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Waves of Change - נח

Friday, 12 October, 2018 - 11:35 am

Noah.jpgWaves of Change

There are extreme fluctuations in the creator’s attitude toward his creation in the first two portions of the book of Genesis.

At first G-d is in love with the world. He created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. Each day of creation G-d looked at the creation of that day and “saw that it was good”. And upon the conclusion of the sixth day G-d saw that  all that He created was not only good, but “exceedingly good”:

And God saw all that He had made, and behold it was exceedingly good (Genesis, 1:31).

Yet, very quickly things turned in the opposite direction. Toward the end of the first portion we read that G-d decided to take the drastic measure of destroying all that He had created on earth.

We then read, in the second portion of the Torah, about the terrible flood. After which, G-d seemed to, once again, take the opposite approach. Somehow, he again fell in love with  creation and promised never again to bring flood the earth.

Why was G-d’s response to the evil of man so dramatically different before and after the flood? If G-d could somehow tolerate the evil after the flood, why could he not have done the same before the flood? Why was it necessary to destroy all the creations of earth?

The generations from Adam to Noah are compared to a student who is close to a most inspirational teacher. As long as the student is in close proximity to the teacher, he will be uplifted and filled with the wisdom and enlightenment flowing from the teacher. But the student himself did not yet learn to innovate, he did not yet cultivate the skills needed in order to discover wisdom on his own. If, for whatever reason, he departs from his teacher's presence, he will be unable to innovate and discover wisdom from within.  

In the beginning of creation, the world was solely an expression of the creator. He created the human being who had the potential to choose to do good. But at that point in history, “good” meant the ability to receive intuition  from the creator, to “see” G-d’s vision for humanity.

This explains why the generations chronicled in the first book of the Torah, lived exceptionally long lives, although they were not deserving of the blessing they received. Because in that period the flow of energy descending from above was an expression of G-d’s “giving”. It was not inspired by, nor dependent on, the actions of man.

On the sixth day of creation “Everything He made was exceedingly good”, because it was created and was inspired from above by the almighty G-d.

Then the people sinned, they filled the earth with corruption and separated themselves from their Divine source..

G-d therefore flooded the earth, because the people lost the spiritual sensitivity that was required to hear the voice from above. At that point in history there was no hope that they would find the calling to goodness and morality from within themselves. At that point there was no hope for correction, because they did not yet have the ability to self inspire, self refine, and self transform.  

When Noach emerged from the ark, the spiritual vitality that was previously available was no longer present. No longer did people live exceptionally long lives. The divine vitality was hidden, leaving people in a weakened state.

But something else happened as well; the waters of the flood were waves of purification.  

While the people were no longer able to receive the “goodness” that flowed from above, they were able to create “man-made” inspiration. The potential for their spiritual enlightenment was not as great, but they were refined enough to be able to find the voice of goodness within themselves. After the flood, humanity is likened to a student who learns how to cultivate wisdom on his own. The wisdom may not be as lofty as that which he received from his teacher, but it is wisdom he can generate no matter where he is.

The waters of the flood have created a world that is no longer solely dependent on inspiration from above. No matter how low they fall, even when the figurative clouds block the rays of Divine consciousness, ultimately people have the ability to transform themselves; to transform, the concealment into a magnificent work of art. They can now, using the very cloud of concealment, reflect the light of the sun and generate a rainbow.    

(Based on the teachings of the Rebbe, Lekutei Sichos Noach vol. 15 Sicha 3).


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