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Wednesday, Tishrei 30, 5782 (Rosh Chodesh Mar-Cheshvan) / October 6, 2021


In this week's Parsha, Noach (Noah), the second Parsha of the Torah, we read the story of The Great Flood.  


The Parsha begins, "These are the generations of Noach.  Noach was a man righteous and wholehearted in his generation;  With G-d walked Noach.  And Noach begot three sons; Shem, Cham and Yefet.  And the earth was corrupted before G-d, and the earth was filled with violence.  And G-d saw the earth and, behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.  And G-d said to Noach: 'The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence.  Behold, I will destroy them together with the earth..." 


G-d commands Noach to build an ark for histo be saved family. He tells Noach to bring two of each species of non-kosher animals and seven of each kind of kosher animals into the Ark to be saved from The Flood.


Noach spent 120 years building the ark.  On the 17th day of the Hebrew month Cheshvan, the Mabul (Great Flood) began; "On the same day were broken all the fountains of the great deep and the windows of the heaven were opened.  And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights... and the waters increased and the ark was lifted up above the earth... and all the high mountains were covered... Every living substance which was upon the face of the earth, from man unto cattle unto creeping things and unto the fowl of the heaven were blotted out.  Only Noach and those that were with him in the ark were left."  One year and ten days they spent in the ark. On the twenty seventh of Cheshvan G-d told Noach to emerge from the ark.


Although the people committed the greatest sins which included idol worshipping and adultery etc., as Rashi explains, "the divine decree was sealed only because of robbery."   In other words, G-d tolerated sins committed against Him, but brought the greatest disaster against all of man-kind for sins committed against each other.


Q.    Why were they punished through water?


A.   Here is one explanation:  In the beginning of creation, we find that the earth was completely covered with water.  On the third day of creation, G-d said, "Let the waters be gathered together unto one place and let the dry land appear and it was so."   The Midrash tells us that G-d said to the water, "I will put sand around the oceans to prevent you from flooding the earth".


However, the particles of sand were afraid of this tremendous responsibility, "How will we, such tiny particles, which even the smallest wind can blow us away, be able to accomplish this important task?!  How can we hold back the mighty sea?" 


"Don't worry!" G-d assured the sand.  "It is true that you are tiny and light and each one of you on their own has no might.  But, if you stick together and stay united, your power will be enormous that even the mighty sea you will hold back!


In contrast to the unity of the particles of sand which hold back the sea, the divisiveness of the people in the time of Noach, brought about that the waters again flooded the world and brought great destruction with it.  For there is no greater force to prevent disaster and bring good to the world than peace, harmoney and unity.