(6:9) “Ayleh Toldos Noach-Noach- These are the offspring of Noach - Noach.”Noach lived to see 58 years of Avrahams Avinu's life. The same as the numerical value of his name. The Chasam Sofer writes that the posuk reads "Ayleh Toldos Noach-Noach Ish Tzaddik Tomim-These are the offspring of Noach, Noach (58) had a righteous offspring (Avraham) who was whole. As the Torah later attests (17:1) "Hishalach Lifonai V'hayu Tomim-Walk before me and you will be whole."
(6:9) “Noach Ish Tzaddik - B'dorosav-Noach was a righteous man in his generation.” How is it possible that Noach was righteous? He lived in the most perverted generation of all time. So much so that Hashem regretted creating man? A generation that had so deteriorated even the animals were affected. So pervasive was their corruption that even Malachim could not withstand the temptation. And yet the Torah accords him this title of righteous.
We know that after the Chet of Adom, man lost much of his stature. Whereas he had physically shown so bright before the sin, only a feint outline of his form was discernible to the eye and even angels mistook him for Hashem, he was now reduced to a frightened naked human hiding in the bush. Humanity would almost never be the same again. With every generation there continued a downwards spiral away from Hashem. Of Adom's two original sons Hevel left no offspring and Kayin was cursed for seven generations. Almost all of Adom's seed would be vanquished in the deluge. But there was one spark of that original G-dliness that survived. Hidden in the DNA for nearly a thousand years it was silently passed on until it was nearly extinguished.
Lemech took two wives:
The taking of two wives became more and more the norm. One wife was kept to retain her beauty by not bearing children, while the other worked and bore children. To prevent the trophy wife from conceiving she was given a potion. Hashem however, had other plans. The wife that Lemech set aside did in fact conceive and give birth. (4:22) “V'Tzilah Gam-he Yoldah es Tuval-Kayin...V'Achos Tuval Kayin Naamah-and Tzilah also gave birth to Tuval Kayin and his sister was Naamah. While all of Kayin's descendants were erased only one remained. Naamah. There is no further mention of Naamah in the Torah. Why is she mentioned at all? Chazal teach us that although she is not mentioned by name, she became the wife of Noach. Why is this fact significant? Naamah was the sole carrier of the original spark of G-dliness that survived. She alone descended from the only surviving human born before the original sin. Within her DNA there remained the ability to connect with Hashem and so she became the spiritual anchor, she became the woman behind the man, she became the mother of all mankind. Perhaps this is hinted at in her name. The name Naamah is equal to 165, the same as the word “L'hatzil” to save. She became the savior of mankind.
(6:9) “Noach Ish Tzaddik - B'dorosav-Noach was a righteous man in his generation.” In the first Rashi it says “Yeish Merabosainu Dorshim Leshvach Yeish Dorshin Lignai” (some rabbis are of the opinion that we Darshin for praise. There are others who infer from it to his discredit.) Why at first does Rashi say by “Dorshim Lishvach” it says “Yesh Mirabosainu” But after by “Dorshim Lignai” it just says “Yesh” ?
The ones who are “Doresh Lishvach” they are “Miraboseinu” because they judge every person Lishvach . (Likav zechus ). But whoever is Doresh Lignai. They are not from our Rabbis.
Another approach to this is the following. Why does R.Yochanan use the extra word “L'dorosom” in the negative? The way of the Torah is to be Dorosh in the positive. As we see by the animals taken into the Ark. The Torah writes of the animals that are Tahor and then uses eight extra letters to say those animals that are not Tahor. The reason is to praise Hashem. That even though Noach lived in that generation and was not so righteous, as soon as he made one step in the right direction Hashem was ready to save him.
(6:9) “Noach Ish Tzaddik - B'dorosav-Noach was a righteous man in his generation.”
The posuk mentions the name “Noach” three times. This reflects the three worlds that Noach witnessed.. The world before the flood, the world in a state of destruction and the world rebuilt after the flood.
