Parashat Noach, Repentance, Forgiveness, Justice and Righteousness.


In this week’s reading from Parashat Noach (Bereshit / Genesis 6:9-11:32) the Lord saw all of the wickedness on the face of the earth from mankind (וַיַּרְא יְהֹוָה כִּי רַבָּה רָעַת הָאָדָם בָּאָרֶץ וְכָל-יֵצֶר מַחְשְׁבֹת לִבּוֹ רַק רַע כָּל-הַיּוֹם: ו   וַיִּנָּחֶם יְהֹוָה כִּי-עָשָֹה אֶת-הָאָדָם בָּאָרֶץ וַיִּתְעַצֵּב אֶל-לִבּוֹ) and that the heart of man was consistently focused upon evil (Bereshit 6:9).  It grieved the Lord that He had made man, the Targum Onkelos (Bereshit 6:10) says that it grieved the Lord God in His the Memra (בְּמֵימְרֵיהּ, Word) that He had made man (וְתַב יְיָ בְּמֵימְרֵיהּ אֲרֵי עֲבַד יַת אָדָם בְּאַרְעָא וַאֲמַר בְּמֵימְרֵיהּ לְמִתְבַּר תּוּקְפֵיהוֹן כִּרְעוּתֵיהּ).  As a result, the Lord was going to bring a great flood to destroy all life having breath from the face of the earth.  God instructs Noach to build an ark and then Noach, his family, two of every unclean animal, and 7 pairs of every clean animal enter into the ark.  Following the flood and the waters receding, God instructs Noach that it is ok to leave the ark.  In Bereshit / Genesis 9:11 God says וַהֲקִמֹתִי אֶת-בְּרִיתִי אִתְּכֶם I establish my covenant with you,” the Lord declares that He will establish His covenant and places His bow as a reminder of the covenant that He has made to not destroy the earth by water (flood) אֶת-קַשְׁתִּי נָתַתִּי בֶּעָנָן וְהָיְתָה לְאוֹת בְּרִית בֵּינִי וּבֵין הָאָרֶץ as long as the earth stands and the seasons come in their time.  Based on this text, the Lord makes a covenant with the earth and places the rainbow as a sign of the covenant.  On seeing the rainbow, the Lord will remember the covenant that He made with us and all life on the earth (וְזָכַרְתִּי אֶת-בְּרִיתִי אֲשֶׁר בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵיכֶם וּבֵין כָּל-נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה בְּכָל-בָּשָֹר וְלֹא-יִהְיֶה עוֹד הַמַּיִם לְמַבּוּל לְשַׁחֵת כָּל-בָּשָֹר).  Note that God “remembers” on seeing the rainbow.  Life can be so intense sometimes that we forget the hope that we have that comes as a result of our faith and faithfulness to God.  Like God, sometimes we need to remind ourselves that mighty and awesome is our God, He has a plan for us and He (God) has remained faithful to us throughout the ages in the covenant He made in His Son Yeshua the Messiah. Read More here.