Monday, October 15, 2012

There's No Room For Indifference - Parashat Noah

The story of Noah and the Ark, the flood, the animals, the rainbow and the dove are one of the most familiar stories to us. From a very early age, we sing the song “Rise & Shine”, about Noah bringing the animals on the ark by two-sies. The Torah describes Noah as: blameless in his age. “A virtuous man, who walked with God”. (6:9) That’s quite an introduction. But after God singled Noah out, and he built his ark so his own family and the animals could be saved, he failed to say a single word while the whole world was destroyed.
In Hebrew, Noah’s name means 'comfort' or 'rest'. Noah silently acquiesced to God’s plan of destruction. He rested, he was silent.
Elie Wiesel famously said, “Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil.”
Noah was guilty – guilty of doing nothing. Remember, doing nothing is actually doing something.
Noah’s sin was his silence, and the entire world was destroyed.  If atrocities are taking place in our time, and we fail to question, speak up, and effectively respond: aren’t we as guilty as Noah? And when we find the courage to take action, speak out against injustice, and do what is right, it means stepping up and others will follow. 

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