• August 28th, 2022
  • Elul 1st, 5782


Unity and Cleansing

Presented By
Torah Contributor

Righteous in His Generation

This week's Torah portion of Noach starts out by saying that "Noach was a righteous man and perfect in his generation". Commentators suggest that the caveat of being righteous "in his generation" implies that he would not have been righteous when compared with other righteous leaders, specifically Abraham and Moses. G-d told Noach he was going to destroy the corrupted generation of people with a flood and instructed him to build an ark to save himself and his family, and two of every animal that populated the earth. Noach accepted this task, but did not plead with G-d to prevent the destruction of humanity. This apparent acceptance by Noach of G-d's judgement is interpreted as him not wanting to challenge G-d because he was assured of being saved and that the fate of humanity was already sealed. He simply accepted G-d's word and complied with the situation. Conversely, we read later in the Torah how Abraham fought and negotiated with G-d to save humanity from G-d's wrath when he saw the corruption of humanity at Sodom and Gomorrah. Similarly, Moses begged G-d to save the Israelites from destruction after the sin of the golden calf. It is through Noach's failure to plead with G-d, however, that we learn a very important lesson and a secret to the portion. The Kabbalists share with us that the key to success and achieving fulfillment in all matters in life, including health, finance and relationships, is to never give up or acquiesce. Although Noach may have believed that G-d's intent to wipe out humanity with the flood was final, we must always maintain the consciousness that nothing is ever final. We have the power, through consciousness and connecting to the realm of miracles, to change our destiny. We see how this worked with Abraham and Moses, whereby they connected to G-d, a higher state of consciousness, and changed what appeared to be a certain fate for the Israelites. It is through our total certainty and unwillingness to become compliant that we can change most anything in our lives and connect to our highest selves.

Secret of the Ark

Noach is instructed by G-d to build and enter the ark as protection against the flood. The Hebrew word for ark is "teivah", which also means "word". The great Kabbalist and author of the Zohar, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, revealed that the ark is metaphorical protection against destruction from the flood and any pending judgement. Our ark of protection today is considered by many to be the "words" of the mystical teachings and Light of the Holy Zohar. The commentators also point out that Noach entered the ark, a source of protection, when he was 600 years old. This corresponds to the sixth millennium when the Baal Shem Tov began to reveal the secrets of Kabbalah and the Zohar to the masses.

Water and Cleansing

Water contains the energy of mercy and is considered to be an agent of cleansing and healing. Since the Earth had become corrupt with sexual immorality and other immoral behavior during the time of Noach, G-d brought the flood. The flood served as punishment, but also as a blessing for the earth and future generations. The flood lasted for 40 days. Interestingly, a mikveh, or ritual bath for cleansing and purification, requires 40 se'ah of water (an ancient measurement of volume) to be valid or kosher. This hints to a direct connection between the flood and the purifying waters of a mikveh. It is also interesting to note that the molecular weight of water is 18, the same numerical value of the Hebrew word "chai" which means life. This draws the connection between the flood and the cleansing which takes place in order to restart a new and purer life on earth.

Power of Unity

Following the flood, the portion recounts the story of the Tower of Babel. We learn from this story the power of unity. There was massive population growth after the flood and the world had a single language - Hebrew. The people were unified in their language and decided to "make a name" for themselves by building a city and a tower to heaven. The intention of the people, however, was for personal empowerment and ego - not to get closer to G-d or achieve a higher state of consciousness for a positive purpose. The unity amongst the people was so strong that the only way they could be stopped was by G-d confusing the language and dispersing the people throughout the land - essentially crushing their unity and their ability to stay connected through the common language. We too can achieve greatness when we are unified. The key is to maintain unity in order to share and help others. Once the purpose becomes ego driven and for the self alone, we become disconnected and fail.

Through the reading this week we have an opportunity to inject our consciousness and connect to the healing energy of the flood to help heal the earth of toxins, waste, disease and other negativity.