Parshah and Haftorah for Noach (נֹחַ ), Hebrew “Noach” = the name “Noah,” the third word in the parshah Noach, Genesis 6:9-11:32, to be read on Tishrei 28 – Cheshvan 4, 5779; Oct 7-13, 2018.
Parshah In a Nutshell for Noach
G*d instructs Noah — the only righteous man in a world consumed by violence and corruption — to build a large wooden teivah (“ark”), coated within and without with pitch. A great deluge, says G*d, will wipe out all life from the face of the earth; but the ark will float upon the water, sheltering Noah and his family, and two members (male and female) of each animal species.
Rain falls for 40 days and nights, and the waters churn for 150 days more before calming and beginning to recede. The ark settles on Mount Ararat, and from its window Noah dispatches a raven, and then a series of doves, “to see if the waters were abated from the face of the earth.” When the ground dries completely — exactly one solar year (365 days) after the onset of the Flood — G*d commands Noah to exit the teivah and repopulate the earth.
Noah builds an altar and offers sacrifices to G*d. G*d swears never again to destroy all of mankind because of their deeds, and sets the rainbow as a testimony of His new covenant with man. G*d also commands Noah regarding the sacredness of life: murder is deemed a capital offense, and while man is permitted to eat the meat of animals, he is forbidden to eat flesh or blood taken from a living animal.
Noah plants a vineyard and becomes drunk on its produce. Two of Noah’s sons, Shem and Japeth, are blessed for covering up their father’s nakedness, while his third son, Ham, is cursed for taking advantage of his debasement.
The descendants of Noah remain a single people, with a single language and culture, for ten generations. Then they defy their Creator by building a great tower to symbolize their own invincibility; G*d confuses their language so that “one does not comprehend the tongue of the other,” causing them to abandon their project and disperse across the face of the earth, splitting into seventy nations.
The Parshah of Noach concludes with a chronology of the ten generations from Noah to Abram (later Abraham), and the latter’s journey from his birthplace of Ur Casdim to Charan, on the way to the Land of Canaan.
Parshah reading for Noach
9. These are the generations of Noah, Noah was a righteous man he was perfect in his generations; Noah walked with G*d. 10. And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11. Now the earth was corrupt before G*d, and the earth became full of robbery. 12. And G*d saw the earth, and behold it had become corrupted, for all flesh had corrupted its way on the earth. 13. And G*d said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth has become full of robbery because of them, and behold I am destroying them from the earth. 14. Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with compartments, and you shall caulk it both inside and outside with pitch. 15. And this [is the size] you shall make it: three hundred cubits the length of the ark, fifty cubits its breadth, and thirty cubits its height. 16. You shall make a skylight for the ark, and to a cubit you shall finish it to the top, and the entrance of the ark you shall place in its side; you shall make it with bottom [compartments], second story [compartments], and third story [compartments]. 17. And I, behold I am bringing the flood, water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which there is the spirit of life, from beneath the heavens; all that is upon the earth will perish. 18. And I will set up My covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you and your sons, and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19. And of all living things of all flesh, two of each you shall bring into the ark to preserve alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20. Of the fowl after its kind and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing upon the ground after its kind; two of each shall come to you to preserve alive. 21. And you, take for yourself of every food that is eaten and gather it in to you, and it shall be for you and for them to eat.” 22. And Noah did; according to all that G*d had commanded him, so he did.
1. And the L*rd said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, for it is you that I have seen as a righteous man before Me in this generation. 2. Of all the clean animals you shall take for yourself seven pairs, a male and its mate, and of the animals that are not clean, two, a male and its mate. 3. Also, of the fowl of the heavens, seven pairs, male and female, to keep seed alive on the face of the earth. 4. For in another seven days, I will make it rain upon the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will blot out all beings that I have made, off the face of the earth.” 5. And Noah did, according to all that the L*rd had commanded him. 6. And Noah was six hundred years old, and the flood came about, water upon the earth. 7. And Noah went in and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him into the ark because of the flood waters. 8. Of the clean beasts and of the beasts that are not clean, and of the fowl, and all that creeps upon the earth. 9. Two by two they came to Noah to the ark, male and female, as G*d had commanded Noah. 10. And it came to pass after the seven days, that the flood waters were upon the earth. 11. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on this day, all the springs of the great deep were split, and the windows of the heavens opened up. 12. And the rain was upon the earth for forty days and forty nights. 13. On this very day, Noah came, and Shem and Ham and Japheth, Noah’s sons, and Noah’s wife and his sons’ three wives with them, into the ark. 14. They, and every beast after its kind, and every domestic animal after its kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every fowl after its kind, every bird of every wing. 15. And they came to Noah to the ark, two by two of all flesh in which there is the spirit of life. 16. And those who came male and female of all flesh came, as G*d had commanded him, and the L*rd shut him in.
