Tagged Questions

The weekly Torah portion of Noahh (Genesis 6:9-11:32)

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Noach's deluge: local, but referred to as everywhere

Some try to reconcile Noach's story with the fact that the Chinese (and other cultures like the Native Americans) existed beforehand and afterwords (with documented history) and didn't die by saying ...
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1answer
37 views

Why the wait between God's creation of the tongs to the first metalworker?

It says in Pirkei Avot 5:6 that God made the first pair of tongs immediately before creation. The first person to make metal tools was Tubal Cain, who lived in the generation before the flood. Why ...
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2answers
867 views

Why is it important that God created the first pair of tongs?

It says in Pirkei Avot 5:6 that God made the first pair of tongs immediately before creation. Could not one have made tongs out of bone or wood wrapped in leather or made with a metal, such as gold, ...
3
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1answer
33 views

Did Noah have grandchildren before the flood?

Did Noah have any grandchildren before the flood? Genesis 10:1 et seq. discuss Noah's grandchildren born after the flood, but doesn't say they were his first grandchildren. If he did have any ...
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3answers
51 views

לָשַׁע the place

The lands of the Cannanites are described in parashat Noach 10:19: And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon as you come to Gerar, until Gaza, as you come to Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah ...
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1answer
58 views

Were there more than just 2 or 7 pairs of animals on Noach's ark?

Noach was told to take a pair (male & female) of all non-clean animals, and 7 pairs of clean animals into the ark. However, Breishit 6:21 says: And take thou unto thee of all food that is ...
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1answer
43 views

Was Cham influenced by the people destroyed in the mabul?

In Parshat-Noach, was Cham influenced by the bad people G-d destroyed before the mabul (by his actions with his father)?
4
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1answer
74 views

Why does Hashem allow Noah et al to eat *all* animals?

Reading the parsha today, I noticed for the first time that Bereishit 9:3-4 seems remarkable (JPS translations): .כָּל-רֶמֶשׂ אֲשֶׁר הוּא-חַי, לָכֶם יִהְיֶה לְאָכְלָה: כְּיֶרֶק עֵשֶׂב, נָתַתִּי ...
7
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1answer
173 views

Proliferation of species after the flood

I am curious as to how many species didn't go extinct immediately after the flood. There were 2 of each non-kosher animal that came off of the ark. I assume that the foxes and lions got hungry ...
3
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1answer
30 views

Why doesn't Rashi accept that the word הקטן simply means the youngest?

Bereishit 9:24 says: וַיִּ֥יקֶץ נֹ֖חַ מִיֵּינ֑וֹ וַיֵּ֕דַע אֵ֛ת אֲשֶׁר־עָ֥שָׂה־ל֖וֹ בְּנ֥וֹ הַקָּטָֽן׃ Rashi there says: בנו הקטן. הפסול והבזוי... Why does Rashi have to say that קטן ...
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1answer
43 views

Why didn't Terach go to the Land of Canaan?

In Genesis 11:31, Terach takes Avraham (then Avram), Sarah (then Sarai), and Lot to the Land of Canaan, i.e. Israel. However, they stopped in Charan, and Terach spent the rest of his life there. Why ...
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2answers
43 views

Significance of Noach's actions upon leaving the ark

The whole world has just been destroyed due to the failures of the generation of Noach. Noach and his family live for many days in the ark and after the waters subside they leave. Noach builds an ...
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2answers
112 views

Why didn't Noach look out the window?

After all, a window was clearly part of the Ark's structure, as we see from: Genesis 6:16: צֹ֣הַר׀ תַּעֲשֶׂ֣ה לַתֵּבָ֗ה וְאֶל־אַמָּה֙ תְּכַלֶ֣נָּה מִלְמַ֔עְלָה וּפֶ֥תַח הַתֵּבָ֖ה בְּצִדָּ֣הּ ...
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2answers
55 views

Why did the dor hamabul earn a painless death?

There are, apparently, 903 levels of death, and the term vayigva is one of them. According to some, it refers to the simple act of expiration -- the creation of a corpse. Others, like the Rashi ...
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1answer
110 views

Were there cockroaches on the ark?

I am interested to know if there were cockroaches on Noah's ark? I was asked this question by someone and didn't have the answer.
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3answers
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Tsohar - a window or a stone in Genesis 6:16

I have heard that the word tsohar used for "window" in Genesis 6:16 may be interpreted instead as a "precious stone" that may have provided light within the ark. Here is the text from the KJV of ...
3
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2answers
205 views

Explanations from חז״ל for Noah's ark?

