Noach, Siman 11 נח, י״א
1 א

דָּבָר אַחֵר, צֵא מִן הַתֵּבָה. אָמַר דָּוִד, הוֹצִיאָה מִמַּסְגֵּר נַפְשִׁי (תהלים קמב, ח). כְּשֶׁהָיָה נֹחַ בַּתֵּבָה, הָיָה מִתְפַּלֵּל תָּמִיד הוֹצִיאָה מִמַּסְגֵּר נַפְשִׁי, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: עַל זֹאת יִתְפַּלֵּל כָּל חָסִיד אֵלֶיךָ לְעֵת מְצוֹא רַק לְשֵׁטֶף מַיִם רַבִּים אֵלָיו לֹא יַגִּיעוּ (תהלים לב, ו).

Another explanation of go forth from the ark. David said: Bring my soul out of prison (Ps. 142:8). Noah, while in the ark, prayed continually: Bring my soul out of prison, and it is said elsewhere: For this let everyone that is godly pray unto Thee in a time when Thou mayest be found; surely, when the great waters overflow, they will not reach unto him (ibid. 32:6).

2 ב

אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, נֹחַ, גְּזֵרָה הִיא מִלְּפָנַי, שֶׁלֹּא תֵצֵא מִן הַמַּסְגֵּר הַזֶּה עַד שֶׁתַּשְׁלִימוּ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ. וְכֵן יְשַׁעְיָה אָמַר, כֹּה אָמַר ה' בְּעֵת רָצוֹן עֲנִיתִיךָ וְגוֹ', לֵאמֹר לַאֲסוּרִים צֵאוּ לַאֲשֶׁר בַּחֹשֶׁךְ הִגָּלוּ (ישעיה מט, ח-ט).

The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him: Noah, I have decreed that you are not to depart from this ark until twelve months have elapsed. And thus Isaiah declared: Thus said the Lord: In an acceptable time have I answered thee; and in a day of salvation have I helped thee … saying to the prisoners: “Go forth”; to them that are in darkness, “Show yourselves” (Isa. 49:8–9).

3 ג

לֵאמֹר לַאֲסוּרִים צֵאוּ, שֶׁהָיוּ אֲסוּרִים מִתַּשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָּה. לָמָּה, שֶׁבְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהָעוֹלָם נָתוּן בְּצָרָה וּבְחֻרְבָּן אָסוּר לָאָדָם לְהִזָּקֵק בִּפְרִיָּה וּרְבִיָּה, שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עוֹסֵק בְּחֻרְבַּן הָעוֹלָם וְהוּא בּוֹנֶה. וְכֵן עָשָׂה יוֹסֵף, עַד שֶׁלֹּא בָאוּ שְׁנֵי בַצֹּרֶת נִזְקַק לְאִשְׁתּוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וּלְיוֹסֵף יֻלָּד שְׁנֵי בָנִים (בראשית מא, נ). אֵימָתַי, בְּטֶרֶם תָּבוֹא שְׁנַת הָרָעָה (בראשית מא, נ).

To say to the prisoners go forth implies that they were enjoined from sexual intercourse. Why was that? When the world is overwhelmed by suffering and destruction, men are forbidden to (fulfill the command to) increase and multiply (Gen. 6:28) Surely, while the Holy One, blessed be He, is engaged in destroying the world, men should not strive to populate it. Joseph behaved accordingly. He indulged in intercourse with his wife only prior to the years of hardship, as it is said: And unto Joseph were born two sons (Gen. 41:50). When were they born? In the years preceding the famine.

4 ד

וְכֵן אִיּוֹב אוֹמֵר, בְּחֶסֶר וּבְכָפָן גַּלְמוּד (איוב ל, ג). כְּשֶׁהַחֶסֶר וְהַכָּפָן בָּא לָעוֹלָם, גַּלְמוּד, גְּלֵה מִתַּשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָּה. וְכֵן עָשָׂה נֹחַ, כְּשֶׁנִּכְנַס בַּתֵּבָה, כְּתִיב בּוֹ, וַיָּבֹא נֹחַ וּבָנָיו, אַחַר כָּךְ וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וּנְשֵׁי בָנָיו. וּכְשֶׁיָּצָא, אָמַר לוֹ: צֵא מִן הַתֵּבָה אַתָּה וְאִשְׁתְּךָ וּבָנֶיךָ וְגוֹ'. מִכָּאן אַתָּה לָמֵד, שֶׁנֶּאֶסְרוּ נֹחַ וּבָנָיו מִתַּשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָּה,

That is why Job declared: They are lonely in want and famine (Job 30:3). That is, when want and famine come into the world, be lonely; abstain from sexual intercourse. Noah acted accordingly. When he entered the ark, it is said: And Noah and his sons came, and after that is written: His wife and his sons’ wives (Gen. 7:7). However, when he was about to depart from the ark, the Holy One, blessed be he, told him: Go forth from the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives (Gen. 8:16). Thus we learn that Noah and his sons were forbidden to indulge in sexual intercourse while in the ark.

