Tidbits of Torah
Shabbat Parashat Noah
October 20, 2012 – 4 Cheshvan 5773
Imagination is a wonderful thing. It releases us from the shackles of reality and encourages us to think out of the box. As foreign as it is to our “reality,” imagination has a way of seeping back into our world, helping us to maximize our creativity as we address our real life issues. Substitute the word “midrash” for “imagination” and you have the key to the holiness embodied in the process of studying existing midrashim and creating new midrash based on Torah and on our ancient sources.
This week we read the Torah portion of Noah. After the flood, the Torah tells us that Noah planted a vineyard, cultivated it, produced wine and proceeded to drink too much…. Midrash Bereishit Rabba comments that: “On the same day [Noah] planted – on that day [Noah] drank, and on that day [Noah] was disgraced.” Ostensibly, the midrash was imagining that God, seemingly feeling sorry for all that Noah experienced in the flood and its aftermath, wanted to help Noah make a new start. And so, God enabled Noah to plant the vineyard and reap its fruits and make the wine, all in one single day! How sad, that this kind of help backfired…Yet, how instructive.
How many times are we tempted to take “shortcuts” when we feel the pressures of life bearing down on us? How many times do we try to create “shortcuts” for our children, thinking that we are helping them? I am reminded of the book, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee in which Wendy Mogel writes about letting our children learn from their experience….
Rabbi Gilah Dror
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