In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Prov.3;6 ב”ה
“Let’s make the next few minutes last forever….”
Noach- Our Turn to Build His Name 5778
Those who reject the idea of the God of the Bible, Hashem, Master of Legions, Creator and Author of all this is and will be…have not known Him or desired to know Him. When reading Parasha Noach there is a challenge to battle the inevitable questions which arise…”how can a ‘good God’ cause destruction?”, “what about the people who didn’t have a chance to know about God?”, “how could this account even be possible?” “if this is what love looks like, then count me out…”, instead of battling- breathe. The Ruach, Spirit will teach our hearts what to know ידע Yada (intimately-covenant knowledge) and how to answer. This lesson has taken the shape of a lot of reading in context. I pray that you will breathe…be patient…look carefully…and read with Spirit and Da’at (processing understanding) these seemingly familiar passages with the Deluge, the Flood, the Mikveh of all Creation, Noach, our Times, The Last Days and Recreation in your mind, heart and soul.
B’reshit 6;8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.
#6662 (adj) tsaddik צַדִּיק– just, righteous, honest, virtuous, pious, upright.
#8549 (adj) Tamam תָּמִים – whole, complete, perfect, sound, entire; upright in conduct; integrity.
Hebrews 11; 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who approaches Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. 7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in godly fear built an ark to save his family. By faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
(The following passage expresses concepts which may answer the fact that no created being can look at the magnificence and intricacy of creation and determine it is by chance.Nay it is unquestionably all a part of the Great Work of the Artist, There is no excuse and Creation itself declares Hashem is One. Additionally we are given a glimpse into God’s heart at the time He exacted the literally “grievous to the Heart” consequences for the inhabitants of an entirely debased, degraded and defiled Earth. The trickle down effect of sin had corrupted even the eretz itself. While mankind was created to be in the tselem Elohim- the image of Hashem, instead…boundary after boundary was being breached and destroyed…this began when the sanctity of the Holy of Holies of the Garden in Eden was violated. Herein we may find some of the characteristics to fervently avoid and admonish those whom we love to steer away from in life: )
- Romans 1; 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “ But the righteous man shall live by faith.” 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
“Love Letter” – concepts inspired by a lecture by Tim Hegg, I have ‘expanded’ and explained.
Reading the bible is not like reading the newspaper. IF you are just reading the words, then it is. If you are reading out of context you may miss the entire point. Context means more than merely the verses preceding and following a certain passage you would like to use to confirm an already preconceived notion in order to verify your “theology”. For those who have not read the bible in its entirety, or for those who already doubt the existence of the creator…it is like ‘reading only piece of a love letter’. Unbelievers may wield difficult passages in order to substantiate their own justification for unbelief, or on the other hand…believers may cherry pick a verse without historical, grammatical, sociological context in order to verify their dismissal of what is contextually deemed an eternal (everlasting, unchanging) nature (by the Author Himself). In both cases one may miss the “best part”, the “main and most important message the Author wishes to impart to the reader. Reading a passage such as : Jeremiah 15;6 “You who have forsaken Me,” declares the LORD, “You keep going backward So I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am tired of relenting!…alone is like taking an excerpt from the middle of a love letter: “I really began to feel that we were not meant to be together. I said, “It is all over, we’re through.” If one stopped there they may have missed the vital promise: “But I had it all wrong, I have never been more sure about anything in my entire life. You are made for me and we belong together, without a doubt.” Therefore, take courage and strength, fall in love with this “Author of Creation” and read with heart…into His heart:
Yeshuayahu 54; 7“For a brief moment I forsook you, But with great compassion I will gather you. 8 “In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, but with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,” Says the LORD your Redeemer. 9 “For this is like the days of Noah to Me, When I swore that the waters of Noah would not flood the earth again; So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you Nor will I rebuke you. 10 “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says the LORD who has compassion on you.11“O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and your foundations I will lay in sapphires. 12 “Moreover, I will make your battlements of rubies, and your gates of crystal, and your entire wall of precious stones. 13 “All your sons will be taught of the LORD; and the well-being of your sons will be great.
