January 28, 2023 |

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Noach (2)

The stories in Parshah Noach - the Flood, the Tower of Babel - may seem remote to us, but there are lessons there with practical value for us today. Take the fantastic Babel story. While we remember the tower and the creation of numerous languages so the people could not speak to each other, Rashi notes something unusual in Gen. 11:5: "The Lord came down to look at the city and tower that man had built." For Rashi, the notion that God would have to "come down" to check things out seems quite absurd. Wouldn't He already know? Of course. What God is doing, according to Rashi, is modeling behavior for future judges. They should not condemn a defendant until checking out the facts for themselves. It's easy enough to be swayed by gossip and rumor. We are called upon to emulate God by withholding judgment until the actual truth can be ascertained.

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Daniel M. Kimmel

Joined: October 2, 2007

Daniel M. Kimmel is a Boston area film critic, lecturer and author. He does these weekly mini-lessons for the Mishkan Tefila Brotherhood's newsletter. You are free to use them for similar purposes.

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