"For this is to Me [as] the waters of Noah,
as I swore that the waters of Noah shall never again pass over the earth (Genesis 9:8-17), so have I sworn neither to be wroth with you nor to rebuke you" (Isaiah 54:9).
In order to survive the waters of the flood, Noah was commanded to built an ark. The Hebrew word for the "ark" is TEIVAH. TEIVAH also means a "word": a word is a vessel that sails the airwaves between my mouth and your ear, bearing a cargo of meaning: the message.
Noah was commanded to bring his wife, his children, their spouses, birds, animals, food, fodder - everything needed to survive - into his "Ark", the TEIVAH. This teaches us that to survive the stormy waters of life in this world, we too must bring our lives and all our affairs - down to the smallest details - into HA-TEIVAH, "the word", i.e. the words of our prayers.
TEIVAH of Noah is a vital lifeboat for those seeking to survive the chaos of the end of time. As we navigate the dark, stormy seas of life, the word of God gives guidance, comfort and light (Extracted from:
Universal Torah Lessons for Humanity from the Weekly Parshah (NOAH) by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum).
"And you shall say on that day (when you see the nations being sentenced to disgrace and abhorrence), "I will thank You, O Lord, FOR YOU WERE WROTH WITH ME; may Your wrath turn away and may You comfort me" (Isaiah 12:1,
The punishment of Exile afforded me atonement for my sin so that complete forgiveness is now possible (Rashi). See Leviticus 26:40-46.
"When I return them from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, I shall be sanctified through them before the eyes of many nations
...and I shall gather them to their land, and I shall no
longer leave any of them there.
And I shall no longer hide My face from them, for I shall have
poured out My spirit upon the House of Israel," says the Lord God. (
Ezekiel 39:27-29, Joel 2:18-27, Ch. 3).
"For so said the High and Exalted One, Who dwells
to eternity, and His name is Holy,
"With the lofty and the holy ones I dwell, and with the crushed and humble in spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the crushed.
For I will not contend forever, neither will I be wroth to eternity, when a spirit from before Me humbles itself, and souls [which] I have made.
For the iniquity of his thievery* I became wroth, and I smote him, I hid Myself and became wroth, for he went rebelliously in the way of his heart.
I saw his ways and I will heal him, and I will lead him and requite with consolations him and his mourners."
(Isaiah 57:15-18, II Chr. 7:13-15, Jeremiah 33:6-18).
*"If the redemption is delayed, it is because "your destroyers and those that lay you waste come forth from you" (Isaiah 49:17) – it is not God but rather the wicked sinners of Israel who cause the destruction of Zion. This is seen today in the tireless efforts by Israel 's secular political leadership with the full backing of its judiciary, police, the media etc. to uproot Jews from their religious inheritance and their own ancestral land (Ezekiel 36:12-15).
In contrast to they who seek God (Isaiah 55:6), "His watchmen (leaders) are all blind (who do not see what is developing), without knowledge (of what will happen at the end of days); they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark (even when they see the sword coming);.. Yea, the dogs are greedy, they know not when they have enough; and these are shepherds that cannot understand; they all turn to their own way, each one to his gain, one and all" (Isaiah 56:10-11). They rob the rest of the people over whom they are appointed (Rashi).
Jeremiah is forced to tell people the truth, because the false prophets have "healed" the wounds of the people by lulling them into complacency, promising them "Peace! Peace! – but there is no peace!" (Jeremiah 6:18). This phrase rings as true as ever today, as the secular leaders and pundits of Israel repeatedly promise peace but Israel knows only hostility and war!"
"Behold, the mighty ones shall cry outside; ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly" (Isaiah 33:7). The prophet speaks of the suffering that Israel would have to endure prior to the overthrow of the oppressor – Sennacherib or Gog and Magog. Thus Sennacherib overran the whole of Judah before his overthrow at the height of his siege of Jerusalem. In Isaiah 33:7-9, the "mighty ones" – celestial angels or earthly messengers – weep bitterly over the spectacle of devastation in Judah because of the attacking enemies... "Now will I arise, saith HaShem; now will I be exalted; now will I lift Myself up.
…" Precisely when all seems lost, God will intervene to save His people" (33:10), (Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum).
