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5 Facts About Parshat Noach that You (Maybe) Didn’t Know

Published on Friday November 20th, 2020

Discover and learn every week, "5 Facts" written on the weekly Parshah that you can share at your Shabbos table.

וְזֶ֕האֲשֶׁ֥רתַּֽעֲשֶׂ֖האֹתָ֑הּ שְׁלֹ֧שׁ מֵא֣וֹתאַמָּ֗האֹ֚רֶךְ הַתֵּבָ֔החֲמִשִּׁ֤יםאַמָּה֙ רָחְבָּ֔הּ וּשְׁלֹשִׁ֥יםאַמָּ֖הקוֹמָתָֽהּ׃(6:15)

This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.

  1. From what material did Sancheriv fashion his idol?  

  • The idol that Sancheriv later fashioned was made out of a beam that he found from Noach’s ark. It was upon this idol that he proclaimed that he would sacrifice his two sons if he would succeed. Upon hearing this, his sons pre-empted and killed him first.

  1. Where else later in history do we find use for some of the Ark’s wood?  

  • The 50 amot wooden pole that was intended for hanging Mordechai in the Purim story was also taken from Noach’s ark. That pole was found in the home of Haman’s son, Parshandat.

וַיָּ֣בֹאנֹ֗חַ וּ֠בָנָיווְאִשְׁתּ֧וֹ וּנְשֵֽׁי־בָנָ֛יואִתּ֖וֹ אֶל־הַתֵּבָ֑המִפְּנֵ֖ימֵ֥יהַמַּבּֽוּל׃(7:7)

Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the Flood.

  1. Which creatures couldn’t fit into the Ark?  

  • Only 2 creatures couldn’t fit into the ark: The “R’em” (a giant auroch/bull), whose horns and head fitted in but not its body. And the giant Og who walked alongside the ark. Some say, Noach attached him to the ark and fed him.

  1. What was the Re’em?  

  • The Re’em was a huge creature. Some say it was a dinosaur. The Talmud says that King David once mistook a Re’em for a mountain. He started climbing this “mountain” but realized his mistake once it started moving. The Re’em is a kosher animal. There are only 2 of them at any given time, a male and a female, and they live at opposite ends of the world. They mate every 70 years and after mating the female kills the male. The female then lies on her side for a year, at which time God feeds her until she gives birth. She gives birth to a male and female who stay far away from each other, at opposite ends of the world, and she then dies.

וַיִּ֜מַחאֶֽת־כָּל־הַיְק֣וּם ׀ אֲשֶׁ֣ר ׀ עַל־פְּנֵ֣יהָֽאֲדָמָ֗המֵאָדָ֤םעַד־בְּהֵמָה֙ עַד־רֶ֙מֶשׂ֙ וְעַד־ע֣וֹףהַשָּׁמַ֔יִםוַיִּמָּח֖וּ מִן־הָאָ֑רֶץוַיִשָּׁ֧אֶראַךְ־נֹ֛חַ וַֽאֲשֶׁ֥ראִתּ֖וֹ בַּתֵּבָֽה׃(7.23)

All existence on earth was blotted out, man, cattle, creeping things, and birds of the sky; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.

  1. How exemplary was the Chul’s behavior while in the Ark and how was it rewarded for it?  

  • The “Chul” bird (the phoenix), which used to speak, was blessed by Noach that it would never die. This is because it went into hiding during the flood so as not to inconvenience Noach by requiring him to care for it.

Eytan Yéhouda DZIKOWSKI - © Torah-Box Account

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