(6:9) “Noach Ish Tzaddik - B'dorosav-Noach was a righteous man in his generation.”How was it possible for Noach to withstand the influence of his generation? It says in Pirkei Avos who is a wise person, one who learns from everyone. It would seem reasonable to learn from righteous people but what is wise about learning from the wicked? The Berditchiver Rebbe remarks that righteous people are able to perceive positive qualities in even the most negative situations. From everything they come across they learn how to serve Hashem better. This was Noach’s ability to channel negative forces to a higher purpose. This idea is even hinted at in his name. At the end of last week’s parsha it says that Hashem found Chein in Noach. The word chein are the letters of Noach backwards. Noach found Chein in the eyes of Hashem by mastering the art of reversal. He had the ability to redirect every negative power into a positive one.
(6:9) “Es Elokim Hishalech Noach-With Hashem walked Noach.” Noach was a Tzaddik but the rest of the world was not. It says that Hashem saw that the entire world had become corrupt. (6:12) “Ki-Hischish Kol-Basar es-Darkoh-For all flesh had corrupted its way.” Rashi says it means even all the animals. So how is it that the animals were corrupt? Animals don’t have bechira? They have no yetzer horah that would compel them to mate outside their species? They act out of their nature not through free will? We see from here a fascinating lesson about man. The Beis Halevy says that Man has the ability, through his free will to be able to affect nature. Man through his actions can change the spiritual standing of the entire world. When there is a Tzaddik in the world his actions raise up everyone else. As we find by Yosef, that when he was able to withstand the temptations of the wife of Potifar, that triumph enabled all of Klal Yisroel to be able to withstand the immorality of Mitzraim. On the other hand someone who gives in to temptation, he causes everyone else to be more susceptible to temptation. We can see this in terms of places too. If a person travels to a country that is prone to certain averous he can find that he is suddenly drawn to that specific averah. Not that he must submit to it. But it suddenly became an issue. This is the power of man’s Bechira. This was the case in the D’or Hamabel. Man had so corrupted his way, that it affected the animal world as well. This could possibly explain why the fish were spared. Since man’s influence was limited to the land, the fish were not affected. *
*In modern day San Francisco the tremendous amount of homosexuals has done exactly that. There have been published reports of certain species of birds that have been observed displaying homosexual traits. The animal world influenced by the human behavior.
Taking this a step further it says (6:9) “Es Elokim Hishalech Noach-With Hashem walked Noach.” The reason that Noach was able to withstand his environment was because Hashem walked with him. Hashem protected him from sinking to the level of his generation. The words “Es Elokim Hishalech Noach equals 1010 the same as the word L’Mishmeres (to watch over). (6:9) “Noach Eish Tzaddik Tomim-Noach was a perfect Tzaddik.” But if not for Hashem’s support he would not have remained a Tzaddik. Avraham on the other hand was not like that. He was able to stand opposed to the rest of the world. That’s where the name Iviri came from. He was the one who stood on the other side (Iviri) of the rest of the world. He was always going against the trends.
(6:11) "Chomos"There was great impurity generated by the Dor Hamabul. This strengthened the "Sitrah Acher"(the negative side). It is represented by the angels Samoel, and Nochosh. This had to be countered by Noach building the Ark. It's dimensions were 300 long, 50 wide and 30 tall and 1 flat top. These four dimensions negate four letters from the names of the "Sitrah Acher" 300=Shin,50=Nun,30=Lamed, 1=Aleph. We are thus left with the letters Ches, Mem, Samach which spell Chomos which was not neutralized. (Reb Leib Soroh)
(6:16) “Tzohar Taaseh L’Teivah-A light shall you make for the Ark.” It’s said in the name of R. Shlomo Freifeld zt'l. that the word for Ark in Hebrew is also the word for a word (teivah). What this posuk is telling us is that we should always put light, tzohar, into our words.
There is a disagreement among the commentators with regard to wether the “light” referred to in this verse was a stone that produced light or light from a window. The Baal Haturim says that the word Tzohar equals 295 in Gematria the same as the phrase L’ohr H’even-by the light of the stone. His father the Rosh had a different take on this word. If you spell the word fully, with the letter “Vav” it equals 301 which is the same as Ohr Chalone-Light of the window. However what was the purpose of this light? If it was merely to be able to see they could have brought along candles or oil. Rather they were spending a year in an Ark surrounded by a world in darkness. For them to have some hope they needed more than just a candle. Tzohar equals 295 the same as the words Zeh H’ohr Haganuz-this is the hidden light. This was the light of hope they would need for rebuilding the world.
