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Can we please start a Torah Study thread? - Page 2

post #21 of 101
We could just call it Noah.

We spent a couple of posts talking about Berashis because there won't be another opportunity to do so if we're going in order. The parsha of the week is considered to be the upcoming parsha- what's going to be read in shul this coming shabbos. So we didnt' have much time to prepare for Breishis considering that we had, um, 0 days between Simchas Torah and Shabbos Berashis. Those living in Israel had 1 day instead.

So, we skimmed along Berashis (Hashem made the world, Adam and Chava got evicted, their kids had a fight and one got killed then they had another kid. This kid had a bunch of grandchildren and great-grandchildren etc and 10 generations later Noah was born.)

Now we'll spend a little more time learning about Noah, the flood, and the Tower of Babel, all of which happened in Parhas Noach.

As we said earlier (IRL), it's easy to remember that The Tower of Babel happened after the Flood, and not before it. Had the Babel story happened first, there would have been only one family (who spoke one language) surviving the flood, and we wouldn't have all the languages we have today.
post #22 of 101
Thread Starter 
:

So here's a question: Assuming that Noach would have been more of a tzaddik had he been around better folks, what does that say about his sons? Was Ham doomed to be a punk, or could he have potentially been a decent human being?
post #23 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy View Post
:

So here's a question: Assuming that Noach would have been more of a tzaddik had he been around better folks, what does that say about his sons? Was Ham doomed to be a punk, or could he have potentially been a decent human being?
Well that goes to the whole nature vs. nurture question now doesn't it? Do you believe that it takes a village to raise a child? In which case that village stunk, so the kid was doomed from birth.

Or do you believe that parents are the most influential - both through genes and parenting abilities? In which case, he didn't have it so bad as a kid and was just a rebellious punk...

I don't necessarily think that there is a right or wrong answer here...
post #24 of 101
ok here are a few questions about Noah. My nephew was born on parshat Noah and his initials are nun het, but his parents did not want to name him Noah, is it true that Noah is remembered as a bad person? this is kind of being discussed above.

second question. my sister in law says you should not look at a rainbow because it's a bad sign. I see it as a good sign because it means hashem promised us not to bring another flood. am I correct?
post #25 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy View Post
:

So here's a question: Assuming that Noach would have been more of a tzaddik had he been around better folks, what does that say about his sons? Was Ham doomed to be a punk, or could he have potentially been a decent human being?
I think Ham could have made better choices and been a better human being, but he made crappy choices and ended up being "a not so nice human being." I don't think anybody can ever be "doomed" from birth.

Maybe he would have made better choices had he been raised in a more wholesome environment, or maybe not. He DID have a tzaddik for a father, so his home life was certainly wholesome- I really think it was his own choices in life and not anything around him that's to blame.
post #26 of 101
Thread Starter 
Ah, but how wholesome can his home life have been, growing up in such an environment? Some kids have a harder time overcoming environmental obstacles than do others. Also, when does blame shift from parents/environment to child?

(And no, of course there are no wrong or right answers here... if there were, there'd be no point in discussing it! )
post #27 of 101
I think he had a little PTSD from the whole experience: flood, world destroyed, living on a boat with a bunch o' animals and your parents and brothers and wives for a year! Who wouldn't?
post #28 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by dara00 View Post
second question. my sister in law says you should not look at a rainbow because it's a bad sign. I see it as a good sign because it means hashem promised us not to bring another flood. am I correct?
The Rainbow means that Hashem is mad enough to destroy the world with another flood, but he remembers his promise and won't do it right now.
post #29 of 101
Thread Starter 
I give the same sign when I close the bathroom door and get in the tub. :
post #30 of 101
In re the rainbow, I read a beautiful (& brief) blog post about this ... it's a guest poster on the A Simple Jew blog.
post #31 of 101
love it!
post #32 of 101
:
post #33 of 101
Thread Starter 
So... getting ready for Shabbos. I'm sure that I'm not the only mamma here who finds the mere thought of getting to shul to actually hear some of the reading all but impossible. So out of curiosity, if this is a difficult/impossible task for you, will you be doing anything special at home? Actually taking some time to read, or discuss with the kids? I probably won't get the chance to chat with a real grownup *or* the kids, but my resolution this week is to print out the parsha and actually read it on Shabbos. I'm trying, darnit! Yes, i recognize it as a small step.. but it *is* a step, right?
post #34 of 101
Yup, definitely a step!

