Friday, October 8, 2021

Oasis in the Storm

As we begin a new cycle of the weekly Torah reading, we are challenged to find any meaning and insights into narratives and stories that we have heard about for years and decades. This week’s Parsha of Noach is an excellent example of that. Any attendee of Hebrew school knows that Noach built an ark to save him, his family, and many animals from the destruction of the flood that G-d had unleashed into the world. Even Hollywood caught on a few years ago, releasing a blockbuster movie, Noah. Despite the rave reviews, it seems that consensus, as with most things the book is better than the movie! What then can we practically glean from the story of Noach building an ark to escape the flood? The Nesivos Shalom offers a fascinating insight into the eternal lesson of building an ark to find an escape from a flood. Figuratively speaking, our generation needs to find a respite from the ongoing bombardment of distractions that keep invading our space at every waking moment of the day. The stress that the season of COVID has added to our daily arena has only exacerbated an already tense reality. That is where I have come to appreciate Shabbos so much even more. Shabbos has been a day of rest for all of time, but arguably, our generation needs the rest of the holy Shabbos in more ways than ever before. Shabbos is a time not just for extra naps and rest but rather a time to be more connected to G-d and our families. It is also a special opportunity to become more in touch with ourselves as we go 25 hours with tweets, updates, and the latest breaking updates. Essentially, the gift of Shabbos is akin to leaving the stormy and treacherous waters that we are confronted with all week and enter an area of respite and reprieve. As we once again review the Parsha and learn about the ancient ark, let us be forever grateful for the eternal ark that we enter Friday evening at sundown. Have a Peaceful Shabbos, Rabbi Yaakov Fisch

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