Posted on October 23rd, 2014
The famous story of Noah in this week's Torah portion has been explained in many ways. It has been interpreted as a moral lesson on the consequences of evil conduct, as a way to establish the concept of covenant between God and humanity, as the first great sea story, even as an environmental fable of the earliest example of global warming.
However you read Noah, who went to sea not for a three-hour tour but for months after forty days and nights of rain, it is a dramatic and rather strange text. God determines that humanity, the crown of creation of which the Holy One initially said, "it is very good," is now failing, destroying the peace of the world through hatred, anger, and murder. The free beings created in the very image of God have made their choices, and they are universally wrong, embracing evil. It is time to start over, to begin afresh.