Questions tagged [parashat-noach]

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

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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 ...
21 votes
3 answers
665 views

How did plants survive the Mabul?

Inspired by this answer: As far as I can tell, there is no mention of Noach bringing plants into the ark. Moreover, it appears Noach had nothing to do with the survival of the plants, given that the ...
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20 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
16 votes
5 answers
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Why are parshat Noach and parshat Toldot named that way?

I was taught that the parshiyot are named for the first significant word (or, rarely, phrase) in the parsha, and obviously names have to be unique. This week's parsha begins "eileh toldot Noach" and ...
14 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
13 votes
1 answer
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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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12 votes
3 answers
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How high was migdal Bavel?

How high was Migdal (the tower of) 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 ...
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12 votes
2 answers
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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, ...
11 votes
2 answers
576 views

What prevented the antediluvian humanity from using ships against the Flood?

What prevented the antediluvian humanity from using ships against the Flood, or from using their already existing ships? At least a few of them could have survived the Flood that way.
11 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
11 votes
2 answers
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How did the fish live through the flood?

If the waters were boiling as the flood continued, how did the fish survive throughout the Mabul?
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10 votes
3 answers
446 views

Rainbows prior to the Mabul

Did the rainbow exist as we know today, prior to the Mabul? Was it the same, different, or it did not exist at all prior to the Mabul? (sources please)
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Are Europeans Edomites?

I had always thought that Europeans descended from Yafet, not Shem, and certainly not Shem, Avraham and Yitzhak. I am aware that it was common in the past to equate Rome with Edom, but I always ...
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10 votes
3 answers
638 views

Did all animals come into the Teiva?

Were there any type of animals that were destroyed completely by the Mabul? (For example - Is there any source that there were dinosaurs or any other type of wildlife and they were destroyed by the ...
10 votes
3 answers
445 views

Why was Noach allowed to eat fish?

The Ramban (Bereshit 1:29) says the reason Noach was allowed to eat animals is because he maintained them in the Ark. If he would not have brought them into the Ark they would all have perished, so ...
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9 votes
7 answers
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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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9 votes
1 answer
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Noach and the Birds

Why is it that Noach sent out the birds to see if the flood had subsided, and when he did find out he just waited for Hashem to tell him to leave? Why send the birds if you are going to wait for ...
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8 votes
7 answers
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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 ...
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8 votes
4 answers
290 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: אֵ֣לֶּה בְנֵי־חָ֔ם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָ֖ם לִלְשֹֽׁנֹתָ֑ם בְּאַרְצֹתָ֖ם בְּגֽוֹיֵהֶֽם׃ Then again a few pasukim later, pasuk Lamed Aleph: אֵ֣לֶּה בְנֵי־...
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8 votes
2 answers
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Why didn't Noach Pray for his generation like Avraham did for Sodom

Why didn't Noach Daven to save his generation like Avraham Davened for Sodom?
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8 votes
1 answer
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How Come Noah's wife's name is not recorded in the Bible

Adam wife was Eve, Abrahams wife was Sarah. Etc. But how come the Bible never records Noahs wife's name? Do any scholars know if it's recorded elsewhere?
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8 votes
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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 ...
8 votes
4 answers
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Noah - Feeding the Animals

Chazal tell us that Noah worked hard to keep all of the animals in the ark well fed. Most (or at least many) animals are carnivores or insectivores. Does that mean Noah in fact brought in animals to ...
8 votes
2 answers
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Promising not to Destroy the World, and "I will Return the World to Water"

After the Mabul (deluge/flood), Hashem promised that he would not destroy the world. Yet we know from Tisha Bav and Yom Kippur's "Asarah Harugay Malchus" (“The Ten Martyrs”) poem that when they were ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
8 votes
2 answers
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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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8 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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7 votes
3 answers
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Sarah is Abraham's sister?

Genesis 20:12 has Abraham honestly saying that Sarah is indeed his sister when he is talking with Abimelek. Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and ...
7 votes
1 answer
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Alternative version of Tower of Babel story

When I was a kid I was told a different version of the Tower of Babel story from the one in Genesis. I haven't found a source for it and I was wondering where it might have come from. In this version, ...
7 votes
2 answers
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What does it mean that God "remembers" something?

