Photo of Rabbi Ettedgui

Parashat Noah - 5776

My friends,

This Shabbat we read the portion of Noah. The reason given by G-d for destroying all life with a flood is:

"And G-d looked upon the earth and behold it was corrupt, for all flesh has corrupted his way upon the earth . . . for the earth is filled with violence" (Genesis 6:12-13)

This looks like a good description of the kind of world we live in. In Syria and in other parts of the world people are destroying their own world - no flood is needed there. With the hundreds of thousands of lost lives and many millions who were exiled from their homes, that's a man made flood!

Noah brings a word of comfort by being able to maneuver through very difficult times. His name 'Noah' implies calmness and comfort.

In every person's life there are ups and downs - some tumultuous periods for which we are encouraged to find the strength to overcome those difficulties. In the 23rd Psalm we pray "al mei menuhot yennahaleni" - "He guides me besides the still waters". With G-d's help and spiritual strength we can find the calm waters in our life and in the lives of those who need our help.

Our people in Israel could use a Shabbat of shalom - peace - and menuha - calmness. We pray for that day to come - hopefully very soon.

Shabbat Shalom,

Avram