Zohar chelek 3, page 166a states that Noach didn’t have a periah.

נֹחַ גָּזִיר הֲוָה, וְתָמִים, פְּרִיעָה לָא הֲוָה בֵּיהּ

Noach was circumcised and complete, a periah he did not have.

Despite not having a periah, the Torah calls him a tzaddik tamim, a completely righteous person.

The Tikkunei Zohar states that one who doesn’t have a periah will be severely punished and lose their place in the world to come.

תיקוני זהר (דף סט/ב [ספר ב' דף שפח]) "..ברית מילה איהי כגוונא דאגוז, צריך לתברא קליפין דערלה ופריעה, ולאעברא לון מתמן, ולאתגליא מוחא מלגו, ודא אות ברית, ודא עץ חיים, אבל ברית דאיהו בערלתיה ולא אית ביה פריעה, עליה אתמר ומעץ הדעת טוב ורע לא תאכל ממנו, כי ביום אכלך ממנו מות תמות, מות בעולם הזה, תמות בעולם הבא".

“Bris Milah is similar to a walnut, one must break the shells of the outer shell and peel back the layers of husk and seed coat and remove them and reveal the brain-like nut from the inside, and this is the sign of the bris, and this is the tree of life, but regarding a bris that retains its orlah and does not have periah, it states “and from the tree of knowledge of good and bad do not eat from it, because on the day you eat from it, you shall surely die. Die in this world and die in the next world.”

How can we reconcile these seemingly contradictory statements?

  • 5
    He wasn't Jewish...
    – Heshy
    Nov 3, 2022 at 11:18
  • Heshy, are you suggesting that the Tikkunei Zohar is only referring to Jews? Why would Zohar mention that Noach had a milah and not priah. It seems that he had the level of milah, the removal of the foreskin, but was lacking the folding back of the epithelium.
    – user31723
    Nov 3, 2022 at 13:54
  • According to Avos d'Rabbi Nosson in 2:5, Noach was one of the people that were born circumcised. So this might explain why he was circumcised, but had not a periah.
    – Shmuel
    Nov 3, 2022 at 14:43
  • If Hashem chose to create him without a orlah, why not create him with the priah already peeled back as well. It seems that Noach merited the absence of the Orlah only.
    – user31723
    Nov 3, 2022 at 15:38
  • Rashi (7:1) seems to understand that Noach was both a tzaddik AND a tamim. See also Rashi Bamidbar (12:5) Where its clear that Rashi reads the Pasuk that Noach was a "tzaddik tamim". רש"י על בראשית פרק ז פסוק א (א) ראיתי צדיק - ולא נאמר צדיק תמים. מכאן שאומרים מקצת שבחו של אדם בפניו וכולו שלא בפניו (ב"ר):
    – user31723
    Nov 3, 2022 at 15:43

1 Answer 1

  1. The torah doesn't call him a "tzaddiq tamim." The words are separated by a tevir, which is a minor pause, so the verse is properly parsed "ish tzaddiq, tamim hayah." This is discussed in the Bavli (e.g. b. Sanhedrin 108a) and accepted by the rishonic commentators to our verse. He was both "pure" and "righteous," but not "purely righteous." At the beginning of b. Avoda Zara this question is also discussed, with the conclusion that Noah was bodily pure. The sugya is quoted again b. Zevahim 116a.
  2. Indeed, the Zohar and the Tiqqunei Zohar contradict. The Zohar seems to see the lack of Peri'ah as a fault but not a great one, and the Tiqqunei Zohar describes it as a much larger problem. Unfortunately, this is not the only case in which the two contradict. The Tiqqunei Zohar were written about a century after the Zohar proper and bear the influence of later and more aggressive Qabbalists.
  • Rav Moshe Feinstein explains Noach was a tamim, not a completely tzadik, but he was a tamim.
    – Shmuel
    Nov 3, 2022 at 15:24
  • This is not correct. Tipcha is a stronger pause than tevir. The correct way to parse the verse accd to the trop is "noach ish tzadik tamim haya, bedorosav" with the first clause of that split as "noach, ish tzadik tamim haya" with the latter clause of that split as "ish tzadik, tamim haya". According to the trop then, the word "bedorosav" applies both to "ish tzadik" and to "tamim haya".
    – Double AA
    Nov 3, 2022 at 15:47
  • Regarding whether Noach was called a "tzadik tamim", see Rashi (7:1) where he seems to understand that Noach was a "tzadik tamim". See also Rashi Bamidbar (12:5) Where it seems that Rashi reads the Pasuk that Noach was a "tzaddik tamim". . Ramban (6:8) also calls him a tzadik tamim as one united level. Also in (6:9) Ramban calls him "tamim btzidko", implying that he was perfectly rightous. Which Rishonim say differently?
    – user31723
    Nov 3, 2022 at 15:52
  • Radaq, Ibn Ezra, Sforno, Kli Yakar, maybe others. Rashi and Ramban admittedly against. In terms of trope, correct, should have had a second comma, but it doesn't make any difference here. The point wasn't that b'dorosav doesn't apply to tzaddiq, which is obviously not the case. Especially in light of 7:1.
    – user25970
    Nov 3, 2022 at 16:47
  • Concerning Tamim, see: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/128126/27180
    – Shmuel
    Nov 3, 2022 at 19:45

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