17. Now the Flood was forty days upon the earth, and the waters increased, and they lifted the ark, and it rose off the earth. 18. And the waters became powerful, and they increased very much upon the earth, and the ark moved upon the waters. 19. And the waters became exceedingly powerful upon the earth, and all the lofty mountains that were under the heavens were covered up. 20. Fifteen cubits above did the waters prevail, and the mountains were covered up. 21. And all flesh perished that moved upon the earth, among the fowl, and among the cattle, and among the beasts, and among all creeping creatures that creep upon the earth and all mankind. 22. Everything that had the breath of the spirit of life in its nostrils, of all that were on the dry land, died. 23. And it [the Flood] blotted out all beings that were upon the face of the earth, from man to animal to creeping thing and to the fowl of the heavens, and they were blotted out from the earth, and only Noah and those with him in the ark survived. 24. And the water prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days.
1. And G*d remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark, and G*d caused a spirit to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided. 2. And the springs of the deep were closed, and the windows of the heavens, and the rain from the heavens was withheld. 3. And the waters receded off the earth more and more, and the water diminished at the end of a hundred and fifty days. 4. And the ark came to rest in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat. 5. And the waters constantly diminished until the tenth month; in the tenth [month], on the first of the month, the mountain peaks appeared. 6. And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made. 7. And he sent forth the raven, and it went out, back and forth until the waters dried up off the earth. 8. And he sent forth the dove from with him, to see whether the waters had abated from upon the surface of the earth. 9. But the dove found no resting place for the sole of its foot; so it returned to him to the ark because there was water upon the entire surface of the earth; so he stretched forth his hand and took it, and he brought it to him to the ark. 10. And he waited again another seven days, and he again sent forth the dove from the ark. 11. And the dove returned to him at eventide, and behold it had plucked an olive leaf in its mouth; so Noah knew that the water had abated from upon the earth. 12. And he again waited another seven days, and he sent forth the dove, and it no longer continued to return to him. 13. And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first [month], on the first of the month, that the waters dried up from upon the earth, and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and he saw, and behold, the surface of the ground had dried up. 14. And in the second month, on the twenty seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.
15. And G*d spoke to Noah saying: 16. “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons, and your sons’ wives with you. 17. Every living thing that is with you of all flesh, of fowl, and of animals and of all the creeping things that creep on the earth, bring out with you, and they shall swarm upon the earth, and they shall be fruitful and multiply upon the earth.” 18. So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. 19. Every beast, every creeping thing, and all fowl, everything that moves upon the earth, according to their families they went forth from the ark. 20. And Noah built an altar to the L*rd, and he took of all the clean animals and of all the clean fowl and brought up burnt offerings on the altar. 21. And the L*rd smelled the pleasant aroma, and the L*rd said to Himself, “I will no longer curse the earth because of man, for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth, and I will no longer smite all living things as I have done. 22. So long as the earth exists, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”
1. And G*d blessed Noah and his sons, and He said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. 2. And your fear and your dread shall be upon all the beasts of the earth and upon all the fowl of the heaven; upon everything that creeps upon the ground and upon all the fish of the sea, [for] they have been given into your hand[s]. 3. Every moving thing that lives shall be yours to eat; like the green vegetation, I have given you everything. 4. But, flesh with its soul, its blood, you shall not eat. 5. But your blood, of your souls, I will demand [an account]; from the hand of every beast I will demand it, and from the hand of man, from the hand of each man, his brother, I will demand the soul of man. 6. Whoever sheds the blood of man through man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of G*d He made man. 7. And you, be fruitful and multiply; swarm upon the earth and multiply thereon.”
