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Summary of Parshat  Noach

by the editors    
of Torah from Dixie    

Parshat Noach (Genesis 6:9­11:32) begins by describing Noah's superior character, contrasted with the wickedness of his generation. As a result of Mankind's evil, Hashem brings a flood to destroy every living creature, sparing only Noah, his family, and at least one pair of every animal species, who live in an ark during the lengthy deluge. When the waters recede, almost a year after the rains first began, Noah sends out a raven and a dove so as to determine whether the land has dried sufficiently so that they can leave the ark to resettle the earth once again. Hashem promises that He will never again destroy all of Mankind by means of a flood, and He designates the rainbow as a sign for that eternal covenant.

Noah plants a vineyard, drinks from its produce, and becomes drunk. In his intoxicated state, he shamefully uncovers himself in his tent. While his son Cham dealt with his father inappropriately, Noah's other two sons, Shem and Yefet, cover their father in a respectful manner. Once sober, Noah responds by blessing Shem and Yefet, and by cursing Cham and his son Canaan. Generations pass and the world is repopulated. The people attempt to wage war against Hashem by building the Tower of Babel, and Hashem responds by mixing up their languages and dispersing them across the planet. The Torah portion concludes on an encouraging note with Abraham's birth and his marriage to Sarah.

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