Bereisheet (Genesis): Noah > Ch 8 & Ch 9

The Flood Ends

  • G-d caused a spirit to pass over the earth to stop the rain. Waters started diminishing. After 150 days, the ark came to rest. This happened in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat.
  • Waters continued diminishing. After another 2½ months, the mountain peaks appeared. They appeared in the tenth [month], on the first of the month, the mountain peaks appeared
  • After another 40 days, Noah opened the window of the ark and sent forth the raven, and it went out, back and forth until the waters dried up off the earth. Raven didn’t do a good job searching for land, so Noah sent forth the dove. The dove returned because it didn’t find land.
  • After another 7 days, Noah sent out the dove again and the dove returned with an olive leaf in its mouth.
  • After another 7 days, Noah sent out the dove again and the dove did not return. In the six hundredth and first year, in the first [month], on the first of the month, Noah removed the covering of the ark and saw dry land.
  • And in the second month, on the twenty seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. G-d spoke to Noah and told him to take everyone out of the ark. And G-d said that “they shall swarm upon the earth, and they shall be fruitful and multiply upon the earth”
  • Noah and his crew stayed in the ark for exactly one year!!!
  • Noah built an altar to the Lord. He took of all the clean animals and of all the clean fowl and brought up burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled the pleasant aroma, and the Lord said to Himself, "I will no longer curse the earth because of man, for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth, and I will no longer smite all living things as I have done. So long as the earth exists, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."

Rashi Commentary

  • And he sent forth - Heb. וַיְשַׁלַח This is not an expression of sending on a mission but an expression of sending away. He sent it forth to go on its way, and thereby he would see whether the waters had abated, for if it would find a resting place, it would not return to him.
  • on the twenty-seventh - And they [the rains] started to fall in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month. These are the eleven days by which the solar year exceeds the lunar year, for the judgment of the Generation of the Flood was for a whole year. — [from Eduyoth 2:10]
  • and they shall swarm upon the earth - But not in the ark. This tells us that even the animals and the fowl were prohibited from mating. — [from Gen. Rabbah ad loc.]
  • of all the clean animals - He said, “The Holy One, blessed be He, commanded me to take in seven pairs of these only in order to offer up a sacrifice from them.” - [from Tan. Vayakhel 6]


Ham's Sin

  • G-d blessed Noah and his sons to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.
  • G-d gave all living things into their hands, thus all living things have fear of man
  • G-d allowed every moving thing to be used for food, with one restriction: “flesh with its soul, its blood, you shall not eat.”
  • G-d said that He will demand an account from any man or beast who kills a man. “Whoever sheds the blood of man through man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of G-d He made man.”
  • G-d set up a covenant with Noah, all future generations (that’s us) and all the living creatures of the earth. G-d promised that “there will never again be a flood to destroy the earth”. As a sign and reminder of the covenant G-d created the rainbow in the cloud.
  • Noah’s sons were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The entire earth spread out from them.
  • Noah planted a vineyard and one day he drank the wine, became drunk and uncovered himself within his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father's nakedness, and he told his two brothers outside. Shem and Japheth took a garment, placed it on both of their shoulders, walked backwards, and covered their father without looking.
  • When Noah awoke and realized what happened (it is believed that Ham prevented his father from having more children), he cursed Canaan to be “a slave among slaves to his bretheren”. And Noah said, "Blessed be the Lord, the G-d of Shem, and may Canaan be a slave to them. May G-d expand Japheth, and may He dwell in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be a slave to them."
  • And Noah lived after the Flood, 350 years. And all the days of Noah were 950 years, and he died.

Rashi Commentary

  • flesh with its soul G-d prohibited them to eat a limb cut off from a living creature while it is alive and the soul is within it. He also prohibited eating blood of a living creature.
  • And you, be fruitful and multiply the first mention of this expression (verse 1) was a blessing, and the second mention is a commandment.
  • This is the sign of the covenant He showed Noah the rainbow and said to him, “Here is the sign of which I spoke.” [The expression, “This is,” always denotes that the object is being pointed out by the speaker. Cf. Rashi , Exod. 12:2, 30:13, Lev. 8:5, 11:2.]
  • Cursed be Canaan You have caused me to be incapable of begetting a fourth son to serve me. Cursed be your fourth son, that he should minister to the children of these older ones [Shem and Japhet], upon whom the burden of serving me has been placed from now on (Gen. Rabbah 36:7). Now what reason did Ham have that he castrated him? He said to his brothers,“The first man [Adam] had two sons, and one killed the other so as to inherit the world, and our father has three sons, and he still desires a fourth son!” - [from Gen. Rabbah ibid. 5, 22:7]
  • and may Canaan be a slave Even after the descendants of Shem are exiled, some of the descendants of Canaan will be sold to them as slaves.