Torah is G‑d’s love letter. It is the greatest gift ever because it embodies G‑d’s presence. When you learn the Torah you can actually feel G‑d’s closeness to you. The Talmud teaches that when G‑d gave the Torah to the Jewish people He said, “I am giving you My soul in writing.” If you received a letter from the one you love, you don’t rip open the envelope and start to speed-read through the letter. You open the letter carefully, you start to read your beloved’s words and you actually begin to hear his or her voice. And then you feel their presence. You’ll read the letter over and over again, because you know there’s much more to this letter. The first time you read it you get the simple meaning. But then you read it even more carefully. You notice the deeper significance to even the way the letters of the words were penned, the structure of the letter. – sections by David Aaron of chabad.org
How does someone rebuild after disaster? Think of the Holocaust survivors.
How does one overcome the option to “escape” rather than rebuild?
Think of Noach- post flood: B’reshit 9;18 Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated. 20 Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. 21 He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. Look at what the Hebrew says: (Began Noach, man of the earth, to plant a vineyard.) Vayachel Noach ish Ha’adamah vayita karem.
#2490 (v) chalal חָלַל- to loose, to lay open, give access to, profane, cast down, destroy, to be begun.
#5193 (v) nata נָטַע – to set, to plant a people,to fix, to fasten in, to pitch a tent, to be planted.
- B’reshit 2:8 The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.
B’reshit 6; 14“Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. 15“This is how you shall make it…17“Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. 18“But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19“And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20“Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. 21“As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.” 22Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.
- “God specifically wanted Noah to undertake a strange and unusual project, to arouse people’s curiosity. God accentuated the oddity of it all by having Noah construct this huge boat ― not at the sea shore ― but on a mountain-top! This way people would ask Noah ― “What the heck are you doing?!” ― and Noah could engage them in discussion about the global crisis, and how catastrophe could be avoided if people would change their ways. Well, 120 years is a long time, and you would think that Noah would have convinced a lot of people to get back on track. But alas, instead of reaching out to influence others, Noah saw the Ark as his own ticket to survival ― a chance to build a big wall and insulate himself from the evils of society.” Shraga Simmons
(Fascinating reference in the following passage to the “fig” tree which takes us back to Gan Edan- the Garden in Eden, the shoddy coverings that Adam and Chavah used to hide their ‘nakedness’- sudden resemblance of the Nachash (arum-crafty/naked…) Yeshua stresses the concept of being prepared. There was a physical aspect to Noach’s building the Teivah (Ark) of course, but had he not been spiritually attuned- listening for God’s instructions, willing to obey His commandments, steady and trusting in Hashem despite the immense storm brewing around him…no one would have been saved-
NOACH’S OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S COMMANDMENTS SAVED THE WORLD.
The following passage teaches us that no matter the time period spent, the lengths of outreach, the expenditures of ‘evangelism’… those who invested in the flesh, not heeding the warnings around them were “oblivious” until the waters washed them away. So we should be readying ourselves spiritually every single day, investing now in the Kingdom to come. Indeed, even the verse: B’reshit 7;6 Those that entered, maleand female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the LORD closed it behind him. 17 Then the flood came... shows us that once Noach did everything within his power to do, obediently following God’s instructions, still God had to take the final step to save his people. He closed the door. He was the one who ensured man’s salvation. )
Matthew 24; 32 Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branches become tender and sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that He is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 36 No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,but only the Father. 37As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. 39 And they were oblivious (knew not), until the flood came and swept them all away. So will be the coming of the Son of Man.
(The following passage certainly seems to hearken to the “days of Noach” when corruption ruled, violence permeated, and each man took what he desired. And selfish desires constantly ruled men’s inclinations. Again the author takes us back to Creation, back to the Torah, to explain the end from the beginning. The concept’s we have, and will, study of Creation and Recreation were clearly not alien to Kefa (Peter). Our contemplation upon the length of the period for constructing the Teivah (ark) and verse 9 seem to verify one another. Once more we are reminded that though by a flood of water God promised not to destroy all flesh again, we are taught that the “old” world will require a mikveh again, this time of fire and only those inside the “Ark” of Hashem at that time will be able to withstand the heat. Again, we are taught some attributes which to emulate as we anticipate this ‘new’ age of purification and restoration.)
