Gen. 6:9 – 11:32
Noah and the Ark
The Torah says: “Noah was a righteous man, faultless in his generation.” The Rabbis talk about this a lot. Noah was judged to be worth saving when the rest of the world, including most of the animals, were going to be punished by being drowned in the flood. HaShem decided to destroy the earth and to save only Noah and his family and the animals that Noah would bring with him. HaShem told Noah how to build a ship, called an Ark, so that it would hold Noah’s family and the animals that would be saved. The Ark was 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. (A cubit is about 18 inches long.)
HaShem told Noah to bring two of each kind of living thing onto the Ark, to live. Noah was also required to bring food for the Animals, so that they could eat. Later, HaShem says to take seven pairs of the clean (kosher) animals and only two of the unclean animals.
HaShem made the flood in the 600th Year of Noah’s life on the 17th day of the second month, which would be the 17th of Iyar or the 17th day of Heshvan. Most scholars think it was the 17th of Heshvan. It not only rained from the sky, the flood waters also surged up from the ground.
Noah and his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Yephet, Noah’s wife and the three wives of Noah’s sons boarded the Ark along with all the animals. There was a flood for 40 days. The ark floated on the floodwaters. All the animals that were left behind on the earth were drowned, including humans. The waters surged for 150 days. At that time HaShem began to make the waters of the flood go down for the sake of Noah and his family and the animals that were with him.
After the Flood
In the seventh month on the 17th day the Ark came to rest on the Ararat mountains. The waters of the flood still covered most of the earth.
Forty days after the Ark came to rest, Noah opened the window in the Ark an sent out the raven, and it left. Next, he sent out the dove to see if the waters had receded. The dove could not find a place to rest its feet and came back. Seven days later, Noah sent out the dove again. The dove returned with a freshly plucked olive leaf in its beak. Seven days later he sent out the dove again, and the dove didn’t come back.
In the 601st year of Noah’s life, in the first month, on the first of the month, the land was drained and Noah removed the Ark’s hatch. He was that the land was beginning to dry, and by the second month on the 27th day the land was dry. After the earth was dry, Noah and his family left the ark. They let all of the animals out.
HaShem told Noah, “I will not curse the earth again; while the earth remains there will be a rainbow to show you my vow to you after the rains.” Many years passed and Noah’s family grew and formed nations.
The Tower of Babel
All this time the people of the world spoke one language and everyone could understand everyone else. Some of the people decided to settle in a land they called Shinar. They were proud of themselves and what they knew. They decided to build a tower that would reach up to heaven.
Everyone helped on the tower. HaShem saw what they were doing and was upset. They were doing things to make them feel important and not giving any credit to HaShem for their knowledge or abilities. HaShem decided to scatter the people and make it so they could not finish the tower. Suddenly, everyone was speaking a different language and no one could understand anyone else. Everyone left the town and the Tower of Babel.
In the Torah Portion this week, HaShem floods the world saving only those who are worthy to populate it.
In the Haftarah, Joshua compares the flood to the exile of the people of Israel from the land of Israel. He says that the people will return to the land with renewed strength, better than they were before. The reason for the exile was to destroy those not worthy of the land so the worthy could return.
- Second of 54 Sedras in the Torah
- Written on 230 lines in the Sefer Torah
- 153 P’sukim (verses)
- 1,861 words
- 6,907 letters
Next week’s Parashat: Lekh Lekha