For us, shul is more of a social function than a religious one. : I usually arrive DURING the Torah reading, and find it impossible to actually follow allong with the reading. Then I listen to the rabbi's talk and daven musaf (ie, say my one shmona esrai of the week.)
post #35 of 101
I'm going to give over what dd1 brought home for her school's Parsha page (for the parents) -- she goes to a Bais Yaakov type school.

Parshas Noach:

"In describing the reason for bringing the mabul (flood) which eradicated almost all life on earth, the pasuk (verse) explains: "ki mala'ah ha'aretz chamas" -- "the earth was filled with gezeilah, with theft and dishonesty." Rashi notes that the decree to bring the flood upon the earth was prompted by the fact that gezeilah, dishonesty, deceit and fraud were rampant and "filled the earth." How can we understand that such a dramatic punishment came down for these sins?

[paraphrasing]

The Chasam Sofer points out that gezeilah, whether small innocuous thefts or lies, is the type of aveirah (sin) which bear many fruits, and these bear yet more sins. It's not the aveirah of theft alone, but the cumulative effect on a society which is deceitful and dishonest in its dealings with fellow people, which corrupts to the exten thtat there is no hope of teshuva (repentance) and return to a moral way of life.

One becomes accustomed and inured to these acts, whether "small" like taking things from the office, or larger, like making false statements on tax returns or giving misleading information to clients or customers. These sins become normative in society.

A more profound addendum could be added: since we are taught that a person's annual income is decided on Rosh Hashana, then it makes o sense for a person to steal, since he/she has nothing to gain. Should he succeed in stealing, then it follows that he will lose out in another area. If he has emunah (faith) in Hashem that Hashem will not allow him to gain from gezeilah, then he/she won't steal. The people of the age of the Mabul were in denial of Hashem's hashgacha (involvement in their lives). This lack of emunah in Hashem was the final cause of the Mabul.

And what came home for the children (second grade, all in Hebrew):

Noach was a tzadik (righteous man) in his generation. The sons of Noach were Shem, Ham, and Yafeth. Hasehm told Noach to build a tayva (ark). Noach built it (i.e. -- he listened even though it made "no sense.").

Hashem brought a flood onto the world; the rain fell for forty days and forty nights, and remained upon the earth for a year. Hashem gave Noach a sign -- a rainbow.

There were seven of each "tahor" (pure) animals. There were two of each "non-pure" (tamei) animals that were on the tayva (ark).
post #36 of 101
I'm glad you clarified that they had something simpler for the 7yos- I was wondering what kind of expectations they had for 2nd graders at that school!


thanks for sharing.
post #37 of 101
post #38 of 101
Well I can't go to shul because of the baby, and there is no eruv yet (and even then who knows if I will or not...)

I read "The Little Midrash Says" with the girls every week during Shabbos - we pick and choose stories and parsha from it, and don't read everything. I actually learn quite a bit from that book. Also, mainly because I have it, I read "My First Parsha Reader" to the baby. He listens, eats the book, but never answers the questions...

My preferred study Chumash right now is the Gutnick Chumash. It is not too intense just bits and pieces I can take in small bites as I have a moment here and there. I also have a book called "A Thought For the Week" which has a simple 1-2 page Torah thought for each Parsha. Again, another easy way to get some Torah learning in....
post #39 of 101
This week I started with Aviva Zornberg's "The Beginning of Desire" on the parshiyos. Skipped Bereishis (since I missed it last week ) and didn't get far with Noakh ... was just finishing her pointing out that Noakh's name was given by Lamekh because (not looking, just off the top of my head, so forgive if the transliteration is slightly off) zeh yinakhameinu ... this oen will give us relief/rest, so the name Noakh ... think nekhama ... and then the Khumash gets all punned out ... when G!d loses patience with mankind and regrets their creation it says vayinakhem for that regret ... same root ... and then, of course, Noakh matza khen b'eynei HaShem, well, Noakh and khen are palindromes, still from that nakhem root.


So what does it all mean? No clue yet. Give me till next year's Shabbos Noakh ...
post #40 of 101
I have that book - I used to be good friends with Aviva Zornberg's daughter. I did not understand a word of the book though!
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