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Yeshiva University Torah miTzion Beit Midrash Zichron Dov

Parshat Noach Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan 5774/October 5, 2013


This issue of Toronto Torah is sponsored in memory of Miriam bat Yosef Leib zl and Yehuda ben Yoel HaKohen zl

Toronto Torah
cedar trees to use as wood for the ark. When people inquired why he was planting cedar trees, he explained that G-d was going to punish the world and bring a flood to destroy it. When people asked him why he was watering the cedar trees he offered a similar response. The same pattern occurred when Noach started building the ark. G-d wanted Noach to carry out his work in as public a forum as possible, in order that everyone would learn about the impending flood and repent immediately. Even once the rain started to fall, G-d wanted to give the people another chance to repent. Rashi notes that first the Torah says, And it rained upon the land for forty days, (Bereishit 7:12) and then later the Torah says, And there was a flood upon the land for forty days. (Bereishit 7:17) He learns from this discrepancy that the rains started to fall lightly, so that if the people were to repent the rain would simply have been a blessing. Then, when they did not repent, the rain became a flood. Despite the evil ways of the generation, G-d gave them numerous chances to repent, even up until the last minute, before ultimately destroying them. Turning to our first question, the flood was indeed meant to bring total destruction upon the earth. Radak (6:13) explains that the flood returned the world to a state of tohu vavohu, (Bereishit 1:2) utter nothingness, like it was before Creation. In order to start fresh, it was important to leave over no remnants, or as little as possible, from the previous world.

Vol. 5 Num. 4

Its Never Too Late for a Fresh Start


After Adam and Chavah are banished from Gan Eden, humanity begins a steady decline in morality. Kayin kills his brother Hevel, after Hevels sacrifice to G-d is accepted and Kayins sacrifice is rejected. Powerful men forcibly marry any woman they desire, and Rashi (Bereishit 6:2) points out that that even includes married women. The deterioration of morality continues to the point that all thoughts passing through mans head are evil and G-d regrets having creating mankind. (Bereishit 6:5-6) An all-time low is reached in Parshat Noach, when G-d declares that the world is "full of corruption and violence". (Bereishit 6:13) G-d declares the world can no longer continue to exist, and He instructs Noach to build an ark in which he, his family and animals from every species will remain while a flood destroys the world. Th i s D i vi n e d e ci si on r e q ui r e s explanation, though. Why is it necessary to bring a flood and destroy the entire world? If Man engaged in such corruption, why didn't G-d bring a plague that killed only human beings? Furthermore, some of the commentators are bothered by the way G-d required Noach to exert so much energy in building an ark. Certainly, G-d could have saved Noach in a different manner! Regarding our second question, G-ds decision to have Noach build an ark gave everyone the opportunity to repent. A midrash (Tanchuma Noach 5) explains that Noach was commanded to build the ark 120 years before the rains started to fall. In fact, G-d instructed Noach to first plant

Josh Gutenberg
As Rambam (Hilchot Teshuvah 2:4) notes, part of the process of repentance is to change your name and your hometown, because in order to become a new person, we must leave behind our old lives. Similarly, in order for mankind to have a fresh start, it was necessary to leave behind anything associated with the violence, immorality and corruption of the old world. Rabbi Soloveitchik (On Repentance p. 251) notes that this is precisely the reason Avraham was given the command to leave his land, birthplace and family. In order to fully embrace G-ds word and begin a life of monotheism, it was necessary for him to break off from his sinful surroundings. So too, since the corruption of Noachs generation permeated every aspect of life, it was necessary for everything to be destroyed. With the month of Elul and Yom Kippur just behind us, the story of the flood reminds us of two crucial lessons regarding the performance of teshuvah. First, we can never stray too far, nor is it ever too late, to begin the teshuvah process. Second, in order to properly repent it is important to disassociate from all aspects of the sin, to ensure a fresh and positive new beginning. May these lessons serve as a model and guide for our teshuvah throughout the year. jgutenberg@torontotorah.com

OUR BEIT MIDRASH


ROSH BEIT MIDRASH SGAN ROSH BEIT MIDRASH AVREICHIM RABBI MORDECHAI TORCZYNER RABBI BARUCH WEINTRAUB ADAM FRIEBERG, JOSH GUTENBERG, RABBI YAIR MANAS CHAVEIRIM EITAN AZIZA, HILLEL BIERBRIER, ELI GELERNTER, DANIEL GEMARA, ALEX HUBERMAN, JOEL JESIN, SHIMMY JESIN, YISHAI KURTZ, AKIVA MARESKY, MITCHELL PERLMUTTER, KOBY SPIEGEL, GRAHAM TUGETMAN, MENDY WEISBROD, SHALOM WISE

