This week's parsha
Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the Chabad.org website. We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given. For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website. If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the Chabad.org website.
Wrong Time for Building Legacies
Reality has just been turned upside down, the waters of the flood have erased all life off the face of the globe, and humanity has to start all over again.
This is not some apocalyptic terror film, but the story of the world after the Great Flood. Noah and his family were the only living people in the world, while every other person who had been living just one year earlier -- including their neighbors, friends, enemies and everyone else -- was gone.
G-d's Unrelenting Faith in Us
In stately prose the Torah in its opening chapter describes the unfolding of the universe, the effortless creation of a single creative Force. Repeatedly we read, “And G‑d said, Let there be … and there was … and G‑d saw that it was good” -- until we come to the creation of humankind. Suddenly the whole tone of the narrative changes:
Spirit and Matter
Our lives tend to be divided between spirit and matter, the sacred and the everyday.
The dichotomy between spirit and matter, or Heaven and Earth, is also expressed at the beginning of this week's Torah reading, Haazinu, which takes the form of a long poem. Moses is the leader of the Jewish people, filled with love for them, yet also seeing with pain the long and tortuous history they would experience. He warns them about the mistakes they might make in their relationship with G-d. Speaking dramatically to the Jewish people, Moses begins by addressing Heaven and Earth. Rashi tells us that he was calling them as witnesses to his words of warning which follow.