"And He said, "Go (Isaiah) and say to this people
'Indeed you hear, but you do not understand; indeed you
see, but you do not know.'
This people's heart is becoming fat, and his ears are becoming heavy,
and his eyes are becoming sealed,
lest he see with his eyes, and hear with his ears, and his heart understand, and he repent and be healed" (Isaiah 6:9-10, Deut. 32:15-21).
This verse expresses the three conditions of Teshuvah (Repentance).
It is not sufficient to "see with one's eyes" – to attain a perception of God – without "hearing with the ears", i.e. seeking to contemplate, grasp and internalize the perception in order to come to "understanding in the heart", whereby the perception actually governs one's future actions. It is repentance that brings true healing (Likutey Moharan I, 6).
Hosea 6:1-2 "Come, and let us return unto HaShem; for He hath torn, and He will heal us, He hath smitten, and He will bind us up.
After two days will He revive us, on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His presence." Even if our misfortune is prolonged and "incurable," He will heal us in a matter of days (Kara). He will strengthen us after the two punishments that have befallen us, the destruction of the First and Second Temples, and raise us up with the building of the Third Temple (Rashi).
Hosea 6:3 "And let us know, eagerly strive to know HaShem, His going forth is sure as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter rain that watereth the earth."
Like rain which comes to be life for the world, for then He will come to teach life that will come to us (Rashi). As it is written in the Torah (Deut. 32:1-2): "Give ear, ye heavens, and I will speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew; as the small rain upon the tender grass, and as the showers upon the herb."
"And he shall say, "Pave, pave, clear the way; remove the obstacles from the way of My people" (Isaiah 57:14). Remove the Evil Inclination that prevent us from repenting (Rashi), or remove the physical obstacles that prevent My people's return from Exile (Ibn Ezra).
Ezekiel 36:26 "And I will give you a new heart (an Inclination that has been renewed for the better), and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away THE HEART OF STONE out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh." A "heart of flesh" is "a heart that heeds and a spirit that is ready to receive the words of God with love" (RaDaK).
The "heart of stone" refers to man's Evil Inclination.
The Talmud teaches: "The Evil Inclination is called by seven names. God calls it 'evil' (Gen. 8:21). Moses called it 'uncircumcised' (Deut. 10:16). David called it 'impure', asking for a pure heart (Psalms 51:12). Solomon called it an 'enemy'
(Proverbs 25:21). Isaiah called it a 'stumbling block or obstacle' (Isaiah 57:14). Ezekiel called it 'stone,' while Joel called it the 'northern' (or 'hidden') one (Joel 2:20)" (Succah 52a).
Pharaoh and free choice: God tells Moses that He wil harden Pharaoh's heart, thus preventing him from repenting, with the result that God will inflict a multitude of punishments upon Egypt. Exodus 7:3 "But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and I will increase My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt." How could Pharaoh be punished for not releasing the Jews, when it was God Who prevented him from doing so?
Rambam explains that Egypt was punished only for the sins that were comitted before Pharaoh was coerced, such as the enslavement and the intense persecution. That God hardened his heart afterward was merely to prevent him from escaping the retribution he had richly earned.
Exodus 14:4 "And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will be glorified through Pharaoh and through his entire force, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord And they did so." Although Pharaoh had demanded that the Jews leave the country as soon as possible, he thought that they were going for a three-day trip. Even if they had no intention of returning, Pharaoh should have been so terrified by the plagues, and especially the Plague of the Firstborn, that it would have been sheer insanity for him to try to bring them back.
However, God wished to demonstrate conclusively that He was the Master of all, for when the wicked are punished, God is glorified. God brings retribution upon the nations, so that Israel should learn, hear and fear and recognize His mighty deeds:
"I have cut off nations; their towers have become desolate. I have destroyed their streets so that no one passes by. Their cities have become waste so that there is no man-so that there is no inhabitant. I said, "Surely you will fear Me, you will accept reproof,.." (Tzefaniah 3:6-7).
Isaiah 63:17 "
Why do You lead us astray O Lord, from Your ways, You harden our heart from Your fear? Return for the sake of Your servants, the tribes of Your heritage." Why do You lead us astray: Since You have the power to remove the Evil Inclination (Ezekiel 36:26), as it is said: "Behold, as clay in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel" (See Jeremiah 18:6-12).