8. And G*d said to Noah and to his sons with him, saying: 9. “And I, behold I am setting up My covenant with you and with your seed after you. 10. And with every living creature that is with you, among the fowl, among the cattle, and among all the beasts of the earth with you, of all those who came out of the ark, of all the living creatures of the earth. 11. And I will establish My covenant with you, and never again will all flesh be cut off by the flood waters, and there will never again be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12. And G*d said: “This is the sign of the covenant, which I am placing between Me and between you, and between every living soul that is with you, for everlasting generations. 13. My rainbow I have placed in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Myself and the earth. 14. And it shall come to pass, when I cause clouds to come upon the earth, that the rainbow will appear in the cloud. 15. And I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and between you and between every living creature among all flesh, and the water will no longer become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16. And the rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will see it, to remember the everlasting covenant between G*d and between every living creature among all flesh, which is on the earth.” 17. And G*d said to Noah: “This is the sign of the covenant that I have set up, between Myself and between all flesh that is on the earth.”
18. And the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth; and Ham he was the father of Canaan. 19. These three were the sons of Noah, and from these, the entire earth spread out. 20. And Noah began to be a master of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. 21. And he drank of the wine and became drunk, and he uncovered himself within his tent. 22. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness, and he told his two brothers outside. 23. And Shem and Japheth took the garment, and they placed [it] on both of their shoulders, and they walked backwards, and they covered their father’s nakedness, and their faces were turned backwards, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. 24. And Noah awoke from his wine, and he knew what his small son had done to him. 25. And he said, “Cursed be Canaan; he shall be a slave among slaves to his brethren.” 26. And he said, “Blessed be the L*rd, the G*d of Shem, and may Canaan be a slave to them. 27. May G*d expand Japheth, and may He dwell in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be a slave to them.” 28. And Noah lived after the Flood, three hundred and fifty years. 29. And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died.
1. And these are the generations of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and sons were born to them after the Flood. 2. The sons of Japheth were Gomer and Magog and Madai and Javan and Tubal, and Meshech and Tiras. 3. And the sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz and Riphath and Togarmah. 4. And the sons of Javan were Elishah and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. 5. From these, the islands of the nations separated in their lands, each one to his language, according to their families, in their nations. 6. And the sons of Ham were Cush and Mizraim and Put and Canaan. 7. And the sons of Cush were Seba and Havilah and Sabta and Raamah and Sabtecha, and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan. 8. And Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty man in the land. 9. He was a mighty hunter before the L*rd; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the L*rd.” 10. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babylon and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11. From that land emerged Asshur, and he built Nineveh and Rehoboth ir and Calah. 12. And Resen, between Nineveh and between Calah; that is the great city. 13. And Mizraim begot the Ludim and the Anamim and the Lehabim and the Naphtuhim, 14. And the Pathrusim and the Casluhim, from whom the Philistines emerged, and the Caphtorim. 15. And Canaan begot Zidon his firstborn and Heth. 16. And the Jebusites and the Amorites and the Girgashites. 17. And the Hivvites and the Arkites and the Sinites. 18. and the Arvadites and the Zemarites and the Hamathites, and afterwards the families of the Canaanites were scattered. 19. And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon as you come to Gerar, until Gaza, as you come to Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah and Zeboiim, until Lesha. 20. These are the sons of Ham according to their families, and their tongues, in their lands, in their nations. 21. And to Shem were also born [children; he was] the father of all the people of the other side [of the river], the brother of Japheth the elder. 22. The sons of Shem were Elam and Asshur and Arpachshad and Lud and Aram. 23. And the sons of Aram were Uz and Hul and Gether and Mash. 24. And Arpachshad begot Shelah, and Shelah begot Eber. 25. And to Eber were born two sons: one was named Peleg, because in his days the earth was divided, and the name of his brother was Joktan. 26. And Joktan begot Almodad and Sheleph and Hazarmaveth and Jerah. 27. And Hadoram and Uzal and Diklah. 28. And Obal and Abimael and Sheba. 29. And Ophir and Havilah and Jobab; all these were the sons of Joktan. 30. And their settlement was from Mesha, as you come to Sephar, the mountain of the east. 31. These are the sons of Shem according to their families, according to their tongues, in their lands, according to their nations. 32. These are the families of the sons of Noah according to their generations, in their nations, and from these, the nations were separated on the earth after the Flood.
