Parshah Columnists for Noach

Guest Columnists
Feeling Financial Pressures
We equate money with security, success, power, comfort or self-esteem. It follows then that when we lack money, it feels like we lack everything that makes life worthwhile and meaningful.
How Did Noah’s Dove Get Its Leaf?
The story does not say where the dove found the leaf, nor how this convinced Noah that it was safe to unseal the door of the vessel that had kept him and his family safe for an entire year.
When Times Are Tough, Be Like Noah
What was Noah's plan that offered him solace, hope, and rescue?
My Tips For Minimizing Sibling Rivalry
Siblings. How do we understand the intense rivalry intertwined with unwavering loyalty
Money Matters in Relationships
What’s wrong with materialism, whose fault is it, and how can we fix it?
Torah and Mathematics: The Secret of Noah's Ark
It is not by accident that the Ark was shaped like a truncated pyramid.
What the Ark Taught Noah
This time Noah had no choice -- the world was in his ark and he, as captain, had to take care of it...
The Rainbow in the Cloud
To touch some of heaven’s radiance, then curve gracefully back towards the earth in a glorious ray of colors that are manmade reflections of G‑d’s truth and hope for mankind . . .
The Forty-Day Mikveh
The waters of the flood are like the waters of a ritualarium -- a mikveh -- where the waters spiritually cleanse the dross that accumulates in the course of our life's endeavors. The world received a spiritual cleansing, and this set the course of history on a course of hope and purpose.
An Ark of Our Own
An island of decency in a sea of depravity, was the hallmark of Noah. And so G-d despaired of Noah's generation and decided to begin anew the task of creating a human species worthy of its vaunted status.
Where Bin Laden Went Wrong
It’s a safe bet you’ve not traveled to Hadhramaut, never mind heard of the location. It is an ancient region located somewhere in the hardscrabble deserts of eastern Yemen.
The Silliness and Sedition of Stilts
The Difference between the Generation of the Flood and the Generation of the Dispersal
Theology can at times be more challenging than keeping Shabbat, avoiding non-kosher food and the other mitzvot that govern our lives. We too are challenged by our faith system...
What I Did on My Summer Vacation
Or, The Kabbalah of Boating
The souls of the masters are called the "Fish of the Sea," swimming in the Ocean of Higher Reality... that's where you find the depth of life, expanded consciousness, absolute concepts and the never-ending beauty of inner soul
A History of Love
A famous talk by the Lubavitcher Rebbe analyzes the lives of Noah, Abraham and Moses as milestones in humanity’s journey from an instinctive selfhood to a true concept of “love” for one’s fellow. We also encounter the basis of the Rebbe’s groundbreaking approach to “outreach,” and how to relate to those who are supposedly spiritually “inferior” to oneself.
The Flood Within
Parshat Noach
Despite its violent and threatening nature, the flood is not just an enemy to be overcome or obliterated. It’s the very vehicle that pushes and elevates the ark to greater heights . . .
Braving a New World - Part I
Noah, the Flood, and Transformation
One can well understand then that Noah was worried about bringing new life into the world. Why give birth, toil and work the program that living entails if all that is built could at a point in the future also be destroyed!?
Braving a New World - Part II
Finding the Leader Within
I've been a renegade since kindergarten. At university, the invite was to become a card-carrying member of (shhh… shhh) the Communist Party. And in my forties, the big-wide-world beckons that I fade the rebel's stain and dip myself in dyes of the Bourgeoisie. House, stocks, retirement fund… life insurance. All that stuff...
Braving a New World - Part III
Woman: The First Conqueror
I loved to play with my grandmother's matriyoshki, sweeping the set off the shelf and enclosing one within her mother until all that stood before me was the ancient matriarch of the set. Silent. Robust. Red. Fat and pregnant with maybe fifteen smaller versions of herself. It crosses my mind that these matriyoshki are a visual model for a secret of the universe...
