The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.
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

The "window" was in the top of the Ark. (Ibn Ezra says this explicitly on 6:16, but I think it is generally agreed upon.) Looking up would not have helped much. Sticking his head out of the top would not have been an option, since the opening was 1/6th of a cubit wide (Ibn Ezra there).


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 ...


12

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' א') ויזכר אלהים את נח. (שם ל' כ"ב) ויזכר אלהים את רחל והדומה לזה And saving creatures from something that afflicts them, this is called "remembrance". As ...


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

At the core of your question is the assumption that the flood and its fallout was natural, and was subject merely to the laws of nature as we see them today. For the purposes of this answer I will not accept that premise, however I think that one can still reconcile the evidence we see nowadays with the flood in a cogent way that draws upon the natural ...


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 ...


11

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) writes that Avraham was just saying something to appease Avimelekh, and we shouldn't assume it is true. Indeed he addresses your question earlier (Gen 11:28) when ...


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 ...


10

According to Sefer Hayovelim the height was 13 parsa, 5433 amos and 2 zratot. (Source) This would come out to about 52.5 km. There are sources (such as) that take only the amos, because 50 km is unbelievable, and it doesn't really work out with the way the verse is built (חמשת אלפים וארבע מאות ושלושים ושלוש באמה עלה גבהו, ושתי זרתות ושלוש עשרה פרסה). That'...


10

This is not an accurate presentation of the Rambam. While the Rambam does not accept a literal reading of the creation story (as cited here, and see here), nowhere does he extend this to "all of the early biblical stories until the advent of Abraham." For example, the Rambam was criticized for his view (Moreh Nevukhim 2:47) that only the people mentioned in ...


10

As quoted here from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the theological significance of tongs is that they are preparatory - they exist for the purpose of making something else - and the idea of G-d creating them is that even things which are preparatory to something holy and significant can itself be worthwhile and significant. As for the second question, creation of ...


10

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. pleasant) due to her proper behaviour: ואחות תובל קין נעמה אמר ר' אבא בר כהנא נעמה אשת נח הייתה, ולמה נקראת נעמה שמעשיה נעימים Presumably her name is not ...


9

The Chumash Shai LeMorah brings the Be'er Mayim Chaim (A commentary on Rashi written by the Maharal of Prague's brother, R' Chaim of Friedberg) says that once G-d agreed to save the 5 cities if there were 45 righteous people, Avraham understood that G-d was willing to be complete the quorum in order to save the city. (as Rashi 18:28 explains). Once Avraham ...


9

Rabbi Yonasan Grossman from Yeshiva Har Etzion explains as follows. Although he may have been able to tell at Mount Ararat what the situation was, Noach also wanted to know what the situation was in locations that were further away. Noach was waiting for Hashem to tell him to leave the Teivah, however he had to do something to show he was interested in ...


8

Some say that the Dor HaMabul had the halachik status of Bnei Yisroel, so they did have a shiur of Shava Prutah. Source: Rabbi Yechiel Halpern of Minsk (1660- 1747) in Sefer HaLikutim, Mabul, §1


8

He didn't endeavor to get the rest of his generation to do Teshuva. That is the main contrast between him and Avraham Avinu, who worked tirelessly to spread monotheism to the world. This is called a Tzaddik in Pelz - a Righteous person in a fur coat - he keeps warm by wearing a fur coat instead of lighting a fire, thus keeping himself warm but letting ...


8

The Ramban deals with this and points out that it must be a miracle. A WHOLE NEW WORLD and Ramban on the Torah: The Ark’s Size both show the explanation of this. God’s Instructions to Noah outline the ark’s dimensions: three hundred amot long, fifty amot wide and thirty amot high (Bereishit 6:15). Ramban (commentary on 6:19) notes that such a structure ...


8

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 itself is in Psalms 29:10, and from the use of the definite article there as well as the context, it's pretty clearly referring to the one famous event by that ...


7

Among the midrashim we find several opinions as to why Noach cursed K'naan. Here's a few: Hashem had already blessed Noach and his sons (9:1) and a curse cannot exist while the blessing stands. He thus could not curse Cham (the actual perpetrator) and cursed his grandson K'naan instead. (Bereshis Rabbah 36:11; R' Yehuda) [As to why K'naan instead of Cham's ...


7

This can be found in Rashi, Onkelos, and Ibn Ezra. To cite a post about this on Balashon: The word tzohar (or tsohar) appears only here in the Tanach and there are a number of explanations for the meaning: window (Onkelos, Rashi, Ibn Ezra) - based on tsohorayim צהרים - noon. The light of noon is compared to the light entering the ark via the window. Also ...


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 ...


7

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’ Levi, who hold that it was not flooded, there was still a massive amount of water coming in from neighboring lands; what the Midrash means is that it wasn’t ...


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

I forgot which mefaresh I saw this in, but I think it was in the Mikraos Gedolos. He was allowed to eat fish, as well as the animals which spontaneously generate, so as not to cast jealousy among the creations.


6

There is a popular idea (I don't know an actual source for it) that Noach was the classic "tzaddik in a fur coat." The metaphor used is that when the house is cold, you can do one of two things: wrap yourself in a warm coat, ensuring your own comfort but ignoring everyone else's; or build a fire (or turn on the heater, etc.) so that everyone benefits. ...


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