This page presents insights by Rabbi Tuvia Bolton on the weekly Torah portion.
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Parshat Noach (5760)
This week we study the Torah portion of Noach. Noach was a truly strange individual. While everyone else in his generation was doing what ever they could get away with and generally having a good time, Noach was busy doing his thing and serving the Creator. Because of his righteousness Noach survived the flood and merited to establish a new world, complete with G-d's eternal promise that He would not bring another such catastrophe on mankind.
Why did G-d have to bring a flood?
It is known that G-d gives life to each and every creation constantly" ataw m'chiah et koolum" so why didn't He just cause the sinners to dropdead?
Or even better, He could have stopped creating their bodies!!! Which would have been much more sensational (and scary for the little children reading this portion in the generations to come!) as well as sparing Noach the uncomfortable smell of rotting bodies..
The answer is as follows. The flood was not just a punishment but rather a purification of the world. It served not only to destroy the wicked but also to lessen, to some degree, wickedness.
The flood is likened, in the mystical book The Zohar, to immersion in a Mikva. Therefore, it explains, the flood lasted 40 days corresponding to the 40 Seah (a Biblical measurement) minimum requirement of the Mikva.
A Mikva spiritually 'purifies' those who enter it, i.e. it lessens their false impressions of the world and themselves, and enhances their sensitivity to the Omnipresence of G-d. So also the 'Waters of Noach' diminished the illusive tendency of the entire creation and made way for anew, fresh world, world where Avraham, the first Jew, was to be born who would teach the world how to truly serve the Creator.
Let this, then, be our lesson for this week. When we know what is right, we must learn from Noach. Do not be drawn after others who are taking the 'easy' path. We must cling to the good: love the Torah, love G-d, and love every Jew. This will produce in us a powerful desire to improve the world in every way… to make a New World. A world without pain and disappointment, a world filled with the Oneness of the Creator. A world which will be brought very soon by the revealing of....
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