From Mishkan T’filah – A Reform Siddur p. 516
FOR OUR COUNTRY
THUS SAYS ADONAI, This is what I desire: to unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of lawlessness; to let the oppressed go free, to break off every yoke. Share your bread with the hungry, and take the wretched poor into your home. When you see the naked, give clothing, and do not ignore your own kin.
O GUARDIAN of life and liberty, may our nation always merit Your protection. Teach us to give thanks for what we have by sharing it with those who are in need. Keep our eyes open to the wonders of creation, and alert to the care of the earth. May we never be lazy in the work of peace; may we honor those who have died in defense of our ideals. Grant our leaders wisdom and forbearance. May they govern with justice and compassion. Help us all to appreciate one another, and to respect the many ways that we may serve You. May our homes be safe from affliction and strife, and our country be sound in body and spirit. Amen.
From ReformJudaism.org https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/noach
Noach (נֹחַ – Noah) – Genesis 6:9-11:32
This is Noah’s chronicle. Noah was a righteous man; in his generation, he was above reproach: Noah walked with God. – Genesis 6:9
- God decides to cause a flood that will destroy the world, sparing only Noah’s family and the animals that Noah gathers together on the ark. (6:9-8:22)
- Life starts over again after the Flood. The Noahide Commandments are listed, and God uses a rainbow to make a symbol of the first covenant. (9:1-17)
- People start to build a city and the Tower of Babel. God scatters the people and gives them different languages to speak. (11:1-9)
- The ten generations from Noah to Abram are listed. (11:10-29:2)
From Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noach_(parsha)
The parashah and haftarah both tell the power of God’s covenant. The parashah and the haftarah both report God’s covenant with Noah never again to destroy the earth by flood. In the parashah and the haftarah, God confesses to anger at human transgression. In the wake of God’s punishment, Genesis 9:11,15, Isaiah 54:10, and 55:3 all use the words “no … more” (lo’ ‘od). The “righteousness” of Israel’s children in Isaiah 54:14 echoes that Noah is “righteous” in his age in Genesis 6:9.
STRUGGLING WITH TORAH
From Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noach_(parsha)
Noach – Gen. 8:15-10:32 [triennial part]
(נֹחַ — Hebrew for the name “Noah”)
The triennial part of Parasha Noach, Gen. 8:15-10:32, contains the story about Noah, his family and the animals leaving the ark. God tells them to “be fruitful and multiply”, gives them the flesh of animals to eat within certain perimeters, and promises never to destroy the earth by means of a flood again, setting the rainbow as a sign. Noah lives another 350 years after the flood, dying at 950. This part of the Parsha, according to the Documentary Theory, is thought to have been composed by the Priestly (P) and Yahwist (J) sources, with elements by the Redactor.
The 17th-century Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza explained the report of Genesis 9:13, in which God told Noah that God would set God’s rainbow in the cloud, as but another way of expressing the refraction and reflection that the rays of the sun are subjected to in drops of water. Spinoza concluded that God’s decrees and mandates, and consequently God’s Providence, are merely the order of nature, and when Scripture describes an event as accomplished by God or God’s will, we must understand merely that it was in accordance with the law and order of nature, not that nature had for a time ceased to act, or that nature’s order was temporarily interrupted.
From Jewish Encyclopedia http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/11571-noah
The Book of Genesis contains two accounts of Noah. The first account (vi. 9-ix. 19) makes Noah the hero of the Flood and the second father of mankind, with whom God made a covenant; the second account represents Noah as a husbandman who planted a vineyard. The disparity of character between these two narratives has caused some critics to insist that the subject of the latter account was not the same as the subject of the former. [Due to a scribal transposition the name in the first account may have been changed from Enoch (חַנֹך) to Noach (נֹחַ).]
Two injunctions were laid upon Noah: While the eating of animal food was permitted, abstinence from blood was strictly enjoined; and the shedding of the blood of man by man was made a crime punishable by death at the hands of man.
The Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh has many similar elements including the creation of an Adam figure and subsequent events leading to the expulsion from a garden, the flood, etc. Gilgamesh has been identified as an actual person living between 2800 and 2500 BCE who was later deified. The almost exact parallels raise the possibility that the story of Noah is a slightly modified version of the Epic of Gilgamesh and is a third creation story incorporated into Torah.
Why a third creation story? The implication is that creation is from something not nothing underscoring the two better known creation stories in Genesis . All of the earth is covered with water. Only Noah, his immediate family, and the animals taken into the ark emerge onto dry land. After they leave the ark, Noah and his family are told to be fruitful and multiply. Humans are given dominion over the animals and earth – the Rabbis say that Noah restored humanity’s rule over all, just as it was before Adam sinned, thus setting humanity at rest.
At the Temple Sinai Tuesday Morning Minyan, the darshan (Heb. דַּרְשָׁן or דַּרְשָׁנִית – deliverer of the d’rash) pointed out some interesting things about Noah: The name Noah means “will bring rest/comfort to his people” [cf. Midrash Agadah and Gen. 5:29]. Adam was still alive when Noah’s father Lamech was born. Our father Abraham (Abraham Avinu) was 58 when Noah died.
Noah is central to the genealogy of humanity. Only he was called “Tzaddik” (righteous); and of Enoch, Elijah and Noah it is said that they “walked with God”. Noah did so while alive, Elijah at the end of his life, Enoch both in life and after. Noah dies, and Enoch and Elijah leave this world without dying.
One of the messages of Parsha Noah is that despite feeling like we are drowning in the overwhelming evils we perceive all about us, each of us is to be “righteous in our age” and “walk with God”.
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of brutality, abuse, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, violence, and war; for all those at home alone; for all those in need of physical, emotional, and mental healing. “R’fuah sh’lëmah” – a complete recovery!
We say KADDISH YATOM for those of our friends and families who have died and been buried this last week; those in the period of Sh’loshim (30 days since burial); those who have died in the last year; and those whose Yahrzeits/Anyos occur at this time; as well as the victims of brutality, disease, natural disasters, war and violence. We remember, too, those victims of the Shoah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year and have us to say “Kaddish” for them. “Zichronam liv’rachah” – May their memories be for blessing.
TORAH STUDY AND SHAZOOM
We will meet for Torah Study and Shazoom this evening, Friday, October 23, 2020. Being a part of, contributing to and connecting with Temple Kol Hamidbar helps us fulfill our three-fold purpose as a Beit Tefillah (House of Prayer), a Beit Midrash (House of Study) and a Beit Knesset (House of Community) – even virtually.
Zoom continues being updated for security and performance features. In some cases, there are extra steps to go through in order to join a meeting. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this evening:
Topic: Torah Study
Time: Oct 23, 2020 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: Oct 23, 2020 07:30 PM Arizona
To join the Torah Study and/or Shazoom click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]:
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero.
Shabbat Shalom – Buen Shabbat!