Shabbat Parashat Noach Family and Future!

Dear Friends,

I hope you will join us this Shabbat as we celebrate the bat mitzvah of Yona Hyman.  Mazal Tov to Yona and to her entire family!

In this week’s Torah portion, Noach, we are introduced, for the first time in the Biblical narrative, to the Hebrew word for “family” (mishpachah).  And so, it is only fitting that we should celebrate a family simcha (joyous occasion) when we read this Torah portion.

It is very interesting to me that we first encounter the word mishpachah in the Bible when we read the story of Noach and the flood.

Why do you think that the Torah uses the word mishpachah for the very first time in the context of the story of the flood?  I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this question…

For me, the fact that the epic storm story is conveyed along with the first explicit mention of mishpachah, of family, in the Bible is indicative that family can be a great source of comfort during stormy times.  It might be close family.  It might be extended family.   It might be our neighbors and our friends and it might be our people as a whole.  However we may choose to think of the concept of  mishpachah, of family, there is no doubt that feeling related to others and that being in connection with others is a powerful way to address the stresses, the storms, and the challenges of life.

It is also a very meaningful and powerful way of celebrating our most special and joyous moments!

As we celebrate this Shabbat and Yona’s bat mitzvah, let us enjoy our connections with one another and look forward to sharing this and many more family simchas and joyous events in the coming year!

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror