Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Haftorah Beam - Noach

The second parsha in the Torah recounts the famous story of Noah's Ark, as well as the slightly less famous story of the Tower of Babel.

The Haftorah reading echoes the Flood theme:

7 For a little while I forsook you,
But with vast love I will bring you back.
8 In slight anger, for a moment,
I hid My face from you;
But with kindness everlasting
I will take you back in love
— said the Lord your Redeemer.
9 For this to Me is like the waters of Noah:
As I swore that the waters of Noah
Nevermore would flood the earth,
So I swear that I will not
Be angry with you or rebuke you.
10 For the mountains may move
And the hills be shaken,
But my loyalty shall never move from you,
Nor My covenant of friendship be shaken
— said the Lord, who takes you back in love.
This reading uses the Flood and the Ark as a metaphor for G*d's forgiveness and redemption after a time of crisis and despondency. Some congregations end at this point, while others continue on with elaborate descriptions of the rather material delights offered to those who follow Torah:
12 I will make your battlements of rubies,
Your gates of precious stones,
The whole encircling wall of gems.
13 And all your children shall be disciples of the Lord,
And great shall be the happiness of your children;
14 You shall be established through righteousness.
You shall be safe from oppression,
And shall have no fear;
From ruin, and it shall not come near you.
This echoes the motivations of the Tower builders, who said, "Come, let us build us a city, and a tower with its top in the sky, to make a name for ourselves; else we shall be scattered all over the world."  It is through Torah and righteousness that we can reach the Heavens, make a name for ourselves, and live unafraid.  The Tower builders sought closeness to G*d, honor, and security.  But they went about it the wrong way.  The Haftorah answers them (and us) with the correct way to achieve all of these aims.

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