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Noach

Noach

Encouraging Young People to Build Their Own Ark

Published on Thursday November 19th, 2020

“Noach was a Tzaddik in his generation." These succinct words are the prelude to the apocalyptic context, announcing the advent of the Flood in the portion of the week.

The story highlights a flagrant contrast between a society, whose members, both young and old had succumbed to depravity; animals and plants had been likewise adulterated by inbreeding with other species; on the other hand, a united family, worked together in compass in the construction of a boat, an ark to save humanity.

The flood generation were ruthlessly pursuing the gratification of desires and impulses, viscerally determined to become free of social or natural constraints.

Above all,  this society was led by the obsession to break free from the yoke of heaven, and the limitations of its humaneness; and strove to rebel against the Master of the world, the Creator.

These initiatives were often uncoordinated, purely individually driven, locally initiated but united in their sole purpose of repelling the very existence of the Divine.

This debauchery frenzy had led humanity to destruction and ruin, to the deluge.

Momentary Truce

The construction of the Tower of Babel took over; the latter was a more organized effort and structured enterprise; nonetheless, it was inspired by similar unscrupulous motives.

Nimrod and humanity strived to once again thwart the Divine yoke, but through a communal and concerted project, whose goal was not so much to wage a war against their Creator, as some simplistic interpretations claim, but more to form a united front and body to resist and outdraw the influence of the Master of the Universe.

However, the generation of the flood was too much of a me-generation, individualistic, fragmented and divided. Even if their revolt was justified (in their eyes) it was impossible to fulfil its ends and its goals never came to fruition.  

By in-gathering all of humanity and mobilizing all minds to develop a common project, Nimrod and his people succeeded in completing a structure of gigantic proportions and dimensions, almost Divine in size to allow them to compete and resist as united creatures against their own Creator.

Noach, however, witnessed and survived these two events, while unceasingly and adamantly remaining true to his faith, and not faltering in his emunah even for a brief moment.

Noach, His Children and Their Respective Wives

Building an ark on the ground for 120 years was indeed a crazy project; even more “outrageous” on Noach’s part it was his ability to abide single-handedly to the laws and precepts of morality, which only he applied amid a decadent society; and especially to manage and lead his family, amid a world in decline, which vehemently opposed anything connected to the Divine.

The bet was successful for one essential reason: Noach remained faithful to the law, to His Creator, and neither sought to understand nor judge the musings of the Master of the Universe.

Although his environment couldn’t have been more decadent, although moral values had lost their meaning, to the point of annihilation, Noach was content to build a Tevah, an Ark, as marginal as it may have seemed to the People of the generation of the flood; Noah indeed, sought to preserve his family and to publicize a unique message.

An Exceptional Message for Today’s Youth

To all those who are spiritually drowning and growing up in broken homes; to families which have been separated and disintegrated by waves of debauchery; and especially to our young people, who are sucked in by the power of social media, or sinking in the underworld of media depravity, the time is long overdue to build their own Tevah, and to fill it with our ancestral values ​​of Torah and Mitzvot.

Our Sages of blessed memory foresaw the ills of our generation more than 2000 years ago and described it as the end of time.

Our generation has no other alternative on offer than to seek refuge in an insulated Torah environment.

Rav Guédalia Moché HIRSCH

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