How did the Heavenly Court see Noah’s world?
Welcome to our Noahide Torah Class 17. Last time we saw how humanity--THE CHILDREN OF ADAM---split into two rival fractions:
1. Enosh followers--SHET family--believing in YHVH but neglecting ELoHiM.
2. Cain’s tribe--the CHILDREN OF ELOKIM--believing in ELoKim neglecting YHVH.
Each fraction started with a special kind of IDOLATRY--violating YHVH-ELOKIM ONENESS, and KINGSHIP.
Each fraction, as we’ve seen, deteriorated from its own brand of IDOLATRY into the common path of ADULTERY, BLOODSHED, THEFT and INJUSTICE.
1. Enosh disciples took for granted that YHVH’s Kingdom is here. Hence everything is Forgiven with Compassion and Mercy, so they did whatever they wished with no fear of ELoKiM’s retributions.
2. Cain’s descendants kept ELoKiM’s laws stringently with no Mercy. They took an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, literally, as the Absolute Justice dictates. In time, this practice rendered them insensitive to human plight and suffering. Killing, stoning and hanging was a common practice in their midst. They too corrupt into ADULTERY and BLOODSHED and THEFT.
The fall of the CHILDREN OF ELOHIM from grace was enhanced by Tubal Cain’s success in developing a new metal alloy. That technology gave Cain’s family enormous military advantage over their enemies. The Torah says that their chieftains took women as they wished, regardless whether these women were married or not. The wondrous, giant Nefilim, Aza and Azael—probably Cain’s leaders--fell from grace. They were once pious like angels, but now they became less than a human. Tubal Cain’s ferocious gang robbed, raped and murdered under the watching Sun, with no shame (Midrash.) His sister Naama, the legendary, magical dancer spread sexual decay. It is said that men left their families after one night sexual stand with Naama, only to commit suicide at the end (Zoahr.)
When Noah was born, the parties of Shet and Cain both engaged in sexual perversions, bestiality, and unnatural sex of the worst kind. Moreover, people did not go to work. Sometimes they ploughed their fields but never bothered to harvest the crop. They started building homes but left them unfinished. Indeed, “the Earth corrupted before ELOKIM and the Earth filled with hamas.”
That was the face of humanity when Noah was born.
1. Noah was born tenth generations after Adam
“And Lemech lived a hundred and eighty two (182) years and begot a son,
And he called him Noah, saying, ‘This one shall comfort us for all our work
And the toil of our hands, for the curse which YHVH has cursed.” (Genesis 5: 29)
Noah was born the tenth generation after Adam. Later it would take ten generations from Noah to Abraham birth. That number is significant, since it shows that the Heavenly Court develops the right soul to fit the generations. Noah was born for his generation whereas Abraham was born for his generation. Thais is why the verse says: “And Noah was a righteous man in his generations.” (Genesis 6: 9).
You may call it a ‘Heavenly guided genetic engineering,’ or by any other appropriate term, but clearly the Torah is telling us that Hashem is engaged in developing righteous people for the generations, to advance humanity forwards.
That point is farther illuminated in the Story of the Prophet Billam that we’ll learn with Go-d help in due course. There it took HaShem so many generations to ‘develop’ Ruth the Moabite from the filth of Sodom and Gomorrah. Then it took several generations to bring David from Ruth, and now it takes generations to bring the Son of David. The vision of HaShem as sitting and examining human seeds, and asking Himself “when would a righteous person come?” is central to Bilaam prophecy and to the understanding of Noah faith. HaShem works His miracles through Nature. One needs to fertilize the human seed to bring forth righteous people.
2. Noah line from Shet
In that vision on our minds, let’s note that Noah came from a remarkable line of righteous descendants of Shet, all spiritual leaders of their generations. On Shet it says that he was born in the image and form of Adam (Genesis 5: 3.) Since Adam was made in the ‘Image and Form of ELoKiM,’ it comes out that Shet inherited that righteousness from Adam. Among Noah’s forefathers we see Enosh, Hanoch, and Metushelach, the pillars of faith.
