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Noach Roundup

Noach Roundup


Ten long generations after Adam and Eve, we meet Noah who is the hero of this week’s parshah. The people who lived at the time of Noah were not honest — they stole, robbed, told lies — you name it, they did it. They were wicked and did not follow in G‑d’s ways. The only righteous person in the whole generation was Noah. G‑d tells Noah that He is planning on destroying the entire world by bringing a great flood.

G‑d tells Noah to build an ark — a teivah — where he and his family as well as any people who will repent could escape from the flood. It takes Noah 120 years to build the ark — do you know why? G‑d wanted to give a chance to the people to repent, so Noah builds the ark very, very slowly, and whenever people pass by his yard and ask him what he is doing, he says: "I am building an ark, because G‑d will destroy the world if you do not repent. Repent, there is still a chance! Start behaving honestly and become good people!" But the people laugh at Noah and don't take him seriously.

Sadly, the day comes when G‑d tells Noah to go into the ark with his three sons and their wives, as well as to take a male and female of every single type of animal and, of course, food and water for everyone. When Noah seals the ark, drops of rain start to fall, which slowly became bigger and bigger. G‑d still wants to give a last-minute chance to the people to repent, to show that them that this is real, but they do not change their minds. The rain becomes a flood which lasts 40 days and 40 nights. The entire world is covered in water, and everything is destroyed.

When the flood is over, the earth is still covered with water and the teivah floats around for a long time. After another 150 days, it finally settles on Mount Ararat and Noah sends a raven out of the ark and then a few doves to see if there is dry land yet. Finally after a few weeks a dove comes back with an olive branch in its beak. Noah understands that the earth has dried, and finally G‑d commands him to exit the ark. When he leaves, Noah builds an altar and offers sacrifices to G‑d to thank Him for sparing his life. G‑d swears that He will never again destroy the entire world and uses the rainbow as a sign.

For the next ten generations, everyone speaks the same language and has the same customs. At one point, though, a large group of people get together and decide to build a tower with which they could "reach into the sky" to show that they are as powerful as G‑d. At this point, G‑d makes all the people speak a different language, so no one can understand one another and there is a great mess. Their project comes to a halt, and the people separate into different nations.

Finally we meet Abram or Abraham, the hero of the next few parshahs, and great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandson of Noah.

Chani Benjaminson is co-director of Chabad of the South Coast, coordinator of Chabad’s Ask the Rabbi and Feedback departments, and is a member of the editorial staff of
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Hannah Anonymous Living October 5, 2013

to many greats Seriously, NINE GREATS!? Whoa whoa whoa, Listen up fellow Jewish cousins, I understand the many greats for THIS problem. But did you know that Abram was our own great great great great about a million greats Grandfather? How do you think we're family? ( I'm nine years old ) Reply

Anonymous sweden October 19, 2012

The clean animals were 7 the clean animals were 7 pairs and the unclean animals were in pair (2 of them)

Genesis 7:2 You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female;

3 also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth.

I believe that is also why Noah could give sacrifice when coming out from the ark.

verse 16 also show us the Hashem closed the ark
16 So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.

thank you for the article, it was great! easy to use to study with the children! Reply

Anonymous Toronto, Canada October 28, 2011

Why only two? Why did Hashem only command Noah to take only two of each animal? Reply

Adi Champion, MI October 24, 2011

My little brother is wondering where the pictures are. He is Three and very smart, but I think it would help better if there was a few pictures to help explain. Reply

Chani Benjaminson, November 2, 2008

animals Good question Bella! Rashi writes that even the animals were immoral and corrupt, which is why they also passed away in the Flood. The source for this explanation can be found at this link (it's on chapter 6 verse 12).
The fish on the other hand, did not sin and did not die during the flood. Reply

Zach New York, New York November 1, 2008

fish and nice animals our family wants to know:

why did G-d kill nice and cute animals just because people were bad?

why did the fish die in a flood - they like to live in water?

thank you,
on behalf of Bella 7 years old Reply

Chani Benjaminson, October 29, 2008

images Yes we have! We hope to provide them in the future. Thanks for the suggestion. Reply

Anonymous Toronto, Canada October 27, 2008

language level Have you considered adding images for the younger age group? Reply

Zach April 18, 2008

great!!! Reply

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