Today, a very learned friend of mine and I were discussing the difficulty of the literal interpretation of Noah's ark. That is, we could not fathom how multiple samples of every animal on earth could ...
2
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1answer
104 views

Innocent babies killed in flood

In Parasha Noach, why were presumably innocent babies killed in the Flood? I would appreciate if someone could provide some elucidation.
2
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1answer
210 views

How was Noah imperfect in his generation?

According to the opinion that says Noah was not really a perfect tzaddik but only relatively much better than the people of his generation, what defects did he have? What sins did he do? My pet ...
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5answers
654 views

How to reconcile Biblical Flood story vs science and history?

Genesis spends a good deal of time -- Chapters 6 through 11 -- discussing the "mabul mayim", a flood that killed all humanity outside the ark. Here is what the Torah's text says about the universality ...
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1answer
65 views

Why did the waters of the flood have to cover the mountain 15 amos?

The posuk in Bereishis 7,20 says that the waters rose above the mountains 15 amos. But why was this so? It's understandable why the mountains had to be covered with water, but why did the waters have ...
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Did Brit with rainbow happen in Kislev?

I read on torahvort.com in their article on Kislev that the Brit with Noach about the rainbow happened in Kislev. We know from the end of Ber 8:27 that Noach left the ark on the 27th of the 2nd month, ...
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1answer
135 views

Why does the torah give us exact dates for the flood?

This question asks why the flood didn't end on the 18th of Cheshvan (one year after the start). My question is more basic: why does the torah give us precise dates here at all? Bereishit 7:11 tells ...
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1answer
149 views

Are the seventy distinct languages and nations listed?

It's a well known concept that there were 70 nations and 70 original languages. Is there any agreement about which ones they were/are? I found this which lists the nations, but I'm interested in ...
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0answers
53 views

How many languages were used by Shem's descendants?

Parshat Noach, 10:31: These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their languages, in their lands, after their nations. אֵלֶּה בְנֵי-שֵׁם, לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לִלְשֹׁנֹתָם, ...
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0answers
78 views

7+7 clean animals(Noach 7:2)

Why is the clean animals mentioned only once and the rest of animals(a pair) is mentioned numerous times with the omission of the clean .
2
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1answer
199 views

Rambam and Interpreting Bereishit as Allegorical

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin makes the following statement in his Sept. 27th, 2013 commentary on Bereishit in the Jerusalem Post: Furthermore, Maimonides, in his Guide for the Perplexed, interprets all ...
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2answers
110 views

Shem Cham and Yafes - were they triplets?

I heard a Dvar Torah regarding the 3 sons of Noach, according to which it would indicate that they were triplets. Are there any commentaries that indicate that Shem Cham and Yafes were triplets?
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168 views

Noah's Ark Submarine

Are there any meforshim (commentators) who believe that Noah's ark was a submarine that went under water? I remember seeing a Seforno on this but don't remember more; it could even be on this site ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

What happened to insects during the flood?

We know that Noach took onto the ark all kinds of animals including "every creeping thing of the ground" (מִכֹּל רֶמֶשׂ הָאֲדָמָה), which I've always understood to be creeping things that actually ...
4
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1answer
184 views

Why did Noah have to wait so long to exit the ark?

This is actually several similar questions compounded together. I hope this doesn't come off the wrong way, but it seems like Noah had the opportunity (and I'm sure he had the motive) to leave the ark ...
4
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2answers
178 views

Shouldn't the flood have ended on the 18th of Cheshvan?

Inspired by this question: New date at sunset: question on Sifse Chachamim The Torah tells us that the Flood started the 17th of Cheshvan (Bereshit 7:11) and concluded the 27th of Cheshvan (Bereshit ...
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2answers
141 views

Inconsistency in listing creeping things in Noach's Ark's population

The animal population of Noach's Ark is commanded/listed six times in Parashat Noach: Genesis 6:19-20 (Initial command) Genesis 7:2-3 (Reiteration of command) Genesis 7:8-9 (Entry to the Ark) ...
3
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1answer
151 views

Why use an active verb with no subject?

In parshat Noach, perek 7, pasuk 23, The opening word "וַיִּמַח" is presented as an active verb, attested to by the presence of the word אֶת (I am summarizing the discussion of rashi and the ...
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5answers
164 views

What was the sin of the builders of the tower of Bavel?

