PRAYER FOR PEACE – WE STAND WITH ISRAEL
Oseh shalom bimromav, Hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu v’al kol Israel, v’imru Amen.
May the One who makes peace above, make peace for us and for all Israel. And we say, Amen.
From Reform Judaism 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 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 Reform Judaism https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/noach
By: Rabbi Kari Tuling
STRUGGLING WITH TORAH and REFLECTION
We will meet for Torah Study and Shazoom this coming Friday evening, October 20, 2023. For the next year, we will read and discuss selections from the third section of Tanach (Hebrew Bible), Ketuvim, which follows Torah and Nevi’im. Please see the NEW Torah Study-Shazoom schedule below. This week we will discuss Ketuvim in general, focusing on the Writings in this section. You can read this week’s Torah Portion at https://www.sefaria.org/Genesis.6.9-11.32, and the Haftarah 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
Contemporary Reflection – by Carol Ochs, pp. 55-6
GENESIS BEGINS with God’s creation of the world by word alone: God said, “Let there be light!” (1:3). At the end of Genesis 1, God surveyed all that [God] had made, and look–it was very good! With language God created the world, especially the waters above from the waters below, named, judged, and expressed great satisfaction with the results. But by the end of parashat B’reishit, we read that יהוה saw how great was the wickedness of human beings…. So יהוה thought: “I will wipe the humans whom I created from off the face of the earth” (6:5–7).
In parashat Noach, what sin had the people committed to warrant the Flood? The fact that so many different answers have been offered suggests that there is no clear answer. Some interpreters say that the wrongdoing was miscegenation: the interbreeding between the sons of God and the daughters of mankind (6:1–4). Others in traditional sources postulate that it was the sin of refusing to have children–indeed, even Noah waited until he was 500 years old to have his first child.
For all the various theories about the precise nature of the sin, it is clear that the Flood’s essential purpose was to cleanse Creation of the flaw that led to its corruption. And yet, from the time of the Ark’s landing on dry land, God demonstrates an awareness that some essential flaw persists. God says: Never again will I bring doom upon the world on account of what people do, though the human mind inclines to evil from youth onward (8:21). Why does the human mind incline to evil? What is the flaw in the human mind? While the questions are not explicitly answered, we can nevertheless find answers in our tradition.
Many commentators have criticized Noah for not challenging God about the planned destruction, as Abraham later does when God reveals the plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah (18:17–33). Readers over the ages have been puzzled by Noah’s silence. But his silence is precisely the point. Nearly the entire portion of Noach is filled with God’s speech, and Noah’s actions–but not words. From his building the ark through the entire Flood, Noah utters not a single word. When Noah finally speaks after being awakened from his wine (9:24), his words disclose the problem: he understood what his youngest son had done to him, so he said “Damned be Canaan! To his brothers he shall be the basest of slaves!” (9:24–25).
So Noah’s first words neither praise God, or express gratitude, or ask for help, nor proclaim justice. Instead, he uses language to curse and to set up the differentiated love that will plague all the offspring of Genesis–from Ishmael and Isaac to Esau and Jacob, and to Joseph and his brothers. By “differentiated love” I mean love that is given to one person and withheld from another.
Noah’s first words show what might be an essential flaw in creation, leading to destruction in this parashah. As we read in Proverbs 18:21, death and life are in the power of the tongue. We have already seen the creative power of language in Genesis 1. Now it becomes clear that one sin causing the Flood was the abuse of language. In a way, we have always known that, as the Confession for the Day of Atonement lists many forms of language: idle talk, offensive speech, foolish talk, slander, passing judgment, plotting, talebearing, and swearing falsely. Each of these offenses involves some abuse of language.
In parashat Noach, the inherent flaw is made clear. Noah’s words form a curse; moreover, even when he comes to bless (9:27), he does so comparatively, blessing one son at the expense of another son’s son, relegating his grandson Canaan to the role of slave. But love should not be comparative, quantifiable, or conditional.
God acknowledges the power of human language in the very next story, the episode of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). This time God, in order to restrain the people who are reaching out to heaven, confuses the language. God is thus undermining their capacity to use language in a destructive fashion (11:1–6).
