Forethoughts and Afterthoughts.
Commentary on the weekly Torah reading.
In memory of Father, Yosef Ben Zelig.
March 25th 1911 - May 2nd 2008
In memory of Mother, Nechama Bas Tzvi Hirsh.
June 9th 1925 - April 16th 2003
In memory of Uncle, Moshe Binyamin Ben Tzvi Hirsh.
December 12 1929 - February 2nd 2010
In Loving Memory of Moreinu Horav Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg, Rosh HaYeshiva Ner Yisroel
Chukas (Numbers 19-22)
Noach (Genesis 6-11)
7:23 And He wiped out all existence that was on the surface of the earth, from man to creeping things, to the birds of the sky. And they were wiped off from the earth. Only Noach (Noah) and those that were with him in the ark remained.
The Medrash adds that Noach was not all there, either. This was because he was suffering from stress, as he was caring for the world's entire animal population.
It has been said that Heaven saw a need for Noach to undergo this experience.
The Rambam (Daos 2:2) says that while moderate behavior is usually ideal, there are times when a person needs to take an extreme. For example, a person who frequently loses his temper must force himself for a period of time to go to the other extreme and not let anything get him upset. Over time he will find the strength to bring himself to moderation and he will only show anger when appropriate.
Similarly, Noach lived in a generation of evil and self-centered people. They connived all day (6:5), they behaved in a destructive manner, and they filled the world with violent crime (6:11).
Noach was about to found a new civilization. To balance the effects that this former environment had on his personality, G-D saw a need for Noach to temporarily go to an extreme in showing care for other living beings.
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