Why Noach’s Warnings Went Unheeded; HaRav Nachman Kahana on Parashat Noach 5775
Parashat Noach 5775
Rabbi Nachman Kahana
Why Noach’s Warnings Went Unheeded
Two factors in the parsha are puzzling: Why was there not even one person who was affected by Noach’s warning of the pending annihilation of humanity? Why did HaShem have to promise Noach that He would never again flood the world?
I suggest… Conceptual Challenges:
All objects in this world are in the form of a line, a curve or a combination of the two. Conceptualize a third form which is neither a line nor a curve. It is comparable to attempting to explain the color red to a person who has been blind since birth, or describe what something round feels like.
The Creator implanted in human beings five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. Conceptualize a sixth sense.
These challenges are doomed to failure, for the simple reason that they are outside of human experience and HaShem limited the human mind to think only “in the box” of our experiences. Undoubtedly a third form does exist somewhere, and no doubt there is a sixth sense – but not in this world.
Noach’s warnings went unheeded because at that time Hashem’s wrath was unprecedented and beyond all human experience. It was as inconceivable as the sense of “hearing” would be, had that sense not been part of the “package” programmed into Adam and Chava. No one could have conceived that the Creator would destroy His handiwork.
After the deluge, HaShem saw fit to promise Noach and his descendants that such a catastrophe would never again befall humanity. Why?
Because HaShem knew that once the deluge and its almost total destruction of humanity would became part of our conscious human experience, the fear that it might again occur would paralyze the development of humanity and societies in the manner that the Creator wanted. So it was essential to remove this fear by Hashem’s promise to Noach and his future generations that this calamitous experience would never re-occur.
The Jews of Europe in the 1920s and 30s were warned repeatedly of a pending holocaust. Even as late as 1936-8 most Jews were anxious, but quite sure that the cultured nation of Germany would never implement the graphic threats sounded by their Führer and his lieutenants Himmler and Goebbels. Historians will be understanding of that generation of Jews who could be excused because those threats were so remote from human experience. Pogroms? Yes! Arson? Yes! Concentration camps, gas chambers and crematoria? Never!
The Jews of Europe woke up to the new realities of their lives by the banging of the doors on the cattle cars which took them to the thousands of death camps spread over Europe. It was now part of their, and our, human experience.
Unlike HaShem’s promise to Noach that a worldwide deluge would never occur again, the phrase “Never Again” is no more than a fervent hope that an anti-Semitic holocaust would never be repeated – a hope, but not a promise!
Jews now living in the galut are playing with fire – the fire of anti-Semitism which spreads with the speed and intensity of a forest fire. But while a forest fire is fueled by dry leaves and intense heat, the fire of anti-Semitism is fueled by dry neshamot and intense hatred.
Europe is being depleted of its Jewish holocaust survivors and others, although not by choice but rather by: 1- compulsion, 2- necessity and 3- inevitability.
1- “Compulsion” caused by aggressively growing numbers of Jew hating Moslems left to their murderous, impulsive inclinations by Christian politicians desperately clinging to power before the ever-growing Moslem electorate .
2- “Necessity” to escape the torments, insults, beatings and murders by anti-Semites of various colors and religious persuasions.
3- “Inevitability” of HaShem’s closure of the 2000-year-old galut and His decree that His children return home to Eretz Yisrael.
The hatred will spread to other parts of the world. The United States is just a few years behind what is now occurring in Europe. An Ebola epidemic. Moslem influence in society. A double dip in the economy. A drop in the value of the dollar. A feeling of hopelessness on the part of tens of millions of disenfranchised minorities. And above all, the feeling of loss of country on the part of the threatened white majority. Each one, and certainly all together, could release the abominable anti-Semitic genie.
The holocaust happened; it is an indelible part of reality. And the second time is infinitely easier than the first.
HaShem did not give us Medinat Yisrael to be just one more alternative for our vacation choices. Medinat Yisrael is the modern day Noah’s Ark in its two functions:
1- To save those who desire life over death;
2- To function as a warning to evildoers of what awaits them at the hand of the Almighty. Our miraculous return to Eretz Yisrael is a warning to the perverters of HaShem’s Will – Christian, Moslem and others, that they will be judged according to their conduct regarding HaShem’s chosen people.
Remember! When the goy hits you once – shame on him! When the goy hits you the second time – shame on you.