Parashat Noah 5783

October 24, 2022

Seasonal Changes: “Remembering” to be Merciful to Ourselves
By Rabbi Mitchell Blank (’21)

Living in southern New York, I love this time of year, especially the changing of the leaves. Our home  backs upon acres of undeveloped woods. About 20 years ago, I built a 1.5 mile loop trail through the forest. The path took six months to complete; it was an embodied labor of love.

Seasonal maintenance proved to be labor intensive as well. After more than a decade of clearing fallen branches, the trail was now also defined by at least 20 lbs. of wood stacked high for its entire length. The ongoing maintenance and care were daily sources of enjoyment and satisfaction. The boundaries of the path, tangible reminders of years of hard work, only heightened the love derived from walking it.

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Parashat Noah 5782

October 8, 2021

Click HERE for an audio recording of this D’var Torah Two Understandings of Leadership – A Tightrope We All Walk A D’var Torah for Parashat Noah By Rabbi Jeffrey Segelman Every time I write or speak about parshat Noah, I am determined to get past the first verse and find a d’var Torah somewhere in the remaining 152 verses. Sometimes I am successful. Today, not so much. I apologize for the focus on the very famous midrash which many of you know well. But hopefully, I will be able to frame it differently and expand on it just a bit. The first verse of the parsha reads: “These are the generations of Noah, Noah was ‘tzaddik tamim’ in his generation” (Gen. 6:9). Of course, the words that raise the red flag are ‘in his generation.’ To quote Rashi, “There are those among the Rabbis who expound these words as praise, that is, if Noah could be...

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Parashat Noah 5781

October 23, 2020

Click HERE for an audio recording of this D’var Torah   A D’var Torah for Parashat Noah By Rabbi Enid Lader (’10) Our Torah opens with an organized story of creation – a place for everything and everything in its place. Each step of the way, the natural world is tov – good. And when it is filled with living creatures and human beings, it is tov me’od – very good. As we end chapter one and begin the second chapter of Bereishit, all seems right with the world. But “very good” or even “good” does not sustain us. We have inquiring minds, and left to our own devices, we will seek out our own answers, rather than follow specific directions. Yet, unless there is some kind of structure in place, something that helps guide us in making good (or even very good) decisions, where will our own answers lead us –...

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Parashat Noah 5780

November 1, 2019

Deluge, Ancient and Modern A D’var Torah for Parashat Noah By Rabbi Len Levin In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and all their host. God saw everything that God made, that it was good. All the beings and creatures followed the innate laws of their being, as implanted in them by their creator. Everything was perfectly orderly and predictable. Then God created human beings and granted them free will. All hell broke loose, and all bets were off. Corruption spread from humans to all God’s creation. The world was reverting to chaos faster than God could catch the divine breath that was hovering over the waters. God resolved to wipe out the entirety of earthly creation, except for a few specimens from each species that God’s chosen human representative Noah would salvage in order to start over. After the deluge, God considered what changes to institute...

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Parashat Noah – 5779

October 12, 2018

A D’var Torah for Noah By Rabbi Isaac Mann Much has been written by the Bible commentators on the sins that caused God to bring on the Great Flood in the time of Noah. But little ink has been spilled (or keys pressed) in regard to what motivated the Supreme Being to ensure that there will never be a flood again to destroy the world (see Gen. 8:21, 9:8-17). Surely if the corruption of humankind, and possibly the animal kingdom as well, brought on God’s anger (see Gen. 6:5-7, 11-13) and justified the destruction of all beings (except for Noah and those with him in the Ark), then what would happen if there would be a replay of this selfsame corruption? God’s hands, so to speak, would be tied by the oath He took not to put an end to all life. But then does that imply that He was...

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