Can we please start a Torah Study thread? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 101 Old 10-08-2007, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really need help and structure and such.

Pretty please? :

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#2 of 101 Old 10-08-2007, 05:59 PM
 
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Cool. I'm in.

You want to go in order, by the parsha each week? It's a good time to start, since this week's Shabbos Bereishis.

Or'd you have something else in mind?

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#3 of 101 Old 10-08-2007, 10:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's what I had in mind; It just occurred to me because of Simchas Torah. : Speaking of which, Umsami posted a really cool bit in the homeschooling forum about Ramadan.. Perhaps Simchas Torah would be a good place to start with Jewish holidays? :

Parshas Bereshis-- The beginning! I'd love to write more, but I've got a naked baby emergency...

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#4 of 101 Old 10-08-2007, 11:51 PM
 
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sounds good to me, though I'm not sure how much I'll be able to contribute. Would love to learn along.

Dara Mommy to Gabbie (4/05) , Zachary (6/07) , and Simon (8/10)
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#5 of 101 Old 10-09-2007, 01:38 AM
 
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How odd....I for some reason thought last shabbos was breishit since it was the 1st shabbat after simchat torah. and that this week is noach. No?

I haven't looked at a calendar, and I'm not in shul any more for davening (can we say Tot Shabbat?) so I am really clueless.

I could just get much tush off this chair to look at my calendar, but if it's the case that it is B'reshit, please explain why that is?

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#6 of 101 Old 10-09-2007, 02:24 AM
 
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Breishit just passed. This coming Shabbes is Noach.
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#7 of 101 Old 10-09-2007, 04:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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See? I'm confused... but Noach is a decent place to start...

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#8 of 101 Old 10-09-2007, 05:52 AM
 
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And that's what I get for not going to shul.

Okay, so just since we missed Bereishis, then, I'll stick in a quick shtickle R' Shlomo on Bereishis ...

G-d created the world in six days and on Shabbos He rested ... va'yinafash. What a sad translation, He rested! Va'yinafash ... on Shabbos, G-d gave the world a soul. On Shabbos G-d created the world of souls, of depth, of tasting that which is most real.










'K. Noakh.


I know this is for discussion and not just links, but will stick in a link. 'Cuz that's the kind of guy'i'yam. Chabad.org's parsha page "for families."





Gotta learn something before I post more. {Insert Ah-nold voice here} I'll be back.
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#9 of 101 Old 10-09-2007, 10:19 AM
 
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What? That's it? Nothing about the nature of Man and Woman or fatal sibling rivalry or how Adam and Chava got themselves tossed out of Gan Eden?

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#10 of 101 Old 10-09-2007, 11:19 AM
 
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I'm in! I have been trying to do more with the kiddos. Rivka came home yesterday asking for a coloring picture of Noach so I guess she's learning in gan.

Mom to:

Three big girls  twins.gif (10) + joy.gif (almost 9!); 

One little boy ROTFLMAO.gif(6) and a full on toddler diaper.gif  (8/12) born with TAPVR heartbeat.gif (repaired at 6 days old).

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#11 of 101 Old 10-09-2007, 11:38 AM
 
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What? That's it? Nothing about the nature of Man and Woman or fatal sibling rivalry or how Adam and Chava got themselves tossed out of Gan Eden?


Naaah. Everyone does that stuff. BTDT.



Am all up for a discussion of Migdal Bavel ("tower of Bavel") ... mankind working together, unified toward a single purpose, and then WHOOOSH disunity, whomped right down on us.

Then again, it's instigated by Nimrod, the evilest of all evilests ... so unity in the service of evil ??? ...

I mean, the tower to me never looked like a bad thing. People wanting to raise themselves up, reach higher ... or maybe I'm too busy enjoying the metaphors to see the bricks.

The midrash says that the only people who stayed away/uninvolved from the construction of the tower were Noakh, Sheim & Ever, and Avram (not yet called Avraham)
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#12 of 101 Old 10-09-2007, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay-- what all happens in this parsha?

