Torah Portion

Noach

נח

Genesis 6:9-11:32
Isaiah 54:1-55:5

The Mesopotamian Origin of the Biblical Flood Story

The Mesopotamian Origin of the Biblical Flood Story

In the Gilgamesh epic, Utanapishti tells Gilgamesh the story of the great flood and how he survived it. Scholars have often held that this story lies behind the biblical account of Noah and the flood. However, a good case can be made that an even more ancient tale, the Atrahasis epic, on which the flood story in Gilgamesh draws, is the source of the biblical flood story.

Prof.
John Day
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Language Is Baffling - The Story of the Tower of Babel

Language Is Baffling - The Story of the Tower of Babel

Genesis 11:1-9 is not only about the downfall of Babylon or the origin of languages. It is a reflection on how languages work differently, on the limitations of one language to convey the sense of another, and the insufficiency inherent in translation.

Prof.
Edward L. Greenstein
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Nimrod, Mighty Hunter and King - Who Was He?

Nimrod, Mighty Hunter and King - Who Was He?

Nimrod’s bio begins in the 23rd century B.C.E. with King Sargon of Akkad and his grandson Naram-Sin.

Dr.
Yigal Levin
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The Flood Changes God Not Humanity

The Flood Changes God Not Humanity

When YHWH sees the evil ways of humanity, he initially decides to wipe them out, but then determines to save Noah’s family. After the flood and Noah’s sacrifice, YHWH promises that He will never again destroy the earth and all life, even though humanity will continue in its evil ways. Thus, the story chronicles not the moral and emotional advancement of humanity but of YHWH.

Prof.
Ronald Hendel
TheGemara.com
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Noah, Hero of the Great Primeval Famine

Noah, Hero of the Great Primeval Famine

Noah's name expresses his father's hope that Noah will bring comfort from the pain of the curse of the land, and before he plants his vineyard, he is called "a man of the land" (איש האדמה). These and other verses point to an older core narrative which spoke not of a flood but of a primeval famine that Noah brings to an end.

Dr.
Idan Dershowitz
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The Rainbow in Ancient Context

The Rainbow in Ancient Context

What does it mean for the rainbow to be a sign of God’s covenant with life on earth, and how does this compare with other concepts of the rainbow in the ancient world?‍

Prof.
Ronald Hendel
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Tower of Babel: The Hidden Transcript

Tower of Babel: The Hidden Transcript

The Tower of Babel story is a marvelous tale about the ambition and hubris of primal humanity, with a biting political message and dark insights into the human condition.

Prof.
Ronald Hendel
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Noah — A Relatable Ancestor of Humanity

Noah — A Relatable Ancestor of Humanity

Unlike Adam, Noah is born like a regular human, and unlike the flood hero Utnapishtim, and Noah's great-grandfather Enoch, Noah is mortal. Yet in Second Temple times, new retellings of his story presented him as something more than human. However, in rabbinic tradition, the biblical image of the all too human Noah prevails.

Dr.
Aryeh Amihay
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Noah's Four Sons

Noah's Four Sons

Does the Supplementary Hypothesis explain the existence of a fourth son that found his way back into Pirkei de-Rabbi Eliezer and the Quran?

Dr. Rabbi
Tzemah Yoreh
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Reading Biblical Genealogies

Reading Biblical Genealogies

Including a close look at how the description of the Canaanite lineage was constructed (Gen 10:15-18)

Prof.
Aaron Demsky
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How the Canaan-Ham Curse Conundrum Came to Be

How the Canaan-Ham Curse Conundrum Came to Be

Noah learns of the sin of his youngest son, (Ham), and yet curses Canaan (his grandson); is Canaan Noah's youngest son? Contrasting traditional and critical approaches.

Dr. Rabbi
Zev Farber
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Why Does the Sodom Story Parallel the Flood Traditions?

Why Does the Sodom Story Parallel the Flood Traditions?

A closer look at the thematic and verbal parallels between the accounts of the flood and the destruction of Sodom, as well as comparison with other ANE flood/destruction stories, helps us better understand the genre and function of the Sodom story.[1]

Dr.
Baruch Alster
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Antediluvian Knowledge

Antediluvian Knowledge

Whose knowledge is the most ancient? In the Hellenistic period, Egyptians and Babylonians, among others, debated the antiquity of their wisdom. Second Temple Jews claimed that their own knowledge dated from before the Flood. But how did it survive the destruction of the flood?

Dr.
Nadav Sharon
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Noah's Original Identity: The First Winemaker

Noah's Original Identity: The First Winemaker

Before Noah became the protagonist of the Israelite flood story, his original place in Israelite historiography was as the ancient farmer who discovered wine, bringing the world relief from the toil of work caused by God’s cursing the soil.

Dr. Rabbi
Zev Farber
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The Motif of Releasing Birds in ANE Flood Stories

The Motif of Releasing Birds in ANE Flood Stories

The ancient Near East had many versions of the flood story, such as Atrahasis, Ziusudra, Utnapishtim, etc., most of which predate the Torah’s account of Noah’s flood. But what is the earliest extant version of the releasing birds motif?[1]

Dr.
Guy Darshan
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Noach

נח

Genesis 6:9-11:32

וַיֹּאמֶר יְ־הוָה לְנֹחַ בֹּא־אַתָּה וְכָל־בֵּיתְךָ אֶל־הַתֵּבָה כִּי־אֹתְךָ רָאִיתִי צַדִּיק לְפָנַי בַּדּוֹר הַזֶּה

בראשית ז:א

Then YHWH said to Noah, “Go into the ark, with all your household, for you alone have I found righteous before Me in this generation.”

Gen 7:1

Genesis

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