Troublemaking Together
Parshat Noach
As a mother, I have a responsibility to teach my sons to do the right thing. But the right thing can mean, at least ephemerally, getting along and cooperating . . .
To See and Not to See
Two men fall down a chimney...
Is the World Any Better Now?
Civilization was utterly corrupt, and G‑d was greatly disappointed, to the extent that He wanted to destroy everything and start again with only Noah and his family. But is the world any better now?
Wedding Speeches for Noach
Why Build a Too-Small Ark?
It is absurd to think that an ark the length of a football field-and-a-half can house the nearly million species of animals that roam the Earth.
Looking Forward to a World Where All Beans Are Counted
How can it be that mere theft brought a much worse punishment than open rebellion against G‑d?
What Was Wrong With Noah?
An Essay on Noach
Ascending in holiness is not a simple matter. It involves an intrinsic danger, to which Noah fell prey. When one is occupied with a world that is entirely holy, he lives in it alone, and he is liable to forget that there are other people that exist in the world.
How Did Noah Stay Calm?
Noah understood that whenever there are tidal waves, G-d provides a lifeboat that enables us not only to survive but to ride the waves and end up on top.
Torah Insights
Be Fruitful
Something went terribly wrong. The beautiful, pristine world we read about in the beginning of Genesis had turned corrupt. G‑d decided to hit reset and begin anew.
The Tower of Technology
The building of the Tower of Babel represents a dramatic leap in the development of industry.
Weekly Sermonette
Noah the Pessimist
How do we reconcile the Torah itself describing Noah as a tzaddik, a righteous man, and the Biblical commentaries telling us that Noah was, in fact, lacking in faith?
My Kind of Hero
His faith may have been bit wobbly in the knees. But he got the job done. My kind of hero
The Survivor
We are all Noahs. Let us rebuild our world
Life's Passages
Dealing With the Flood of Life
We may not be able to save the world, but we can build for ourselves an ark, a sanctum of time—protected and filled with meaning.
Parshah Musings
Noah Gets Flooded with Criticism
If the world stubbornly refuses to be saved, does that excuse me from continuing to try?
Population Explosion
No person has ever declared on his or her deathbed, "I wish I'd had fewer children"
The temptation is to refuse to take part in the rebuilding of a world where such injustice and iniquity can exist
Here's Looking at You
What lesson is there in seeing evil, observing another person's sin?
Internationalists or Isolationists
Is it the ideal position for a Jew to be locked off from the world, isolated in a self-imposed ghetto? We were tasked with being "a light unto the nations" and we can't do our job if we stay home and hibernate...
For Friday Night
Surviving Daily Life
How can we prevent our sensitivity and humanity from being swept away by the swirling waters of anxiety, of the rat race, of the daily struggle?
Images of Peace
The Ark is described as having the spiritual quality of the World to Come, where all is in unity and all conflict is dissolved
Dealing with the Flood
Did Noah really succeed? According to the Sages: No. He did what he was told, he saved himself and his immediate loved ones; but he did not try to save everyone else.
Parshah Moment
Children's Math
Euthanasia makes sense. The animal kingdom, Greek culture and Darwinism all lend their credence. The only one withholding credence is a pesky verse in our Parshah...
What the Rebbe Taught Me
Should We Forgive the Nazis?
The Jewish Response to The Sunflower's Moral Dilemma
What does the Torah, speaking on behalf of the creator of morals and ethics, have to say about this? If G‑d were confronted, so to speak, with this complex moral query, how would He respond?
To See or Not To See
When your fellow is but a mirror of yourself, and when he's actually a window...
Is it always the case that when you see a flaw in someone else it is actually your own flaw you are seeing? Must that always we so? A look at the story of Noah's drunkenness holds the key to the answer.