3. Noah the pleasant
As the verse explicitly says, ‘Noah’ means ‘comfort,’ expressing his parent’s hope that the newborn son would give much comfort to the ‘tile of our hands,’ meaning to the farmers (Rashi). Their hope would later materialize, since Noah was the first to convert metal weaponry to metal ploughs. Apparently he took his brother-in-law, Tubal Cain’s metal swords and arrows and melted them for his ploughs (Midrash.) Thus Israel prophets’ futuristic vision of Universal Peace, where all the Nations will melt their swords and convert them to ploughs started with Noah. THAT EXPRESSES WHAT THE NOAHIDE MOVEMENT IS ALL ABOUT: PEACE ON EARTH. What a timely message! Imagine taking all the billions of moneys and investing them in ‘ploughs.’ This is what BN teach the world!
3: Noah the accommodating soul
Another, the third meaning of ‘Noah’ is ‘pleasant’ in the sense of his ‘accommodating character.’ His wife’s name, Naama, infers the same, suggesting that she too was a pleasant and accommodating woman. Hence these two were matched for each other from birth.
It is said that Noah never rebuked or scolded anyone. Even when seeing his generation wickedness, he remained quiet, which some Rabbis interpreted as a weakness, or compliance. They point out that Abraham, in contrast, gave his life for the sake of the Creator, teaching his neighbors the faith regardless the risk for his life. Abraham was the first warrior and a martyr for Noah’s Seven Commandments, as opposed to Noah himself. That shows what Israel is all about. Israel, as Abraham’s seeds, has to spread Noahide Seven Commandments to the world like Abraham did.
It is said that “Noah was a righteous man,” and the same is said on Abraham. Both were righteous, in their own generations. Abraham was a martyr, but Noah’s generation was tougher; more stubborn. Abraham wouldn’t succeed in teaching Noah’s generations, had he lived in his time (Midrash.)
How accommodating was Noah?
When ELoHiM told Noah about the forthcoming of the Flood, he did not go out to rebuke his generation. But when HaShem told him to build an ark, Noah started to build it slowly, placing it on the top of a nearby mountain. For more than one hundreds years he and his three sons would come day by day to work on the project. When people made fun of him saying, “Silly, why do you build your beautiful Ark on the top of the mountain? Do you think the ocean will rise to reach the top?” He answered: “You’ve just said so.” And when they said, “Are you telling us to repent, lest the waters would rise?” He said, “You’ve said so.” (Midrash)
Again, Noah’s pleasant and accommodating character is important to the understanding what Bnei Noah movement is all about. BN are not about to start a revolution, or a new religion, or to conquer Earth by the sword, or even by evangelizing. Noahide spread their words by giving a personal example of living a righteous life, merely by keeping the Seven Commandments. Noahide are not called upon to act like Abraham, as zealots, but to emulate Noah the pleasant.
4. Noah who rests
Another, the forth meaning of Noah is ‘rest.’ Thus the Ark ‘rested’ on the ground (Genesis 8: 4), using the same Hebrew term as Noah. Moreover, Noah ‘rested’ all his life on the weekly Sabbath. In addition, inside the Ark, Noah witnessed the Eternal Sabbath--the very Kingship of YHVH that Enosh had prophesized. Inside Noah’s Ark the wolf did not prey on the lamb, and a child played safely over a snake-pit. Inside the Ark there was no sickness and no death. Thus Noah is the only human that has ever experienced the Sabbath on Earth, but only inside his Ark.
That is why it is said, “these are the history of Noah, Noah was a righteous man.” The Rabbis ask: Why is Noah name repeated twice? And they answer: In order to show that Noah ‘rested’ in two kinds of Sabbaths: Our weekly Sabbath, and the Futuristic Eternal Sabbath (Zoahr).
And here we come to an important message regarding BN and the Sabbath. A BN keeps the Sabbath to commemorate the Story of Creation. The Sabbath is a testimony that ELoKiM created the world in Six Days, and rested on the Seventh. One day, a BN believes, the Sabbath will spread out of Noah’s Ark and covers the entire world LIKE WATERS CONVERS THE SEA.
5. Noah’s second name
There was another name offered to Noah. When he was born, his father’s father, Metushelach, feared that ‘demons’ would take the child away. Let’s remember that Metushelach was a very righteous man, destined to live longer than any other man. Wishing to scare the demons away from the child, Metushelach offered to confuse them by adding the letter “M” before and after the name ‘Noah,’ making it sound like Me’Noah’eM--which also means in Hebrew ‘Savior.’ Thus the Messiah’s name is the same, MeNaHem. The parents declined, leaving his name ‘Noah.’ This would allow the ‘demon’ Naama, so to speak, to take possession of Noah and even marry him. But as we’ve noticed, the demon Naama was just a myth. They were talented, beautiful twin girls who danced so magically that they ‘fooled’ everyone ( Zoah.)