God seems very angry with, and punishes the builders of the tower of Bavel, but it is not clear exactly what their sin was. Did they violate one of the 7 mitzvos b'nei Noach? What exactly was their ...
5
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1answer
91 views

How high was migdal Bavel?

How high was migdal Bavel? From the Chumash we know that the tower was built in a valley which suggests that its purpose was more symbolic than pragmatic. To that effect I am wondering if anything ...
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5answers
299 views

Why build migdal bavel in a valley?

If the point of migdal bavel was to reach the heavens, why not build it on a mountain instead of a valley? וַיְהִי כָל הָאָרֶץ שָׂפָה אֶחָת וּדְבָרִים אֲחָדִים:(ב) וַיְהִי בְּנָסְעָם מִקֶּדֶם ...
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2answers
86 views

Why was Cham considered one of the righteous people of the world at the time of the flood

Why was Cham allowed in the Teivah? Was he not a Rasha? Rashi brings that he had relations in the Teivah which was forbidden, and we see afterwards what he did to Noah. See this question which brings ...
4
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0answers
144 views

Why is the total count of Noah's life 950 years when the year of the flood took a full year cycle?

The Posuk says that Noah was 600 years when he went into the Teivah (Bereshit 7:6,11). Rashi (Bereshit 8:14) and the rest of the Mefarshim say that the flood took an entire year to complete. The Posuk ...
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1answer
127 views

What does מִלְמַעְלָה in Gen 7:20 mean?

Genesis 7:20, describing the flood, says: חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה אַמָּה מִלְמַעְלָה, גָּבְרוּ הַמָּיִם; וַיְכֻסּוּ, הֶהָרִים.‏ Almost everybody translates the first clause as some approximation of ...
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4answers
223 views

Why G-d had to confuse people's languages in the land of Shinar?

Why G-d had to confuse people's languages in the land of Shinar and scatter them across the Earth with diverse languages? What moral does Genesis 11:5–8 coveny to mankind execept the fact that "in ...
3
votes
1answer
250 views

Does G-d approve or merely permit human consumption of meat?

Many vegetarians and vegans argue that G-d gave humans permission to eat meat only because of a human failing in abstaining anyway. My takeaway from that argument is that, in light of a more ...
4
votes
2answers
124 views

Why did Noach plant a vineyard?

The first mention the torah makes of wine and vineyards is in Gen 9:20-21, when Noach plants a vineyard and then gets drunk on wine after the flood. What prompted him to plant a vineyard as, ...
5
votes
1answer
210 views

Did Noah's ark have a deck?

Noach's boat is called a teva, which as far as I know means "box". (The same word is used in later Hebrew for coffins and closets (as in "hayored lifne hateva").) It's described, at least according ...
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5answers
482 views

Did God create color in Genesis?

Can I assume that every creation in this world was first manifested in the world during the first six days of the Genesis, which therefore includes color? So was color (the spectrum of hues and ...
5
votes
2answers
387 views

Why did Noach curse Canaan and not Cham?

After the incident with Cham after the flood, Noach curses Canaan (Genesis 9:25). Why does he not curse Cham, the one who actually wronged him? The explanations I've seen of this incident have Cham ...
5
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2answers
113 views

First it says everyone had their own language; but then it says all spoke one before being split

First, in Noach, pasuk Chof perek Yud, it says אֵלֶּה בְנֵי חָם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לִלְשֹׁנֹתָם; then again a few pasukim later, pasuk Lamed Aleph, אֵלֶּה בְנֵי שֵׁם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לִלְשֹׁנֹתָם. So ...
7
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1answer
158 views

New date at sunset: question on Sifse Chachamim

Avoda Zara 25 cites a difference of opinion as to how long the sun stood still for Y'hoshua: twelve hours, twenty-four, or thirty-six. According to those who say twelve or thirty-six, the sun finally ...
10
votes
3answers
202 views

How did Avrohom learn that nine doesn't work?

The Midrash says (Bereshis Rabbah 49:13 quoted in Rashi Genesis 18:32) that Abraham stopped asking HaShem to save Sodom in the merit of less than 10 people because Noah and his family who were 8 ...
5
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3answers
69 views

Noach: why the people's food mentioned first

בראשית ו כא:‎ ואתה קח לך מכל מאכל וכו' והיה לך ולהם לאכלה Why is Noach and his family's food mentioned before the animals' food? The halacha is animals eat before humans.