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Noah Summaries

Noah 5777-2016

“Why was the World Destroyed by a Flood?”

Why was the world destroyed specifically by a flood rather than other methods that are at G-d’s disposal?

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Noah 5776-2015

“Noah – A Hero of Limited Proportions”

In contrast to Abraham’s bold vision and all-encompassing perspectives, Noah is seen as a man of extremely limited vision.

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Noah 5775-2014

“The Fate of Humankind is Sealed”

The question is asked widely among the commentaries: Why did thievery and robbery (Chah’mas) bring about the fateful decree of total destruction of Noah’s generation? After all, the people were corrupt in many aspects of life, perhaps all aspects of life.

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Noah 5774-2013

“Making a Name for Ourselves”

The narrative of the Tower of Babel represents a profound protest against human hubris and over-confidence.

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Noah 5773-2012

“The Power of Unity”

Why was the generation of the flood punished more harshly than those who built the Tower of Babel?

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Noah 5772-2011

“Who is Canaan and Why is He Cursed?”

Who was Canaan and why was he so profoundly cursed by his grandfather Noah?

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Noah 5771-2010

“Man’s Struggle with Evil”

In parashat Noah we learn much about man’s struggle with evil. Furthermore, there are quite a few unexpected similarities between the times of Noah and contemporary times.

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Noah 5770-2009

“The Message of the Rainbow”

What is the origin of the rainbow that the Al-mighty showed the survivors of the Great Flood? What is the symbolic meaning of this beautiful natural phenomenon?

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Noah 5769-2008

“Nimrod and the Financial Meltdown”

The enigmatic Biblical figure, Nimrod, who is described in the Bible as a “mighty hunter before G-d,” seems to be more than just a historic personage of biblical vintage. It could very well be that Nimrod appears in all civilizations and throughout the ages as the prototype of the wily deceiver who seeks to take advantage of the weak. Nimrod, or the likes of Nimrod, may even have been involved in the recent financial meltdown that the worldwide economy is presently experiencing.

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Noah 5768-2007

“Noah: A Biblical Profile”

When compared to the dynamic Abraham and even the self-indulgent Adam, Noah often pales in comparison to these two great fathers of humanity. The truth is that Noah was a man of many talents who is overshadowed by others who possessed even greater talents. He was a most creative and industrious person and a man of significant moral stature, even though he was a lonely moral man in his generation. No profile of Noah should sell him short.

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Noah 5767-2006

The Curse of Ham; The Blessing of Shem and Yafet”

The books of the Torah are filled with superb narratives, each one surpassing the next. The story of the flood is followed by the story of Noah planting a vineyard, resulting in the curse of his son, Ham, along with Noah’s grandson, Canaan, and the blessing of Noah’s sons, Shem and Yafet. What is the meaning of the blessing of Yafet, and how is it meant to impact on Shem’s descendants–the Jewish people?

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Noah 5766-2005

“The Seven Commandments Given to the Descendants of Noah”

Parashat Noah is the source for what is known as the Seven Noahide Principles, seven basic laws that are the fundamentals of civilization and humanity. All non-Jews are required to abide by these seven principles, which are regarded as the minimal standards of human behavior in society. These laws also play a significant role in Judaism’s reluctance to accepts converts.

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Noah 5764-2003

“Using Technology in the Service of the A-lmighty”

The Tower of Babel, an ill-conceived enterprise, is an example of the harm that results when human creative forces run amuck. The use of modern-day advances and technology is positive only when the motive behind such practice is grounded in the Divine architectural plan.

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Noah 5763-2002

“The Story of Noah, Fact or Fantasy”

It is not at all surprising that many of the ancient near-East documents contain parallel stories of the flood. Perhaps the most famous is the Babylonian flood story known as the “Epic of Gilgamish.” And yet, despite the parallels, the stories are profoundly different. While the details regarding the flood are similar, the Bible introduces a profound moral element. In the Biblical version G-d does not simply decide to destroy the world on a whim, but rather does so because of the corruption of the world’s inhabitants. The fact that the Biblical story of the flood is not simply about gods who entertain themselves at humankind’s expense is what makes the Noah story revolutionary and meaningful.

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Noah 5762-2001

“The ‘Myth’ of the Great Flood”

It is not at all surprising that many of the ancient near-East documents contain parallel stories of the flood. Perhaps the most famous is the Babylonian flood story known as the “Epic of Gilgamish.” And yet, despite the parallels, the stories are profoundly different. While the details regarding the flood are similar, the Bible introduces a profound moral element. In the Biblical version, G-d does not simply decide to destroy the world on a whim, but rather does so because of the corruption of the world’s inhabitants. The fact that the Biblical story of the flood is not simply about gods who entertain themselves at humankind’s expense is what makes the Noah story revolutionary and meaningful.

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Noah 5761-2000

“Noah: The Man Who Brings Comfort to the World”

In the persona of Noah, our commentaries uncover a person of abundant talent. He is the first person whom the Torah refers to as “ben” (son), derived from the Hebrew word to build. Noah indeed is a primary builder of the world, a role that is continued by many of his descendants. Noah also brings comfort to the world, which is what the name “Noah” literally means. It is Noah who teaches humankind that technology has the power to reduce pain and travail, and that children can be a consolation for their parents’ inability to complete their tasks. It is Noah who has the ability to bring comfort and uncover goodness, even in times of adversity.

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Noah 5760-1999

“Does the Torah Ever Distort the Truth?”

In the story of the Tower of Babel, the Bible depicts a would-be Omniscient G-d as having to come down to see the city and the tower that the people had built. If G-d is truly Omniscient, why should He have to come down; surely He knows of the wickedness of the people? The Torah is faced with a formidable challenge: are moral lessons more important than theological truths?

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