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Friday, October 23

The Weekly Shtikle - Noach

Just by matter of simple observation, it occurred to me that Noach's family's adventures in the teiva constitute the paradigmatic case of quarantine. They were certainly confined for far longer than any of us have (so far) but then again, it's not like they had any reason to want to leave. It was clear to them - for almost all of the time - that they were much better off inside than out.

However, Rav Moshe Feinstein, in Kol Ram, makes an intriguing and most appropriate observation on Noach's final days in confinement. At the beginning of the flood, Rashi comments (7:7) that Noach demonstrated a slight lack of faith in only entering the ark after the flood waters forced him to. However we are to understand this criticism of Noach, it appears he did not follow HaShem's command until the "facts on the ground" compelled him to.  Rav Moshe points out that Noach atones for this on the other end. After investing quite a bit of effort in bird-based testing and waiting at least 14 days (sound familiar?), Noach appears to have sufficient evidence that the waters have sufficiently receded and it was safe to exit. Nevertheless, Noach did not. He waited until HaShem explicitly commanded to leave.

We have certainly faced many challenges over this last while with all sort of decrees - whether they come from rabbinic leadership, medical personnel or government officials - which we find difficult to follow and perhaps even at some times not logical in our minds. Noach's care and patience should serve as an inspiration to us all to get through these difficult times.



On the lighter side (since, as illustrated below, the teiva was quite heavy): A good friend of mine and noted author, Mordechai Bodek, wrote a humourous book called Extracts From Noah's Diary. Check it out!

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:

Al Pi Cheshbon: The Weight of the Teiva and The Constant Rate of Recession 
AstroTorah: Sailing the Friendly Skies by R' Ari Storch

AstroTorah: The World's First Boat?

AstroTorah: Interesting Calendrical Facts About the Mabul

Dikdukian: Noach's Three Sons

Dikdukian: Different Ways to Wake Up

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