Friday, November 1, 2019


PARSHAS NOACH 5780 – Rabbi Dani Staum
          After forty days, the flood rains stopped. At that point the Ark was submerged in water and the inhabitants of the Ark would have to wait until the ground dried before they could leave the Ark and repopulate the world.
          “And he waited another seven days and he continued to send out the dove… and Noach knew the waters had receded from the earth… and he waited another seven days…. And it was during the six hundred and first year, on the first of the month, the waters dried from upon the earth… and in the second month on the twenty-seventh day of the month the earth dried.” (Bereishis 8:10-14)
          During the flood, so much water had fallen that the highest mountains were covered by fifteen amos (approximately 30 feet) of water. Naturally, it should have taken hundreds of years for that amount of water to evaporate. The fact that it evaporated in a few months was completely miraculous. If G-d was anyway going to dry up the earth at a miraculously accelerated rate, why couldn’t He do so in a week, or even a day? What was the point of making Noach and the inhabitants of the Ark remain in the Ark for almost an entire year?
          Translating an ancient proverb, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “Though the mills of G-d grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small; though with patience He stands waiting, with exactness grinds He all.” The proverb is referring to divine retribution, asserting that although it may seem that the wicked get away with their iniquities, G-d has infinite patience. Eventually justice is served, but on G-d’s timetable, not ours. This idea is true not only regarding retribution, but every facet of life.
          Rabbi Shimon Schwab zt”l explained that the Torah is reminding us that Hashem does not cause things to happen immediately. A person must wait and hope to G-d, and with time everything will transpire exactly how G-d wills it to occur. Noach had to wait, and then wait again, to symbolize us to us that such is the way of life.
          This idea is especially important for us in a world of instant gratification and ‘on demand’. When our internet connection is slightly slower than we expect, we become frustrated and insist that it be repaired immediately. But life and the things we desire don’t necessarily occur when we want them to.
          The beracha we confer upon an expecting woman, and also upon a chosson and kallah is “b’sha’a tova – in a good time”. All blessings have an exact time when they are to occur. The same is true for all events of life. 
          The Navi reminds us, “It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of G-d” (Eicha 3:26). Not only is there a reason for all that occurs, there is a time as well.


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