Hot answers tagged

15

The Classic Questions to Bereshit 8:11 in the Gutnik Chumash brings several different opinions on this matter (while specifically addressing where the olive branch came from). Rabbi Levi says (Bereshit Rabbah 33:6) that the floodwaters did not fall in the Land of Israel. If so, even if all the plants in the rest of the world were destroyed, that would not ...


14

According to Rav Saadya Gaon (commentary to Genesis 9:13) the rainbow was not a new phenomenon. Rather it was imbued with new meaning as the sign of the covenant. Similarly, Ramban, writes (commentary to Genesis 9:12) that although the simple reading of the verses indicates it was a new phenomenon, we are forced to accept the conclusion of the Greeks that ...


11

A couple of possibilities: I recall hearing once that it was a miracle (neis), but cannot remember where or from whom I heard/saw it. I similarly recall that the waters around the Teivah were not boiling (source and reason), so it is quite possible the fish hung around there. The waters were only boiling on the surface and not in the depths of the sea (no ...


11

Great question! Apparently, 2 cockroaches were on the ark. Breishit (Gen.) 6:20 mentions "all that crawls on the land". I would include insects in that category. Apparently, they made it out of the ark alive, too as Breishit 8:17 implies. Miraculous that the elephants didn't squash them and the cats didn't eat them :-)


11

There are several reasons as pointed out by Rav Sorotzkin, Rav Hirsch and others. First of all, they could not have stored sufficient food to last for the entire flood. The flood lasted for an entire solar year. In fact, it was only by a miracle that Noach and the animals had sufficient food during the flood and while they were repopulating the Earth. As ...


11

Rav Hirsch writes on Noach 9:12 It is by no means necessary to assume that hitherto there had been no rainbow and to place it in connection with the atmospheric changes which occurred after the Flood. Just as Hashem showed Avraham the starry heavens and said, כה יהיה זרעך, as He showed Moshe and Aharon the new moon, and with the words החדש הזה לכם ...


10

Pesachim 54A says the rainbow was created on the sixth day: Ten things were created on the eve of the Sabbath at twilight. These are they: the well, the manna, the rainbow, the writing and the writing instrument[s], the Tables, the sepulchre of Moses, the cave in which Moses and Elijah stood, the opening of the ass's mouth, and the opening of the earth's ...


9

R' Aryeh Kaplan z'l teaches as follows: R' Nehunia ben Hakana brings in Sefer Temuna that there are larger shmita cycles of 7000 years each, of which we are now in the 6th, putting the age of the earth at 42,000 years old. Midrash states that a "Divine day" is like 1000 years. Therefore a "Divine year" is 365,250 years. R' Yitzchak of Acco - who ...


9

We call them the "sheva mitzvos bnei Noach," but I think that the term is "lav davka" (imprecise). See Rambam, Melachim 9:1. From his language, it seems that Og was obligated in all seven except ever min hachai. But see the Kesef Mishneh there ('ד"ה על ששה דברים כו); from his language it seems that Og was either not allowed to eat meat at all or was also ...


7

One approach is mentioned in The Challenge of Creation, by R' Natan Slifkin, in footnote 2 on page 277: ... others explained that the deluge did not cover the entire earth, hence not every species of animal had to be taken on board; see Rabbi Dovid Tzvi Hoffman, commentary to Genesis, pp. 140-141; Rabbi Azriel Leib Rakovsky (disciple of Rav Yaakov ...


7

Their own stubbornness. (As Monica said in a comment.) Note similarly in Exodus, Moses warns the Egyptians that anyone/anything left outside will be stricken by hailstones. Some Egyptians are willing to at least consider this possibility, and move their slaves and cattle inside. But a lot of the Egyptians are too proud to even openly acknowledge that they ...


7

The Yalkut Shimoni to Ester (1056) states the God preserved the ark (or at least part of it) as a remembrance of the deluge for future generations, and Haman's son sent him a 50 cubit beam from it which he used for the gallows intended for Mordekhai: יעשו עץ גבוה חמשים אמה והיה המן חוזר ומבקש קורה של חמשים אמה ולא מצאה, אלא קורה שהיתה בתוך ביתו לפי שהיה ...


6

From a scientific point of view, when light was created, it would have been created in all its wavelengths (colours.) It would be interesting to consider the idea that man was colour blind until Noach's generation, and thus they could see the rainbow for the first time.


6

First and foremost, according to the accepted scientific consensus, dinosaurs died tens of millions of years before humans ever walked the Earth. (Just wanted to get that out of the way before we continue.) Based on a simple reading of the text (p'shat), two individuals of all land-based and air-based species of animals entered the Teiva\Ark. It follows ...


6

To answer the question in the title, according to Bereshit Rabbah 31:13 the Re'em (and some say it's offspring) were not brought into the Ark. R' Nechemia says they were strapped to the side of the ark.