Why did Noach need to build the ark? Hashem could have saved them in many other ways. It was a kapora for his lack of mussar towards his generation. It was his way of telling his d'or to do teshuva. Noach was taken to task for not having shown sufficient concern for his generation. He was content to save himself. His labors in the Ark demonstrated to him that he must feel a responsibility for all others. Hashem could have provided each animal with fresh daily sustenance. This would also explain why the flood waters spanned an entire years time. All life had perished in the first weeks of the deluge. But the reason it lasted as long as it did was to ingrain upon the occupants of the ark the lesson of caring for another.
Instead the total care for the Ark and its inhabitants became the responsibility of Noach. The conditions for future survival had to be developed in the Ark. So that when they would emerge to rebuild the world it would be with a reborn awareness of the role of man as a caring unselfish being.
Why do we say that the cause of the flood was "chomos" stealing? Was it not the corruption of the era that caused the destruction of every living thing? The answer is yes, it was because of all the corruption but Hashem punishes a person's possessions first to give them a warning to do T'shuvah. But since none of their possessions belonged to them that could not be done, instead they were themselves destroyed.
(6:20) “M’Hof L’Minayhu U’Min H’Bhayma L’Minah-From each bird of its kind, and from each animal of its kind.” The Netziv writes that not all species existed at that time but developed over the years. This means that not as many varieties of animals that lived needed to be taken into the ark.
(6:22) “Vayas Noach Kikol Asher Tzivoh Hashem Kain Oseh- And Noach did all that was commanded him by Hashem, he did.” The words “Kain Oseh” (he did) seems redundant. Throughout the Torah the phrase is usually used to praise someone for obeying Hashem's command even though he might not benefit from doing so and might even lose. How does this apply to Noach?
Rashi says that Noach spent 120 years building the ark so that when the people of his generation would ask him what he was doing, he would warn them to do teshuva for their sins before Hashem would flood and destroy the world. He knew that if they did teshuva even at the last moment, the flood would be averted and all of his work would be in vain. In that case he would look like a complete fool. The man who spent 120 years building an ark for a flood that never came.
Yet Noach continued his work for 120 years with the correct intentions. He knew that the process of building the ark was desirable in itself and that even if the ark was never used he would still have done Hashem's will by performing his commandment.
Mey Noach. Why are the waters that caused the destruction of the world named after Noach? Noach invented the first tools for use in plowing the earth. Since the curse of Adam man had tremendous difficulty obtaining food from the earth. Now man didn't have to come on to Hashem any longer. Man became less and less aware of Hashem. So in effect it was through Noach's invention that the beginning of the downfall began.
Another reason is because Noach didn't protest when he was told that the world will be destroyed. He should have prayed on behalf of his fellow humans. The Torah mentions the measurements of the ark. 300-long 50-wide 30-high 300=Shin, 50=Nun, 30=Lamed. This spells the word “loshon”. The word “Taiveh” means ark but also means “word”. Noach should have used the power of words (loshon) to save the world.
There are letters that are open (giluy) and there are letters that are hidden (nister). The hidden letters of Adam are Aleph-lamed phey, Dalet-lamed suf, and Mem-Mem. Which are the letters of the word “mispalel” to pray. The purpose of man was to recognize Hashem. At the beginning of creation it says the rain didn't fall on the earth until there was man there to pray for it. So too, it was Noach's duty to pray for the salvation of his d'or. That could also be the reason why there is no mention in this parsha the words "Vayomer Noach-Noach spoke”. He was lacking in this aspect of speech.
However we see that when Hashem was about to destroy Klal Yisroel for the chet of the eigel, Moishe did speak up and said wipe out my name from the Torah instead. The words used are “Mochainy Nah” (Erase Me). The same letters of that word spell “Mey Noach”. Moishe corrected that which Noach was lacking.
Why did Hashem bring the destruction of the world through a flood? The answer is that when Hashem originally created the world it was entirely covered with water. Then he separated the waters to make a place for man. Why didn't Hashem create it that way in the first place? It's to show that Hashem changed the teva (nature) for man. That's why when the posuk says (8:21) “Man has the yetzer hora within him from before his birth”. It means that man must change his nature. His nature is evil. The d'or of the mabel did not change their teva. So Hashem reverted the world to the way it was before it was changed for man. To be totally covered with water.