6: Noah the ‘complete’ righteous man: the circumcised one
Noah was born circumcised, as it says “Noah was a complete righteous man.” To be ‘complete’ is to be circumcised. Thus Abraham was ordered to circumcise himself, to be ‘complete.’
Since Adam too was born circumcised, Noah’s parents took it as a sign that their child was destined for greatness, OR THAT HE WOULD BECOME A NEW ADAM. Hence circumcision applies to BN, but not as a Commandment. This sort of circumcision would signify entering to Noah’s Rainbow Covenant, rather than to Abraham Covenant.
7: Who was Noah’s mentor?
If humanity was so divided at Noah time, who was his mentor?
Tradition says that Noah was raised by a grandfather. Was he Metushelach, Hanoch, or Enosh? There are different opinions. His illustrious grand-grandfather Enosh would pass away later, when Noah would become one hundred years old, and it is conceivable that Noah was exposed to his teaching. The overlapping of Enosh and Noah is important. In the same token, Noah overlapped with Abraham. They met when Abraham was 58 years old (as the number ‘Noah’ in Hebrew implies.)
Thus Noah was raised under the influence of Shet. He must have witnessed the fiery sermons of Enosh about ‘calling YHVH’--and he saw the moral decay that followed. Thus he faced a dilemma: should he follow Enosh’s teaching about YHVH, or Adam’s teachings about YHVH-ELoHiM KINGSHIP?
Soon after introducing Noah, the Torah says: (Genesis 6: 5-14)
How did the Heavenly Court see Noah’s world?
Here the Torah gives the first description ever of the Heavenly Court in Session. Let’s pay attention that the Torah first presents the Merciful Attribute YHVH’s reaction to human evilness (shown in blue) then ELoKiM’s reaction (shown in red). Notice how Noah appears ‘supported’ between them (here in brown,) the three creating an image of a giant butterfly (or Noah's Dove.) The Attributes comprise the Wings; each wing studded by three times YHVH and three times ELoKiM, respectively, to provide symmetry. The flying Attributes (Wings) observe (judge) humanity bellow on Earth, while they carry Noah between them, lifting him up so to speak over mighty Waters to save him. Note that Noah was saved by both Attributes YHVH and EloKiM, each from its own perspective and reasons. (And never forget: YHVH EloKIM is ONE.) The Wings seem supporting Noah, but the reverse is also true: NOAH UNITES THE ATTRIBUTES.
This remarkable, unbelievably image fills our heart with awe. The Torah here depicts the relationship between the Attributes and Noah, more clearly than by myriad words. Noahide are supported by the Heavenly Court, but on the other hand Noahide comprise the ‘body’ of the Heavenly Court, on Earth. Yes, there is a definite role for Israel as a special case of BN, but the glue of ONENESS is Noah, before anyone else.
Let’s examine YHVH reaction to human evilness before the Flood (the bluish Wing). It says that “YHVH saw the evilness of Man; that the thoughts of his hear are only evil, all day long.”
Note that ‘evil’ in the Torah always infers ‘evil in the eyes of YHVH.’ Evil is never depicted ‘in the eyes of ELoKIM’ but ‘in the eyes of YHVH.’ ‘Evil,’ then, is defined as ‘the opposite of Mercy,’ which is--you guess right--Cruelty. An evil person is not necessarily one who transgresses the law, but one who stabs his friend in his back, or speaks a bad mouth against him, or inflicts damage with insensitivity and cruelty. An evil person in YHVH’s eyes is--by definition--one who lacks Compassion, Mercy and Forgiveness, and acts accordingly.
As the verse says, “And YHVH saw that the evilness of man is great on earth, and that the thoughts of his heart are only evil all day long.” YHVH is concerned with what is happening in Man’s heart, where YHVH dwells.
