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 the Medrash which counts Cham as a good person. Does anyone have a source to suggest perhaps that he went bad afterwards?

  • All the reasons you mentioned to consider him a rosha happened after he went into the teivah.
    – Michoel
    Oct 14, 2012 at 11:41
  • @Michoel so what. Cant imagine that he was a great guy before then!
    – Yehuda
    Oct 14, 2012 at 11:46
  • Isn't the source in that question a source that suggests he went bad afterwards?
    – Double AA
    Oct 14, 2012 at 14:59
  • 2
    see judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/8382/… where Rabbeinu Bechaye says that Cham's wife had an affair before she entered the ark. If so, how could she be considered as one of the righteous?
    – Menachem
    Oct 15, 2012 at 6:46
  • Cham was an important member of the story of the Jewish People; if he had died with the rest of the world's population, then Egypt would not have existed, and the Jewish People would not have ever been slaves in Egypt, or went into the desert, or received the Torah, etc. History would be a lot different, don't you think?
    – ezra
    Jul 14, 2016 at 16:26

2 Answers 2


Rashi (Bereshis 5:32) states that the reason Noach didn't have children until he was 500 years old, was to ensure that the kids would be under 100 years old when the flood started.

Before the flood, you were not Bar Mitzva until you turned 100. I.e. heaven only started punishing you for your actions after that age.

It follows that you couldn't be labeled a Rasha yet, if you're not yet Bar Mitzva.

  • 7
    In that case what about all the other people who werent yet 100, why werent they saved as well?
    – Yehuda
    Oct 14, 2012 at 12:03
  • @yehuda, that's a good question. See the שפתי חכמים there(Bereshis 5:32). The gist is that because the children were under 100 they were saved in Noach's merit. Oct 18, 2012 at 8:08
  • 2
    How could noah's sons had wives if they were under bar mitzva? Jul 14, 2016 at 17:32

From the text of the torah, we don't have any indication that Cham did anything evil until the incident with Noach and the vinyard (which is just as easily explained as Canaan's doing). From the midrash we don't have any indication until he was already on the teva.

Moreover, his sin on the teva (having relations with his wife) was not in any way as severe as the sins of the people who were destroyed in the flood (every manner of sexual perversion possible).

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