2 Peter 3; 1 Beloved, this is now my second letter to you. Both of them are reminders to stir you to wholesome thinking 2 by recalling what was foretold by the holy prophets and commanded by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. 3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4“Where is the promise of His coming?” they will ask. “Ever since our fathers fell asleep, everything continues as it has from the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately overlook the fact that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world of that time perished in the flood. 7And by that same word, the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.8 Beloved, do not let this one thing escape your notice: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be dissolved in the fire, and the earth and its works will not be found. 11 Since everything will be dissolved in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to conduct yourselves in holiness and godliness 12 as you anticipate and hasten the coming of the day of God, when the heavens will be dissolved by fire and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with God’s promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
( We can see that the past…is proof of the hope we can hold fast to. There is terror and destruction but there is salvation and renewal awaiting those who trust and believe. Again we are taught attributes of those who have destined THEMSELVES to judgment. Verse 9 hearkens back to the state of mankind prior to the Flood. Verse 12 links to the concepts of the trickle down corruption: crossing of boundaries in sexuality…even a reference to a cursed child brings us back to Noach baring himself, drunk, post Flood. Let us be aware of anything in our lives (ANYTHING) we are overcome by, that we bow down to, that we serve in lieu of complete devotion to Hashem. There is a stark warning to those who backslide into ways that they KNOW are incongruent to a life lived for Yeshua, and an even more terrifying promise for those who prey upon these people when they are at their moments of weakness.)
2 Peter 2; 4 For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell, delivering them in chains to be held in gloomy darkness until their judgment; 5 if He did not spare the ancient world when He brought the flood on its ungodly people, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, among the eight; 6 if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction, reducing them to ashes as an example of what is coming on the ungodly; 7 and if He rescued Lot, a righteous man distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9 if all this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 10 Such punishment is specially reserved for those who indulge the corrupt desires of the flesh and despise authority. Bold and self-willed, these men are unafraid to slander angelic majesties. 11Yet not even angels, though greater in strength and power, dare to bring such slanderous charges against them before the Lord.12 These men are like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be captured and destroyed. They blaspheme in matters they do not understand, and like such creatures, they too will be destroyed. 13 The harm they will suffer is the wages of their wickedness. They consider it a pleasure to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deception as they feast with you. 14 Their eyes are full of adultery; their desire for sin is never satisfied; they seduce the unstable. They are accursed children with hearts trained in greed.15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bosor, who loved the wages of wickedness. 16 But he was rebuked for his transgression by a donkey, otherwise without speech, that spoke with a man’s voice and restrained the prophet’s madness. 17 These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 With lofty but empty words, they appeal to the sensual passions of the flesh and entice the ones who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves to corruption. For a man is a slave to whatever has overcome him. 20 If indeed they have escaped the corruption of the world through their knowledge of the Lord and Savior Yeshua Messiah, only to be entangled and overcome by it again, their final condition is worse than it was at first. 21It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than to have known it and turned away from the holy commandment passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”
(Baruch Hashem for you bearing with these contextual readings and challenging thoughts. Verse 15 summarizes why we have taken the time to do this. For your strength, for resolve, for fuel upon the fire of your altars, for readiness to respond to those who have either illusion (of no God in the world, atheists) or confusion (those held captive to false doctrines) If one is clinging to the Tree of Life and unashamed to proclaim that Yeshua is King there is a promise for us….suffering. That is right, this life, in this world, in this flesh…will be filled with tribulation and suffering. Darkness, floods, when you are so overcome by a raging storms that you feel you can not swim any longer. This is the mikveh of the tribulation of this life. BUT, we will indeed, find rest, enter rest, and offer rest to those we share our journey and delight in Hashem with…not leaving out the difficulties in order to seemingly “sweeten the deal”, but using every single experience as a testimony to His faithfulness and patience.)