Note that YHVH became ‘saddened’ by Man’s evilness. YHVH dwells in our heart, is concerned about our hearts, and would react to our faults with Her Heart, that is, emotionally. This is why YHVH either ‘likes’ us or ‘hates’ us; ‘is proud’ of us or ‘is disappointed’ by us. For instance, it says here that: “And Noah found Face in the eyes of YHVH.” YHVH ‘liked’ Noah, emotionally.
Note that ELoKiM, on the other hand, would react differently. ELoKIM neither hates of loves us. ELoKIM places our deeds on His Scale, as in Rosh HaShanah, and deems us wicked or righteous, accordingly.
The verse says that before the Flood, YHVH was saddened. YHVH wasn’t angry, but saddened.
What does this mean?
Normally the Merciful ONE protects us and defends us in the Heavenly Court. This is the very meaning of Mercy and Forgiveness and Compassion. If ELoKIM’s verdict is harsh, Mercy would find a reason to ameliorate it or cancel it all together. That is the essence of Rash HaSHananh Holiday, and Yom Kippur fast day. Mercy overcomes the Absolute Justice. The High Priest of Israel would enter the holy of holies and pray: "Let your Mercy overcome your Anger." (Talmud)
So normally YHVH acts in our behalf, as our Defense; while ELoKIM acts like our Prosecutor in the Heavenly Court. In fact, throughout the entire Torah you’d find Satan (the Angel helping ELoKIM to prosecute) speaking before ELoKIM, never before YHVH.
How exceptionally it is, therefore, that YHVH was saddened by human evilness at Noah’s time. When our Defense is saddened and silenced, the path is opened for the Prosecutor to go forth with His accusations. That is why the Torah now proceeds on with ELoKiM’s verdict.
We’ve just seen that YHVH was ‘saddened’ by the human evilness before the Flood. Let’s ask: Does YHVH ever get angered? Imagine a situation where your defense-lawyer is enraged by your deeds. Not only he has shied away with sadness from defending you, not only he has quitted (like YHVH in the Flood) but he joins force with your prosecutor!
That has happened, thanks goodness, only a few times in human history as described in the Bible:
1. It is said that before overturning Sodom and Gomorrah, YHVH ‘Herself’ came down to watch their evilness, as if SHE couldn’t believe it. YHVH ‘guarded Her Sword’ in order to throw on the Sodomites fire and Gofer. That means that YHVH was angered by human evilness. YHVH wondered: “Is it true what I hear her cry?” --Referring to the torture and rape and other evildoings that had been committed down bellow. Sodomite’s cruelty was done with laughter and cynical behavior of the perpetrators (the Midrash describes it in details.) In our time, the Nazi Death Camps and the SS behavior resemble the ancient Sodomite Society (=SS). Only that the ancient Sodomites did not make soaps from human fat, or combs from human hairs, like the modern SS did. What would be YHVH’s reaction to today’s evilness? Would there be another Noah?
2. Similarly, when Pharaoh threw the Israelite’s newborn sons into the Nile, or bathed in their blood, or placed the bodies in the Pyramidal Wall (Midrash) the Merciful YHVH was enraged. That brought upon Egypt the ten plagues, and later drawn Pharaoh’s chariots in the Reed Sea. Seeing the Merciful YHVH’s anger, Moses and Israel called YHVH ‘Man of War.’ Imagine, how great the Egyptians’ evilness must have been, to convert the Defense into a Prosecutor!
3. When the Cn’anites sacrificed humans to the Molech—beside other sexual immorality of the worst kind - the Merciful YHVH wrath was enkindled. It wasn’t Idolatry, but cruelty and evilness that brought the Merciful YHVH to order Joshua to destroy them. If Israel would emulate the Can’anites, Israel too would be destroyed and exiled. Thus there was no ethnic war here but YHVH anger against evilness and cruelty. In fact, Joshua offered the Cnanaite peace, on condition they would abide by Noah’s Seven Commandments (Talmud).
These are a few examples to show how the Merciful YHVH might be enraged by our excessive evilness. It is a lesson to us, with our own cruelty and evilness. Here at the Flood, however, YHVH became ‘saddened’ and ‘regretted’ making Adam. SHE did not overturn Noah’s generation by fire, like in Sodom, but rather ‘allowed’ ELoKIM--the Prosecutor—to go forth with His accusations and harsh verdict.
Let’s examine now ELoKIM’s reaction to Noah’s generation.
