The verse says that the Ark was to have three floors, and Rashi (based on Sanhedrin 108b) explains this as follows; "the bottom floor" was for waste, the "second" floor for the animals and the "third" floor for the humans.

Did the waste create a very unpleasant smell? Are there sources that explain this to be one of the miracles that were prevalent in the Teiva?

  • Maybe they used some of the animal waste to fertilize a Ark garden - probably still didn't smell too good. Then again, maybe with all that rainy weather they had colds a lot, and couldn't smell anything a significant portion of the time on board.
    – Gary
    Oct 13, 2015 at 22:44
  • The ark was not actually a pleasant experience. This might have been one of the causes.
    – HaLeiVi
    Oct 13, 2015 at 23:24
  • Based on the fact that the very existence on the ark (full solar year, every animal, not enough room as specified) was a miracle, whatever happened to the waste must have been a miracle also. Since it was a closed box, the waste could not have been disposed of. onsider how much there must have been given how much accumulates each day in a normal stable. Oct 14, 2015 at 1:15
  • hebrewbooks.org/… Oct 15, 2015 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


The Radak on bereshis 6:16 (10 lines from the bottom) brings the midrash rabbah which mentions a kind of trapdoor through which Noach shoveled the garbage out. According to this, it seems that the teiva did not keep its waste, as some might think, so there was no terrible stink or unpleasant smell, which would greatly affect the insiders.

  • The Redak is available in Sefaria here and the translation says, "Some scholars believe that the lowest deck accommodated the ritually impure species of animals, the middle deck was reserved for Noach and his family as well as for the ritually pure animals, whereas the top deck was for the refuse. Noach constructed sort of a trap door through which he shoveled the refuse." Oct 27, 2022 at 18:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .