Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Great Flood

Art: Jacek Yerka

The Flood came to purify the earth... because the earth had become filled with robbery and corruption to the extreme and required purification.  

It was for this reason that the flood waters came for forty days, like a mikveh [ritual bath] which must contain a minimum of 40 se'ah of rainwater if it is to purify the ritually unclean.

Thus, for the generation of the Flood, the waters were a punishment, but for the world itself, the waters were a blessing, since the world became blessed through them.

This sheds light on the Torah's statement that the waters were both mild ''rain'' [of blessing] [Noach 7:12] and at the same time torrential flood waters [Noach 7:17] for even though the floods destroyed all the inhabitants of the world, they still had the positive effect of cleansing and purifying physicality itself.

Source: Based on Likutei Sichos vol 25 pp 26-27 Lubavitcher Rebbe


Anonymous said...

This time,at the End of Days, the purification of the world will be done by fire. It's the final purification, more radical, more damaging. Then the survival humanity enters in a new eon of existence. The good-evil dichotomy will have mankind inclining to the good.

Anonymous said...

I have gotten the opposite impression that the flood waters were not a blessing at least physically, as afterwards the world was weaker, the people lived much shorter lives, the weather had seasons which made lives harsher, the ground produced much more inferior produce, etc. I see the spiritual cleansing blessing but not a physical one.

Devorah said...

More to be said on this topic tomorrow.

devora said...

awesome photo as always!!!

Anonymous said...

The Hebrew word for Heaven is "Shamayim." Shamayim is comprised of the root words "esh - fire" and "mayin - water." Therefore, fire and water are the elements of Heaven.

Cleansing by water removes the contamination of the surface whilst refining by fire removes the impurity from within. In both cases, the end result is separation.However, both water and fire are used in koshering "set apart" objects and are actively involved in the rituals of the Temple service and its furniture.

The flood in the days of Noach not only cleansed the Earth of the impurity of its inhabitants but separated Noach and His family from the rest of humanity by rising to the surface of the waters in the ark whilst fallen humanity drowned in the depths of death. This concept of separation is further reinforced when Am Yisrael left Egypt and arrived at Yam Suf. This time however, Am Yisrael actually walk through the watery depths of a metaphorical death to be resurrected as a new nation on the other side whilst Pharaoh and his cohorts drown in the same waters of death. That event signalled the separation of Yisrael from Mitzrayim, the holy from the profane.

The second element of fire has a different dynamic. Whilst water comes from above and washes away, it can be filtered by the earth and lay hidden underground to be brought to the surface as a well spring. Fire, on the other hand creates combustion that although creating heat and light leaves a residual by-product, removes impurities and ascends to the heavens as smoke.This will be the ultimate cleansing and purification of the final Redemption, separating the holy from the profane of those that serve HaShem and those who do not. This is the key to the Parah Adumah or the ashes of the Red Heifer mixed with water.