This week, Fischer High School senior Jamie K. offers a d’var torah on parashat noah.
Due to the corruption of mankind, G-d warned Noah that he was about to destroy the world with a flood. He told Noah to build an Ark out of Gopher wood, three hundred cubits in length, fifty cubits in breath, and 30 cubits in height. Noah was also told to bring two of every kind of animal/creature into the ark, one female and one male, along with his wife and three sons, Shem, Ham and Yaphet.
This ark took Noah 120 years to build. During this time, G-d could see if people would change their ways for the better. When no one repented, even after Noah warned them what was to come, Hashem sent a flood throughout the entire earth to wipe out all life. After 40 days and 40 nights the earth dried up. Hashem then commanded Noah, with his family and the animals, to exit the ark. He placed a rainbow in the sky to signify that he would never flood the earth again.
It is sad to see what Hashem had do to correct the way people mistreated each other and to reverse the corruption of the world. He gave the people 120 years to rectify mistakes. Because Noah was the most righteous man of his time, he was saved. Although he tried really hard to save others and followed what Hashem told him to do, compared to another generation, such as Abraham’s, he wouldn’t have been considered righteous.
The main lesson we can learn from this Parasha is that every mitzvah has two components. The first is the material with which the Mitzvah is performed. In this case, Noah built the Ark and followed Hashem’s commands. The second element is how we behave. Noah took it upon himself to try and save others from the flood by warning them to change their ways. Though he didn’t succeed, Noah still continued with what Hashem commanded him.
As a senior, my job is to listen and then react. I try to do as Noah did by helping younger people to stay on the right track. We seniors are the leaders of the school and the students whom others look up to. We have to set a good example by doing everything in our power to help others.