Chavarah- Jewish Community Learning

A blog of Jewish study and traditions. Notes from classes: Torah Study with Rabbi Marder, Toledot and Shabbaton as well as other details found of interest.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Agreement

Genesis 6:18-22

There is an agreement between God and Noah!

A detailed discussion on a “covenant” as it is used here and elsewhere in the TANAK

Avram – Genesis 14:13 – when he was a military hero – reference to a military partnership

David - 2nd Samuel 5:3 – between the ruler and his people – constitutional monarchy

Jeramiah – Between the King and the people

David and Jonathan – 1st Samuel 18 – private pact of loyalty

Marriage – Proverbs 2: the covenant between partners in a marriage.

We were introduced to the concept of Covenant Marriage:
Which takes the legal contract of marriage to a new level of commitment
Marriage is a “gift from God”

R. Marder said “I am not an Evangelical Christian by a long shot... Nevertheless, their position on covenant marriage is worth looking at to add another level to the commitment.”

The term ‘brit’ takes on a different dynamic through the TANAK


Sex was forbidden on the ark – how do they know that?

Rashi provides the answer – as usual
When they enter the ark they are listed separately (men first then women) – when they leave the art they are listed together.
It is all in the details of the words.

Eli Munk adds that this is also as respect for those who die in the flood.

(Talmud notes that there are three exceptions to this ‘no sex’ on the ark concept – Ham and the Ravin and the Dog could not control themselves)

And it also relates to times of famine when it is a time to refrain from sex while so many are starving.

This is not so in the time of the Holocaust when the thought was more toward continuation of the people.

Verse 19 – Two of each
The Ark is a matrix of regeneration of life.
This too is problematic in some ways – there are 2 versions of the story in Chapter 7 it is a bit different – in these two versions God is referenced as Adonai in one and Elohim in the other which may indicate a merging of two different versions.
Adonai = God of Compassion
Elohim = God of Devine Justice

The ‘priestly’ source was concerned that if there were only 2 of each animal then there would not be enough for sacrifices – thus it is interpreted as two or more of each.

Another question is whether Noah had to go get the animals or if they came on their own. (thus the Disney reference) but is a good question as in one verse it refers to ‘collecting’ the animals and in v20 it indicates that the animals ‘ will come to you’.

- Fantasia 2000 - Noah
There's another, stranger one, from the 50s that seems very un-Disney
(Part 1)
(Part 2)

(Thanks Robert Swirsky for this link)


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