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Parshat Noach

PARSHA ON PARADE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND REBBI:
HARAV HAGAON RAV YESHAYA SHIMANOWITZ Z'TZL ,
ROSH YESHIVA
IN
YESHIVAS RABAINU YAAKOV YOSEF
(RABBI JACOB JOSEPH YESHIVA - RJJ)
IN NYC FOR OVER 23 YEARS.
NIFTAR ON 20 ADAR 5758 - MARCH 18, 1998.
MAY HE BE A MAYLITZ YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL.

AND

MY DEAR MOTHER
REBITZEN BRACHA ETEL SHIMANOWITZ A'H
WHO DEVOTED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO MY FATHER AND HIS TORAH,
NIFTERA ON 21 TEVET 5770 - WED EVE. JANUARY 6, 2010.
MAY SHE BE A MAYLITZA YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL


Menachim Z. Shimanowitz

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PARSHA
FACTS

NO MITZVOT IN THIS PARSHA
There are mitzvot in mentioned in Parshat Noach. For example, Be Fruitful & Multiply is repeated to Noach, having been previously said to Adam. However, we count mitzvot at their first occurrence.

NUMBER OF PESUKIM (SENTENCES): 153

NUMBER OF WORDS: 1861

NUMBER OF LETTERS: 6907

Today is the Second day of Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan.
We take out two Sifrei Torah; seven Aliyahs in first Sefer Torah from the weekly Parsha - Noach:
Maftir reads from the second Torah from Parshat Pinchas – (Numbers 28:9-15) the two paragraphs "וביום השבת" and "ובראשי חדשיכם" .

HAFTORA:(Additional portion, from Prophets, which is read after the Parsha)

The Maftir reads the special Haftora for Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh "השמים כסאי" (Yeshayahu / Isaiah 66:1-24, repeating verse 23 at the end)
.


פרשת נח
THE
PEOPLE
SIN
In our last episode Hashem spent six days creating the Heavens and Earth. Just when He was about ready to sit back and enjoy His perfect world, Adam and Chava "took a bite out of crime," and sent the next nine generations plunging into idolatrous chaos.

As our Parsha opens, the polls show Hashem¹s ratings at an all-time low. Apparently, the flood that destroyed one third of the world during the time of Lemech didn't hold any water. Well, with ratings like that, Hashem should open the flood gates full blast and wipe out mankind for once and for all. Fortunately, Hashem has lots of patience. But patience is wearing thin.

TIME
TO
SHIP
OUT

According to the polls, if the world were hit with a flood today, only Noach and his family would be willing to build an ark and live in cramped quarters with a pair of each animal for 40 days and 40 nights. Noach is easily the greatest Tzadik of his generation. While the average citizen is busy worshipping idols, stealing from his neighbor, acting like an animal and basically being immoral, Noach spends his time praying to Hashem and studying the books that holy grandpa Chanoch wrote.

One day, Hashem confides to Noach that He plans to flood out the world and destroy all of mankind. According to the plan only Noach and his family will survive. How? Hashem gives Noach a blueprint for a giant wooden "Teva," (say Tay-vah), - an Ark that will keep him and, oh, just a few other passengers afloat....


THE
TEVA
(ARK)


For a fact filled sheet
'ALL ABOUT NOACH'
CLICK HERE

Ark - Teva What's an Ark? Sort of a ship. The Teva that Noach builds is best defined as a wooden box with no steering wheel... and one tiny window.

According to the plans, the Teva will be about 600 feet long, one hundred feet wide and sixty feet tall. Three floors will be divided into about 900 rooms. The roof will be slanted like the roof of a house so the rain will run off. Once the Teva is complete the entire ship - inside and out - must be smeared with tar to make it waterproof.

Well, needless to say, Noach has a huge task ahead of him (you can't build a ship with a plowshare, you know!) On top of that, Hashem wants Noach to use gopher wood. Do you know how much gopher wood it takes to build a Teva of that size? More than he¹ll find in downtown Kayinsville!

Needless to say, this is a BIG project. Luckily, Noach has about 120 years to complete the project. That gives mankind plenty of time to do Tshuva (repent).


A
TZADIK
IN HIS
TIME

Of course, all the hammering doesn't make a dent in the people's evil ways. Plenty of laughter and making fun, but no Tshuva in sight! Part of the problem is that Noach is no Avrom. Noach may be the greatest Tzadik of his time, but when it comes to Gemilut Chessed, Noach doesn't come close to Avrom's greatness. Noach should be out begging people to do Tshuva. He should be hanging up signs... running radio spots... broadcasting on local cable stations... But instead, he sits in his office and supervises construction until the last plank is in place.