Note that ELoKIM judges humankind by our deeds rather than by our hearts, as it says:
“And the Earth corrupted before ELoKiM, and the Earth filled with hamas, and ELoKiM saw the Earth and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh corrupted its way on Earth.”
Here ‘corrupted’ refers to the worst kinds of ADULTERY, and SEXUAL PROMISCUITY, while ‘hamas’ refers to a mixture of BLOODHSED, THEFT and INJUSTICE. So ELoKIM was enraged by the rampant violation of His Laws.
While Man corrupted the Earth, ELoKiM says to Noah: “and I shall corrupt the Earth from them.” In Hebrew, the word for ‘corrupt’, nishchat, serves to note ‘moral decay.’ At the same time, it can also mean ‘destroy.’ Hence ELoKiM pays humanity “measure for measure”, with Absolute Justice.
Note that YHVH speaks first and only then does ELoKIM speak. That Heavenly Court’s ‘protocol’ repeats itself in every Covenant with Man, or with every important decision about Man’s fate.
1. Look at the ‘protocol’ of the Rainbow Covenant with Noah, after the Flood. Who speaks first and who follows?
2. Look at the Circumcision Covenant with Abraham. Who speaks first and who follows?
3. Look at the Sinai Covenant with Israel. What is the order of the Heavenly speakers?
Thus YHVH always speaks first about our heart, while ELoKiM speaks second about the Covenant Laws.
Let’s examine the brown part, which is the description how Noah was seen by each of the Attributes.
The first line describes the interaction between YHVH and Noah, saying that “Noah found face in YHVH’s eyes.” The verse doesn’t elaborate, but we might guess what Noah did to gain YHVH favor. Noah must have been kind to animals and plants, and was merciful, compassionate and forgiving. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be found so favorable in YHVH’s eyes.
The third line in the brown section describes the interaction between Noah and ELoKiM.
“With ELoKiM Noah walked.” Noah kept all of ELoKiM’s Commandments. He walked in ELoKIM’s Laws.
What about the middle line?
It counts two features of Noah: Noah was ‘righteous’, and ‘innocent,’ or ‘complete,’ tamim. The term ‘righteous’ fits ELoKiM’s eyes, whereas ‘innocent’ fits the Merciful YHVH’s eyes. (Psalms 101) Thus the middle line describes Noah in YHVH-ELoKiM’s eyes.
His three sons were righteous, but only in ELoKIM’s eyes. They did not connect well to the Merciful YHVH.
Let’s put this in colors:
Here you see in color how each Attribute supported Noah from His/Her side. The middle line (remaining brown) depicts Noah living under their ONENESS.
Thus Noah came from Enosh, and was trained to ‘call YHVH.’ Yet, he ‘walked with EloKIM’ too, observing ONENESS.
Noah corrected Enosh errors.
The ‘Children of Noah’ correct the errors of the ‘Children of Enosh.’
The text goes on to show how the Ark was supported by the two Attributes throughout the Flood:
YHVH closed the Ark’s door for him, and protected him and his family,
While the wrath of ELoKiM raged outside.
Note that in Genesis Chapter two (The Story of Eden) the Attributes YHVH EloKiM are depicted Side by Side (The only time in the entire Torah). At that time Adam was made from the dirt of the ground and the Attributes blew HIS spirit (in ONENESS) into Adam nostrils.
But here, before the Flood, the Attributes 'fly' Side by Side, with Noah in between their Wings.
Hence, in that sense, Noah is greater than Adam. Noah is the one who would keep the Attribute's ONENESS forever. THIS IS WHAT NOAHIDE MOVEMENT IS ALL ABOUT.
We are all humbled seeing the heavenly ‘butterfly’ hovering over Earth, supporting Noah by their Wings. This picture depicts better than any preacher or scholar what Noah stands for.
Any BN can say, ‘It is me flying there; it is me who is supported by the two Attributes.’ 'it is I who is supported throughout my life by the Attribute's Wings.' Any BN can also proudly say, ‘It is I who keep the Attributes together." The Attributes give us support, but we too support them. There is a give and take relationship here, with no shame from the side of the reciever. We recieve, but we also give. Who else can unite the Attributes in this world?
And a BN also says: it is I who must find face in YHVH eyes; and it is I who is called upon to walk in ELoKiM Laws.'