Parashat Noach (Noah) Genesis 6:9-11:32


Parashat Noach (Noah) Genesis 6:9-11:32

Maftir Numbers 28:9-15

Haftarah: Isaiah 66:1-24

This Shabbat is also Rosh Chodesh for the month of Cheshvan, so there is a special reading for the passage called the Maftir (the final portion from the Torah which is read prior to the prophetic reading).There is also a special reading for the Haftarah.


HaShem gave Noach very specific instructions for making the ark. One of the interesting things that G-d told Noach appears in Genesis 6:16,

You shall make a ‘Tshor’ for the ark and to a cubit you shall complete it from above…”

There is a debate about the meaning of this word. Rashi says that some believe that “Tshor” is a window and others believe it is a precious stone, which when the sun would shine upon it, it then would be a source of illumination for Noach and his family inside the ark. If one studies this word throughout the Hebrew Bible, he would find that there are two additional words which are formed from the same Hebrew root. One word would be a type of olive oil and the other word would be the Hebrew word for noontime. The connection is obvious; olive oil is burned for a source of illumination and the sun shines brightest at 12:00 p.m. Hence the basic meaning of this word is illumination or that which is a vessel for illumination.

Now, one can understand how the commentators arrived at the meaning of this word as “window” or a “precious stone” which is a vessel for illumination. Due to the size that is mentioned, it seems to me that a window is the better option. The question that needs to be asked is why did HaShem command Noach to place a window in the ark and just one window with a measurement, although very large for a precious stone, quite small for a window whose purpose was  filling the ark with light? The answer is that illumination from G-d is not dependent on physical factors. Last week, in Parashat Bereishit, we read that on the first day HaShem created light, yet He did not create the Sun, Moon, or Stars until the fourth day. Hence light, i.e. illumination, is not dependent upon the physical but upon the spiritual. This being the case, G-d could have placed illumination in the ark without any windows, so why command one to be made at all? The answer is that the Bible is full of numerous examples where G-d uses man’s participation for His miracles. In the New Covenant, in John chapter six, one reads about the famous feeding of the 5,000.

We all know that Yeshua multiplied two fish and five small loaves of bread, which He received from a young boy in order to feed this large crowd. The question is, “Did Yeshua have a need for these fish and loaves in order to perform the miracle?”   Of course not, this is one of those examples where G-d grants us the privilege of participating with Him in His work.

Why not ask yourself this week how you might participate with Messiah in His work.

Shabbat Shalom

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