Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Noach

The following is a brief summary of a thought said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce this vort to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.
In Bereishis 6:14, Noach is commanded to build an ark out of gopher wood and that the ark should have "kinim". The simple explanation for the word kinim in the parsha is that the ark should have rooms. However, the Medrash states that just as kinim (meaning nests) are mitaher the metzora, so too the ark was mitaher Noah.
R' Frand then asked the obvious question - what does Noach have to do with a metzora. He then followed this question with a deeper one - why did Noach need to be mitaher?
As an introduction to the second question, R' Frand quoted a Medrash which stated that when Noach was in the ark he prayed every day that Hashem allow him to leave the ark. The Medrash further explains that Hashem responded to Noach that it was a gezera before Him that Noach had to endure the purification process for twelve months. Thus the ark was a penance for Noach because he was being punished. But why did Noach need to undergo a purification process.

R' Frand answered this question by quoting the Alshich who writes that Noach was being punished because he did not go and save anyone from his generation. All Noach did was take care of himself and his family without having any impact on his generation. R' Frand also quoted the Meshech Chachma who said the same thing. Additionally, the Chassam Sofer quoted two pesukim from the end of Bereishis (6:7-8) that says that Hashem had said that He would destroy the world because "He reconsidered creating people and Noach" --- that Hashem was also unhappy about creating Noach because he sat by himself.
Noach's punishment of sitting in the ark is middah k'neged middah for his sin. Since Noach sat alone for all those years, so too he was required to sit by himself in the ark as a tehara.
R' Frand quoted the sefer Ateres Shalom who notes that a person becomes a metzora because of Lashon Hara. The Zohar explains that there are two types of Lashon Hara - (1) evil speech and (2)refraining from saying something nice about another person or correcting him. When a person can say good and does not, he commits a sin.
This is the connection between the metzora and Noach. Noach could have spoken to the people and brought them back, but he chose not to open his mouth.
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