TWO
BY
TWO

Animals As soon as the Teva is complete, Hashem has a new hat for Noach to wear - zoologist! Once the champagne bottle is cracked on the S.S. Mabul, Noach and his family put on their safari gear and head out to the jungles to gather up a male and female of each species of animal. Noach is commanded to take aboard an extra six pairs of each domestic kosher animal to be used for sacrifices after the ship has landed.

Now, let¹s not forget the food! Along with the animals come tons and tons of foods of every variety! You¹ve got hoards of hay, bunches of bananas, slews of seeds and loads of leaves. And lots of super pooper-scoopers for good measure!


THE
FLOOD

Seven days later, on the 17th of Cheshvan, rain begins to fall. While your average citizen takes to the street with a chorus of, "Singin' In The Rain," six hundred year old Noach, his wife Na'ama, their three sons Shem, Chom and Yafes, together with their wives, enter the Teva. The heavy downpour swells up the lakes, rivers and oceans. The dry land quickly disappears in this massive onslaught of flood waters. People can run but they can't hide. As the water levels rise higher and higher, the evil people climb to their roofs, then seek refuge in the mountains. But the flood waters rise high above the tallest peaks. It rains for forty days and forty nights and when the rain ends every man, woman, child and beast has perished. From here on in it's only Noach, his family and the animals.

Back in the Teva, it's a tough life for the Noach family too. Day and night animals of every size, shape, color and sound make a mockery out of the "no noise between 10 P.M. and 8 A.M." policy. Imagine the feeding schedule Noach has to keep! All kinds of animals from elephant to night owl require food at all times of the day and night. Needless to say, no one's getting any sleep aboard the Teva. The stench too - oi vay... so many pooper-scoopers and no place to empty them out!


HANG
OUT
TO DRY

Forty days later, the rain ends, but the Noach family will be dishing out nuts, grass, carrots and bark for another 110 days before the flood waters begin to go down. The Teva finally hits solid rock on the tip of Mount Ararat. Forty days later Noach opens up the porthole and takes in a breath of fresh air.

Dove Now that they¹ve made it through the rain, they¹ve got to wait till the earth is dry enough before they can leave the Teva. With only one window and no door, Noach can't just stick out his foot to stomp on the ground. So he sends out a raven. The idea is that the Raven will come back to the Teva if there is no dry place to land. The raven circles the Teva and makes a quick return. Seven days later Noach sends out a dove to search for land. It, too, comes flying back to the Teva. After another seven days, the dove is sent out again. This time the bird is gone for hours. When it finally returns, there is an olive leaf poking out of its beak. Okay, this is a good sign! It shows there¹s some vegetation in them yonder hills! The third flight, 7 days later, is "bon voyage" for the dove. It never returns.

It is time to jump ship! At Hashem's signal, the door, sealed with tar, is stormed by the residents of the Teva. Probably with the aid of saws and axes, a hole in the wall of the ark reveals a new world, bright and green and ready to host a fresh start for these chosen few survivors. Down the make-shift ramp, the animals head for the nearest stretch of dry land.

For a Chronology of the Flood, Click here.


HASHEM'S
BLESSINGS

But this land is not the land they had left by any stretch of the imagination. It would take years for the trees and grass to flourish again. Noach and his family have been chosen to build a new world for future generations. This world will be a second chance for mankind to live a righteous life in the service of Hashem. According to plan, Noach offers some of each kosher animal as sacrifices of gratitude to Hashem. Hashem blesses Noach and his family. Through these few righteous people the world will be repopulated. But living in a world filled with wild animals and no protection is a little too rough for our heroes. Hashem makes it a point to promise Noach that the wild animals will steer clear of his family. Noach is also given permission to eat meat, a big boost for mankind's culinary crew after ten generations of vegetables!

THE
RAINBOW

Ark Rests After witnessing the devastation of his world, Noach is just a little shaken. After all, it is one thing to tell people to do tshuva, but once Hashem's opted for all out destruction, what's to stop Him from pulling the plug again. Hashem assures Noach that He will never again destroy the whole world with a flood. As a sign, Hashem whips out a rainbow and flashes it across the sky. This is the sign of the treaty between Hashem and Noach. Whenever you see a rainbow in the sky, it is there to remind you that the world deserves to be destroyed. It is only the covenant between Hashem and Noach that holds back the flood gates. When you see a rainbow, you recite the following Bracha: Boruch Ata Ado... Elohainu Melech Haolam Zocheir Habrit V'ne'eman Bivrito Vkayam B'ma'a'moro. That means: Blessed are You, Hashem, our G-d, Who remembers the treaty, is trustworthy in His treaty, and fulfills His word.

The rainbow eases the tension. From here on in Noach and his family will work to rebuild the world that Hashem created only 1600 years before.


DA'VINE

Noach pulls out his handy plowshare and takes up farming. Now, if you were the only farmer on earth and you wanted to do some planting, what kind of seed would you sow? Tomato, squash, wheat, snow peas, watermelon? Not Noach. He plants a vineyard. Bad move! The last thing Noach needs is a winery. Noach comes out with his own brand of wine called "Brand me a drunk for the rest of the Parsha." One sip of the strong stuff and the next thing you know, Noach is on the floor, uncovered and drunk as a skunk!

Noach¹s grandson, Canaan, catches him in a drunk stupor. He runs to tell his father, Cham, about it. Instead of making Noach a pot of coffee, Cham and Canaan get a good laugh watching the "Drunk Noach Show" Before too long, Shem shows up. He sees his father's condition and runs to cover him up. He recruits Yefes and, together, they walk backwards into their father's tent and carefully cover him so that he won't be embarrassed when he wakes up.

Noach sleeps off the wine. When he wakes up he remembers everything - and, boy, is he mad! Noach curses his grandson Canaan and blesses Shem and Yefes. It's clear that Canaan will never amount to any good. He's just a bundle of bad genes. Noach declares that Canaan's descendants will be servants and slaves. Shem, on the other hand, has shown great respect for his father. It's a telltale sign that his descendants will be righteous. And so we see that Avrohom, the father of the Jewish people, the light of the world, descends from Shem.


FROM
BRACHA
TO BABEL

Tower of Babel It only takes three hundred years before memory of the flood dries up. A new generation of wicked people decides to challenge Hashem. Their king, Nimrod, claims he is a god. He suggests that the people of the world unite to build a huge city where they will all live together in harmony - one language, one goal. Now, you don't just challenge Hashem without a plan in your back pocket. On the off-chance that those old folk tales of worldwide floods are true, the first task at hand is to build a huge tower. This tower will extend up to the very heavens, higher than any flood waters can rise. Up in the tower, these rebels will do battle with Hashem.

Hashem is faced with a dilemma. On the one hand, Nimrod and his buddies are a bunch of trouble-makers who deserve to be destroyed. On the other hand, there is something to be said for harmony and brotherhood... you don' t see cooperation like this everyday! This world doesn't need another catastrophic event. It just needs a little adjustment. Call it "Operation All Talk No Action."

Up until now, mankind has always spoken only one language -- Hebrew. But what would happen if Hashem threw another 70 languages into the cholent pot! What if this bustling world of builders woke up one day in a multi-cultural society? Instead of wiping out these wicked people, Hashem confuses them! And let me tell you, without an intergalactic translator, the workplace becomes a mumbo-jumbo mess! One worker asks for a hammer and gets a brick instead! So much for urban planning!

Seventy Malachim (Angels) scatter the people throughout the world. Now the seventy languages that mixed up a city of brotherhood divides mankind into seventy unique nations. They will develop cultures, laws and societies, the way it was meant to be.


GENERATIONS

There are ten generations from Noach to Avrom. During this time, the population of the world heads for a dead end relationship with Hashem. Under the leadership of Nimrod, mankind has hit rock bottom. The world is caught up in a dark ages of idol worship. Just when everything seems hopeless, a three year old boy named Avrom comes up with a crazy concept. Maybe there is only ONE G-d. Silly, huh? Every corner idol shop, including his own father's, advertises hundreds of gods in the window. How can one G-d control the stars, sun, and moon and still answer your prayers for a successful crop and good health? Somehow, little Avrom sifts through six hundred years of "Philosophy-101" and concludes that Hashem is the true ruler of all creation! Avrom lives in Ur Kasdim. A subject of King Nimrod, he is the first to challenge idol worship in his time. Avrom risks his life - to spread the truth, that Hashem is the One and only creator!

Avrom is destined for greatness. In a dark time when Hashem's hope for humanity is dwindling, Avrom's eager-beaver attitude lights the world. His life will be dedicated to spreading the word of Hashem.

For 77 years, Avrom makes a go of things in his home town of Ur Kasdim. He's pretty successful too! But you would think with all the dedication, Hashem would send a sign at some point, just to keep the ball rolling. That sign comes a callin' 77 years later! Hashem speaks to Avrom in a dream. He commands Avrom: "Leave this land and go to the land that I will show you." With this command, the first of Avrom's ten tests begins. Will he drop everything he's got and follow Hashem?

Tune in next week when the story of Avrom picks up pace in the next exciting episode of:

Parsha on Parade

Midrash Maven
See the Midrash Maven on Noach


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