Skip to main content
16 votes
Accepted

Rainbows prior to the Mabul

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 ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.7k
15 votes
Accepted

Alternative version of Tower of Babel story

Found it in R. Yaakov Culi's Me'am Lo'ez Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer 24 says If a man fell and died they paid no heed to him, but if a brick fell they sat down and wept, and said: Woe is us ! when will ...
Shalom's user avatar
  • 166
12 votes

Sarah is Abraham's sister?

There is a Midrash (Megillah 14a) that Sarah was really the same as Yiskah (from Gen 11:28), which would make her Avraham's niece, which is pretty close to a sister. However, Ibn Ezra (Gen 20:12) ...
Double AA's user avatar
  • 99.9k
12 votes
Accepted

What does it mean that God "remembers" something?

Rav Sa'adya Gaon writes in Emunot V'deot (Ma'amar 2 s.v. v'hinei ani) that in reference to God, remembrance refers to salvation: ובהצלת הברואים מענין שמצער אותם קוראים אותו זכירה, שאמרו (בראשית ח' ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.7k
10 votes
Accepted

How Come Noah's wife's name is not recorded in the Bible

The Midrash Genesis Rabbah (ed. Albeck: B'reshit 23) quotes R. Abba bar Kahana stating that Na'amah, the sister of Tuval-Kayin (see Genesis 4:22), was the wife of Noah, and she was called Na'amah (lit....
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.7k
8 votes

Tower of Babel - Rocketship?

See here for a full explanation of Rav Yonasan Eibeshitz's idea of the generation attempting to build a tower so high it would reach beyond the gravitational pull of the Earth. Then, they planned to ...
NJM's user avatar
  • 14.3k
8 votes
Accepted

No Flood in Israel?

It is a dispute in Bereishis Rabbah 33:6 whether Eretz Yisrael was flooded. According to R’ Beivai, who holds that it was flooded, the inhabitants obviously died. According to R’ Abba bar Kahana and R’...
DonielF's user avatar
  • 34.4k
8 votes

What is the meaning of the word "mabul"?

As far as I can tell from searching on Sefaria and AlHatorah, מבול appears 12 times in Tanach, and every instance refers to the Waters of Noach. The only appearance of the word outside Parashat Noach ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48.2k
8 votes

Why was Noach the person to save the animals?

I think it is related to the fact that he was then allowed to eat the animals (after the mabul). If they don't owe man their lives, why would man be allowed to take their lives for his needs? Edit: I ...
ishoni's user avatar
  • 87
7 votes
Accepted

What happened to the Teva after the flood?

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 ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.7k
7 votes
Accepted

Did Noach live 950 years or 951 years

Copying from YEZ’s answer to the related question of whether Moshe was 120 or 121: The Da'as Zkeinim (and the Chizkuni) at the beginning of Parshas Noach addresses this issue in a different ...
7 votes

What percentage of the humanity must sin to cause G-d to wipe them all?

10 righteous people (or 9, rounding up) were required to prevent the destruction of humanity. Noach and crew were only 8, therefore they could not save the world. Clearly, by the standard that G-d was ...
Salmononius2's user avatar
  • 6,803
7 votes

Why did animals need to eat/be fed for a year in the Ark?

R Ari Wasserman explains the ark was a "chesed school" and that feeding animals became the mechanism to teach Noah and his family a value which would be fundamental to the new world being created. ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 53.1k
7 votes

Why were Mabul rains for 40 days?

Rashi to Genesis 7:4 explains that it's because of their sin of adultery: ארבעים יום. כְּנֶגֶד יְצִירַת הַוָּלָד, שֶׁקִּלְקְלוּ לְהַטְרִיחַ לְיוֹצְרָם לָצוּר צוּרַת מַמְזֵרִים "Forty days" – ...
DonielF's user avatar
  • 34.4k
6 votes
Accepted

Why does אבות cite Gen. 9, not Gen. 1, for נברא בצלם?

It seems to me that the key is "חִבָּה יְתֵרָה נוֹדַעַת לוֹ שֶׁנִּבְרָא בְצֶלֶם" In Bereishit 9, G-d is directly commanding mankind not to kill people, because they were created in the image of G-d. ...
Menachem's user avatar
  • 44.6k
6 votes

Genesis Chapter 9 : 3 Meaning

Rabbeinu Bachya on this verse says as follows Bereshit 9:3 כירק עשב נתתי לכם את כל. ממה שהזכיר נתתי לכם את כל הייתי מתיר כל בשר כדעת האומות, לכך הוצרך לומר כירק עשב, כשם שיש בעשבים חלק מותר שהם טובים ...
Chatzkel's user avatar
  • 13.2k
6 votes

Genesis Chapter 9 : 3 Meaning

There are the Noahide Laws that applied to all of humanity, post-Flood. Pre-Flood, humans weren't allowed to eat animals. Post-Flood, "any animal is fair game, just like the plants you ate until ...
Shalom's user avatar
  • 134k
6 votes

Why the mention of Mabul water level in relation to mountains, who could testify it?

