Monday, October 4, 2010

Lessons from Noach

Parshat Noach
1 Cheshvan 5771 / Oct. 8-9,2010
Bereshit 6:9 - 11:32

Lessons from Noah
by Rae Gross, Moishe House Orange County

This week’s Torah portion made me think about a recent experience of mine. I just started taking a painting class. My very first project assigned was to paint clouds, I sat in class for a moment, bewildered as to what to do and then decided the only way to learn was to dive in and start mixing colors. I have to say, my first attempt wasn’t bad, but I knew I could do better. So I took my first painting of clouds, I painted over the canvas in grey (but not before taking a picture to document my first ever painting) and made my second attempt.

The second painting was a lot better; I took what I learned from my first painting and incorporated that with a clearer vision of what I wanted to create the second time around.

When I thought about this week’s Torah portion, I saw G-d for the first time as an artist, he/she had created something that wasn’t bad, but it could be improved on. When I was younger I used to think that G-d was incredibly cruel for flooding the World and making Noah start all over again with just his family. But now, I see this as G-d’s way of graying over the canvas and starting again.

Another thing that has always stood out to me was Noah’s obedience. Plenty of people balk at doing things, even small tasks because they are not convenient. What G-d asked Noah to do was not easy, but he did it because he was supposed to. How often do we neglect doing small things for ourselves, things that might otherwise save us from our own internal flood because it is just not convenient?


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