The parsha begins with the generation of the flood and ends with the generation of the tower of Bavel. The generation of the flood were hedonistic they were into all types of physical pleasures. The generation of the tower of Bavel was after intellectual pursuits. They tried to challenge Hashem but there was no physical reward for them in this. They denied the authority of Hashem.
The question is why did the generation of the flood get destroyed and not the generation of the Tower of Bavel? I would think that to rebel against Hashem would be worse than just being corrupt. The answer is that each was punished measure for measure. The d'or of the flood was into the physical so they were destroyed physically. The d'or of Bavel was into the intellect they all spoke the same language had the same intent to challenge Hashem so they were punished in a like way. They lost their ability to communicate with each other. It's this very ability to speak that differentiates man from animals. They used their speech to unite the world with one goal. They had the capacity for greatness but instead used their solidarity for destructive purposes.
The flood was brought upon the world because of “Chomos” robbery. The fabric of society began to become frayed due to the rampant individual selfishness. They lived in an era of tremendous freedom. After Noach was born the curse placed upon the earth was lifted and man needed to sow his fields only once in forty years. All of this freedom caused the fruit of this society to suffocate itself.
The next great era was a response to this. The society of the Tower sought to correct some of the previous generation’s problems. They herded everyone together in one location. The Tower was to be a rallying point to unite mankind. This project was to show the unity and cooperation that was lacking in the previous generation. It’s interesting that there is no mention of any individual’s name recorded in that event. Everyone’s identity was rendered meaningless when merged with that of the goal. Chazal tell us that if a brick fell during the tower’s construction the people agonized over it but when a person fell they would just carry on. When the society is all powerful the individual suffers and becomes the faceless drone sacrificing his talents for the sake of the state.
What then is the right balance of these two ideals? The Torah now focuses on Avraham. Avraham was the model of selflessness. He considered himself Afar V’ayfar-Ashes and dust. Yet his main characteristic was that of Chesed. His kindliness was the concern for others. Of this a new world order was to be built, a people whose concern is for the private needs as well as the general public.
Originally Hashem created the world with the ten Mamorous. The intent was that there should be a gradual development of the spiritual, man's perception of Hashem would grow stage by stage climaxing in the tenth generation. Then the Torah was to be given and all of mankind was to become Mamleches Kohanim (A kingdom of priests).The Zohar writes that this goal is alluded to in the words Beshegam hu Bassar (Man is but flesh) at the end of parshas Bereishis. The word Beshegam has the same numerical value as Moishe. Moishe would have been born and the Torah given, had they been worthy.
But that generation was not worthy. They left behind all of the spiritual sparks that Hashem placed in this world for mankind to nurture and develop. Instead man moved in a downward spiral degenerating until there was so little spiritual left in man that Hashem declared "Lo Yadin Ruchi,-Beshegam Hu Bassar". Man was originally made from earth but was infused with Ruach Elokim. This gave him both a Yetzer Rah and a Yetzer Tov. Beshegam Hu Bassar implies that even the spiritual turned into physical. He so degenerated that all that remained was the physical. The Ruach Elokim (the spirit of Hashem) had totally left him.
Then there was ten generations from Noach to Avraham and again Hashem set in motion a chain of events that would culminate in the giving of the Torah. But man did not rise to the challenge. Again the sparks of spirituality were cast aside. Instead man angered Hashem more and more even attempting to challenge Him (The D'or Haflogeh).
Really they should have been destroyed as was the generation of the flood. But then Avraham came on the scene and proved his greatness through ten trials and was able to keep the torch lit. He was able to gather all the holy sparks that mankind left un-nurtured. He became the host to all the spirituality of the world. Now only his descendants would be worthy of being called Mamleches Kohanim.
This could also explain the comparison between Noach and Avraham. (Rashi 6:9). Noach was a perfect Tzaddik but he only reached his potential, whereas Avraham not only reached his potential, he surpassed it to the point that Hashem changed his name.
In the end of parshas Bereishis the generations from Adam to Noach are listed. By each one it says these were their days and they died. After the flood the generations from Noach to Avraham are listed but they just say this one gave birth to this one. Why?