Who could testify to these situations? Your question deals with one of the "ikkarim" of our faith. One of the principles of the Jewish faith. What is it? Well, the Rambam (Maimonides) says ...
Shmuel's user avatar
  • 10.6k
5 votes

What mitzvot existed for humanity prior to Noach?

According to Rambam in Mishne Torah (Hilchot Melachim u'Milchamot 9:1) there was 6 laws prior to Noah and they were given to Adam (includind the prohibition of idolatry and murder). Therefore, yes ...
Renato S. Grun's user avatar
5 votes

How does waterproofing the Ark from the inside help practically?

Although this may be better answered by looking into ancient ship building methods, we can also attempt to answer this from chazzal. See Bava Metzia 40a באתריה דמר חפו בקירא ולא מייץ טפי באתריה ...
user6591's user avatar
  • 33.8k
5 votes
Accepted

Source in Moreh Nevuchim which speaks of the reason why the Torah mentions the genealogy of the nations and why they were dispersed

This is in Moreh Nevukhim (3:50): והם אלו הספורים אשר ספר בתורה, אשר יחשבו רבים שאין תועלת בזכרם, בספרו הסתעף המשפחות מן נח ושמותם ומקומותם, וכן בני שעיר החורי וספר המלכים אשר מלכו בארץ אדום וכיוצא ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.7k
5 votes

How wide was the Migdal Bavel?

Benjamin of Tudela describes the Tower of Babel among his records of his journey through Babylon in the Twelfth Century: The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela ומשם ארבעה מילין למגדל שבנו דור הפלגה ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k
5 votes

Why does Hashem decide not to destroy mankind again after the flood?

You claim that there is no noticeable change in human behavior after the flood but that is not true. We don’t find the world, post flood, was rampant with bestiality or stealing. I once read that ...
Shoel U'Meishiv's user avatar
5 votes

Which animal survived outside of Noachs teiva

Welcome to Mi Yodeya. No animals survived as it says 7 (21): And all flesh perished that moved upon the earth, among the fowl, and among the cattle, and among the beasts, and among all creeping ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Did Noach have sefarim from previous generations?

HaShem helped me find it. In the back part of the Mikraos Gedolos I mentioned, it brings down a Zohar (Vol. 1, 58b) תָּא חֲזֵי, כֵּיוָן דְּאִתְיְילִיד נֹחַ חָמָא עוֹבָדֵיהוֹן דִּבְנֵי נָשָׁא ...
Ari's user avatar
  • 905
5 votes
Accepted

Were asexual animals gathered into the ark?

Genesis 7:13-14 (Judaica): On this very day, Noah came, and Shem and Ham and Japheth, Noah's sons, and Noah's wife and his sons' three wives with them, into the ark. They, and every beast after its ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Why does Rabbi Akiva in Avos 3:14 quote Genesis 9:6 and not Genesis 1:27?

In the Yachin UVoaz commentary it writes: שאמר הקב"ה כן לנח, וגלה לו יקרת האדם, וזה מעיד על גודל החבה, עד שמודיעו שמחבבו כל כך, [משא"כ הנך קראי דבראשית שנאמר נעשה אדם בצלמינו וכו', כי בצלם ...
Dov's user avatar
  • 33.6k
4 votes

First it says everyone had their own language; but then it says all spoke one before being split

Rabbenu Hayyim Paltiel to Genesis (11:1) suggests that originally everyone spoke all seventy languages. Later, they each lost the ability to speak all but a a single language. Accordingly, originally ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.7k
4 votes

First it says everyone had their own language; but then it says all spoke one before being split

Excellent question! Radak to 10:5 (איש ללשונו כי לא היו כולם בני לשון אחת אחר הפלגה) and RDZ Hoffman to 10:31 (ללשנתם – ביטוי זה מופיע כאן ברשימת העמים על שם העתיד לבוא, אחר פיזורה של האנושות על פני ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
4 votes

Rambam and Interpreting Bereishit as Allegorical

There are parts of Genesis prior to Abraham that Rambam does not interpret as allegories. The most explicit example occurs in Guide for the Perplexed 3:50 where he makes it pretty clear that an ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k

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