I went looking for my Tanach... and realized that I don't have a single copy on this floor of the house. I don't know if it even moved with me the last time, it may still be at my mom's. :

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#13 of 101 Old 10-09-2007, 04:45 PM
 
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my father's hebrew name is Avram. His parents did not know (I guess) that it should be Avraham. It is a big deal because on my ketubbah it is written as Avraham, even though that's not his name! I find it interesting that you cannot use the name Avram. Anyone know why?

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#14 of 101 Old 10-09-2007, 06:00 PM
 
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One theory I heard about Babel is that it was about people putting their faith in technology/their own abilities to manipulate the world over faith in Hashem.

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#15 of 101 Old 10-09-2007, 08:47 PM
 
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Okay-- what all happens in this parsha?

I went looking for my Tanach... and realized that I don't have a single copy on this floor of the house. I don't know if it even moved with me the last time, it may still be at my mom's. :
Rynna - The Parsha is easily accessible on-line. I am sure other sites have it also, but I use Chabad.org
Big surprise there

This is one of my favorite parshas - really only because I am named for the dove that Noach flew off the ark.

I have always found Noach to be a bit of an enigma though...

ETA: I was just checking out the parsha page I linked to and found this quote from Rashi which I don't think I have ever heard before but definitely explains my problems with Noah:

"Noah was a righteous man in his generation (Genesis 6:9)

There are those amongst our sages who interpret this as praise: How much more so would he have been in a generation of righteous people. And there are those who interpret it as a condemnation: In accordance to his generation he was righteous; but if he would have been in Abraham's generation, he would not be regarded as anything."
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#16 of 101 Old 10-09-2007, 10:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Rynna - The Parsha is easily accessible on-line. I am sure other sites have it also, but I use Chabad.org
Big surprise there
Yeah, I Googled.. Still, I figure (hope?) that there are people reading along who are interested in following the conversation... so an overview might help.

However, I can take a hint and do it .

Noach in a Nutshell
  • Step one: The world's a mess, full of vice and corruption. God says to Noach, "Build an ark, I'm gonna wash this madness out of my hair," (though not in so many words). Noach does as he's bidden, stuffs his family and a bunch of critters aboard the ark and...
  • Step two: The flood comes. Deluge, even, 40 days and 40 nights. The waters sit around for 150 more days and nights, the ark bobs along. Noach finally is instructed to leave the ark a full year after the onset of the flood. :
  • Step three: Noach builds an altar and God promises never to do it again.
  • Step four: Noach gets smashed and one of his kids isn't very nice about it.
  • Step five: Stuff about the descendants of Noach.

So, for the first bit: The man, the ark, the animals, the rain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bereshis
"Noah was a righteous man in his generation (Genesis 6:9)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rashi?
There are those amongst our sages who interpret this as praise: How much more so would he have been in a generation of righteous people. And there are those who interpret it as a condemnation: In accordance to his generation he was righteous; but if he would have been in Abraham's generation, he would not be regarded as anything."
I totally remember this discussion every school year in elementary. A righteous man in his time... There are all sorts of midrashim (stories, right?) surrounding Noach. Do I see it as a condemnation? Yes and no. To use an analogy which currently has relevance to my daily life, perhaps Noach was a highly gifted child in a small, back-of-beyond school district. Yeah, he was a big fish in a small pond. And yeah, in a bigger pond there may well have been bigger fish... but he still would have been something special, and perhaps given a more optimal environment something great. I think that maybe there's no way to know the true extent of his potential because he was never given the opportunity to be tested out of level.

