Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Noach

The following is a brief summary of some of the thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts 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.

R' Frand began his vort by addressing the question of whether Noach was a tzaddik. The first pasuk of the parsha indicates that Noach was a tzaddik in his generation, but later in the parsha (7:7) the Torah states that Noach went into the ark and Rashi on the pasuk explains that Noach was of those who had lesser emunah. Rashi further states that Noach stood outside the ark until the waters began to rise around him and only then did he enter the ark.

So was Noach a Tzaddik or not?

R' Frand answered the question by quoting the Sefer Kidushas Levi by R' Levi Yitzchak M'Barditschev. He explains that Noach was a Tzaddik and that when Rashi writes that Noach had lesser emunah, it means that he had little emunah that he was a worthy person.

He further explained that there is a concept that a tzaddik can daven and Hashem will destroy a negative decree. Noach did not see himself as a tzaddik and did not think that he was worthy of being saved. He said to himself - I am no different than the rest of my generation - either Hashem will saved all of us or none of us. This is also why Noach stood outside until the water began to rise -- he thought that everyone would be coming in order to be saved, or no one would be saved. It is also why he did not pray that his generation would be saved, because he did not think that he was worthy of having his prayers answered.

R' Frand quoted the medrash that Moshe was the gilgul of Noach. Moshe fixed his prior taint by standing up for his people and davening for them and refusing to be separated from them after Noach did not pray for his generation.

R' Frand noted that the modeh ani prayer states that our souls were returned to us B'chemla Rabbah Emunasecha - with emunah that we will do right after having our souls returned to us, because we are worthy.

R' Frand also quoted a sefer by R'  Yona in Sha'arei Ha'avodah who explains that the first brocha of Shemoneh Esreh states that Hashem is the G-d of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov. Why? Because we need to know that we come from yichus, that we are people and come from important people.

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