Student Teaching in the New Millenium

Human Beings, or Beings Human (5772 Noach)

In Genesis on October 31, 2011 at 1:23 pm

 Isaiah 54:1 – 55:5
Genesis 6:9 – 11:32

Noah was a righteous man; he was blameless in his age; he walked with God.  -Genesis 6:9

Commentators disagree about Noah’s credit with God.  Rashi points out that some interpret blameless in his age to his benefit, that had Noah had better role models like Abraham he might have been righteous in any age, and others interpret blameless in his age to his peril, that Noah was a shining star by comparison to his compatriots but unqualified to be an Abraham.  We read that Noah is complicit with God in destroying the world and all its inhabitants.  Where is the zeal for safeguarding the righteous?  Where is the question, “God, is this a righteous act”?  Where is the conversation with God?  Where is Noah’s personality?  Where is Noah?

Is the difference between Noah and Abraham the difference between human beings and beings human?  Human beings were created on the sixth day, we read in B’reishith.  When did human beings start being human?  In the beginning, Adam and Eve ate from a forbidden tree and Adam blamed Eve for it.  Then, Cain killed Abel and said “what, am I my brother’s keeper?”  Then, people gathered together and built a tower for their own benefit until they learned to disagree.  Finally, Noah kept his peace when God said “I’m going to kill them.” These are human beings; are these beings human?


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