Congregation Etz Hayim at Hollis Hills Bayside

The consolidated communities of Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center and Marathon Jewish Community Center

Shabbat Noah 5777

When game seven of the World Series was delayed by rain on Wednesday evening, didn’t you begin to wonder if the rain might last 40 days and nights? It was almost like the umpires went searching for two of every animal in anticipation of a serious deluge.
Actually, that’s based on the part of the story that most of us know. It mentions a pair of every animal and a 40-day flood. The part of the story that we’re less likely to know is that there were instructions for seven pairs of animals, and a flood that lasted 150 days. I’m not making these inconvenient details up; they’re in the Torah (Genesis 7:2 and 7:24, respectively). 
Well, what’s the right answer? How many and for how long?
To answer these questions, we need to look more carefully at the flood story and what surrounds it in the Torah. We’ll get help from one of today’s most clever Torah teachers, Dr. Joel Hoffman, and his book The Bible Doesn’t Say That. The lessons that we’ll learn about Parshat Noah may even help us address anxieties about this upcoming week’s election.
 
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom,
 
Rabbi David Wise