Noach was supposedly born without a foreskin; My understanding of this was that he was, in some way, closer to God than the average human male and that this was symbolic of that connection. I guess I sort that all into the "he probably had more potential than he got the chance to use" argument. On the other hand.. being stuck in a proverbial small pond, he never had any reason to work hard and prove himself. Perhaps his capacity for righteousness was just as great as Avraham's or Moshe's, but there was never a need for him to demonstrate that at all so he didn't... and perhaps, as with high intellect, he stagnated to some degree on his righteous path.

(And, while this is sooo interesting to me and i totally want to continue the convo... any ideas about what i could say to the kiddles? )

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#17 of 101 Old 10-10-2007, 04:47 AM
 
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my father's hebrew name is Avram. His parents did not know (I guess) that it should be Avraham. It is a big deal because on my ketubbah it is written as Avraham, even though that's not his name! I find it interesting that you cannot use the name Avram. Anyone know why?
I don't think there is a prohibition on using the name Avram. I certainly knew men with that name in Israel - though I also knew guys named Nimrod . My guess though is that your father's name is "Avrum" which is a Yiddish nickname for Avraham.
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#18 of 101 Old 10-10-2007, 11:00 AM
 
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I totally remember this discussion every school year in elementary. A righteous man in his time... There are all sorts of midrashim (stories, right?) surrounding Noach. Do I see it as a condemnation? Yes and no. To use an analogy which currently has relevance to my daily life, perhaps Noach was a highly gifted child in a small, back-of-beyond school district. Yeah, he was a big fish in a small pond. And yeah, in a bigger pond there may well have been bigger fish... but he still would have been something special, and perhaps given a more optimal environment something great. I think that maybe there's no way to know the true extent of his potential because he was never given the opportunity to be tested out of level.


So this isn't my khiddush (new insight) but I'll give it over l'zekher nishmas (in memory of the spirit of) R' David Hertzberg z'l ... since it's from him :


Rashi gives over that Torah ... that he was (a) righteous surrounded by evil, so how much more so would he have been righteous if he lived in a time of goodness, surrounded by it and being influenced by it ... or (b) that he was righteous compared to the evil around him, but if he was in a generation of goodness he would have been considered as nothing.

The Talmud tells us that these opposing opinions come from (drumroll, please) R' Yokhanan (the perfect tzaddik) and Resh Lakish (the reformed master thief).

So the Ishbitzer says that each opinion comes from each guy's place ... one the tzaddik, one the BT (ba'al teshuva/"returnee") ... R' Yokhanan the tzaddik expects perfection from himself and from Noakh, and so can only see Noakh as a tzaddik when compared to evil. Resh Lakish, though, the perfect ba'al teshuva, sees what the Talmud meant by the saying that a tzaddik can never reach the same heights as a ba'al teshuva ... ie., that Noakh's goodness even while living in the midst of nastiness enables him to reach even higher than even the highest tzaddik ...

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#19 of 101 Old 10-10-2007, 04:21 PM
 
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Noach.
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#20 of 101 Old 10-10-2007, 04:34 PM
 
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Yeah, except that I spell it Noakh.
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#21 of 101 Old 10-10-2007, 05:04 PM
 
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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.

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#22 of 101 Old 10-10-2007, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

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#23 of 101 Old 10-10-2007, 08:00 PM
 
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:

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...
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#24 of 101 Old 10-10-2007, 10:24 PM
 
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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?

Dara Mommy to Gabbie (4/05) , Zachary (6/07) , and Simon (8/10)
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#25 of 101 Old 10-10-2007, 10:28 PM
 
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:

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.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#26 of 101 Old 10-10-2007, 10:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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! )

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#27 of 101 Old 10-11-2007, 12:02 AM
 
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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?
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#28 of 101 Old 10-11-2007, 12:20 AM
 
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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.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#29 of 101 Old 10-11-2007, 01:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I give the same sign when I close the bathroom door and get in the tub. :

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#30 of 101 Old 10-11-2007, 06:00 AM
 
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In re the rainbow, I read a beautiful (& brief) blog post about this ... it's a guest poster on the A Simple Jew blog.
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