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Noach in a Nutshell

Noach in a Nutshell

Genesis 6:9–11:32


G‑d instructs Noah—the only righteous man in a world consumed by violence and corruption—to build a large wooden teivah (“ark”), coated within and without with pitch. A great deluge, says G‑d, will wipe out all life from the face of the earth; but the ark will float upon the water, sheltering Noah and his family, and two members (male and female) of each animal species.

Rain falls for 40 days and nights, and the waters churn for 150 days more before calming and beginning to recede. The ark settles on Mount Ararat, and from its window Noah dispatches a raven, and then a series of doves, “to see if the waters were abated from the face of the earth.” When the ground dries completely—exactly one solar year (365 days) after the onset of the Flood—G‑d commands Noah to exit the teivah and repopulate the earth.

Noah builds an altar and offers sacrifices to G‑d. G‑d swears never again to destroy all of mankind because of their deeds, and sets the rainbow as a testimony of His new covenant with man. G‑d also commands Noah regarding the sacredness of life: murder is deemed a capital offense, and while man is permitted to eat the meat of animals, he is forbidden to eat flesh or blood taken from a living animal.

Noah plants a vineyard and becomes drunk on its produce. Two of Noah’s sons, Shem and Japheth, are blessed for covering up their father’s nakedness, while his third son, Ham, is punished for taking advantage of his debasement.

The descendants of Noah remain a single people, with a single language and culture, for ten generations. Then they defy their Creator by building a great tower to symbolize their own invincibility; G‑d confuses their language so that “one does not comprehend the tongue of the other,” causing them to abandon their project and disperse across the face of the earth, splitting into seventy nations.

The Parshah of Noach concludes with a chronology of the ten generations from Noah to Abram (later Abraham), and the latter’s journey from his birthplace of Ur Casdim to Charan, on the way to the land of Canaan.

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Yehuda Shurpin for November 7, 2016

Re: Vayigva See the commentaries of Rabbi Dovid Kimchi - Radak and Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra (on Genesis 7:21 and 25:8) that the word "Vayigva" denotes a quick death without any long process. It would seem that the term 'Vayigva' is a specific type of death and would not apply to anyone whose death took a while or whose death was unique in a different way (such as Aaron and Moses). Reply

Joshua Elias Atlanta GA November 3, 2016

David, I'm not altogether sure, but it may be that gathered unto his people means that he died .(I don't know which verse you're talking about, so it's a guess) and I also noted that Genesis, in whose time period that all the people that you said were referred to as vayigva lived, was written by a different author than Exodus, and post-Exodus. Hebrew, like most languages evolves as time goes on. It could be that after Genesis, that word changed, just like so many other words in the Hebrew language. That may be why Everyone Post-Exodus was not referred to the same. I think it's a language problem, but I'm no Einstein :) Hope this helps Reply

David Kolnick Port Elizabeth, South Africa. November 2, 2016

VAYIGVA -VAYIASEF The word Vayigva is used for the bad people who died in the flood. It is also used for the death of 4 tzadikim, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob. Vayigva is translated as "expired" "took his last breath". The next next sentence starts with the word Vayiasef. translated as "gathered unto his people" meaning he did not suffer. Vayiasef is not used for those who perished in the flood, and they suffered.
Question: Why was Vayigva not used with the death of Moses, Aaron, Josef, Joshua, David or Solomon? Reply

Joshua Elias Kansas City, KS May 12, 2016

to "anonymus" It means coated inside and out with pitch, which is i think a type of waterproof substance? Reply

Anonymous November 8, 2015

What does "coated within and without with pitch" means? Thanks Reply

Douglas E. Hall Fuengirola, Spain October 11, 2015

Noah´s language It seems to me that Noah spoke Hebrew and that was the language that was split into 70 dialects at the Tower of Babel. Reply

Janice L Lewis Trinchi Canada October 24, 2014

yochannan technology is out of control What do you think? The Japan Tsunami was a test run of that technology,

Peace that we are all prepared for the ascension! Reply

Janice L Lewis Trinchi October 24, 2014

Do you know if they have located the remainants of Noahs ark? Reply

Joseph Lawal Arizona October 21, 2014

Very informative Reply

yochannan October 20, 2014

G-d Promised not to flood the world again by water.

we have now the flood of technology, this will destroy humanity, it is now out of control. humans cannot control it anymore. Why not, because technology is now creating itself without human intervention.

