וְנֹחַ, מָצָא חֵן בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD (Genesis 6:8)
אֵלֶּה, תּוֹלְדֹת נֹחַ–נֹחַ אִישׁ צַדִּיק תָּמִים הָיָה, בְּדֹרֹתָיו: אֶת-הָאֱלֹהִים, הִתְהַלֶּךְ-נֹחַ
These are the generations of Noah. Noah was in his generations a man righteous and whole-hearted; Noah walked with God (Genesis 6:9)
Did you ever notice that it always rains on Parshat Noach?
Is that Gd’s way of reminding us about the possibility of total annihilation, or just telling us to get off our positions of authority, power, style, arrogance and realize that we are NOT the ultimate storytellers. He is.
With Noach being good or just good for “his generations”, do we strive to be distinguished in our righteousness instead of appearance? Do we want to be good or just good enough? And – do we hope to bring our children up differently? So that not one of them will ever get cursed like Ham?
You raised a child?
Don’t hope he’ll turn like you.
Nothing is guaranteed.
The vineyard planted. Great!
The grapes are sweet.
Their bitter juices we are drinking for eternity.
Another take from this Parshah rings true to me until today.
וַיֹּאמְרוּ הָבָה נִבְנֶה-לָּנוּ עִיר, וּמִגְדָּל וְרֹאשׁוֹ בַשָּׁמַיִם, וְנַעֲשֶׂה-לָּנוּ, שֵׁם: פֶּן-נָפוּץ, עַל-פְּנֵי כָל-הָאָרֶץ
And they said: ‘Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, with its top in heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. (Genesis 11:4)
We are still trying to “make a name” for ourselves with no regard to Providence, fellow humans, people that are different from us, less powerful, less educated, etc. And, as a result, we are “scattered” (Genesis 11:8), we are fighting each other instead of helping each other. It is mind-boggling how we got used to the numbers of the dead. Pay just a little attention to the daily news – every single day someone is killed. We do not even blink at the numbers like 15 people, 50 people… Hopefully, we stop for a second to think about a few hundred dead. And then we go about our day forgetting those who will forever remain nameless.
All we can pray for is that in our own lifetimes after arrogance comes chesed – חסד – after Ham – Avraham.