It could be that by the first ten generations from Adam to Noach there was no good to be taken from them. Their entire existence was bad. It says (7:21) that when the flood hit the earth every living thing was destroyed from bird to animal to man. In posuk 23 the order is reversed. It begins with man and ends with the birds? The reason is because in the first posuk it speaks about the order of death that occurred. First the birds who probably could not withstand the heavy downpour then last man because he probably tried every means available to survive. Later in posuk 23 it speaks about the destruction of every trace of existence from before the flood. Every tool that man made every building was destroyed.
Even the bone called “luz”, which is the strongest bone from which the body will be reconstructed at the time of Techias Hamaisim, was destroyed. No trace of that d'or remained. That's why the Torah says when speaking of those generations they died. But the ten generations from Noach to Avraham had some good in them so they are listed in the form of who gave birth to who.
(7:1) “ Vayomer Hashem el Noach Bo Atoh V’chol Beischa el H’Taivah Ki Oscha Roisi Tzaddik Lifonai B’Dor Hazeh-Hashem said to Noach “Come to the Ark you and your household for I have seen you to be righteous before Me in this generation.” Why is this mentioned here? Because until now, Noach was not the only righteous person on the planet. Mesushelach, a Tzaddik had just died. Since this was the seven days before the flood, it was the end of the seven day period of mourning for him. Now we can say that Noach was righteous in his generation.
(7:2) “Mikol Habaheima H’Tahora Tikach L’cha Shivah-From all of the clean animal take for yourself seven.” Rashi says we see from here that Noach learned Torah. How else would he be able to discern the clean animals from the unclean? This presents a problem because non-Jews are forbidden from learning Torah? Perhaps we can answer this question from another difficult verse. (7:9) “Shenayim Shenayim Bou el-Noach El-Hataiveh-Two by two they came to Noach ,to the Ark.” What is meant by the repetitious words to Noach to the Ark? The answer is that the Ark rejected any animal that had corrupted its ways. Therefore coming to Noach was not enough for he did not know whether an animal was corrupt. But if the Ark accepted them he knew it had remained true. When Noach saw that the Ark accepted seven of a type of animal he understood that it was pure enough to be later used as a sacrifice. Thus it is not necessary to say that Noach learned Torah. He merely learned from observing the ark.
(7:4) “Ki B'yomim Ode Shiva- For in another seven days.” Rashi says that Hashem waited an extra seven days for the shiva of Metsushelach who had just died. Others say that it was Hashem mourning for the impending deaths that were about to take place. For Hashem sees the future as if it had already taken place.
(7:4) "Fourty Days"The Kli Yakar writes that the number 40 is equal to the word Gezel in which they were steeped.
(7:7) “B'etzem Hatom Hazeh-On that very day!” The crowds gathered in an attempt to prevent Noach from entering the Teiva. According to the Sefer Hayashar 720,000 people gathered at the Ark demanding entry. Hashem sent wild beasts to guard them.
(7:7) “Vayovo Noach –el Hateiva Mifnei Hamabel-Noach entered the ark before the waters” Rashi says that Noach was of those with little faith. He believed and didn’t believe that the flood would come and did not enter until the waters forced him to. It seems as though Rashi is judging Noach in a negative way but if we read into his words we can see the opposite is true. This Rashi can be read; "Noach believed in those with little faith and didn’t believe the flood would come (because he hoped his generation would repent) until the waters forced him to."
(7:9) "They came to Noach they came to the Ark" Why mention two comings? They didn't know why they were coming. They came to Noach because there was a spirit drawing them. The spirit of the command given to Noach drew them there. (HaEmek Davar)
(7:10) “Vayehe L’Shivas HaYomim-It was after seven days.” Hashem waited an additional seven days. These were the days of mourning over the death of Misushelach. The Gematria of the words Vayehe L’Shivas HaYomim It was after seven days, equal L’Yimay Avel Misushelach-The days of mourning for Misushelach.
(7:13) “B’Etzem Hayom Hazeh-On that very day.” On that very day 720,000 men and women gathered at the Ark demanding entry. Hashem sent wild beasts to guard it. (Sefer HaYashar)
In this verse Noach's name is found three times to show that it was only in his merit that they were saved.
