JBlog Carnival Updates, HH, KCC & JPIX

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Parshat No'ach, Torah Portion Noah, The Flood Like G-d Perscribing Chemotherapy

Today the traditional Jewish world read the Torah Portion of נח Noach, Noah Genesis 6,9-11,32.  It's about the famous Biblical character who was entrusted with rescuing his family and representative animals during the flood G-d has sent on the world as punishment, to wipe out most of society, because the level of sinning in society was too serious to cure any other way.  I see it as chemotherapy for an evil society.  The evil was a spiritual and social cancer.  It took strong doses of chemo and maybe even BMT, a bone marrow transplant to effect a cure.

It's possible that I have chemo on my mind because of the bima ima's son Sam and his struggle to recover from leukemia, which his parents have been documenting on the blog Superman Sam.  Sam's first remission ended six months ago, and now he has been recovering from BMT, a bone marrow transplant, with the help of new strong, healthy cells.

Just a couple of months ago I heard former MK Dr. Arieh Eldad, MD, on television discussing the Torah Portion Balak,  Numbers 22,2-25,9.  G-d ordered the execution of the Jewish men consorting with Midianite women.
ג  וַיִּצָּמֶד יִשְׂרָאֵל, לְבַעַל פְּעוֹר; וַיִּחַר-אַף יְהוָה, בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל. 3 And Israel joined himself unto the Baal of Peor; and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.
ד  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה, קַח אֶת-כָּל-רָאשֵׁי הָעָם, וְהוֹקַע אוֹתָם לַיהוָה, נֶגֶד הַשָּׁמֶשׁ; וְיָשֹׁב חֲרוֹן אַף-יְהוָה, מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל. 4 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them up unto the LORD in face of the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel.'
ה  וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה, אֶל-שֹׁפְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:  הִרְגוּ אִישׁ אֲנָשָׁיו, הַנִּצְמָדִים לְבַעַל פְּעוֹר. 5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel: 'Slay ye every one his men that have joined themselves unto the Baal of Peor.'
ו  וְהִנֵּה אִישׁ מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּא, וַיַּקְרֵב אֶל-אֶחָיו אֶת-הַמִּדְיָנִית, לְעֵינֵי מֹשֶׁה, וּלְעֵינֵי כָּל-עֲדַת בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל; וְהֵמָּה בֹכִים, פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד. 6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the tent of meeting.
ז  וַיַּרְא, פִּינְחָס בֶּן-אֶלְעָזָר, בֶּן-אַהֲרֹן, הַכֹּהֵן; וַיָּקָם מִתּוֹךְ הָעֵדָה, וַיִּקַּח רֹמַח בְּיָדוֹ. 7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand.
ח  וַיָּבֹא אַחַר אִישׁ-יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל-הַקֻּבָּה, וַיִּדְקֹר אֶת-שְׁנֵיהֶם--אֵת אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאֶת-הָאִשָּׁה אֶל-קֳבָתָהּ; וַתֵּעָצַר, הַמַּגֵּפָה, מֵעַל, בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל. 8 And he went after the man of Israel into the chamber, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.
ט  וַיִּהְיוּ, הַמֵּתִים בַּמַּגֵּפָה--אַרְבָּעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים, אָלֶף.  {פ} 9 And those that died by the plague were twenty and four thousand. {P}
According to Eldad, this to him was a straight forward medical, preventative action to protect spiritual health of the rest of the Jewish People.

In this week's Torah portion, the survival of the human race depends on Noach and his family.  It's risky.  Noach was not a great leader.  He was just the best there was of that generation.
ט  אֵלֶּה, תּוֹלְדֹת נֹחַ--נֹחַ אִישׁ צַדִּיק תָּמִים הָיָה, בְּדֹרֹתָיו:  אֶת-הָאֱלֹהִים, הִתְהַלֶּךְ-נֹחַ. 9 These are the generations of Noah. Noah was in his generations a man righteous and whole-hearted; Noah walked with God.
There are both good and bad in this description.  The good in Noach was that he was close to G-d.  He wasn't a social person; he was solitary, which kept him from being corrupted by others.  And the flipside was that Noach was incapable of influencing others to obey G-d.

After the flood, the Bible relates that the world was repopulated, but again made G-d angry.  The remission had ended  Genesis Chapter 11 בְּרֵאשִׁית.  This time they united to challenge G-d and built a high, high tower.
ד  וַיֹּאמְרוּ הָבָה נִבְנֶה-לָּנוּ עִיר, וּמִגְדָּל וְרֹאשׁוֹ בַשָּׁמַיִם, וְנַעֲשֶׂה-לָּנוּ, שֵׁם:  פֶּן-נָפוּץ, עַל-פְּנֵי כָל-הָאָרֶץ. 4 And they said: 'Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, with its top in heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.'
ה  וַיֵּרֶד יְהוָה, לִרְאֹת אֶת-הָעִיר וְאֶת-הַמִּגְדָּל, אֲשֶׁר בָּנוּ, בְּנֵי הָאָדָם. 5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
ו  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה, הֵן עַם אֶחָד וְשָׂפָה אַחַת לְכֻלָּם, וְזֶה, הַחִלָּם לַעֲשׂוֹת; וְעַתָּה לֹא-יִבָּצֵר מֵהֶם, כֹּל אֲשֶׁר יָזְמוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת. 6 And the LORD said: 'Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do; and now nothing will be withholden from them, which they purpose to do.
ז  הָבָה, נֵרְדָה, וְנָבְלָה שָׁם, שְׂפָתָם--אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִשְׁמְעוּ, אִישׁ שְׂפַת רֵעֵהוּ. 7 Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.'
ח  וַיָּפֶץ יְהוָה אֹתָם מִשָּׁם, עַל-פְּנֵי כָל-הָאָרֶץ; וַיַּחְדְּלוּ, לִבְנֹת הָעִיר. 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build the city.
ט  עַל-כֵּן קָרָא שְׁמָהּ, בָּבֶל, כִּי-שָׁם בָּלַל יְהוָה, שְׂפַת כָּל-הָאָרֶץ; וּמִשָּׁם הֱפִיצָם יְהוָה, עַל-פְּנֵי כָּל-הָאָרֶץ.  {פ} 9 Therefore was the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth; and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. {P}
Instead of destroying the humans, G-d decided to make it more difficult to conspire against Him by creating different languages, societies and cultures for them.

And here we are, thousands of years later, still suffering from that punishment of communication difficulties.  G-d willing we will use communication for good and not for bad, worship G-d and obey and obey His laws.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

History always repeating itself. The descendants of Nimrod have never stopped trying to war against the Creator and now we've reached that low point again, just as in the times of Noach before and after the flood with the Tower of Babel episode. The seven Noahide Laws are being challenged at this moment everywhere. When societies condone breaking these basic seven laws, the world, at large, is in big, big trouble. We need to pray for His Rachamim.

Batya said...

a, and we need to obey G-d's commandments
Shavua tov, have a good week