In this week’s Torah reading, Noach is asked to build an ark and save himself and his family while the rest of mankind is killed in a flood.
What would your response be to such an announcement by God?
What did Avraham answer when God told HIM that the whole city of Sdom would be killed (See Genesis 18)? Should Noach here have reacted similarly?
Unlike Avraham who did not live in Sdom, Noach lived among these bad people. These people were his neighbors! How might that make it different?
Think about when you’ve been caught between wanting to help someone else, by teaching or influencing, but you also know maybe it’s just better to save yourself. Noach seems to have known that these people could not be saved – but should he have tried? The Sages tell us that one reason Avraham was chosen as the forefather for the Jewsih people is because of this trait of extreme care and empathy, which Noach lacked.
Discuss: Weigh the advantages and disadvantages in a situation where sticking around to influence those around you might result in their influencing YOU – and not positively!
What can you do to make sure you effect change in others or in a group setting without being effected by the negative that exists?
Think about the following scenarios: classmates making fun of someone, co-workers being negative, siblings fighting, neighbors gossiping.
If you were Noach, what would YOU have done?
Bracha Krohn, mom to an 11-year old boy, 7-year old girl and 5-year old boy, made aliyah to Efrat, Israel from Cleveland, Ohio in Summer 2008, with her husband Adi. She is Director of Guidance and faculty member at Midreshet Moriah in Jerusalem, a one year post-high school program for young women, and she teaches weekly for the Women's Beit Midrash of Gush Etzion. Her family spends the summers in camp where she teaches daily classes for camp staff. "Table Talk" is based on the ideas she and her husband, also a Torah educator, discuss with their children around their weekly Shabbat table.Click to download