(I’m using the notes I took during this study and am quoting mostly the words of Rabbi Mendy Gutnick from Lesson 1 “The Best of Man in the Worst of Times”)
Remember when I told you I put the New Testament “on the shelf”? Well, I stepped outside of my comfort zone today and began a study with Chabad.org on Noach. There were no references to Jesus or the ark or Jesus being our ark. In fact, there were no references at all to the New Testament because Chabad is a Jewish Orthodox house of study. **GASP**
There’s nothing like broadening horizons. I love to read and learn and hear many sides of the same story. It’s a way of study that I find (for myself) to be healthy, wholesome, and filling. I signed up for the class last week through the website and it is several installments long. Today was the first.
The beginning of the lesson was an introduction to Torah and its purpose. It shapes our character and our lives. Torah also speaks the language of man. It’s important to know that going into any study. When we study Torah we should study it for the sole purpose to apply it to our lives to mold us into the Son to please the Father. The rabbi then went on to explain G-d’s “emotion” in Genesis 5:7 and that although we associate a human emotion to G-d, it’s not necessarily G-d’s emotion. Like I mentioned above, the Torah speaks the language of man. That was so eye-opening to me! G-d cares enough about us to speak to us like children so that we might come to an understanding of Him.
We then moved on to what moved G-d to want to destroy His own creation. Genesis 6:12 tells us the world was corrupted and verse 13 tells us the earth became full of robbery. “Corrupt” is an expression of sexual immorality and “robbery” is an expression of violence. Essentially sexual immorality devolved into violence. People no longer had boundaries when it came to intimacy and relationships. Then they opened themselves up to expanded behavior that devolved to losing themselves not only emotionally, but intellectually. When you lose yourself emotionally and intellectually you have severed abilities to your human structure to your thinking/conscience and can no longer see right or wrong.
Next we discussed several views on Noah’s “righteousness”. We know the bible says that Noah was righteous in his generations and walked with G-d, but righteous compared to who? See, I’ve always known that the bible speaks of Noah’s righteousness, but I’ve never paused to think about what that meant exactly. Noah gave people the opportunity to repent and join him on the ark, but he didn’t stand up for the people. Would Noah still have been righteous in Abraham’s generation? In Moses’? However, because he was not influenced in his actions by the wickedness around him shows us his righteousness. We should never discount the good a person does.
The printable that came with the lesson has more bits to glean from. I haven’t even began to dive in to the surface of the information provided. Between my notes, the video, and the handout, I have enough to last me until the next installment and they run through the month of December. If want to sign up you can by visiting this website. It isn’t a live teaching, but does have a time the video is posted. You can also replay it and take a quiz!
Enjoy and happy studying!
Here are some pics of the handout and the notes I took. I highly recommend this study for a broader interpretation of Noah and his ark!