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  • Noach 2019

    “Noah did so; just as God commanded him, so he did.” (Bereshit, 6:22)

    “Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the Flood.” (Bereshit, 7:7)

    Rashi suggests that even Noah’s belief was limited. He believed and he didn’t believe that the Flood would come. Therefore, he didn’t enter the Ark until the waters forced him to do so.

  • Noach 2018

    The genealogical information in Genesis indicates that Noah and Abraham were alive at the same time. Abraham was 58 years old at the time of Noah’s death. The Torah does not tell us whether they knew each other, so we can only speculate. In his own search for God, Abraham would surely have been interested in meeting Noah, whom God had specifically described as a righteous man. If they had met, what would they have talked about?

  • Noach 2017

    Coining the term “omni-significant”, biblical scholar James Kugel explains that the Rabbis believe every Torah word/phrase to be imbued with meaning. This in mind, why is it that: “In the first month [Nisan], on the first day of the month, the waters began to dry from the Earth” (Genesis 8: 13). What is “omni-significant” about HaShem’s decision to conclude the Flood on 1st Nisan?

  • Noach 2016

    The limits of my language are the limits of my world” is one of the more famous statements of Wittgenstein.  Before the Tower of Babel, the world was monolingual.  Counterintuitively it would seem that if we all spoke only one language the world would be impoverished.

  • Noach 2014

    This week is Shabbat UK and the children are Taking-Over during the Torah reading! During the leining, a synopsis of the story of Noach will be given by small groups of children. Following the successful Musaf take-over by the children in May, we hope that once again their contribution will enhance our service and inspire us all! We could not manage to get an ark into the shul, but we did manage to make some Rainbows. Shabbat Shalom!

  • Noach 5774

    The Torah describes No’ach as a perfectly righteous person. However, some of our ancient  rabbis were critical of him. They explained that, unlike Abraham, he didn’t have the strength of character and the power of persuasion to engage in arguments with his wicked neighbours and  friends. He secluded himself concentrating on learning about spiritual matters and praying to God. For this reason he had no impact and changed nothing in the world around him. In fact, he thought that if he would engage with his contemporaries, he and his family would be in danger of being influenced by them.

  • Noach 5773

    This week we are reading the Sidra of No’ach. It is interesting to note that if we change the order of the two letters that make up this name, we form the Hebrew word CHEN, which means favour or beauty. The last verse of the Sidra BERESHIT reads: "No’ach found favour in the eyes of God." We see that, some biblical names reflect the personalities of the people who have them. This is one of the reasons why Jewish tradition is opposed to any one changing his name.

  • Noach 2012

    At the beginning of this Sidrah, prior to the flood, when the rest of the world is described as ‘corrupt’, Noach is called ‘Righteous. Perfect in his generation’. However, after the flood, when the corruption and evil has literally been wiped off the face of the earth, Noach is now called ‘a man of the earth’. Surely, with less corrupt surroundings to influence him, Noach should have been elevated even further in status, rather than declined?

  • Noach 2011

    The events covered in this week’s Sedra are so well-known and have been analysed so often that it is difficult to find much that is new to say about the stories of Noah and the Tower of Babel. So I thought I might focus on some of the less familiar aspects of the Sedra, particularly what it has to say or imply about the relationship between G-d and mankind. For this I am indebted to Rabbi Samet on the Gush Etzion website.

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