1 Peter 3; 13 Who will harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their intimidation; do not be shaken.” 15 But in your hearts sanctify Messiah as Lord. Always be prepared to articulate a defense to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But respond with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who slander you will be put to shame by your good behavior in Messiah. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Messiah also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body, but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which He also went and preached to the spirits in prison 20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, while the ark was being built. In the ark a few people, only eight souls, were saved through water. 21 And this water symbolizes the baptism that now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you through the resurrection of Yeshua Messiah, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to Him.
Man is both flesh and spirit.
B’reshit 6;3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”
#7307 (fem n) ruwach רוּחַ – spirit, breath, air in motion, wind, a storm,
- Yeshayahu 27;1 In that day the LORD will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, With His fierce and great and mighty sword, Even Leviathan the twisted serpent; And He will kill the dragon who lives in the sea. 2In that day, “A vineyard of wine, sing of it! 3“I, the LORD, am its keeper; I water it every moment. So that no one will damage it, I guard it night and day. 4“I have no wrath. Should someone give Me briars and thorns in battle, I would step on them, I would burn them completely. 5“Or let him rely on My protection, Let him make peace with Me, Let him make peace with Me.” 6 In the days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and sprout, And they will fill the whole world with fruit. 7 Like the striking of Him who has struck them, has He struck them? Or like the slaughter of His slain, have they been slain? 8You contended with them by banishing them, by driving them away. With His fierce wind He has expelled on the day of the east wind. 9Therefore through this Jacob’s iniquity will be forgiven; And this will be the full price of the pardoning of his sin: When he makes all the altar stones like pulverized chalk stones; Asherim and incense altars will not stand.
# 1320 (masc. n) basar בָּשָׂר – the skin, whole body, living creatures, flesh.
#1319 (v) basar בָּשַׂר – glad tidings, bear glad tidings, announce, beauty, announcing victory.
- Tehillim 40:8 I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Torah is within my heart.” 9 I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation; Behold, I will not restrain my lips, O LORD, You know.10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.11 You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.12 For evils beyond number have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see; They are more numerous than the hairs of my head, And my heart has failed me.13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; Make haste, O LORD, to help me.
B’reshit 6;3 . 3Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh…
Lo yadon ruwchi ba’Adam l’owlam…
לא־ידון רוחי באדם לעלם בשגם הוא בשר
Thus said Hashem, my spirit will not judge in man forever… since he is flesh
Flesh is contrary to the spirit.
Galatians 5; 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh craves what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are opposed to one another, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. (law- of the flesh, law- of sin and death) 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; 20 idolatry and sorcery; hatred, discord, jealousy, and rage; rivalries, divisions, factions, 21and envy; drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no Law. (The Law is not against/contrary to such things.)
Please beware of definitive predictions, interpretations and teachings regarding the Nephillim, sons of “god” and the mighty men renown.
B’reshit 6;4The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward.
- I submit that this verse clearly explains that these “giants” were nothing phenomenal, they were there and their presence was not ‘notable’ in those days, nor after those days. (‘ and also afterward’ may indicate…there’s something like whatever the Nephillim were then- afterwards and still not phenomenal.) One translation for Nephillim= fallen ones. Instead of directing a specimen we can not even ‘focus’ accurately in on, let us consider it from a spiritual angle. Fallen. How? These created ‘beings’ were fallen Morally. The context supports this theme, morality’s descent. Whether they were giants, or angels, or any of the slew of other projected ideas…this is the relevant and simple explanation. The Psalmist in perek 29 of Tehillim refers to the “B’nei elim בְּנֵי אֵלִים” and is in context to Hashem being Almighty at the time of the Flood. This Psalm puts into context what these “sons of the mighty” had forgotten, perspective- God is Glorious and to Him all homage and Glory belong. Our Psalmist mentions the honor being made to God’s Name which references the Tower.
Tehillim 29; 1 Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of the mighty בְּנֵי אֵלִים, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in holy array. 3 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; The God of glory thunders, The Lord is over many waters. 4 The voice of the Lord is powerful, The voice of the Lord is majestic. 5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; Yes, the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, And Sirion like a young wild ox. 7 The voice of the Lord hews out flames of fire. 8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; The Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer to calve and strips the forests bare; and in His temple everything says, “Glory!” 10 The Lord sat as King (yashab– can mean enthroned) at the flood; Yes, the Lord sits as King forever. 11 The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.
#430 (masc n) elohim אֱלֹהִים (plural) of… (can be people of power)
#433 (masc n) elohah אֱלוֹהַּ – any god, the True God, gods or deities, angels, kings, judges.
B’reshit 6;1 Now it came about, when men began (chalal) to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
When this “interbreeding” began to assume excessive proportions, God said, “My spirit within man, the spirit I breathed into man, was intended to be the judge (dayan), the voice of God that judges man from within man himself.” Man’s soul itself is the lamp of God with which God searches the innermost secrets of men. God not only sees the actions of men but He also judges them. It was thanks to this spirit of God acting as a judge within man himself that, despite all the interbreeding, it was possible for a corrupt generation to be followed by one of lofty character. However, this “judge” within man himself is corruptible; it permits itself to be lulled to sleep. Indeed its voice can become increasingly dulled so that, in the course of several generations, the sensual element will become more and more active in man and eventually the judging spirit within man will abdicate its authority entirely. Not without good reason does the Law of God accord a position of such prominence to the law of chastity and marital relations. These verses indicate to us how great the role of these laws is in keeping the spirit of God awake within man. – Pentateuch Hirsh on Noach.
These men are called b’nei elohim because they tried to convince people they actually did have special powers and that because of these powers they were unanswerable. They did whatever they wanted they didn’t have to give explanations and they took whatever they wanted.
Sound familiar? scandals we see today.
They took these women.
Not to the theater, to the movies, to dinner…
Mankind- a generation of violence- seeing women as objects, as possessions, seeing women in terms of their beauty and taking them. This generation is destroyed by the flood.
Think about the words in the Torah, and why they may have been used. Think about context.
Animals two by two, each with its mate.
Noach, with his wife…entered the Ark.
Noach’s sons and their wives with them.
Partners enter the ark each with their own kind.
Man with woman, male with female, sheep with sheep, dove with dove.
Furthermore, Creation itself testifies to seed bearing fruit according to its kind.
And the point of creation- being fruitful. Going outside the boundaries God sets- life stops.
Contrast Adam’s attitude toward Chavah when his wife is presented to him:
B’reshit 2; 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
She is not just a sex object, she is no longer just Isha, woman. He is her husband and she is his wife.
Adam when presented with his spouse…he sees her as Chavah, who was built out of Adam.
His attitude: she is not an object, but part of me. When they unify, it is two parts of a whole coming and joining together. This is very romantic and beautiful, this is something completely lost to this latter generation. These parashiot are rife with boundary crossing. Social- theft, and violence. Phyiscal- inter-mating, mingling of species, rape and sexual depravity, violence.
This flood was so that the world could be rebuilt– not just for destruction. World is impure, it needs to be cleansed, a mikveh. Noach’s father see’s (prophesy?) something in his son. He relates his NAME to a tikun, the curse of the ground from the first man, from his son, the generation of the flood, and perhaps even the promise God would make to all mankind (all flesh- animals and the earth as well) afterward.
- B’reshit 8; 21The LORD smelled the הַנִּיחֹחַ soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.
- B’reshit 9; 11“I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; 13 I set My bow (keshet-weapons of destruction and battle) in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.
#5146 (Proper Masc. n) Noach נֹחַ – rest.
#5118 (Masc. n) Nuwach נוּחַ – rest.
- 2 Chronicles 6;41 Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness.
#5117 (v) nuwach נוּחַ – to rest, to sit down, to sit oneself down, to be at rest, to reside, to remain, to give rest, to set down, to lay down, to set, to be placed.
- B’reshit 8;4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.