From Noah’s words and the people’s words when they attempt to build their tower, we learn that the language that survives the devastation of the Flood is that of differentiated love, competition, hatred, cursing, and revenge across generations. God’s action at Babel is an attempt to heal the flaw of the sin at Babel by multiplying languages: perhaps somewhere among the new tongues would emerge a vision of reality that transcends the destructive, condemning words carried forward in the ark.
Our own experience verifies the lesson of the sin of the Flood. We know how language can kill. We have seen the medical charts on which a doctor has scribbled “untreatable,” thereby sealing a patient’s fate. We have labeled a plant in our garden a “weed,” thus sealing its fate.
Silence, then, might be a virtue. During the long days of the Flood and its aftermath, Noah did well, being silent. His silence reminds us of the better part of Job’s comforters who initially sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights. None spoke a word to him for they saw how very great was his suffering (Job 2:13). Once they began to speak, though, their words brought only discomfort, and finally God rebuked them: for you have not spoken the truth about Me as did My servant Job (42:7).
What lessons may we draw from this juxtaposition of silence and language? Is human speech invariably destructive? Where can we find the language that blesses, heals, and even creates? Again, the model is within this parashah, when God responds.
God restricts divine power, saying: Never again will I bring doom upon the world on account of what people do (Genesis 8:21); God restores blessings: God then blessed Noah and his sons saying to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (9:1); and God enters into covenant with all living creatures: I am going to establish My covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living being in your care (9:9–10).
God’s words and actions in the aftermath of destruction show us how we can use language to repair relationships, instruct others, forgive, and bless.
From “Mishkan T’filah / A Reform Siddur”:
FOR OUR COUNTRY p.376
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.
PRAYER FOR THE STATE OF ISRAEL p.552
O HEAVENLY ONE, Protector and Redeemer of Israel, bless the State of Israel which marks the dawning of hope for all who seek peace. Shield it beneath the wings of your love; spread over it the canopy of Your peace; send Your light and truth to all who lead and advise, guiding them with Your good counsel. Establish peace in the land and fullness of joy for all who dwell there. 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, 6 Cheshvan through 12 Cheshvan, we lovingly remember:
Arianna Rose Battelle
Niece of Lori Battelle
Mother of Renee, wife of Jack
Ellen Wiener Horczak-Winslow
Relative of Keren Ginsburg
Mother of former TKH member Barry, grandmother of David
Assassinated Israeli Prime Minister
Enid Arlene Schwartz
TKH member, wife of Joe z”l
Friend of Jane Kolber
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 for both Torah Study and Shazoom this evening, Friday, October 20, 2023. For the next several months, we will read and discuss selections from the third section of the Tanach (Hebrew Bible), Ketuvim. Please see the NEW Torah Study-Shazoom schedule below. This week we will discuss Ketuvim in general, focusing on the Writings in this section.
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 – Ketuvim overview
Time: Oct 20, 2023 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: Oct 20, 2023 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 Ketuvim and the NEW schedule through December 2023:
From My Jewish Learning
From Jewish Encyclopedia
From Encyclopedia Britannica
From Jewish Virtual Library
From Religion Facts
NEW Schedule for Torah Study and Shazoom (Arizona Time Zone):
October 20, 2023 – Torah Study at 6 pm and Shazoom at 7:30 pm
October 27, 2023 – Shazoom at 6:30 pm
November 3, 2023 – Torah Study at 6 pm and Shazoom at 7:30 pm
November 10, 2023 – Shazoom at 6:30 pm
November 17, 2023 – Torah Study at 6 pm and Shazoom at 7:30 pm
November 24, 2023 – Shazoom at 6:30 pm
December 1, 2023 – Torah Study at 6 pm and Shazoom at 7:30 pm
December 8, 2023 – Shazoom at 6:30 pm [Chanukah 2nd Candle before sundown]
December 15, 2023 – Torah Study at 6 pm and Shazoom at 7:30 pm [Chanukah ends]
December 22, 2023 – Shazoom at 6:30 pm
December 29, 2023 – Torah Study at 6 pm and Shazoom at 7:30 pm