Two Minute Torah Podcast
Shalom, my name is Joel Udwin and I am a sophomore at Boston University. Welcome to KOACH's
Two-Minute Torah; a project of the College Department of the United
Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. With the mounting need to advocate
for Israel on campus Parashat Noah
spoke to me in a different way then I normally read it.
Normally when I read a Parasha
I seek to understand what occurred in the Parasha
and its meaning in relation to my life. But for Parashat Noah
I would like to approach the Parasha in another way. I would
like to analyze what did NOT occur in
Parashat Noah, something which I find very troubling.
In this weekís Parasha
God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for
the earth has become full of robbery because of them, and behold I am
destroying them from the earthĒ (6:13). What I found troubling is
Noahís response to G-dís declaration that he would destroy the world.
As you may know Noah didnít respond. In fact he just followed G-dís
instructions and built an ark, allowing the rest of mankind to be doomed
Had Noah bargained with G-d
or asked him not to destroy the world (as for example Avraham bargained
for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah in Parashat Vayeira)
perhaps g-d would have relented and agreed to spare mankind. This teaches
us the importance of speaking up for something we believe in.
This principle is especially
relevant on college campuses. In our lectures, in the dining halls,
and even on the streets we may hear things that donít sit well with
us. But by not speaking up we are acting like Noah and allowing these
things that we donít agree with to occur. Instead we should follow
the example of Avraham and defend the values that are important to us.
When we hear someone on our campus say something incorrect about Israel, we should correct them. When we hear a floor-mate make an anti-semitic remark we should not be quiet, we should explain to them that their remark was unacceptable. In Parashat Noah the world was flooded not because G-d wanted too, but because Noah did not speak up. Similarly our campuses and communities can become toxic environments if we refuse to speak up. Donít remain silent.