(7:17) "Arboyim Yom-Fourty Days" But previously the Torah writes "Forty days and forty nights" here only days are mentioned? During the entire year of the flood the cycle of time was suspended. In fact the year is not reckoned in the count of Noach's years. The downpour was so great that day and night were indiscernible.
(7:17) "Vatorem Me'al Hoaretz-The ark was lifted above the earth." Why mention this fact? Isn't it expected to float? Rather the posuk is teaching us that this Ark was elevated and separated from earthliness
(7:22) “Kol Asher Nishmas ruach Chaim B'apov-All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life.” This obviously refers to Man. However man was mentioned in the previous verse? What is being added here? The Kol Torah writes that there are four places in Tanach where the Neshama of man is mentioned. Each trace the soul's destiny here on earth. This spirit of life must not remain only in the location where Hashem originally placed it.(Bereishis 2:7) “Vayipach B'apav Nishmas Chaim-Hashem blew the spirit of life into the nostrils of man.” This spirituality must sanctify man's entire being to the farthest corners of his physical personality. The generation of the flood failed to make the soul rule over the body. Hence that generation had to disappear and this is suggested by our verse. “Kol Asher Nishmas ruach Chaim B'apov-All in whose nostrils (only) was the breath of the spirit of life.”
(8:1) “Vayizkor Elokim es Noach-And Hashem remembered Noach.” The devastation lasted an entire year. This was compared to the twelve months that a wicked person would spend in Gehenom. Noach and his family went through hell for twelve months caring for all of the animals. In the end this secured the future of the world.
(8:7) Vayshalach es H'Orev-And he sent out the raven." Why was it sent out? Noach had to wait for permission from Hashem to leave the ark anyway? Noach sent out the Raven because of it's selfish tendencies. Noach before the flood was not a man of chesed. Neither was the raven. It hates it's mate and it's children. Noach wanted to drive away that midah.
The Malbim writes that if Noach wanted to see if the waters receded, the posuk would have stated it as it does by the Dove? Rather the ancients considered the raven a bird which could indicate the future. They would build cages where priests would study the motions and flying formations. Noach therefore set the raven free to learn the state of the world.
Why send the raven that was unclean and had only the one pair risking extinction of the entire species? Because it was one of three creatures that transgressed the prohibition not to cohabit on the ark. How did Noach know this.The Ravens mate was already sitting on several eggs. Therefore Noach reasoned it was permitted to send out the raven.
(8:9) " Vayishlach Yado Vaykocheha-He stretched out his hand and took her in." Why all of these extra words? The Ha'emek Davar writes that Noach's compassion teaches us to treat a failed mission as well as a successful one if the failure was beyond the control of the messenger.
(8:11) “V’Tovah Eilav Hyoneh L’eis Erev V’henei Alah Zayis Torof B’fiv-The dove reurned to the ark towards evening and behold an olive branch was in his mouth.” Rashi brings a Midrash that says this was a message that it would be better to have bitter food from Hashem than sweet honey from the hands of man. This would seem to be an act of ingratitude. After an entire year of being sustained by man, the first chance he gets the dove throws it back in his face? But perhaps we can say that since it was the influence of man that caused the animal world to change their ways, the message was that it would be better to receive sustenance from Hashem and not be exposed to mans’ways.
Why has this become one of the Zimiros of Shabbos?And why mention that it took place before evening? The dove was sent out on Shabbos but it would not pluck a branch on the Sabbath. It therefore waited until evening- when Shabbos ended. This is why it has become one of the Shabbat Zemiros.
After the flood it says that the animals will once again fear man. It could be that after spending an entire year together with Noach and his family they became accustomed to each other. That's why the fear had to be re-instilled in them. Also we find many times that a person is killed by an animal. If they were commanded to fear man how could this happen? We may suggest that there are times when a person commits a crime and there are no witnesses to convict him. Hashem uses the animals to carry out his justice. So it comes out that the person who has the decree of death upon him no longer has this appearance of man (Tzuras Adam) in the eyes of the animal. So he appears to them as just another animal.