1. Now the entire earth was of one language and uniform words. 2. And it came to pass when they traveled from the east, that they found a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and fire them thoroughly”; so the bricks were to them for stones, and the clay was to them for mortar. 4. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make ourselves a name, lest we be scattered upon the face of the entire earth.” 5. And the L*rd descended to see the city and the tower that the sons of man had built. 6. And the L*rd said, “Lo! [they are] one people, and they all have one language, and this is what they have commenced to do. Now, will it not be withheld from them, all that they have planned to do? 7. Come, let us descend and confuse their language, so that one will not understand the language of his companion.” 8. And the L*rd scattered them from there upon the face of the entire earth, and they ceased building the city. 9. Therefore, He named it Babel, for there the L*rd confused the language of the entire earth, and from there the L*rd scattered them upon the face of the entire earth. 10. These are the generations of Shem: Shem was one hundred years old, and he begot Arpachshad, two years after the Flood. 11. And Shem lived after he had begotten Arpachshad five hundred years, and he begot sons and daughters. 12. And Arpachshad lived thirty five years, and he begot Shelah. 13. And Arpachshad lived after he had begotten Shelah four hundred and three years, and he begot sons and daughters. 14. And Shelah lived thirty years, and he begot Eber. 15. And Shelah lived after he had begotten Eber, four hundred and three years, and he begot sons and daughters. 16. And Eber lived thirty four years, and he begot Peleg. 17. And Eber lived after he had begotten Peleg, four hundred and thirty years, and he begot sons and daughters. 18. And Peleg lived thirty years, and he begot Reu. 19. And Peleg lived after he had begotten Reu, two hundred and nine years, and he begot sons and daughters. 20. And Reu lived thirty two years, and he begot Serug. 21. And Reu lived after he had begotten Serug two hundred and seven years, and he begot sons and daughters. 22. And Serug lived thirty years, and he begot Nahor. 23. And Serug lived after he had begotten Nahor, two hundred years, and he begot sons and daughters. 24. And Nahor lived twenty nine years, and he begot Terah. 25. And Nahor lived after he had begotten Terah one hundred and nineteen years, and he begot sons and daughters. 26. And Terah lived seventy years, and he begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. 27. And these are the generations of Terah: Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran, and Haran begot Lot. 28. And Haran died during the lifetime of Terah his father in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldees.29. And Abram and Nahor took themselves wives; the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah. 30. And Sarai was barren; she had no child. 31. And Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter in law, the wife of Abram his son, and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees to go to the land of Canaan, and they came as far as Haran and settled there. 32. And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.
Haftorah In a Nutshell for Noach
Forsaken Jerusalem is likened to a barren woman devoid of children. G*d enjoins her to rejoice, for the time will soon come when the Jewish nation will return and proliferate, repopulating Israel’s once desolate cities. The prophet assures the Jewish people that G‑d has not forsaken them. Although He has momentarily hid His countenance from them, He will gather them from their exiles with great mercy. The haftorah compares the final Redemption to the pact G*d made with Noah in this week’s Torah reading. Just as G‑d promised to never bring a flood over the entire earth, so too He will never again be angry at the Jewish people.
Haftorah reading for Noach
1. “Sing you barren woman who has not borne; burst out into song and jubilate, you who have not experienced birth pangs, for the children of the desolate one are more than the children of the married woman,” says the L*rd. 2. Widen the place of your tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations, do not spare; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. 3. For right and left shall you prevail, and your seed shall inherit nations and repeople desolate cities. 4. Fear not, for you shall not be ashamed, and be not embarrassed for you shall not be put to shame, for the shame of your youth you shall forget, and the disgrace of your widowhood you shall no longer remember. 5. For your Master is your Maker, the L*rd of Hosts is His name, and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, shall be called the G*d of all the earth. 6. For, like a wife who is deserted and distressed in spirit has the L*rd called you, and a wife of one’s youth who was rejected, said your G*d. 7. “For a small moment have I forsaken you, and with great mercy will I gather you. 8. With a little wrath did I hide My countenance for a moment from you, and with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on you,” said your Redeemer, the L*rd. 9. “For this is to Me [as] the waters of Noah, as I swore that the waters of Noah shall never again pass over the earth, so have I sworn neither to be wroth with you nor to rebuke you. 10. For the mountains shall depart and the hills totter, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace totter,” says the L*rd, Who has compassion on you.