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Haftorah: Yeshayah 54:1-55:5


Who is the prophet of our haftorah? Yeshayah (Isaiah) was a prophet in the period leading up to the exile of the ten northern tribes of Yisrael by the Assyrians. He lived in the southern kingdom of Yehudah, and he prophesied during the reigns of Kings Uziahu, Yotam, Achaz and Chizkiyahu. According to the Talmud (Sotah 10a), he was a descendant of Yehudah and Tamar. As the Talmud (Bava Batra 15a) informs us, the book of Yeshayah was compiled by King Chizkiyahu and associates of his. The prophecies of Yeshayah may be classified in two categories, Rebuke and Redemption; the former dominates the early chapters of the book, while the latter occupies the latter portion. The split is not clean, though; portions of the former include redemption, and portions of the latter include rebuke. What is the message of our haftorah? This haftorah is actually read twice during the year; it is the haftorah for Parshat Noach, but it is also the haftorah for Parshat Ki Tetze, as part of the series of seven haftarot of consolation following Tishah b'Av. The prophet envisions the Jewish people as a childless woman and a distressed pauper; the former reflects loss of our physical future due to the assaults of the enemy, and the latter reflects loss of hope due to our great suffering. Yeshayah tells the childless woman to expand her tent, for she will produce children who will spread far and wide. To the distressed pauper, Yeshayah promises glorious wealth and children of piety and peace. Yeshayah also makes demands upon the Jewish nation. To earn this exalted future, we must practice righteousness and distance ourselves from corruption. When we are thirsty, we should seek the water of Torah; when we lack silver for bread, we should pursue Divine wisdom. This will be the path by which we earn Divine splendour. What is the connection between our haftorah and the parshah? Yeshayah cites a Divine promise to protect the Jewish people following the destruction which will come at the hands of the Babylonians. Yeshayah compares this Divine pledge to the one provided after the flood described in our parshah: "As I have sworn not to bring the waters of Noach again, so I have sworn not to become angry at you and not to rebuke you." (54:9) A careful look at our parshah reveals a difference between these two oaths, though. The oath to Noah is not given freely; only after Noach brings a korban, demonstrating generosity and reversing the selfish violence which had triggered the flood, does G-d promise not to flood the world again. In our case, G-d offers the promise even before we demonstrate our rehabilitation indeed, even before Nevuchadnezzar demolishes the Beit haMikdash! knowing that we are

Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner


capable of expectations. meeting Divine

A lesson in faith In the Talmud (Sanhedrin 100a), Rabbi Yochanan elaborates upon Yeshayah's promise of future wealth. A student mocks Rabbi Yochanan's prediction of gargantuan gems adorning the gates of Jerusalem, until he goes to sea and discovers angels carving just such gems. Upon returning home, the student acknowledges the veracity of Rabbi Yochanan's lesson, but this student's need for visual proof is an insult to his mentor. As the Talmud reports it, Rabbi Yochanan turns his eyes to the student, and the student becomes a "pile of bones". Rabbeinu Nisim of Gerona, a great fourteenth century Spanish sage, saw in this story a lesson regarding the role of our sages. We understand that scholars are invested with authority over our legal system, if only to prevent chaos. Regarding such nonlegal matters as eschatological predictions, though, we might think ourselves free to make our own exegetical way. This talmudic account seems to say otherwise; one who mocks the words of the sages, even on these matters, does so at his own peril. torczyner@torontotorah.com

613 Mitzvot: #297-298, 300-301 Resting on Pesach


The first day of Pesach [the first two outside of Israel], and the seventh day of Pesach [the seventh and eighth outside of Israel], are treated as Shabbat-like days, when a Jew is not allowed to engage in melachah [creative tasks which mirror those practiced in building the mishkan]. This is stressed in the Torah with a command to rest (#297 for the first day, #300 for the seventh day), as well as a prohibition against engaging in melachah (#298 for the first day, #301 for the seventh day). As the Sefer haChinuch pointed out, halting our melachah brings great benefit: "So that Israel will remember the great miracles G-d performed for them and for their ancestors, and will speak of them and inform their children and grandchildren of them, for as a result of their cessation of worldly involvement they will be free to involve themselves with this. If they were permitted to engage in melachah, even light melachah, then each person would turn to his involvements, and the honour of the holiday would be forgotten from the mouths of children, and even from the

Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner

mouths of adults. Also the entire nation gathers in synagogues and study halls to hear the message of the text, and the leaders will guide them and teach them wisdom." One might be surprised at the need for a command to rest, in addition to the prohibition against performing melachah. To explain this, Ramban (Vayikra 23:24) wrote, "We are biblically instructed to rest on Yom Tov even from actions that do not involve melachah. We should not strain all day in measuring grain, weighing produce and gifts, filling barrels with wine, and moving implements and even stones from one house to another the market would be filled with all manner of commerce, and the store would be open and the owner would keep a tab and the moneychangers would be at their tables with the gold coins before them, and the workers would rise early for work and would hire themselves out as on weekdays for these and similar tasks Thus the Torah declared Shabbaton, a day of ceasing and rest, not a day of strain." torczyner@torontotorah.com

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Biography

Torah and Translation

Rabbi Kalonymus Epstein


Adam Frieberg
Rabbi Kalonymos Kalman haLevi Epstein was born in Cracow in 1751. His main teacher was Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk. Rabbi Elimelech was the mentor of many, including the Chozeh (Seer) of Lublin, the Maggid of Koznitz and Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Rimanov; Rabbi Kalonymos Kalman was his youngest, and yet most esteemed, student. He became so great that on one trip to Lizhensk to visit his mentor, Rebbe Elimelech removed his "atarah" in the presence of all of his students and placed it on Rabbi Kalonymos Kalmans shoulders, asking that he assume the position of leader of Lizhensk. Rabbi Kalonymous Kalman declined, as he did not feel worthy to replace his own rebbe. Instead, he remained in Cracow, the city where Rebbe Elimelch had sent him years earlier. Rabbi Epstein gained great fame in Cracow, but dealings werent always easy for him. Upon his arrival in Cracow, he was met with great opposition, but over time he won their respect and they recognized his greatness. Although he would become famous, Rabbi Kalonymous Kalman came from a very simple family. His family was so poor that he spent his early childhood selling bagels that his parents baked at home, and while he spent his evenings listening to sermons that were delivered in the local Beit Midrash. After one such sermon, a very wealthy Jew, Rabbi Gutgold, asked, in jest, for young Kalonymous Kalman to repeat the sermon. After his masterful repetition, Rabbi Gutgold promised to support him in full-time Torah study, if his father would let him marry Rabbi Gutgolds daughter when he turned thirteen. Kalonymus Kalman's father agreed, and they were wed as soon as he reached the age of bar mitzvah. Toward the end of his life, Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman instructed his youngest son to gather together all of his writings and sermons. These were later published as the book Maor Vashemesh. Rabbi Kalonymous Kalman became known by the title of this posthumously published work. The teaching of this work are so profound and insightful that it has been referred to as Shulchan Aruch of Chassidut. Rabbi Kalonymous Kalman died in 1825 at the age of 72. afrieberg@torontotorah.com

Was Noach Tamim? Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Epstein


Maor vaShamesh, Parshat Noach
Translated by Adam Frieberg

,' ' , .' ,( ) '' ... '' . , . - , , , . , . , , , . " , - . ( ) " , , , , - . ,' ' . , , . ,' ' , , ' ' , . - ,' " ' ' , " , " ", , .) " ( - " , , , , , , . , ' ,' ' ' , " . ,

"These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, flawless in his generations." (Bereishit 6:9). We need to investigate, for here it is written "righteous, flawless (tzadik tamim)" and later (Bereishit 7:1) it is written, "for I [G-d] have seen that you are righteous before Me," but "flawless" (tamim) is not written The word "tamim" was intentionally placed in the first verse, and it did not belong later. For there are two types of tzadikim. One level of righteousness is when a person constantly carries himself flawlessly, with Torah, prayer and good deeds, but does not know how to delve into wisdom, i.e. knowledge of G-d. Rather, he walks simply in his learning and prayer. This tzadik cannot connect with other individuals at all, thinking that others will distract from his service of G-d. Additionally, he does not have the intellectual capacity to bring others closer to service of G-d, as his own intellect in his service of G-d is minute, and he walks only with innocence, in isolation, without any friends. There is also a level of tzadik who walks [before G-d] with wisdom, adhering to G-d, to fulfill the verse (Proverbs 3:6), "In all your ways know Him," as explained by our Sages. This tzadik can attach himself to many others, as his walk [before G-d] happens in holiness and with wisdom, with great closeness to G-d. Even though he joins with others, they do not distract his thoughts, for he is connected with the highest wisdom and yearning for the Creator. This tzadik is not called "flawless", as he functions with clever wisdom against the evil inclination, to bring those who are distant close.