(8:21) “Vayorech Hashem es-Reiyach Hanichoach-Hashem smelled a pleasing fragrance.” This is the first mentioning of the term Reiyach Hanichoach- a pleasing fragrance, in the Torah. It is a term used over and over again through out the Torah in reference to sacrifices that would later be commanded to be brought in the Mishkon. We have a principal that says to understand the essence of a concept you must find the first place it is mentioned in the Torah. What then is the connection between this sacrifice and all future offerings? Noach, upon leaving the ark, was faced with the horrific sight of seeing the world he knew in total devastation. This vision triggered in him an immense desire to offer a sacrificial animal as a means to draw closer to Hashem and prevent such catastrophe from ever occurring again. This supplication was heard by Hashem because it was accompanied by a three fold pleasant odor from the burnt offering, from the prayer and from the righteous person. This is why Hashem later commanded (Bamidbar 28:2) “Reach Nichochi Tishmeru L’hakriv Li-A pleasant odor shall be offered for me.” This comes from the Reach of Noach- from the burnt offering, from the prayer and from the righteous man, Noach. This is the only place in the entire Torah where the definitive letter “Hey” appears before the word Nichoach indicating that this is the model for all future offerings. The sense of smell was the only sense not involved with the original sin. Hashem hints to the rectification of that sin by using that pleasing aroma in the offerings.
(8:21) “Lo Osif L’Kalel Ode es-H’Adomoh Bavur H’Adom-Never again will I curse the ground because of Man.” What is the Torah trying to convey here? Why must the earth suffer for the sins of man? We begin Bereishis joyously with the creation of the world, but continue with sin, death and the destruction of the world. After Adom sinned his stature was diminished. He went from being able to see to the end of the earth, to a frightened creature hiding from God. The generation of the flood continued this downward spiral perverting man further to the point of Hashem regretting his creation. Their punishment was not only the destruction of all living things, but after the flood Hashem vows to never punish the earth for man’s sins. This means that man will no longer affect the world around him spiritually through his behavior. Finally the generation of the dispersal challenged Hashem. The punishment was threefold. Those who wanted to build a support for the heavens were dispersed. Those who wanted to set themselves up as a deity were transformed into monkeys. Science believes that man evolved from monkeys, but the Midrash cites the opposite. Those who attempted to challenge Hashem lost the ability to communicate with each other. Their language, the thing that sets man apart from the animal world, was shattered into 70 facets. Thus diminishing Man even further.
(9:3) “Kol Remes Asher Hu Chai Lochem Yiyeh L'ochlo- All Creatures that have life will be for you to Eat.” One of the reasons that animals now had become permitted as food is to teach man his superiority over the animals. The sins of the generation of the flood were rooted in this fact. They had adopted the promiscuous animal ways. Animals have no concept of marriage or family. The males select and exchange females as they please. They assumed that man was free like animals they took for themselves wives from whomever they chose. Even married women, males or animals. For they imagined that man is no better than animals.
Likewise, from seeing animals chasing away the weak from good grazing lands, man learned robbery filling the earth with murder and violence. The world is built on Chesed and destroyed for the lack thereof. Hence the flood served to teach Noach and later generations that man is the center of creation. Even the stars did not shine while the flood raged. Without man, there is no need for the rest of creation. In order to dispel man’s misconception that he and the animals are equal, Hashem permitted the consumption of all creatures, to teach man that when he consumes an animal, that animal, by helping to build the man’s body, is itself elevated spiritually. From this man may learn his exalted worth and realize he was made in Hashem’s image. (Oznayim L’Torah)
(9:13) “Es Kashti Nosati B’onan-I have set my rainbow in the cloud.” After the devastation of the flood Noach was hesitant to repopulate the planet until Hashem made an oath not to ever destroy the world again through water. He sealed the oath with a sign. The Keshet-Rainbow was placed in the sky. What was this symbol meant to represent? Why did Hashem choose the Rainbow out of all of his creations? We know that the Dove and the Rainbow are universal symbols of peace and harmony, and yet they are not portrayed this way in the Torah? We are not permitted to gaze at the Rainbow and the Torah seems to say that the Rainbow appears at those times when the world is deserving of destruction? And finally the Mishnah in Avos says that there were two things created just before the onset of the first Shabbos. Each of those ten things were placed into existence to be used at some future point to reconnect creation back to its ultimate source, to its purpose, that of Kiddusha. How do we see this manifest in the Keshet-Rainbow?