Deuteronomy 15:7-8 commands us to be warmhearted and openhanded to our brethren. "
If there will be among you a needy person, from one of your brothers in one of your cities, in your land the Lord, your God, is giving you, you shall not harden your heart (you shall not deliberate of whether to give to the needy or not), and you shall not close your hand from your needy brother.
Rather, you shall open your hand to him, and you shall lend him sufficient for his needs, which he is lacking." You shall open your hand to give again and again. If the needy person is to proud to accept charity, lend him what he needs (Rashi).
Isaiah 56:7-8 "So says the Lord God, Who gathers in the dispersed of Israel, I will yet gather others to him (of the heathens of the nations who will convert and join them), together with his gathered ones. All the beasts of the field, come to devour all the beasts in the forest." The beasts of the field do not have as much strength as the beasts of the forest. The 'beasts of the field' refers to the gentiles who will not harden their hearts but will convert. They shall devour those (powerful enemies and opponents of Israel) who harden their hearts and continue their rebellion" (Metzudas David).
"Praiseworthy are those whose way is perfect, who walk with the law of the Lord. Praiseworthy are those who keep His testimonies; who seek Him wholeheartedly. Not only have they committed no injustice, they walked in His ways" (Psalm 119:1-3). Throughout this Psalm "testimonies" refers to the Torah and Mitzvos, which bear testimony to God's relationship with the Jewish nation.
"My son, forget not My instruction, and may your heart keep My commandments; for they (the Torah and the commandments) shall add length of days and years of life and peace to you. Length of days is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honour.
Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its paths are peace.
It is a tree of life for those who grasp it, and those who draw near it are fortunate.
My son, let them not depart from your eyes; guard sound wisdom and thought, and they shall be life for your soul, and grace for your neck. Then you shall go securely on your way, and your foot shall not stumble.
If you lie down, you shall not fear, and when you lie down, your sleep shall be sweet" (Proverbs 3:1-2,16-18, 21-24). In this chapter King Solomon explains what serving God means and the great blessings of long life and peace that it brings.
As for the wicked (rasha): "
Their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of wickedness; robbery and ruin are in their paths.
The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever goes on it knows no peace.
Therefore, justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light and behold there is darkness, for brightness, but we walk in gloom. We tap a wall like blind men, and like those who have no eyes we tap; we have stumbled at midday like in the darkness of night; [we are] in dark places (a grave) like the dead.
We all growl like bears, and like doves we moan; we hope for justice but there is none, for salvation [but] it has distanced itself from us. Rebelling and denying the Lord, and drawing away from following our God, speaking oppression and perverseness, sprouting and giving forth from the heart words of falsehood" (Isaiah 59:7-11,13). "Add thou not unto His words (NT, Quran, Hadits), lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar" (Proverbs 30:6, Deut. 4:1-2, 13:1-12).
But, at the time of the Redemption: "I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the doors of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron; And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I am the LORD, who call thee by thy name, even the God of Israel (Isaiah 45:2-3). Here, Cyrus, the anointed king of Persia, was God's agent in bringing Israel back to its land (45:1-7).
"I the LORD have called thee (both Israel and the messiah) in righteousness, and have taken hold of thy hand, and kept thee, and set thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations;* To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house." The "prison" is exile, which may be physical, or worse still, mental and spiritual (Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum).
And God said to him (Jacob/Israel), "I am the Almighty God; be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a multitude of nations shall come into existence from you, and kings shall come forth from your loins.
And the land that I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, I will give to you and to your seed after you will I give the land" (Genesis 35:11-12).
According to Rashi, based on the Midrash, the reference to a nation alluded to Benjamin, the only son of Jacob who was yet unborn. The plural multitude of nations alludes to Joseph's sons Manasseh and Ephraim, who would receive the status of full-fledged tribes (Genesis 48:5).
And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not, in paths that they knew not will I lead them; I will make darkness light before them, and rugged places plain. These things will I do, and I will not leave them undone" (Isaiah 42:6-7,16, 49:1-12).
Talmud for Beginners By Eliezer Wolf