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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-)
Isaiah 54:1-55:5 [for Sefardim Isaiah 54:1-10]
From Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noach_(parashah)
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.
From ReformJudaism.org https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/noach
By: Rabbi Stacy Rigler
STRUGGLING WITH TORAH and REFLECTION
For Torah Study, instead of the portion from the Book of Genesis that is read on this Shabbat, we will read the Haftarah (a selection from the prophets) following this portion, Isaiah 54:1-10. You can read this week’s Torah Portion at https://www.sefaria.org/Genesis.6.9-11.32, and the Haftarah we will be studying at https://www.sefaria.org/Isaiah.54.1-55.5
From “The Torah / A Women’s Commentary” edited by Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, Ph.D.
נח Noach – Genesis 6:9–11:32
Beginning Again by Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, p. 35
PARASHAT NOACH (Noah), named after the head of the household that survives the Flood, continues the basic themes of Genesis 1–11, accounting for the human condition with its possibilities and perils. The stories express a conviction that God persists–despite repeated disappointments–in (re)adjusting expectations in response to human limitations.
Two individuals, living ten generations apart, frame the parashah: Noah (6:9) and Abram/Abraham (11:27–32). Each becomes a vehicle for God’s persistence in “beginning again.” Between these two looms the devastating flood in response to human transgression, followed by God’s renewed effort to restore harmony through a covenant with Noah and all creation. The covenant redefines the relationship between God and humankind.
The tale of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) follows the flood story, as yet another case of human disobedience and divine response. It accounts for linguistic diversity and also demonstrates God’s covenantal restraint when humankind once again seeks to go beyond bounds. Finally, the introduction of Abram and Sarai that concludes the parashah prepares the stage for stories about the ancestral family–and about the descendants, the Israelites, who are the subject of the rest of the Bible.
Women’s presence in this parashah is more implicit than explicit until the very end, when Sarai/Sarah receives more attention than her husband Abram/Abraham (11:29–30). Her condition, that of a barren woman, introduces the challenge that propels the plot of the next several Torah portions, namely: How can God’s promises of progeny be fulfilled? Noah’s wife, the new mother of humankind, is mentioned several times but never named (though some rabbis later identify her as Naamah of Genesis 4:22). The virtual absence of women’s stories and names is all the more striking given the emphasis on women in the previous parashah and the lengthy, patrilineal genealogies in this one. Feminine presence is detected, however, in three basic ways: the (unnamed) wives of Noah and “his” sons; the emphasis on the animals who embark the ark as male and female; and the overwhelming presence of t’hom, “the deep”–a feminine noun evoking the name of the Babylonians’ salt-water goddess, Tiamat. T’hom first appears in Genesis 1:2 as a subdued presence. Riled into action by God, t’hom in this Torah portion unleashes its waters and destroys all that lives on land (see at 7:1).
Post-biblical Interpretations – by Anna Urowitz-Freudenstein, pp. 53-54
“your wife” (6:18). Noah’s wife is mentioned five times in the Flood story (Genesis 6:18; 7:7, 13; 8:16, 18) but she is never named. While she is not the only woman (or man) to go unnamed in Hebrew Scriptures, the Rabbis were curious about her identity. Midrash B’reishit Rabbah 23.3 preserves a dispute about her name, in which one rabbi argues that Noah’s wife was Naamah, the “sister of Tubal-Cain,” a descendant of Adam and Eve’s son Cain, who is listed in the genealogies in Genesis 4:22. He justifies his view with the explanation that the name derives from the word “pleasant” and that Noah’s wife’s actions were pleasing (n’imim) to God. However, the majority opinion in B’reishit Rabbah 23.3 rejects the identification of Noah’s wife with the Naamah of 4:22 since “her name indicates that she sang (man’emet) to the timbrel in honor of idolatry.”
Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives came into the ark (7:7). Noah’s family and the animals were chosen for preservation on the ark in male-female pairs, in order to ensure the continuation of their species after the Flood. However, a midrash in Talmud (BT Sanhedrin 108b) teaches that this process of “continuation” did not begin on the ark. Careful attention to the word order shows that the genders were separated at the boarding of the ark. The midrash contrasts this with the wording of Genesis 8:16 where the instructions for disembarking are given to marriage groupings. That is, Noah was instructed that he should leave first with his wife, and then his sons with their wives. Thus, the authors of this midrash demonstrate that the sexes were segregated on board, at least enough that they did not have sexual contact on the ark. However, when they disembarked, each male, together with the appropriate female, they were to resume normal sexual relations.
Abram’s wife was named Sarai…Haran father of Milcah and of Yiscah (11:29). The text introduces us to Abraham, who at this point is still referred to by his pre-covenantal name, Abram. Similarly, his wife Sarah is also referred to here by her pre-covenantal name, Sarai. However, the Rabbis noticed that the first time Sarai is mentioned, her family is not identified. Yet in the same verse, Milcah–the wife of Abram’s brother Nahor–is identified as the daughter of Haran; in addition and for no obvious reason, her sister Yiscah is then mentioned. The following verse (Genesis 11:30) resumes Sarai’s story once again. It is probably the juxtaposition of all of these characters, as well as the rabbinic desire to link Sarai to the larger family, that explains a midrashic tradition that Sarai and Yiscah were in fact the same person. (The idea of marrying a niece would not have seemed unusual in the biblical or rabbinic eras. It is not one of the incestuous relationships forbidden in Leviticus 18.) The Talmud explains this conflation of Sarah with Yiscah (BT M’gillah 14a) linguistically. The Hebrew letters that spell the name Yiscah are similar to the Hebrew verb “to look” (s–c–h). Thus based on midrashic traditions of Sarah’s great beauty, the Rabbis explain that Sarai was called Yiscah because everyone wanted to look at her. A second explanation offered is that Sarai was called Yiscah because she was a prophet and could look into the future.
And Sarah was barren; she had no offspring (11:30). The Talmud (BT Y’vamot 64b) understands this double description of Sarah’s infertility to have two meanings. The first phrase, was barren, means Sarah did not have children; and the second phrase, she had no offspring, indicates she was missing the vital internal organs necessary for conception and pregnancy. Thus, the later birth of Isaac was doubly miraculous.
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 4th of Cheshvan through the 10th of Cheshvan, we lovingly remember:
Brother of Mary Caron
Mother of former TKH member Barry, grandmother of David
Enid Arlene Schwartz
TKH member, wife of Joe z”l
Arianna Rose Battelle
Niece of Lori Battelle
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
We will meet as usual at the regular times for Torah Study and Shazoom this evening, Friday, October 28, 2022. For the next few months we will read and discuss the Haftarah, each selection from the prophets following the weekly Torah Portion.
Some things to consider: How does the Haftarah correspond to this week’s Torah Portion? What word or phrase seems significant? Who is speaking and to whom? What is the historical context? Bonus question: Hebrew is a gendered language, is the addressee “male” or “female”?
Zoom regularly updates its security and performance features. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this evening with wine/grape juice for Kiddush and Challah for Motzi.
Topic: Torah Study – Haftarah Isaiah 54:1-10
Time: Oct 28, 2022 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: Oct 28, 2022 07:30 PM Arizona
To join Torah Study and/or Shazoom click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/72510500854?pwd=Z3VQZWF4U1BBZytNYmh3aHFTWkFDZz09
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero.
Shabbat Shalom – Buen Shabbat/Gut Shabbos
PS – About the Book of Isaiah and Timelines:
From My Jewish Learning
Timelines from Wikipedia