6

Rambam discusses the beginnings of idolatry in Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 1:1-2 בימי אנוש טעו בני האדם טעות גדול ונבערה עצת חכמי אותו הדור ואנוש עצמו מן הטועים היה וזו היתה טעותם אמרו הואיל והאלהים ברא כוכבים אלו וגלגלים להנהיג את העולם ונתנם במרום וחלק להם כבוד והם שמשים המשמשים לפניו ראויין הם לשבחם ולפארם ולחלוק להם כבוד וזהו רצון האל ברוך הוא לגדל ...


5

It seems that according to Rav Saadiah Gaon as well as Rambam, an old earth is possible. As is the existence of human beings prior to the date Adam was created according to Torah. Another approach is to look at people like Dr Schroder in Genesis and the Big-Bang who argue that as space-time expands from the point of view of a person standing one earth in ...


5

The question seems to be bothered by the issue that archeological records show that people were around much more than 6000 years ago while the genealogy in the Bible would place Adam, the first man, more recently. There are many ways of addressing this. Just as the six days can be explained as not literally being six days, one can explain that the first ...


5

According to Devarim 11:13-14 it is a reward from god: יג. וְהָיָה אִם שָׁמֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶל מִצְו‍ֹתַי אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם הַיּוֹם לְאַהֲבָה אֶת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וּלְעָבְדוֹ בְּכָל לְבַבְכֶם וּבְכָל נַפְשְׁכֶם: יד. וְנָתַתִּי מְטַר אַרְצְכֶם בְּעִתּוֹ יוֹרֶה וּמַלְקוֹשׁ וְאָסַפְתָּ דְגָנֶךָ וְתִירשְׁךָ וְיִצְהָרֶךָ: (Artscroll) ...


5

For Ch. 6:17 the Torah Sheleimah Vol 2 page 408 note 198 brings the Medrash Raba that VaYigva here means to shrivel. For Ch. 7:21 the Torah Sheleimah Vol 2 page 429 note 79 brings the question and an answer based on the manuscript version of Bava Basra 16b: Only when the Torah uses the terms Geviya and Asifa does it refer to a righteous [painless] death.


5

See Rabbi Hirsch chapter 6 vs 17. Seems Hashem only used this term to ease Noach's mind while being left to imagine the impending death of millions.


5

Rabbi Sorotzkin in Oznayim Latorah (Insights to the Torah) says that Noach continued to feed all the animals for the year after they left the teivah. In Noach 8:17, Hashem gives a bracha which includes the term שרצו which implies increasing like the "creeping things" (such as insects). Thus, Rabbi Sorotzkin says that immediately upon leaving the ark they ...


5

Ramban (Chapter 9, Verse 12) argues that the rainbow existed before the Mabul. However, only after the Mabul did Hashem select it to serve as a sign of His covenant to not cause another Mabul. The rainbow is a reversed bow. One who wishes to indicate peaceful intentions reverses his weapon away from the person he is greeting and points the weapon towards ...


5

Ravina himself asks this question to R. Hama Bar Buzi who suggested this, as recorded in Bava Batra (16b). Rav Hama bar Buzi answered that we only say this when the term gevia and asifa are both used. In the case of the flood, the term asifa is not used.


4

Per the Malbim (HaTorah VeHamitzva 7:23) there was some wildlife that was destroyed completely in the Mabul. והנה שהרבה נשארו עצמותיהם החזקים כמטילי ברזל ולא נמוחו, בכל זאת נמוחו מן הארץ כי ע''י שטף המים הובלו הפגרים לתוך העמקים ורובם נבלעו בעמקי תהום, אשר האדמה פצתה את פיה מעומק תהום רבה וירדו כמה אלפים אמה לעמקי שאול, עד שבצאת נח מן התיבה לא מצא שום רושם ...


4

Both Rabeinu Bachai (Bamidbar 21:34) and the Maharsha (Nidda 61A) say that Cham's wife committed adultery with Shamchzi and then gave birth to Sichon (Og's brother) in the teivah.


4

Ralbag in his commentary to the Flood Narrative writes as follows: והנה השלים זה הסיפור והפליג להאריך בו לרוב התועלת המגיע ממנו ולזה דקדק במספר הימים אשר ירד הגשם בלי הפסק ובשאר הפרטים לישב יותר בלבנו אמיתת זה הסיפור כי כבר נאמין יותר בספורים כשיסופר מענינם פרטים רבים And behold it completed this narrative and elaborated on it extensively due ...


4

Rabbi Shimshon Refael Hirsch on Noach 10:1 (translation is from the 6 volume Hirsch Chumash) And these are the "toldos" of the sons of Noach, Shem Cham, and Yafes, Unto them children were born after the deprivation of life. says They themselves had lived before the Flood, but their children were already born under the influence of the new ...


4

According to the Haamek Davar (9:9), Noach had grandchildren who survived the flood: 7:1's "and your whole household" includes those grandchildren (and servants and personal animals).


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible