Parashat Noah

Noah is in the 1% of ‘Occupy Ark!’ “Noah was a righteous man; he was blameless in his generation” (Genesis 6:9) The Midrash in Genesis Rabbah 30:9 states that when the Torah says that Noah was righteous in his generation this means that Noah was righteous by the standard of his generation. Had Noah lived during the generation of Moses or Samuel, he would not have qualified as righteous!

Dr. Doolittle “Two of each, male and female, came to Noah into the ark” (Genesis¬† 7:9)¬† The Midrash in Genesis Rabbah 32:8 states that when God told Noah about all of the animals that would be brought into the ark, Noah was a bit annoyed and asked God, “Am I a hunter?!” God responded to Noah, “What difference does it make to you?” God then reassured Noah that that Torah states the animals would come on their own, so Noah would not need to hunt down any animal, as it states “Two of each, male and female, came to Noah into the ark.” (Genesis¬† 7:9)

Exclusive Appetizer at Olive Garden “The dove came back to him toward evening, and there in its mouth was a plucked-off olive leaf!” (Genesis 8:11) The Midrash in Genesis Rabbah 33:6 asks why the dove brought a branch back to Noah. The Midrash postulates that the branch came from one of the young plants of the Land of Israel, specifically from the Mount of Olives.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow “When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures” (Genesis 9:16) After the flood, God showed Noah a rainbow, a sign that God would never again wipe out humanity. Did you know that there is a blessing to recite when one sees a rainbow? The Midrash in Tanhuma 6 states that this blessing praises God for remembering and for being faithful to the covenant that God made with Noah.

The Midrash explains that the rainbow is meant to represent God’s bow (hence the curved lines) remaining in the clouds rather than God’s bow touching the earth and hurting God’s creatures. Next time we see rainbow, let us appreciate God’s promise to the world at large.

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