A Ticket to Heaven
The Mistake of the Generation of the Dispersal and the Secret to Immortality
Through the Eyes of a Woman
Looking at Yourself Through Others
Parshah Messages
Ark Sweet Ark
Every day we wake up to a "flood" of worries, predicaments and responsibilities--"raging waters" that threaten to drown us financially, emotionally and spiritually
Staying Afloat in a Turbulent World
Noah entered an ark to escape the mighty waters. Where is our ark?
What Do You Think?
Wrong Time for Building Legacies
Who has time for building legacies when there is a hungry man next door?
Inner Stream
Selfish as a Raven
A selfish society can’t survive, let alone thrive . . .
The Freeman Files
Discovery of Planet Earth
On the seven universal laws of life
There are 70 families with 70 paths within the great Family of Man. And each individual has his or her path within a path. Yet, there is one universal basis for us all...
The Hydro-Powered Ark
Enter into an ark of contemplation and prayer and let the floods of life lift you high.
A Jewish Environmental Cosmology
Is All Life Sacred? Is All Natural Beauty Divine?
The Mighty Waters
Before the beginning, G-d saw your struggle and He saw that you would win. And so He created a world.
Who Will Win
All the mighty waters of this world can never extinguish the love that burns inside your soul. They can only lift it higher.
Noah and Abraham
Leave judgment to the One who made us. Our job is to provide a good defense.
The Rainbow
Ours is a world where sunshine can become a rainbow.
Living through the Parshah
Lesson From Noah: Open the Window to the Good in Your Life
Is there a window of compassion and understanding that I haven’t opened? Can I see past my gut-instinct judgmentalism and allow myself to experience some of their light?
Can G-d and Facebook Be Friends?
According to the Zohar, the development of technology is conducive to spiritual growth and is actually a prelude to the coming of Moshiach.
Life in a Box
Of a heart agitated by financial worries, only a small corner is free for pure feelings towards a loved one. Of a mind consumed by business, only a small amount of brain power is diverted a few daily minutes of meaningful learning. At best, only miniscule "samplings" of our resources are dedicated to a worthy purpose. Is it even worth the effort?
The Positive Negative
If the Torah's description of Noah's righteousness can be understood both ways, why do the sages propose a negative interpretation?
The Window
Noah’s dispatch of the dove from the ark: passive and active anticipation.
The Memory of Water
You were one with your environment: you were the universe and the universe was yourself. There was no I, she, it or that, for all being was one
Sons of Noah
Noah lived 950 years. That’s enough time to do everything wrong and everything right.
Parshah Recovery
Self-Consciousness and G-d-Consciousness
Noah sought to rebuild the world based on a new paradigm. He conceived of a more wholesome ideal—freedom from self-consciousness. With the best of intentions, Noah chose intoxication as his means . . .
Covenant & Conversation
A Drama in Four Acts
If we trace the course of these stories, we can discover a connection that goes deeper than chronology, a developmental line in the narrative of the evolution of humanity.
The Trace of G-d
The great challenge is: Can I see a trace of G‑d in the face of a stranger?
Righteousness is Not Leadership
What exactly was Noah supposed to do? How could he have been an influence for good in a society bent on evil? Was he really meant to speak in an age when no one would listen?
Beyond Nature
Are we naturally good or naturally bad? On this great minds have argued for centuries.
Beyond Speech
How Not to Be a Ham
What was the difference between Ham and his brothers? What lesson can we take from Shem and Japheth?
The Dove and the Olive Leaf
While every day is a struggle, we are able to make the best of it by realizing that there is a positive purpose to what we are going through.
I Almost Died, But I Was Uplifted Instead
It was terrifying not being able to breathe, while slowly fading with my thoughts racing.
Good Struggles
The struggles we contend with are there to help us attain the purpose of our descent into this world.
On the Haftarah: The Barren Woman and the Waters of Noah
For the haftarah of Ki Teitzei, From the Teachings of the Rebbe
The haftarah begins: “Sing, barren one who has not given birth.” Who is the “barren one”?
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