“And the earth had become corrupt before G-d and the earth became filled with robbery.” (Beresheet 6:11)
The perashah of Noah teaches that dishonesty was the cause of the flood. The great Rabbi Hayim of Volozhin once said (quoted in Torah Ladaat) that “kosher money,” is indestructible. Money that is earned completely legally, honestly, without any trace of thievery or overcharging is completely secure. That money can never be stolen or destroyed by any accident. This statement of Rav Hayim was actually played out in an incident that happened in his home.
One day, the Rabbi was visited by a group of community leaders. They needed the advice of the great Rabbi on a subject of great concern. A Jewish person from their community had sunk to the lowest level that one can go to, and became an informer against his fellow Jews. This informer had caused them great financial losses. As they were pouring out their hearts to the Rabbi, someone accidentally pulled at the tablecloth and all of the dishes went crashing onto the floor. All the guests were horrified, imagining how much damage they had caused to the Rabbi.
The Rabbi immediately told them that they had nothing to worry about because all of these utensils were bought with pure kosher money, and they will never break. The guests quickly inspected all the glassware and, sure enough, nothing had broken. The Rabbi added, “This accident didn’t happen for nothing. This was meant as a hint to all of you to answer your question. This incident is to teach you that if your money is kosher, you have nothing to fear from the informer! Just as you saw with your own eyes, so too the informer will not be able to take away or damage your money if it is kosher.” Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Reuven Semah
When Noah left the Ark after the flood and saw the devastation to the world, he began to cry to Hashem and asked, “How can a G-d so compassionate cause such destruction?” To which Hashem answered, “Now you think of this? Why didn’t you cry when I first told you about the decree? I waited many years for your prayers on behalf of the rest of the world and only now you realize to pray for them?”
We see from here an important lesson. Noah was a righteous man and therefore deserved to be saved together with his family. But he did not express enough concern for others until it was too late. Had he prayed or cried out for the world before the flood, there may not have been a flood! Often we see difficult situations unfolding before us and we don’t think it’s our place to get involved. When the tragedy is a reality, we exclaim, “What a shame! I wish I could do something!” Had we exclaimed so a little earlier, we may have found a way to help prevent this tragedy. At the very least, we could always pray to Hashem that it should be prevented. A little more prayer and a little more concern could spell the difference between tragedy and salvation. Let us look around us and see what we could do, and let us pray for others! Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Shmuel Choueka
What happened to the people who participated in the building of the Tower of Babel?
The Gemara (Sanhedrin 109a) teaches that Hashem dispersed one third of them throughout the world, He confused the languages of one third of them, and He changed one third of them into monkeys, demons and spirits. [So we see that man didn’t evolve from monkeys. Monkeys came from man!]
A friend of mine is great at predicting. He can tell you – three weeks in advance – what the weather will be like at the company picnic. He knows which politician will be elected, and he can inform you which stocks will rise and which will fall. In staff meetings, his opinion is respected because his track record in foretelling the future is so accurate.
When our Sages said: “Who is wise? One who foresees the future” (Tameed 32a), they did not have my friend in mind. His luck – or foresight – is not the wisdom of which they spoke. The wise men of the past were giving sound advice to all generations: “Weigh the results of your behavior before you act.”
Errors in judgment create excuses. Often one is prompted to deny having participated in an activity that turned out to be the wrong thing to do. One lie leads to another until the truth is revealed and the tower of falsehood crumbles embarrassingly before the perpetrator’s red face. A smart person avoids the misdeed and is saved from the pressure of the cover-up.
The Torah says: “Keep a distance from falsehood” (Shemot 23:7). That does not only mean “Don’t lie”; it means “Don’t do things that will bring you to deception.” A good rule to follow is: “If you might have to deny it – don’t do it!” A good lie may work for a moment, but it will lead to another false statement and then another until the truth is eventually revealed. Consider the long-term results of your behavior, and you will be spared the shame of getting caught.
Those who foresee the future are truly wise. (One Minute With Yourself – Rabbi Raymond Beyda)
A quick tip to boost the power of your prayer. Hazal tell us (Masechet Baba Kama Daf 92A) that Hashem loves the tefilot of one Jew for another so much that anyone who prays on behalf of a fellow Jew with similar needs will have his prayer answered first. A special service has now begun to provide people with names of others who find themselves in a similar predicament. You can call with complete anonymity and get the name of someone to pray for and give the name of someone that needs our prayers. The name of the service is Kol Hamitpalel. Categories include: Marriage; Income; Health; To have children etc.
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