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ב"ה
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Shabbat, October 23, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

The rains began to fall on the 17th of Cheshvan of the year 1656 from creation (2105), flooding the earth and rising above the highest mountains. Only Noah and his family survived, in the ark built to that end by Divine command, and a pair of each animal species, who entered with him into the ark.

The following is a chronology of the Flood, as indicated by the dates and time periods given in the Torah's account and calculated by Rashi:
Cheshvan 17: Noah enters ark; rains begin.
Kislev 27: Forty days of rain end; begin 150 days of water's swelling and churning, during which the water reaches a height of 15 cubits above the mountain peaks.
Sivan 1: Water calms and begins to subside at the rate of one cubit every four days.
Sivan 17: The bottom of the ark, submerged 11 cubits beneath the surface, touches down on the top of Mount Ararat.
Av 1: The mountain peaks break the water's surface.
Elul 10:Forty days after the mountain peaks becom visible, Noah opens the ark's window and dispatches a raven.
Elul 17: Noah sends the dove for the first time.
Elul 23: The dove is sent a second time, and returns with an olive leaf in its beak.
Tishrei 1: Dove's third mission. Water completely drained.
Cheshvan 27: Ground fully dried. Noah exits ark.
(This chronology follows the opinion of the Talmudic sage Rabbi Eliezer; according to Rabbi Joshua's interpretation, the Flood began on Iyar 17, and all above dates should be moved ahead six months.)
Total time that Noah spent in the ark: 365 days (one solar year; one year and 11 days on the lunar calendar).

Link: See the Torah's account of the Great Flood, Rashi's commentary, and insights and interpretations from sages, scholars and mystics through the ages on the Noach Parshah Page

Daily Thought

Joseph had spent an entire year in prison when one morning he noticed that two Egyptian prisoners seemed more unhappy than usual.

So he asked them what was wrong. And out of that question, years later, emerged not only his own release from prison, but the rescue of all Egypt, indeed all the known world, from a famine of seven years.

Everything Joseph did defied human nature.

These were, after all, former officials of the royal court. It was just such an Egyptian official who had thrown him in the dungeon to begin with. It’s only human to harbor prejudice against the ilk of those who have caused you harm.

And why shouldn’t they be miserable? They’re in a dungeon, where hope dims every day as the ugly claws of despair suffocate the human spirit.

Indeed, by human nature, Joseph more than anyone else should have long ago succumbed to bitter apathy, as a helpless victim of a cruel and unjust world.

He was imprisoned despite his excellent service only because he stuck to his principles in the face of overwhelming temptation. And before that, he had been sold by his own brothers as a slave as a direct result of faithfully carrying out his father’s request.

Yet when Joseph saw two of G‑d’s creations were unhappy with how G‑d had made them and where He had put them, he felt it was his responsibility to do something. G‑d’s world was his world, and if any creature’s sadness reached out to him, it was a mission handed to him from Above.

When your world looks dim, when you feel you are stuck in a prison and all is unjust, do yourself a favor. Look up and see what’s going on with the people around you. Do something, however small it may be, for a fellow human or two.

You will liberate yourself, perhaps even your entire world.

Miketz 5734