September 19, 2017 ~ Shabbat HAAZINU. Maqam NAHWAND.

Shabbat Noah

Second Chance

וישחת הארץ לפני האלהים ותמלא הארץ חמס - Why does it say that the land was destroyed even prior to the flood? In Genesis 6, we read that society was broken, because its members were engaging in "Hamas," translated as acts of violence, lawlessness or deception. The crimes that saddened God most were the violations of social laws. In short, God loses all hope, because people did not have basic respect for one another. By bringing the flood, He was merely trying to restart a world already deemed irreversibly damaged. It wasn't until Noah, an upright and righteous person, that God decided to reconsider His original plan. The lesson that we learn from Noah's survival is that humanity only continues to exist today in order to fix the mistakes of our predecessors. Instead of living lives of Hamas, we, the descendants of Noah, should only pursue lives of Hesed; kindness (Beth Torah, 11/5/16).