Friday, October 27, 2006

Noach #2

The pasuk in Noach, 6:9 tells us:

אלה תולדת נח נח איש צדיק תמים היה בדרתיו את האלהים התהלך נח:

“These are the generations of Noach; Noach was a completely righteous man in his generations; Noach walked with G-d.”

The Yismach Moshe deals with the last couple of words; that Noach walked with G-d – he wants to try to dig a little deeper and see what this possibly could mean. According to one opinion in Rashi, Noach wasn’t all that great of a guy; in fact, if he were to have lived in another generation, perhaps he would’ve been considered a nobody. Trying to figure out exactly what Noach did that was wrong, the Yismach Moshe cites the gemara in Moed Kattan that basically says that even though G-d decrees certain things, a tzaddik/righteous person has the ability to change these divine decrees.

This, he explains, is the major flaw of Noach. As a tzaddik (at least in his generation) he had the opportunity to change the divine decree; had the opportunity to prevent the flood. But, he was complacent. The Medrash tells us that Noach had the opportunity to pray for the nation and try to save them, but he didn't. Complacency, it seems, was Noach’s major pitfall. And how do we see this from the pasuk? When the verse says that Noach “walked with G-d”, it means to tell us that Noach agreed with the decree of Hashem, and didn’t do anything to change it.

If you think about a non-Jewish king, one can’t fathom trying to change his decree. Imagine the king telling someone that he owes $100 for taxes, but the person comes back to the king with a compromise; he only wants to pay $10. Surely the man would be killed for his chutzpah. Hashem, as the gemara tells us, is different. While G-d decrees certain things, we aren’t innocent bystanders. Noach had the opportunity to change this decree, and he choked.

Complacency is what let the flood happen, and complacency can lead to some much unfulfilled lives. Whatever situation one finds themselves in, it’s very easy to accept their place as a “divine decree”, and not to do anything to change it. Whether that be a job/position they aren’t thrilled with, religiousness, a relationship, whatever; being complacent never helped anybody. We, with our king, have the opportunity to mold our existences, and by not doing so, we’re selling ourselves short.


Anonymous aishel said...

So in other words, Noach walked the walk, but didn't talk the talk.

Thanks again, as always!

11:29 AM, October 27, 2006

Anonymous HarmonicJew said...

I don't know if you care, but I think i may have found 2 mistakes that acutally impact the article...
[i]Trying to figure out exactly what Moshe did that was wrong[/i]
...I think you mean Noach..
[i] The Medrash tells us that Noach had the opportunity to pray for the nation and try to save them, but he did.[/i]
...I think you mean "didn't"

Other then..Shkyoach again!

(It wasn't the Nesivas Shalom, but I still like =) )

4:15 PM, October 27, 2006


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