wife, and his three sons and their wives.
  • Controversy whether Na’ama was the same person, who was the granddaughter of Kayin. Apparently, there are those that say all of mankind stems from the third son of Adam, Shet.
  • Na’ama was an innovator, creating voice singing.
  • Cham, one of the sons of Noach, breached the law of abstaining from cohabiting in the ark. The Torah hints, relationships were forbidden, by listing men and women separately. Cham’s wife gave birth to the giant Sichon while in the ark. In truth, Sichon had been fathered by Shamchazael (one of the angels who, before the mabul, descended to earth, to live there as human beings.) Cham came to his wife to save her face. For this deed, which was perpetrated in the dark, Cham was repaid measure for measure; he emerged from the ark dark skinned and all his descendants are also black forever.
  • Apparently, Noach only entered the ark when the waters were rising. Commentaries say this was the result lack of belief in G-d.

Third Portion

  • Why did the animals die? They didn’t have freedom of choice to do wrong.
  • Only the fish survived because they had not sinned like the other creatures.
  • G-d closed the fountain of the earth and sent a wind to disperse the water. Only three hot fountains continued flowing in memory of the flood. One of them is the well-known hot springs of Tiberias in Israel.
  • The raven and the dog were the others who cohabited in the ark.

Fourth Portion

  • The righteous Noach didn’t emerge from the ark until G-d gave him permission to do so.
  • A fundamental change which occurred after the flood was between man and beast. Before the flood, man was promised control over the animals. However, after the flood there was no longer that promise. Instead, the decree was, as long as man is true to his G-dly image, he will not be afraid of them. G-d also put fear of man in animals. Furthermore, as a reward for taking care of the animals, man was given permission to eat them.

Fifth Portion

  • A rainbow is a covenant that G-d will not destroy the world again. The rainbow didn’t appear in two generations. One of which was the time of Chizkiyahu where the Jewish nation was known to be righteous. So they didn’t need that protection.

Sixth portion

Why was Cham blamed for castrating Noach? It was his son, Cana’an, who actually performed the despicable act. Cham merely told his brothers about his father’s nakedness. Why was he at fault? Apparently it was the way he told his brothers. He told them in a derogatory fashion with the eyes rolling, a giggle, and a sly “hey, look at our drunken father”, while Cana’an heard their conversation from afar. The reaction by Cham triggered Cana’an to look down and lose total respect for his grandfather which permitted him to perform the audacity. Cham paved the way by ridiculing his father and figuratively put the knife in his hand.

Seventh Portion

Why did G-d disperse the unity of the tower of Bavel? Doesn’t he like unity more than anything? We know they plotted against G-d; however, UNITY IS SPECIAL!! Apparently, it wasn’t a sincere unity. They were united for the sake of the goal, for the sake of the organization. You had to be a company man. One has to sacrifice for the company. If a brick falls, they all mourn. However, if a fellow worker, company man slips, falls and gets killed, apparently, they didn’t care as long as he was replaced efficiently.

Credit to: Rabbi Avi Matmon