Professors at the famous Oxford University in england have issued a warning to the world govts that technology is now out of control and that whilst humanity had survived all disasters it will not survive the flood of technology.

See bbc news article on Oxford University warning about technology and the extinction of humanity.

There is a teacher on Chabad who has a video on this subject.

Shalom Reply

Janet Fleischer Englewood, New Jersey October 22, 2017
in response to yochannan:

Technology, Good or Bad Whether or not the ubiquity of technology destroys us depends as always in the goodness of man. Are the Jews abiding by the laws of the Torah? Do they see computers as a tool for good? Do the Jews forgo the use of the computer and phones on Shabbos, or are they slaves to it? If they forgo the use, it means that Hashem is still the master. It means that the internet, which hooks up the whole world, can be the tool that Hashem uses to announce to the world that Moshiach has arrived.
The story of Babel tells us that when the people think they can ascend to heaven and become higher than Hashem, ie, become arrogant and fail to believe that all is in G-d’s plan, He will take the tool that united them, the common language, and turn it around against them, Midah keneged Midah.
I have noticed that very from Jews do not have smartphones. I believe they don’t want the negative influences that corrupted many youth, in the hands of their children, or to be seduced by the internet themselves. Reply

yochannan October 20, 2014

Noach didn't talk with G-d he just took his instructions, at least thats how it seemed.

Shalom Reply

Yehuda Shurpin for October 7, 2013

Re: James With regards to the question whether Abraham was Jewish see the article Was Abraham Jewish? As for what happened to the Ten lost tribes see The Exile of the Ten Lost Tribes Reply

Pinchas NZ October 4, 2013

Hashem. Covenant. Noach. The study of Zohar is essential to know, learn and understand all these subject matters under the instructions of a genuine Rabbi. Reply

James Texas October 2, 2013

Abraham was not a Jew, he was a Hebrew. Jews are not G-d's chosen people, they are the decendants of three tribes of Yah's chosen people ( Yahuda, Benyamin & Lewi), sons of Ya'aqob the Yisra'elite. The remainder of G-d's chosen people are now scattered among the nations. When the Messiah returns He will call all of G-d's people back to the land of promise. The question that I have is, will the Jews who occupy Yissaskar's land now willing give it up when He comes? Reply

Sarah October 2, 2013

What happened to og in this parsha during the flood? Reply

Bob McCarty TN October 1, 2013

Abram Abram was a Gentile, as was Noah. God changed Abram's name to Abraham and promised that He would make Abraham into a great nation and be a blessing to all nations. God gave the covenant of circumcision to Abraham as a sign of the covenant. Why would you ask if Noah was the first Jew? Reply

Anonymous October 29, 2011

Naoh How is Abraham regarded as the first Jew ? He did circumcise himself, but his mother wasn't Jewish.

Why wasn't Noah the first Jew ?

The answer should not point out the shortcomings of Noah. everybody does this and it is needless, and wrong. Noah never hurt anybody so there is no sense saying anything negative about him. Furthermore, any comparison is useless because they both lived in different times, and context is a very important factor in any comparison right to this very day. Who knows whether Abaraham could build an ark ?

If i tell you that my son is a world famous doctor saving hundreds of lives, and then ask you what is your son by comparison, how would you feel ? Reply

Anonymous Mel, Australia October 29, 2011

Noach I believe they where all married to their own partners how can this be incestuous coupling Reply

Anonymous NYC, ny September 8, 2011

Hashem's Covenant Hashem ". . . sets the rainbow as a testimony of His new covenant with man."

No, not just man. According to the text, the covenant is made with man and with "every living creature among all flesh."

Hashem's mercy extends even into the animal kingdom. We have much to learn from that. Reply

Anonymous west palm beach, fl October 10, 2010

noach with whom did his children cohabit? Only Noah's family was on the this incestuous coupling? Why are we so evil as a species? Reply

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