Hebrew | Francais

Search


> Hemdat Yamim

Shabbat Parashat Noach 5779

Parashat Hashavua: Behind Every Great World Leader

Harav Shaul Yisraeli from Siach Shaul p. 16-17

The midrash (Bereishit Rabba 30:9) says on “in his generations” (Bereishit 6:9) that according to Rabbi Yehuda, if Noach would have been in the generation of Moshe or of Shmuel, he would not have been considered a tzaddik. According to Rabbi Nechemia, in those generations it would have been even clearer that he would have been a tzaddik.

Let us explain the matter by looking more closely at the comparison to Moshe and Shmuel. The approach of these two great men was very different from that of Noach. Noach’s whole generation was corrupt, and he and his whole family remained on a high spiritual level, as we see that all of them received a prophetic message (see Bereishit 9:8). In contrast, Moshe and Shmuel sacrificed themselves for their nation, but Shmuel’s sons did not follow his path (Shmuel 8:3) and Moshe’s sons did not come close to his level. The midrash [editor- we did not find the exact source] attributes the failure of Shmuel’s sons to the fact that Shmuel was so occupied with the needs of the public, and it is likely that the same is true of Moshe’s sons. Thus, we are talking about a sacrifice of leaving one’s children largely “unattended” in order to save the generation.

In the case of Noach, while we do find criticism of Noach for being underactive in dealing with his generation, he still had the merit of creating the bridge to the rebuilding of the world. Thus, he had elements that deserve our praise and elements that deserve our scorn.

If we compare all of the above to Avraham, we will find that he merited having success in both spheres. On the one hand, he had the “souls that he made in Charan” (Bereishit 12:5). On the other hand, he had success in raising his successor, Yitzchak.

If we want to pursue the reason behind these distinctions, it would seem that the difference between Noach and Avraham was their wives. Sarah and Avraham are introduced as a spiritual team. The matriarchs are parallel to the patriarchs: “Avraham converts the men, while Sarah converts the women” (Bereishit Rabba 39:14). In contrast, Noach’s wife is anonymous; neither her name not her actions are revealed to us. Apparently, there was nothing about her that was worthy of honorable mention. While Avraham could give over his chinuch responsibilities to his wife, Noach apparently could not, and that took away from Noach’s ability to impact on others to his full potential.

It is clear that Shmuel could only become who he became because of his great mother, Chana. We do not know a lot about his father, Elkana, and we know nothing about Elkana’s other children from his other wife. It was Chana who prayed for the child, who shaped his character, and who filled him with deep spirituality with her “lullabies.” Shmuel did not merit to have a wife as great as his mother, and therefore his children did not turn out as they should have.

It is not that we just need great men; we need great women. We need more Chanas if we have hopes of more Shmuels.
Top of page
Print this page
Send to friend


Dedication

We daven for a complete and speedy refuah for:

Leah Rachel bat Chana

Meira bat Esther

Rivka Reena bat Gruna Natna

David Chaim ben Rassa

Lillian bat Fortune

Yafa bat Rachel Yente

Eliezer Yosef ben Chana Liba

Ro'i Moshe Elchanan ben Gina Devra

Together with all cholei Yisrael

 

Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

to the memory of:

those who fell in wars

for our homeland

Eretz Hemdah's beloved friends

and Members of

Eretz Hemdah's Amutah

Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar   10

Rav Reuven Aberman z"l

Tishrei 9 5776


Mr. Shmuel Shemesh  z"l
Sivan 17 5774

R' Eliyahu Carmel z"l

Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8 5776


Mrs. Sara Wengrowsky

bat R’ Moshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10   5774


Rav Asher Wasserteil z"l

Kislev 9 5769

R'  Meir ben

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld z"l


R'  Yaakov ben Abraham & Aisha

and

Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l


Rav Yisrael Rozen z"l
Cheshvan 13, 5778


Rav Benzion Grossman z"l
Tamuz 23 5777

 

Rav Moshe Zvi (Milton)

Polin z"l

Tammuz 19, 5778

 

Hemdat Yamim
is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker
of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
and
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l

site by entry.
Eretz Hemdah - Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies, Jerusalem All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy. | Terms of Use.