This is the explanation of these verses: before the building of the ark, Noah was flawless, as he did not know how to be clever, walking with innocence, and he did not connect with the people of his generation to bring them closer to the service of G-d. He walked alone, and so the verse calls him flawless, as he did not know how to be clever, meaning to bring them closer to wisdom. However, when G-d told Noach, "Make for yourself an ark", and he was busy building for 120 years, G-d's intent was that others would ask what he was doing and he would respond that Gd wants to bring a flood to the world, and perhaps they would repent A righteous person who must deal with wicked people needs great wisdom and cant walk with temimut. Rather, he must become wise, so that wicked people do not distract him from his service, as Yaakov was in his dealings with Esav and Lavan. Therefore, after building the ark the verse says, "for I [G-d] have seen that you are righteous before Me", and "flawless" is not written, for Noah had chosen to walk with wisdom, and he had attained a level higher than the level of flawlessness.

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This Week in Israeli History: Cheshvan 5, 1958 The Draining of HaChula (Hula) Lake
The 5th of Cheshvan is Wednesday Lake HaChula was a large body of water located in the south of HaChula valley. This valley is in the northern part of Israel, and covers much of the part known as the 'Galilee Panhandle' ('Etzba HaGalil'). Prior to its drainage, the lake was 5.3 kilometers long and 4.4 kilometers wide, extending over 12-14 square kilometers. It was about 1.5 meters deep in the summer, three meters deep in the winter. Various reasons led to the decision to attempt to dry the lake. The major argument in favour of the project was the hope to gain about sixty thousand square meters of land. Other reasons were to reduce the loss of water to evaporation as northern streams would now run directly to the Kinneret, and to use the peat beneath the lake for industrial purposes The idea of draining the lake and swamps was discussed as early as the late nineteenth century, but the actual work began only after the State of Israel was established, in 1951.

Rabbi Baruch Weintraub


Funding was provided by the government, which assigned the work to an American company, Zanzibar Decker. The operation, which took eight years to complete, met fierce opposition from the Syrian government. More than 30 Israelis were killed, and approximately 100 were injured, in daily bombings. Within Israel, the drainage was seen as a realization of Zionist values, and it met no objection at all. The project was completed on the fifth of Cheshvan, 1958. Unfortunately, the full price of the project was understood only after the drainage was complete. Most of the ground that was dried was not appropriate for agriculture; the peat tended to self-ignite and burn for weeks; organic materials that had once sunk in HaChula now continued to the Kinneret, contaminating the water there; and the ecology of the lake region fell apart, causing the extinction of many types of life. Since the 1990's, Israel has tried to restore some of the lake, with impressive success. bweintraub@torontotorah.com

Highlights for October 5 11 / 1 Cheshvan - 7 Cheshvan


Time
SHABBAT OCT. 5 7:45 AM 10:20 AM 5:45 PM Post-minchah SUNDAY OCT. 6 9:15 AM (8:30 Shacharit) 10:00 AM to 11:20 AM 7:30 PM After maariv 8:30 PM MONDAY OCT. 7 8:15 PM 8:15 PM 9:30 PM TUESDAY OCT. 8 12:30 PM WED. OCT. 9 8:10 8:10 8:45 9:00 PM PM PM PM R Baruch Weintraub R Mordechai Torczyner R Yehoshua Weber R Baruch Weintraub Josh Gutenberg Prophecy for Our Time Business Ethics: Lending Parshah Dilemmas Chabura: Sanhedrin Intro to Introductions Community Beit Midrash Night Begins with Maariv at 8 PM Week 1 of 5 R Mordechai Torczyner Living Midrash Shaarei Shomayim R Baruch Weintraub R Mordechai Torczyner R Baruch Weintraub Parshah Medical Halachah Principles of Faith Community Beit Midrash Night Begins with Maariv at 8 PM R Baruch Weintraub Mrs. Yael Gelernter R Yirmiya Milevsky R Mordechai Scheiner R Mordechai Torczyner R Baruch Weintraub R Baruch Weintraub Parshah Revisited Leadership Superstition Issues in Chinuch Today Principles of Faith Principles of Faith Zichron Yisroel BAYT Clanton Park Clanton Park 4 Tillingham Keep Men, Hebrew Mixed, Hebrew Hebrew Midreshet Yom Rishon for Women R Baruch Weintraub R Baruch Weintraub R Mordechai Torczyner R Mordechai Torczyner Moral Values in Bereishit Parshah Daf Yomi The Art of the Gezeirah Yeshivat Or Chaim Clanton Park BAYT BAYT Not this week

Speaker

Topic

Location

Special Notes

Shaarei Shomayim

Yeshivat Or Chaim

8:45 PM THU. OCT. 10 8:30 PM

BAYT

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R Baruch Weintraub Chabura: Sotah

Clanton Park

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