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Tuesday, Tishrei 30, 5779 / October 9, 2018


Today is the first day Rosh Chodesh of the new Hebrew month, Cheshvan, also called, Mar-Cheshvan. Today we recite the Hallel and Musaf prayers. We also read from the Torah.


This Shabbat we read Parshat Noach, which begins with the story of Noach and the Great Flood and concludes with the birth and marriage of Abraham and Sarah. The following Questions & Answers are related to this week’s Parsha, Noach.


Q. What food was permitted to eat before the flood and how did it change after the Great Flood?


A. All ten generations from Adam to Noach were prohibited to eat meat.  Only after emerging from the ark did G-d permit Noach and his family to eat meat.


Q.  What special promise did G-d make after the Flood?


A.  The Torah tells us that after the Flood G-d said, "I will never again curse the earth because of man... Neither will I again smite all living beings." G-d promised never again to bring a flood of the magnitude of the Great Flood.


Q.  What was the first plant which Noach planted after coming out of the ark?


A.  The Torah says, "And Noach planted a vineyard.  And he drank of the wine and became drunk..."


Q. There were ten generations from Adam to Noach. How many from Noach until Abraham?


A. From Noach to Abraham there were also ten generations. The first ten generations, from Adam to Noach, was a span of over 1000 years. From Noach to Abraham, was a span of about 900 years.


Q.   The Torah tells us that, besides Noah and his family, every living being was destroyed from the face of the earth. The Talmud asks: "If man sinned, why did G-d destroy the animals?"


A.  The Talmud replies: "Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Karcha explained this with the following parable, "A man prepared a beautiful "Chupah" (canopy) for his son's wedding.  Unfortunately, the son died before it could be used. The man dismantled the canopy saying, "I have prepared this for my son.  Now that he is here no more I have no use for it." 


So too, say our sages, was with the Great Flood. G-d said, "I have created all living beings for mankind.  Now that he will be destroyed I have no use for anything which was created for him." Thus, we see the great responsibility we carry, not just for ourselves, not only for the human race, but also for all living creatures and for the world as a whole!