5 ה

הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב, לֵאמֹר לַאֲסוּרִים צֵאוּ. לֵאמֹר לַאֲסוּרִים מִתַּשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָּה, צְאוּ מִן הַתֵּבָה. לַאֲשֶׁר בַּחֹשֶׁךְ הִגָּלוּ, אֵלּוּ הַבְּהֵמָה וְהַחַיָּה וְהָעוֹף. מִיָּד אָמַר לָהֶן, וְאַתֶּם פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ שִׁרְצוּ בָאָרֶץ וּרְבוּ בָהּ.

Scripture states in reference to Noah, that thou mayest say to the prisoners “Go forth,” and to them that are in darkness, “Show yourselves” (Isa. 49:9). Say to the prisoners; that is, say to those who are forbidden to have sexual intercourse, Go forth from the ark. To them that are in darkness, show yourselves. Show yourselves refers to the beasts, the animals, and the birds. Thereupon, He told them: And you, be ye fruitful and multiply; swarm in the earth, and multiply therein (Gen. 9:7).

6 ו

אָמַר לוֹ נֹחַ, רִבּוֹן הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁמָּא אַתָּה חוֹזֵר וּמֵבִיא מַבּוּל. אָמַר לוֹ: לָאו, נִשְׁבַּע אֲנִי שֶׁאֵינִי מֵבִיא מַבּוּל עוֹד לָעוֹלָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיָּרַח ה' אֶת רֵיחַ הַנִּיחֹחַ וַיֹּאמֶר ה' וְגוֹ' (בראשית ח, כא). וְאוֹמֵר: כִּי מֵי נֹחַ זֹאת לִי אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי מֵעֲבֹר מֵי נֹחַ וְגוֹ' (ישעיה נד, ט).

Forthwith, Noah said: Master of the universe, will you retract the promise you made, and bring another flood? He replied: I promise that I shall not bring another flood. As it is said: And the Lord smelled the sweet savor, and the Lord said in his heart: “I will not again curse the ground,” etc. (Gen. 8:21); and it says elsewhere: For this is as the waters of Noah unto me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah shall no more go forth over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee (Isa. 54:9).

7 ז

וְאַתָּה מוֹצֵא מִן אוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה עַד שֶׁבָּנָה שְׁלֹמֹה בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ, אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם הָיוּ עוֹשִׂין גְּשָׁמִים כָּל שָׁנָה וְשָׁנָה לְשׁוּם מֵי הַמַּבּוּל שֶׁהָיוּ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם. וּכְשֶׁבָּנָה שְׁלֹמֹה בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ בִּקֵּשׁ רַחֲמִים עֲלֵיהֶם וּפָסְקוּ מִן הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וּבַשָּׁנָה הָאַחַת עֶשְׂרֵה בְּיֶרַח בּוּל (מלכים א ו, לח). מַהוּ יֶרַח בּוּל, יֶרַח שֶׁבּוֹלְלִין לַבְּהֵמוֹת מִתּוֹךְ הַבָּיִת.

You find that from that time until Solomon erected the Temple, it rained continuously for forty days each year as a reminder of the waters of the flood that lasted forty days. After Solomon completed the Temple, he pleaded for mercy in behalf of them (Israel), and the continuous rains ceased, as it says: And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul (I Kings 6:38). What is the meaning of the words In the month of Bul? It refers to the month when the cattle are given mixed fodder which was stored inside the house (because of the rains).17The biblical name for the eighth month is Mar Heshvan. The name Bul is derived from the word bullalin, the month when cattle are given mixed fodder that is stored in the house; Pesikta Rabbati 7. Jastrow.

8 ח

דָּבָר אַחֵר, בְּיֶרַח בּוּל, בִּזְמַן שֶׁהָאָרֶץ עוֹשָׂה בּוּלִין בּוּלִין. דָּבָר אַחֵר, בְּיֶרַח בּוּל, יֶרַח שֶׁבָּחֲרוּ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם שֶׁל מַבּוּל.

Another comment upon In the month of Bul. It was named Bul because He selected it as the month for the forty days of the flood (mabul).

9 ט

וּמָצִינוּ שֶׁאָמַר לְנֹחַ, לֹא יִהְיֶה עוֹד מַיִם לַמַּבּוּל. וּבָא יְשַׁעְיָה וּפֵרַשׁ שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּע, דִּכְתִיב: אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי (ישעיה נד, ט), וְקַיָּם דְּבָרִי לָעוֹלָם. שָׁלֹש שְׁבוּעוֹת שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּע בְּפֵרוּשׁ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, עַל אַחַת כַּמָּה וְכַמָּה. אֵלּוּ הֵן, כֵּן נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי מִקְּצֹף עָלַיִךְ וּמִגְּעָר בָּךְ וְגוֹ' (ישעיה נד, ט), זֶה רִאשׁוֹנָה. וְהַשְּׁנִיָּה, נִשְׁבַּע אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹקִים בְּקָדְשׁוֹ וְגוֹ' (עמוס ד, ב). וְהַשְּׁלִישִׁית, נִשְׁבַּע ה' בִּימִינוֹ וּבִזְרוֹעַ עֻזּוֹ (ישעיה סב, ח).

We find that the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Noah: Neither shall there anymore be a flood (Gen. 8:11). Isaiah later explained that this was an oath, as it is said: For as I have sworn that the waters of Noah shall no more go over the earth (Isa. 54:9), and that this promise will be fulfilled everlastingly. How much more so, then, will He keep the three oaths that He explicitly swore to Israel. The first oath was: So have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee nor rebuke thee (ibid.); the second was: The Lord God has sworn by His holiness (Amos 4:2); and the third was: The Lord God has sworn by His right hand, and by the arm of His strength: Surely I will no more give thy corn to be food for thine enemies (Isa. 62:8).

10 י

בִּימִינוֹ, זוֹ תוֹרָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: מִימִינוֹ אֵשׁ דָּת לָמוֹ (דברים לג, ב). וּבִזְרוֹעַ עֻזּוֹ, אֵלּוּ תְפִלִּין, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ה' עֹז לְעַמּוֹ יִתֵּן (תהלים כט, יא). אִם אֶתֵּן אֶת דְּגָנֵךְ עוֹד מַאֲכָל לְאֹיְבַיִךְ וְגוֹ' בְּחַצְרוֹת קָדְשִׁי (ישעיה סב, ח-ט), זוֹ יְרוּשָׁלַיִם. וּמַה נִּשְׁבַּע? שֶׁהוּא בִּכְבוֹדוֹ בּוֹנֶה אוֹתָהּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: בּוֹנֵה יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ה' נִדְחֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל יְכַנֵּס (תהלים קמז, ב).

The Lord has sworn by His right hand and by the arm of His strength (Isa. 62:8). By his right hand refers to the Torah, as it is said: His right hand was a fiery law unto them (Deut. 33:2). And by the strength of His arms alludes to the tefillin (phylacteries), as it is said: The Lord will give strength unto His people (Ps. 29:11). Surely I will no more give thy corn to be food for thine enemies … in the courts of My sanctuary (Isa. 68:8–9) refers to Jerusalem. What oath did He proclaim in reference to Jerusalem? He vowed that He Himself would build it, as it is said: The Lord doth build up Jerusalem; He gathered together the dispersed of Israel (Ps. 147:2).

11 יא

אָמַר רַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר נַחְמָנִי, מָסֹרֶת אַגָּדָה הִיא, שֶׁאֵין יְרוּשָׁלַיִם נִבְנֵית עַד שֶׁיִּתְכַּנְּסוּ הַגָּלֻיּוֹת. וְאִם יֹאמַר לְךָ אָדָם, שֶׁכְּבָר נִתְקַבְּצוּ הַגָּלֻיּוֹת וְלֹא נִבְנֵית יְרוּשָׁלַיִם, אַל תַּאֲמִין. לָמָּה, שֶׁכָּךְ כְּתִיב: בּוֹנֵה יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ה', וְאַחַר כָּךְ נִדְחֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל יְכַנֵּס.

R. Samuel the son of Nahmani stated: There is an aggadic tradition which states that Jerusalem will not be rebuilt until the dispersed of Israel are gathered together. However, if one should tell you: The exiles are already gathered together and Jerusalem still hath not been rebuilt, believe him not, for it is written: The Lord doth build up Jerusalem, and after that Scripture says: He gathered together the dispersed of Israel (ibid. 147:2).

12 יב

אָמְרוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם, לֹא כְבָר נִבְנֵית יְרוּשָׁלַיִם וְחָרְבָה? אָמַר לָהֶם: עַל יְדֵי עֲוֹנוֹתֵיכֶם חָרְבָה וּגְלִיתֶם מִתּוֹכָהּ. אֲבָל לֶעָתִיד לָבֹא, אֲנִי בּוֹנֶה אוֹתָהּ וְאֵינִי הוֹרֵס אוֹתָהּ לְעוֹלָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: כִּי בָנָה ה' צִיּוֹן נִרְאָה בִּכְבוֹדוֹ (תהלים קב, יז).

Israel said to the Holy One, blessed be He: Master of the universe, has not Jerusalem already been rebuilt and destroyed?18Cf. Bava Batra 49a. And He replied: It was destroyed and you were exiled from it, because of your sins, but in the future I will rebuild it and it will never be destroyed again, as it is said: When the Lord hath built up Zion … He hath appeared in His glory (Ps. 102:17).