Torah: Noah (Genesis 6:9-11:32) Haftarah: (Isaiah 54:5:5)
Israel is at war. This is a prayer for the Israel Defense Forces.
Ah-ve-nu SHe-ba-sha-ma-yim, Heavenly Parent. Protector of Israel, bless the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, who stand watch over our land and the cities of our G-d; from the border of Lebanon to the desert of Egypt and from the great sea to the approach of Aravah, on land, in the air, and at sea. May G-d cause the enemies who rise against us to be struck down before them.
May the Holy One preserve and rescue our fighting men and women from every trouble and distress, from every plague and illness, and send blessing and success to their every endeavor. May G-d lead our enemies under their sway and adorn them with the crown of salvation and triumph. And may it be fulfilled for them, the verse “for it is Adonai your G-d who goes with you to battle your enemies, for you and to save you.” Amen
This prayer will help them and all of us as we are participating from afar.
The Torah portion from Noah contains:
G-d decides to destroy the wicked world by means of a flood. G-d chooses Noah, a righteous man, and his family to be saved, Noah, his family, and the animals enter the ark and are saved from the flood. The earth dries, and G-d promises, through the symbol of a rainbow, that the world will never again be destroyed in a flood. The genealogical tables of seventy nations are presented. People build the Tower of Babel whose construction is foiled by G-d by the confusion of their languages.
In explaining why the Torah adds the apparent superfluous words “ Noah was in his generations a righteous man,” some rabbis’ statements meant that Noah was not an especially unusual human being. The inclusion of “in his generation” (of wickedness) did he appear righteous; had he lived in Abraham’s generation, he would not have been so righteous. While other rabbis’ viewpoints took the opposite opinions. Since everyone around Noah was wicked, it was far more challenging and difficult for him to live a righteous life. This is to Noah’s credit (Talmud Sanhedrin 108a;Genesis Rabbah, 30:18).
The questions I always ponder are the following:
Why did Noah ask G-d to allow his parents and siblings to enter the ark?
Why did Noah ask G-d to allow his wife, Naamah’s family, to enter the ark?
Think about what questions you would have asked G-d at this moment in time.
The ark took years to build. Why? No, not because the materials or animals were not available yet. However, good guess. The answer was G-d was waiting for people to change their wicked ways (story of Jonah and the city of Nineveh). They did not change.
Today, the world watches the heinous actions by evil hate groups Hamas and Hezbollah. The countries and cities put up their lights of blue on buildings and some with Magen David Star to show their support for Israel and her people because they were attacked. Yet, when Russia invaded Ukraine the world showed their support for Ukraine and its people. What I am trying to point out is that throughout the centuries when the Jewish people are attacked the world remains silent. Yes, today, Iran has oil fields to supply the nations of the world, and some countries have to walk a fine line (diplomatic line). As individuals each of us can speak out about the atrocities and attacks on our civilians. We rally and we send money, and some have sent our sons and daughters there to help in various capacities. While many of our non Jewish neighbors support us with their kind words and they also send donations and help to Israel. Keep in mind our country is made up of diverse people, and it is the Terrorists and their leadership that we are at war with, and we are not at war with innocent Muslim civilians.
It is extremely sad and mentally draining of all of us as we see and hear reports on the TV. However, as Jews we must gather our strength, continue to live our lives, and yes even smile and laugh. If each of us do not enjoy daily activities and our lives, then the evil hate groups win.
The Torah commands us that even in the darkest of times to always choose “LIFE”!
Hazak, Hazak, V’ Nitzhazak! Strength, Strength, and TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER!
Am Ysrael Chai! Long Live Israel!
Rabbi Helene Ainbinder