The Gemarra says the reason we don’t gaze at a Rainbow is because the Shechina dwells upon it. The Gematria of Keshet is 800 equal to the words Shechina H’Kodosha. Why would the divine presence choose to rest on a Rainbow? Perhaps the reason is because the Rainbow represents the variety of approaches in the service of Hashem. We each have a unique expression of how to serve Hashem and the differences are what make the world the colorful place it is. Each of the seven colors of the Rainbow compliment one another. No one color washes out the other nor does it dominate. They function harmoniously. This is the message the Rainbow expresses and this is why the Shechina dwells upon it.
But there is an even deeper understanding of this. Each of these seven colors represents one of the seven shepherds Klal Yisroel has had over its history. The seven Ushpizin or guests that we invite into our Succah. Avraham, Yitzchok, Yakov, Moshe, Aharon, Yosef and Dovid. Each one served Hashem with their own approach. Each one of these seven compliment one another.
When Noach sent out the dove it returned with an olive branch that it had plucked from Gan Eden. The sefer Imrei Noam writes that Noach took the olives and pressed oil out of it. He then placed the oil into flasks and it was handed down to Avraham who gave it to Yitzchak who then gave it to Yakov. It was these flasks of oil that he risked crossing the river Jabbok alone to fetch when he faced the Sar shel Eisav. Rashi says he went back for Pachim Ketanim-small flasks because the righteous are careful for even their small possessions. But according to this, these were no small possessions. Pachim Ketanim is equal B’gematria to Moshiach. They were given to Yosef and they made there way into the hands of Moshe and Aharon in Mitzraim. Finally Dovid Hamelech hid them for the future menorah when the Greeks nearly extinguished the light of kiddusha in the world. At that time only one flask was found. It was enough to light all seven branches of the Menorah. The seven branches that represent the seven shepherds and if you look at a menorah you can see the mirror image of the Keshet-Rainbow. The word Keshet-Rainbow is equal B’gematria to Dovid ben Yishai M’shichenu-David the son of Jesse our Messiah.
(8:11) “V’Tovah Eilav Hyoneh L’eis Erev V’henei Alah Zayis Torof B’fiv-The dove reurned to the ark towards evening and behold an olive branch was in his mouth.”What is the meaning behind “L’eis Erev -towards evening”of this verse? Perhaps in light of what we just said, L’eis Erev refers to erev Shabbos at the end of history. The dove, the symbol of peace, will usher in the era of Moshiach. With the olive branch in its mouth that originated in Gan Eden, a connection of the end to the beginning will be made.
(9:18) "V'Cham Avi Canaan-Cham was the father of Canaan." Cham was the only one to cohabit in the ark. This verse alludes to that sin by saying , upon leaving the ark,
Cham was already the father of Canaan.
(9:20) “Vayochel Noach Ish H’adomo-Noach, the man of the earth, debased himself.” The Parsha begins with Noach as a righteous man and now after the flood he emerges from the Ark as a debased man of the earth? How could this happen to him?
Noach was a Tzaddik. Upon entering the Teiva he brought along vines to produce wine. This was not to become intoxicated. Rather he was attempting to correct the original sin of Adom. According to one opinion Adom’s sin was with the grape. Hashem had just purified the planet by immersing it under water for an entire year. Noach felt that starting with him, a new beginning was at hand. He tried to retrace the missteps of Adom, this time getting it right. (R.Shwab)
(10:11) “Min H’aretz Hahi Yotzo Ashur Vayiven es-Ninveh- From that land Ashur went and built the city of Ninveh.” This would later reflect on why Hashem sent Yonah to the city of Ninveh, a non Jewish city, to get them to repent. Because they were rooted in this incident of separating evil.
(10:26) "V'Yokton Holid es Chatzarmoves" Who would name his son "Courtyard of Death?" He was wise and knew that this world was only a corridor to the next world. He therefore named his son "Courtyard of Death." a constant reminder that the real purpose is the next world.
(11:29) “Sheim Eishes Avram Sarai-The name of the wife of Avram was Sarai” Sarah was named Yitzchah by her father and Sarai when referred to as Avram’s wife. This indicates a woman’s two missions in life. First her personal greatness from her father the second her attachment to her husband.