Monday, October 15, 2012

Let it Rain (Just not too much)!

Parshat Noach
4 Cheshvan 5773 / Oct. 19-20,2012
Bereshit 6:9 - 11:32

Let it Rain (Just not too much)!
by Zvi Bellin, MHHQ

The flood waters of Parshat Noach bring a sharp contrast to the holiday of Sukkot that was celebrated only a week ago.

Sukkot is the holiday when we turn our focus to our fields and pray for rain. This is both actual – as we need rain for our food to grow – and symbolic. Water represents the flow of blessing into our lives. So whether you are in need of healing, money, or love, Sukkot is the holiday where we ask for the flood gates of mercy to burst forth. We ask that good fortune will rain down from the heavens and burst forth from the deep wellsprings of the Earth. A week after we pack up our Sukkahs and store them away for next year, we encounter the destructive flood of Parshat Noah. 
In Parshat Noah, as we are well aware, G-d gets angry with humanity and lets loose all the waters of the sky and ground to destroy every creature that has the breath of life in it. (Except for Noah and his crew of course!) I find these contradictory themes of Sukkot and Noah perfectly Jewish. On Sukkot we pray for rain and blessing to rain on us. In Parshat Noah we are reminded that every blessing is only a blessing in moderation. Too much of a good thing just ain’t that grand!
When I think over the Torah portions from the past several weeks there is a rhythmic warning about the corruption that is inherent in having too much bounty. With the world’s economy hanging in the balance of transition, I feel particularly attuned to this message. It may very well be that the imperfect economic systems that govern our world are being forced to evolve by the tidal wave force of the current international outcry for change. Kein Yehi Ratzon! (May it be willed as such!)


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