B’reshit 6; 6 The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
#5162 (v) nacham נָחַם – (can mean depending on the context) to lament, to grieve, to comfort oneself, to take vengeance.
(first occurrence) B’reshit 5:28 Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and became the father of a son. 29 ויקרא את שמו נח לאמר זה ינחמנו Now he called his name Noah, saying, “This one will give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which the LORD has cursed.”
[ The Sabbath is the FIRST creation deemed as Sanctified- Holy- SET APART, this is the very first extremely important to HASHEM BOUNDARY line created and identified. This boundary and blessing was meant to give rest and a sort of “equality” like things were in the Garden…back to man AND beast alike. Additionally, the Land…would rest on the seventh day and the seventh year. All life is connected to the Creator through the Sabbath observance.
- Sh’mot 20; 9 “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11“For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
- Devarim 5;13 ‘Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest נ֫וּחַ (nuwach) as well as you.” ]
As we continue in the parish we meet the Tower builders, making names for themselves. Like the b’nei elohim they see themselves as powerful. This time they were stopped and dispersed, then (these men who claim to have power), are scattered all over the world and end up continuing the dominating, objectifying and usury of others…
the world as it is indeed can be seen as deserving of another flood,
but God made a promise.
The Tower Builders set out to build. Build the city and the tower in it, “we believe in ourselves.” In our name. There is no mention of God in the text. Post flood, tower builders (they are children of the survivors) ask the question: how can be believe in a benevolent God? We’re standing on the ashes of the dead. (See Shinar, in Ber.11)
Then there comes a man who says, “There IS a benevolent God.” Avraham’s life was to display trust when things were hopeless, to display the true tselem Elohim, specifically the attribute of Chessed (LOVING KINDNESS). He too is known as an Ish Tam- a man asked to walk “perfect” with God. It is at this point the Torah text shifts to focus in on this man, this family & this mission.
Stage 1– God’s World….Creation
Stage 2– “man’s” world…Re-creation
Stage 3– “Focus on the Family” Avraham into a Nation- God has not given up on the Universal Plan, but now He develops a New Plan actualized through this Nation….
B’ezrat Hashem, God willing, we will look at this book with the intention of wanting to build a developing understanding of what B’reshit is trying to teach us as a whole. What are the theme’s, what does God really want us to know here in terms of how we live our lives?
“Where have we heard these words before? “Methodology with chiasm’s : Inverted Literary Parallels. First Element Mirrors the Last, second to first mirroring the second to last element.
Relentlessly directing you toward the center.
The Torah creates these two parallel stories, which connects the two.
This is especially important because chiasm’s identify the thematic center for the story.
Identifying a verse which is the center to everything.
That verse may hold the key to how story A relates to story B.
Story A giving clues to story B and how the Torah wants us to relate to these two stories.
The following is an amazing outline of how these “stories” in B’reshit connect and overlap and how very much of the language, theme’s and content are related and even the same. Everything goes back to the garden, to the Tree, and we can see this clearly below:
There exists a special relationship between the weekly Torah readings and the fabric of our lives. The readings, divinely orchestrated, are inexorably bound up with our reality. The weekly Torah reading is an expression of our reality. Our reality is a manifestation of the weekly Torah reading. Weekly we should ask ourselves the questions: What is God trying to relate to me about the world (past and present), about my life (present and future), about Himself (echad- totality).
May you be abundantly blessed as you sharpen the tools you need to do the good work of building the Kingdom which starts from the inside out…the Holy of Holies, the work inside the Heart. May we be strengthened-growing in confidence that we will not fail in our mission. Give us the words to say that will verify the WORD You have already gifted us with. The treasure and masterpiece we wash ourselves with, may each one of you feel renewed like a mikveh and know that every period of storm in your life is not meant for destruction but for rebuilding something even better than at the Beginning.
Resource: See homepage on this blog and click on My Resources for a complete list. Much of this entry was learned from Rabbi David Fohrman of alephbeta.org. I highly recommend a subscription. I listened frequently this week to Rabbi Ari Kahn as well. rabbiarikahn.com