by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS NOACH 5763 BS"D
Ch. 6, v. 9: "B'dorosov" - In his generations - Rashi says that some deduce from this word that had Noach lived in the generation of Avrohom he would had been considered negligible, a pejorative explanation. Why would one interpret negatively if it is just as easy to interpret positively, as is the opinion of our Rabbis, which is mentioned earlier in this Rashi?
The Yalkut Shimoni remez #42 says that although his name was Noach, Hashem brought about that people called him Menachem. Since Noach was so righteous, some people wanted to destroy him through the evil powers of magic. By not knowing his true name they were thwarted from doing this. The gemara Sanhedrin 67b says that a sorceress attempted to take sand from below the feet of Rabbi Chanina bar Poppo and use it to cause him damage. People who saw this stopped her. Rabbi Chanina bar Poppo said that they should not bother since he would be impervious to her attempts at harming him. The gemara explains that Rabbi Chanina bar Poppo was safe since he had very great merits and was a true tzadik. Since the Torah testifies that Noach was a tzadik, why was it necessary to have him called Menachem? Was he not also impervious to magic? This is why Rashi explains that some say that in the generation of Avrohom he would have been considered as naught. Having great merits, "noffish zechu'sei," requires that he be considered a complete tzadik in all generations. (Eishel Avrohom of Frankfurt)
Ch. 7, v. 2: "Mikole habheimoh hat'horoh" - From each ritually pure animal - The gemara Z'vochim 116a asks, "Were there then kosher and non-kosher species at the time of the great deluge?" The gemara answers that this refers to those that would be kosher and non-kosher in the future. The gemara then asks, "How indeed did Noach know to differentiate?" The gemara answers that Noach brought the animals in front of the ark and those that were able to enter were the future kosher species from which he took seven. Our Rashi says that Noach knew because he learned the teachings of the Torah. "If so," asks Rabbi Yoseif Kohein, "why does the gemara say that Noach passed them in front of the ark to know?"
Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel answers in the name of Rabbi Aharon, the son of Rabbi Yoseif Kohein, that Rashi's remark is on our verse, which discusses the kosher animals. The gemara must add its answer to explain verse 3, which exhorts Noach to do the same with birds. Even if Noach learned the laws of kosher and non-kosher birds, nevertheless, it is required to have a tradition, a "mesoroh," to know which is a kosher species.
Ch. ,7 v. 2: "Hat'horoh tikach l'cho.. asher lo t'horoh hee shnayim" - The ritually pure you shall TAKE for yourself .. that is not ritually pure two - Why by the kosher species does the verse say TAKE and by the non-kosher there is no mention of taking? Since the seven kosher were to later be used as sacrifices, the verse tells us that Noach would have to put in the effort of getting them, as when it comes to a mitzvoh, one should put in his own effort. (The Rebbe Reb Bunim says a similar thought regarding Rivkoh's drawing water from the well for her family and for Eliezer and his entourage.) Those that were to be saved to continue procreating their species came on their own. (Rabbeinu Bachyei) Alternatively, those who were to be slaughtered were not given the instinct to come on their own, to walk to their death. (Ramban)
Ch. 7, v. 2: "Shivoh shivoh" - Seven seven- Besides the 7 pairs of males and females, one more pair entered the ark, giving us a total of 8 pairs of kosher animals. The eighth pair would procreate its species. (Rabbeinu Bachyei)
Ch. 7, v. 3: "Zochor unkeivoh" - Male and female - Why here by the birds does the Torah express the pairs as male and female, and in the previous verse, where it discusses animals does it say "ish v'ishto"?
1) Among the animals there were those that had same sex relations. Verse 2 tells Noach to only take those that did no deviate acts. (Rada"k)
2) Animals have reproductive organs that are similar to human male and female organs, but birds do not. (Rabbeinu Tovioh)
3) Animals cannot reproduce until they mature, similar to humans. Birds are capable of reproducing as soon as they can fly, as evidenced by the fact that as soon as they can fly the female lays eggs. (Tosfos Hasho'leim)
Ch. 7, v. 5: "Va'yaas Noach k'chole asher tzivohu Hashem" - And Noach did according to everything that Hashem commanded him - Compare this with 7:22, "Va'yaas Noach k'chole asher tzivoh oso Elokim kein ossoh." Why is the same information conveyed twice? Rashi answers that the earlier verse refers to Noach's building the ark, and our verse to his entering. How is this derived? Rabbeinu Z'charioh answers that our verse tells us that Noach complied with the bringing of 7 pairs, while the earlier verse tells of his doing so with pairs only. If so, why didn't the Torah only mention this in our verse only, thus covering all of Hashem's commands? Why the following differences: 1) tzivoh oso - tzivohu, Elokim - Hashem, Kein ossoh - nothing? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Ch. 7, v. 11: "Niv'k'u kol ma'y'nos t'home raboh vaarubos hashomayim niftochu" - All the wellsprings of the great depth split and the skylights of the heaven were opened - Translate "vaarubos .. niftochu" as "and the skylights .. were ALREADY opened." (Rada"k)
Ch. 7, v. 14: "Ho'ofe .. tzipor" - Bird ... bird - What is the difference between these two words? "Ofe" refers to a bird that flies close to the ground, while "tzipor" is one that flies to great heights. (Rokei'ach) "Ofe" is a small bird, while "tipor" is a large bird. (Rada"k) "Ofe" refers to birds only, while "tzipor" includes any species that has wings. (Ibn Ezra)
Ch. 7, v. 16: "Va'yisgor Hashem baado" - And Hashem sealed it for him - By having the ark sink so deeply into the water, Noach no longer had a door to open above the water level. This was Hashem's sealing of the ark. (Abarbenel)
Ch. 7, v. 20: "Cha'meish esrei amoh milmaloh" - Fifteen cubits above - When Noach foretold of the great deluge, people responded that they were not afraid of a flood. They said that if necessary, they would climb to the mountain peaks and with their added height of 15 cubits they would be safe. Hashem responded in kind and brought the water to a level of 15 cubits above the highest mountaintops.
Ch. 8, v. 5: "Bo'asiri" - In the tenth month - Rashi proves that this refers to the tenth month since the deluge began and not since it stopped. Rashi agrees that verse 4, which mentions the 7th month refers to 7 months from the end of the rain. His words are, "V'im a'toh omeir shvii liridoh, ein zeh Sivon," - If you say that this is the 7th month since the descent, this is not Sivon." What is the problem of it not being Sivon? The problem is that it is not the 7th month unless you count from the end of the rain. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Ch. 8, v. 6: "Va'y'hi mikeitz arbo'im yom" - And it was at the end of forty days - Rashi says that it was 40 days after the mountaintops became visible. The Rada"k offers that it was 40 days after the water level diminished. However, he is not pleased with this explanation because Noach had no way of knowing when the water would start receding. He therefore explains that it was 40 days after the ark was grounded on the Ararat mountaintop. The Rada"k asks, "Since Noach knew when it stopped raining, why did he wait at all to open the window?" He answers that Noach feared that strong winds and waves would have the ark inundated with water.
Ch. 8, v. 7,8: "ES ho'oreiv, ES ha'yonoh" - The raven, the dove - The word ES teaches us that Noach sent the raven's and the dove's partners. If they were to not return, when he would later empty the ark, the birds might never meet up with their partners. (Ro'kei'ach) This seems to disagree with the gemara Sanhedrin 108b, brought by Rashi.
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