From ReformJudaism.org https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/noach
Noach (נֹחַ – Hebrew for the name 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)
Isaiah 54:1-55:5 [for Sefardim Isaiah 54:1-10]
From Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noach_(parsha)
The [complete] parashah tells the stories of the Flood and Noah’s Ark, of Noah’s subsequent drunkenness and cursing of Canaan, and of the Tower of Babel.
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 – parts taken from last year’s message
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.
Abridged from Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noach_(parsha)
Genesis 11:1-32, the triennial part of Parasha Noach, tells the story of the Tower of Babel…. [In the story, the people migrate east to the Land of Shinar to build the Tower of Babel. The reading continues with the ten generations of Shem, Noah’s son, up to Terah and his sons including Abram. Terah takes Abram, Abram’s wife Sarai, and Lot from Ur of the Chaldees to the Land of Canaan and stays in Haran.] This part of the Parsha, according to the Documentary Theory, is thought to have been composed by the Yahwist (J) source with elements by the Redactor.
[American Protestant Theologian] Walter Brueggemann argued that Genesis 11 was as symmetrically structured as any narrative since Genesis 1, showing the conflict of human resolve with God’s resolve…. Umberto Cassuto[, Italian historian, rabbi and scholar,] suggested that the Tower of Babel story in Genesis 11:1–9 reflects an earlier Israelite poem that regarded with a smile the boastful pride of the Babylonians in their city, temple, and ziggurat. Cassuto deduced that Israelites composed the poem when the city and tower were already in ruins, and he posited that they were written in the centuries after the fall of the First Babylonian dynasty and the destruction of Babylon by the Hittites in the middle of the 16th century B.C.E., during which Israelites remembered the bragging of the Babylonians with derision.
Cassuto saw manifest irony in the report of Genesis 11:3, “And they had brick for stone,” as if the Israelites mocked the object of Babylonian boasting — buildings of bricks, which stand today and tomorrow are in ruins — as if the poor Babylonians did not even have hard stone for building such as the Israelites had in the land of Israel. Similarly, the liberal German Rabbi and scholar Benno Jacob, writing in 1934, saw irony in the report of Genesis 11:5, “And the Lord came down,” which implied that the tower supposed to reach to the heavens was still far from there, and that seen from above, the gigantic structure was only the work of “children,” of miniature men.
[Focusing on the story of the Tower of Babel, at the Temple Sinai Tuesday Morning Minyan this week, the darshan (Heb. דַּרְשָׁן or דַּרְשָׁנִית – deliverer of the d’rash) summarized it as, “Man cannot mess with God’s plan without consequences.”]
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 overall, just as it was before Adam sinned, thus setting humanity at rest.
From Mishkan T’filah / A Reform Siddur
FOR OUR COUNTRY p.516
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 [served, suffered or] 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.
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of abuse, brutality, conflicts, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds especially directed at individuals and specific communities including us, and war; for all those at home alone or lonely; 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, conflict, disease, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds, and war.
This coming week, the 3rd through the 9th of Cheshvan, we lovingly remember:
TKH Memorial Board, Mother of Barry Levitt, grandmother of David Levitt
Enid Arlene Schwartz
TKH Memorial Board, member and wife of Joe Schwartz z’’l
Those victims of the Sho’ah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year.
“ZICHRONAM LIV’RACHAH” – MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE FOR BLESSING.
TORAH STUDY AND SHAZOOM
Al sh’loshah d’varim ha’olam omëd – The world is sustained by three things: Torah, worship and loving deeds. We will meet as usual at the regular times for Torah Study and Shazoom this Friday evening, October 8, 2021.
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 Friday evening:
Topic: Torah Study – Triennial reading Genesis 11:1-32
Time: Oct 8, 2021 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: Oct 8, 2021 07:30 PM Arizona
To join the Torah Study and/or Shazoom Meeting 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,