In verses such as Noach 8:1 ("And God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark, and God caused a spirit to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided"), ...
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7 votes
4 answers
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Ben Noach Stealing less then a Perutah

The Medrash Rabbah בראשית ל''א ס''ק ה says that what the people of the Dor Hamabul did in order not to have to be punished by their courts is to steal less that a Prutah (minimal Monetary Value) which ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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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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7 votes
2 answers
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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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7 votes
2 answers
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What effect did Migdal Bavel have on world languages?

In 1764 BCE (or about 1930 BCE adjusting for the missing years (Wikipedia link), everyone (perhaps under Nimrod's command?) had built the Migdal Bavel, and that Hashem caused a dispersion and ...
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7 votes
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Why Is What God Thinks Different from What God Says to Noah?

In Genesis 8:21 God thinks to himself: וַיָּ֣רַח יְהוָה֮ אֶת־רֵ֣יחַ הַנִּיחֹחַ֒ וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוָ֜ה אֶל־לִבּ֗וֹ לֹֽא־אֹ֠סִף לְקַלֵּ֨ל ע֤וֹד אֶת־הָֽאֲדָמָה֙ בַּעֲב֣וּר הָֽאָדָ֔ם כִּ֠י יֵ֣צֶר לֵ֧ב ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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What was the shape of Noach's Teivah? Box or Houseboat?

I always recall learning that Noach's Teivah was a box-like shape. The secular world have always depicted it as a houseboat. The secular site of the Teivah's resting place which is the most ...
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6 votes
3 answers
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Why does Hashem decide not to destroy mankind again after the flood?

Hashem brings a flood to destroy the evil-doers (Braishis 7 (17)). Without any notable change in the behaviour of mankind, and after Noach's sacrifice, Hashem decides that He will not repeat the ...
6 votes
2 answers
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Understanding the timeline of the drying up of the Flood waters

After the 40 days of rainfall and 150 of the waters surging, the rest of the Flood period was the time it took the waters to dry up. Rashi (to Gen. 8:3-4,13-14) gives the timeline as follows: The ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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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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6 votes
2 answers
439 views

Is the Tower of Babel discussed in other Jewish texts?

Genesis Chapter 11 includes a few short verses about the Tower of Babel: 1 And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed east, that they found a ...
6 votes
1 answer
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Significance of Parshas Noach, Chayei Sarah, Yisro, Korach, Balak, and Pinchas

This question was asked regarding Parshas Balak (Parasha named after Balak?), however, I'd like to see a source or reason that explains why the Torah chose these 6 individuals to name the Parsha/Sedra ...
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6 votes
2 answers
353 views

Did Noah gather the animals, or did they come themselves

In Genesis (6:19) God commands Noah to gather the animals: וּמִכָּל־הָ֠חַי מִֽכָּל־בָּשָׂ֞ר שְׁנַ֧יִם מִכֹּ֛ל תָּבִ֥יא אֶל־הַתֵּבָ֖ה לְהַחֲיֹ֣ת אִתָּ֑ךְ Verse 20, however, concludes that the ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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It seems Noah was keeping Sabbath. Do the sages address this?

The seventh day of Creation, God rested, sanctified the day and blessed it, because in it he rested. God obviously did not need to rest; the logical conclusion is that He did so as an example to ...
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6 votes
1 answer
219 views

Rashi's explanation that Noach did everything he was commanded

Bereishis 7:5 says: וַיַּ֖עַשׂ נֹ֑חַ כְּכֹ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּ֖הוּ יְהוָֽה׃ And Noah did just as the LORD commanded him. Rashi there explains: ויעש נח זֶה בִיאָתוֹ לַתֵּבָה: And Noach Did- ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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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 "...
5 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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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.
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5 votes
3 answers
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How does waterproofing the Ark from the inside help practically?

Rashi 6(14) quoting the Medrash and Gemorah Sotah, explains that the Ark was waterproofed both outside and inside because of the force of the waters. Practically, I do not see what benefit would be ...
5 votes
2 answers
2k 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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