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Weekly D'rash and Parsha Noach

The Weekly D'rash and the Scriptures that we will be reading this Shabbat for Noah from Rabbi Howard Silverman.

TORAH  ~ Genesis 6:9-11:32

HAFTARAH ~ Isaiah 54:1-55:5 BRIT CHADASHA ~ Revelation 19:1-6, 21:1-5

This week the Torah portion is about the Flood and its aftermath. Toward the end of last week's portion, we read about the birth of Noah and the significance of his name. "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'" (Gen 5:29). Chapter five of Genesis records not only the names of descendants of Adam, but also their ages when they fathered children and when they died. If you add up the years of Adam's life, you see that the next person to be born in the genealogy of chapter five after the death of Adam is Noah! He is a second Adam.

The birth of Noah is hope for the future. He is the man who would build the ark, father three sons, and survive the flood. Noah's three sons would populate the earth. In Noah, we find a type of a deliverance. Noah and his family are delivered from the judgment through the ark. However, the deliverance is short lived—as the sons of Noah and their offspring continue in rebellion and alienation from God. The primary blessing that is described in these chapters of Genesis is the blessing of being fruitful and multiplying. The blessing of descendants is described in the genealogies. Even though mankind continues to sin, God never denies mankind the blessing of descendants. The descendants of Shem are the last genealogies of the three sons of Noah. Shem's genealogy is divided into two parts. In between these two parts is the story of the Tower of Babel.

In this story, God scatters mankind over the face of the earth and people begin to speak different languages. We usually think of this event as a judgment or something negative, but we could call it a "blessing in disguise". What we learn is that in the plan of God the avenue of the blessing comes when people who are different serve as the conduit of blessing to one another. This idea of mutual blessing of the "other" is introduced in the creation of mankind in two distinct types of people: male and female. God desires to bless people through the words and actions of individuals and groups.

A moment ago, I said that the story of Babel appears in between two parts of the genealogy of Shem. A careful reading of the second part of the genealogy gives us the ancestors of Abram. We will learn next week that it is Abram, one of the scattered descendants of Shem, who will be the father of a distinct people group that will be a special conduit of the blessing of God to all of the other scattered peoples. But the lesson for this week is that even though mankind rebels against God, He will bring His desire for blessing mankind to consummation.

God is the one who gave mankind a variety of languages and people groups. He desires, even today, that we bless one another by showing the love of God to each other in a variety of ways. He desires that we be a multiethnic, multilanguage world. We demonstrate His image when we relate to one another according to the morality and ethics of the Bible. That is the challenge that we face in the world in which we live. As a Messianic Jewish community, it is a blessing that at Beth Messiah we have people from a variety of ethnic and language backgrounds who love one another—even as we are one in Messiah. What a model for our world!

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Howard


6:9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with G-d.

10 Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of G-d, and the earth was filled with violence.

12 G-d looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.

13 Then G-d said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.

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: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.

16 "You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.

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."

22 Thus Noah did; according to all that G-d had commanded him, so he did.

7:1 Then the L-RD said to Noah, "Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time.

2 "You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female;

3 also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth.

4 "For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made."

5 Noah did according to all that the L-RD had commanded him.

6 Now Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of water came upon the earth.

7 Then Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him entered the ark because of the water of the flood.

8 Of clean animals and animals that are not clean and birds and everything that creeps on the ground,

9 there went into the ark to Noah by twos, male and female, as G-d had commanded Noah.

10 It came about after the seven days, that the water of the flood came upon the earth.

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.

12 The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights.

13 On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark,

14 they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds.

15 So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life.

16 Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as G-d had commanded him; and the L-RD closed it behind him.

17 Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth.

18 The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water.

19 The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered.

20 The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered.

21 All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind;

22 of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died.

23 Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.

24 The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.

8:1 But G-d remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and G-d caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided.

2 Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained;

3 and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased.

4 In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat.

5 The water decreased steadily until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible.

6 Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made;

7 and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth.

8 Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land;

9 but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark, for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself.

10 So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark.

11 The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth.

12 Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again.

13 Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up.

14 In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.

15 Then G-d spoke to Noah, saying,

16 "Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons' wives with you.

17 "Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth."

18 So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him.

19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by their families from the ark.

20 Then Noah built an altar to the L-RD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

21 The L-RD smelled the soothing aroma; and the L-RD 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.

22 "While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease."