"What's Wrong With Noah?" - Parshat Noach

(ט) אֵ֚לֶּה תּוֹלְדֹ֣ת נֹ֔חַ נֹ֗חַ אִ֥ישׁ צַדִּ֛יק תָּמִ֥ים הָיָ֖ה בְּדֹֽרֹתָ֑יו אֶת־הָֽאֱלֹקִ֖ים הִֽתְהַלֶּךְ־נֹֽחַ׃ (י) וַיּ֥וֹלֶד נֹ֖חַ שְׁלֹשָׁ֣ה בָנִ֑ים אֶת־שֵׁ֖ם אֶת־חָ֥ם וְאֶת־יָֽפֶת׃

(9) This is the legacy of Noah.—Noah was a pure and righteous man in his generations, and Noah walked with God.— (10) Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Yaphet.

בדרותיו. יֵשׁ מֵרַבּוֹתֵינוּ דּוֹרְשִׁים אוֹתוֹ לְשֶׁבַח, כָּל שֶׁכֵּן אִלּוּ הָיָה בְדוֹר צַדִּיקִים הָיָה צַדִּיק יוֹתֵר; וְיֵשׁ שֶׁדּוֹרְשִׁים אוֹתוֹ לִגְנַאי, לְפִי דוֹרוֹ הָיָה צַדִּיק וְאִלּוּ הָיָה בְדוֹרוֹ שֶׁל אַבְרָהָם לֹא הָיָה נֶחְשָׁב לִכְלוּם (סנה' ק"ח):

בדורותיו IN HIS GENERATIONS —

Some of our Rabbis explain this to his credit: he was righteous even in his generation; it follows that had he lived in a generation of righteous people he would have been even more righteous. Others, however, explain it to his discredit: in comparison with his own generation he was accounted righteous, but had he lived in the generation of Abraham he would have been accounted as of no importance (cf. Sanhedrin 108a).

ומנלן דנאסרו דכתיב (בראשית ו, יח) ובאת אל התיבה אתה ובניך ואשתך ונשי בניך אתך וכתיב (בראשית ח, טז) צא מן התיבה אתה ואשתך ובניך ונשי בניך אתך וא"ר יוחנן מיכן אמרו שנאסרו בתשמיש המטה

How do we know that [sex] was forbidden [on the Ark]? — From the verse (in Genesis 6:18), “And you shall come into the ark, you and your sons, and your wife and your sons wives with you,” while further on (in Genesis 8:16) it is written, “Go forth from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.”

(יח) וַהֲקִמֹתִ֥י אֶת־בְּרִיתִ֖י אִתָּ֑ךְ וּבָאתָ֙ אֶל־הַתֵּבָ֔ה אַתָּ֕ה וּבָנֶ֛יךָ וְאִשְׁתְּךָ֥ וּנְשֵֽׁי־בָנֶ֖יךָ אִתָּֽךְ׃

(18) I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall enter the ark, with your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives.

(טז) צֵ֖א מִן־הַתֵּבָ֑ה אַתָּ֕ה וְאִשְׁתְּךָ֛ וּבָנֶ֥יךָ וּנְשֵֽׁי־בָנֶ֖יךָ אִתָּֽךְ׃ (יז) כָּל־הַחַיָּ֨ה אֲשֶֽׁר־אִתְּךָ֜ מִכָּל־בָּשָׂ֗ר בָּע֧וֹף וּבַבְּהֵמָ֛ה וּבְכָל־הָרֶ֛מֶשׂ הָרֹמֵ֥שׂ עַל־הָאָ֖רֶץ הוצא [הַיְצֵ֣א] אִתָּ֑ךְ וְשָֽׁרְצ֣וּ בָאָ֔רֶץ וּפָר֥וּ וְרָב֖וּ עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ (יח) וַיֵּ֖צֵא־נֹ֑חַ וּבָנָ֛יו וְאִשְׁתּ֥וֹ וּנְשֵֽׁי־בָנָ֖יו אִתּֽוֹ׃

(16)Go forth from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. (17) Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds, animals, and everything that creeps on earth; and let them swarm on the earth and be fertile and increase on earth.” (18) So Noah went forth, together with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives.

ומה שנאמר גם ביציאה, ויצא נח ובניו ואשתו ונשי בניו אע״פ שהתיר הקב״ה לנח המשגל מ״מ לא קבל עליו כי אמר פן יוסיפו לחטוא ויבואו מי המבול וישטפום ולמה זה יוליד לריק ולבהלה

It says again, in the emergence from the ark, that “Noah went forth, together with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives,” even though the Holy Blessed One had permitted Noah to have intercourse again. Nevertheless, he would not accept it, for he said, “Perhaps they will continue to sin, and the waters of the flood will come and wash them away. And why should one give birth into this emptiness and chaos?”

(א) וַיְבָ֣רֶךְ אֱלֹקִ֔ים אֶת־נֹ֖חַ וְאֶת־בָּנָ֑יו וַיֹּ֧אמֶר לָהֶ֛ם פְּר֥וּ וּרְב֖וּ וּמִלְא֥וּ אֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ (ב) וּמוֹרַאֲכֶ֤ם וְחִתְּכֶם֙ יִֽהְיֶ֔ה עַ֚ל כָּל־חַיַּ֣ת הָאָ֔רֶץ וְעַ֖ל כָּל־ע֣וֹף הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם בְּכֹל֩ אֲשֶׁ֨ר תִּרְמֹ֧שׂ הָֽאֲדָמָ֛ה וּֽבְכָל־דְּגֵ֥י הַיָּ֖ם בְּיֶדְכֶ֥ם נִתָּֽנוּ׃ (ג) כָּל־רֶ֙מֶשׂ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הוּא־חַ֔י לָכֶ֥ם יִהְיֶ֖ה לְאָכְלָ֑ה כְּיֶ֣רֶק עֵ֔שֶׂב נָתַ֥תִּי לָכֶ֖ם אֶת־כֹּֽל׃ (ד) אַךְ־בָּשָׂ֕ר בְּנַפְשׁ֥וֹ דָמ֖וֹ לֹ֥א תֹאכֵֽלוּ׃ (ה) וְאַ֨ךְ אֶת־דִּמְכֶ֤ם לְנַפְשֹֽׁתֵיכֶם֙ אֶדְרֹ֔שׁ מִיַּ֥ד כָּל־חַיָּ֖ה אֶדְרְשֶׁ֑נּוּ וּמִיַּ֣ד הָֽאָדָ֗ם מִיַּד֙ אִ֣ישׁ אָחִ֔יו אֶדְרֹ֖שׁ אֶת־נֶ֥פֶשׁ הָֽאָדָֽם׃ (ו) שֹׁפֵךְ֙ דַּ֣ם הָֽאָדָ֔ם בָּֽאָדָ֖ם דָּמ֣וֹ יִשָּׁפֵ֑ךְ כִּ֚י בְּצֶ֣לֶם אֱלֹקִ֔ים עָשָׂ֖ה אֶת־הָאָדָֽם׃ (ז) וְאַתֶּ֖ם פְּר֣וּ וּרְב֑וּ שִׁרְצ֥וּ בָאָ֖רֶץ וּרְבוּ־בָֽהּ׃ (ס)

(1) God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. (2) The fear and the dread of you shall be upon all the beasts of the earth and upon all the birds of the sky—everything with which the earth is astir—and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hand. (3) Every creature that lives shall be yours to eat; as with the green grasses, I give you all these. (4) You must not, however, eat flesh with its life-blood in it. (5) But for your own life-blood I will require a reckoning: I will require it of every beast; of humanity, too, will I require a reckoning for human life, of every human for that of their fellow human! (6) Whoever sheds the blood of a person, that person's blood be shed; For in God's image Did God make the person. (7) So you, be fruitful and multiply; abound on the earth and increase on it.”

(כח) וַֽיְחִי־נֹ֖חַ אַחַ֣ר הַמַּבּ֑וּל שְׁלֹ֤שׁ מֵאוֹת֙ שָׁנָ֔ה וַֽחֲמִשִּׁ֖ים שָׁנָֽה׃ (כט) וַיִּֽהְיוּ֙ כָּל־יְמֵי־נֹ֔חַ תְּשַׁ֤ע מֵאוֹת֙ שָׁנָ֔ה וַחֲמִשִּׁ֖ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיָּמֹֽת׃ (פ)
(28) Noah lived after the Flood 350 years. (29) And all the days of Noah came to 950 years; then he died.

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