Sign In Forgot Password

Weekly Announcements

Ahavat Yisrael of Wesley Hills Announcements

Noach

Oct 23 – Oct 30

5 Cheshvan – 12 Cheshvan

 

For all minyanim the wearing of a mask which fully covers the mouth and nose is required at all times. This includes children as well, no exceptions.  [If you need to remove your mask, please step outside of the Shul or at least 10 feet away and restore it before returning to the Shul.]

 

When selecting a seat in Shul, unless the person near you is part of your household, leave no less that 6 feet of space between you, merely skipping a seat is not sufficient and jeopardizes both of you. The reason that we have left two or three chairs together in places is for families to sit together, please be mindful.

 

Mazal tov to Erika and Menachem Kaiman on the engagement of their daughter Malka to Efraim Blau.

 

We hope to have Mincha/Maariv this one last week at 5:45, please make all efforts to attend

With the days getting shorter, after the clock change next week, Mincha/Maariv during the weekdays will not be an option, we would like to resume our 9pm maariv, please speak with Rabbi Bush or Michael Chasen to let them know your interest

 

Please mail in pledges for Yom Kippur/Yizhor appeal.

If you received an aliyah on Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur please consider sending in a contribution to the shul.

 

 

SCHEDULE At Shul & Home

 

FRIDAY (10/23)

Mincha and Candle lighting: 5:44 PM

 

SHABBAT (10/24)

Shacharis : 9:00 AM  (with R. Yishmael, say brachos at home)

Latest time for shma: 9:59 AM

Mincha: 5:20 PM

Family Seudah Shilishis

Shabbos Ends: 6:46 PM  

Maariv: 6:52 PM

 

SUNDAY (10/25)

Shacharis 8:00 AM                                                                                                                                                                 

Rabbi’s Gemara Shiur via zoom: 8:50 AM  https://zoom.us/j/3812539596

Mincha/Maariv 5:50 PM

 

MONDAY – THURSDAY (10/26 – 10/30)

Mincha/Maariv:  5:45 PM

Monday: Rosh Chodesh

Thursday: 9:00 PM Parsha Preview on zoom  https://zoom.us/j/3812539596

 

 

Dvar Torah & Thoughts on Parshas Noach: Do we ever learn?

Rabbi Asher Bush

Noach and family have survived and have now begun to return to ‘normal living’. The Torah does not tell us how much time has elapsed, and we find that Noach has (after at least one successful harvest) gathered his grapes, made wine, and gets drunk. He is found lying drunk and naked in his tent. Not admirable behavior to be sure. The next few steps of this story are short on some details that might explain a lot but are long on emotions. Cham sees his father in this degraded state and rather than do anything positive, he goes out and tells his brothers. Here the Torah not only tells full detail but underscores their intentions, as Shem and Yefes cover their father with a garment, being careful not to look at their father in his moment of degradation.  Not that it would be so bad if these two men while helping their father happened to glance at him, but they could not and would do such a thing. Upon sobering up Noach brutally curses his son Cham ana blesses the other two.

His curse is so harsh, so painful, that the sages could not even imagine that his son had merely mocked him or shared the embarrassment with his brothers, something far worse must have taken place, and they suggest several possible types of assaults that may have caused this extreme angry reaction from Noach. At the same time, and not usually thought of, if the other two sons merely acted like decent human beings, is that really something that their father should have blessed them for, isn’t that something he should/would just take for granted? And true, given what one son did he could not take much for granted; this story is calling for explanation.

It seems that the story is both far more innocent than the picture painted by our Sages and far more significant at the same time. Let us consider the possibility that Cham did nothing to his father other than what it says in the text, namely he saw him lying inside his private tent naked and drunk. Rather than covering him up or merely leaving and pretending he never saw anything, he went out and shared this with his brothers, making sure that it would not be overlooked, and likely hoping to mock and degrade his father. The brothers, of course, did not take the bait, instead covering him and providing maximum dignity in the process.

So why did Noach make such a big deal out it all, especially since one might well say it was his fault in the first place? The context of this story is what makes it so important. They have recently survived the great flood; they and they alone were selected to survive and start the new world. How and what would their world be like, and most importantly, how would it be better than the world that God had decided to destroy?

At this point in the story we find that Noach, the father, leader and man called at Tzadik is not quite perfect; what should happen to him or be done to him in his moment of weakness or failure? To Cham the answer was to degrade him further, to bring him down even more. This was the kind of action seen in the generation that was destroyed, to take advantage of those who were more vulnerable or weaker rather than to try to help them. The brothers on the other hand immediately not only covered their father but did so with maximum concern for his dignity. When Chazal, as quoted by Rashi suggest that the offence of Cham was either a sexual or physical assault of the most degrading variety they were not merely assuming that Noach could not curse his son unless the most dreadful of deeds had been performed, but they were using these extreme acts to point to the kind of deeds done by the generation that was destroyed, a corrupt, violent and sexually abusive world. So, what the Sages were really saying is that Noach saw in his son’s actions a continuation of the world that had been destroyed for its evil. He blew up not because of a lack of a blanket or smirking or even physical acts, but after surviving the flood and its trauma, watching all that he knew destroyed, being selected by God to start it all over from scratch, he now sees his son going back to the old ways; he lost it, and with good reason.

His other two sons, different as they were from each other, they got the lesson of the flood, as is symbolized by the extreme care they took of their father in his degraded moment. They understood that the new world had to be created on the values that were so painfully missing from the world before the flood. It was for this reason that he blessed them so, not just because they were not bad, but because they got the message and lesson of the flood and were living it.

We too have been and continue to live in a world that in many ways has been taken apart and no longer resembles the world and life we had before. Unlike the generation of the flood, we have no clue why this has happened. But at the same time, there are countless lessons before our eyes; lessons shown by the devotion and dedication of doctors and nurses, lessons shown by friends and neighbors who take care of those who can’t manage alone, lessons shown by parents who struggle to balance work, family and the many pressures- old and new, the lessons shown by the many who have used this time to step back and appreciate just what is it that counts in life and what does not, and so many other beautiful and valuable lessons seen in the community and across the country. These are the followers of the two sons of Noach who covered him with the blanket; they went through the worst of times and came out changed for the better.

But there are also some who follow in the footsteps of Cham, that no matter what goes on around them, nothing seems to make a difference, nothing seems to give reason to think that maybe they can do it differently and do better and be better. The pettiness remains, the shallow materialism remains, the carelessness with health, safety, and life itself remains, and concern with the wellbeing of others is just not on the radar. This year more than ever the contrasting images of these different sons stands before us, not just an ancient story about good sons and a bad one, but a reminder that experiences like these can be ones that help us learn, grow and reach new heights, and there is no need to remain a prisoner of the values of the world that is no longer.

Tue, October 27 2020 9 Cheshvan 5781