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October 20, 2014 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Noach

This week’s portion involves the infamous Flood, including God’s command that Noah bring both clean and unclean animals (Gen. 7:8).  This seems a mite confusing, since the Torah does not list “clean” and “unclean” animals until the days of Moses many centuries later.

Soncino lists two very different explanations.  Nachmanides has an explanation that makes sense; God told Noah which animals to sacrifice, and the Torah is being succinct as it often is.  Rashi has a much more fanciful explanation; he claims that Noah studied the as-yet-unrevealed Torah.  For some reason, Rashi seems to prefer the most off-the-wall explanations of the Torah, and rabbis (especially, in my experience, yeshivish rabbis) tend to prefer those explanations.

I don’t quite understand why; do rabbis think that people will accept traditional Judaism only if they are encouraged time and again to suspend their common sense?  More likely, they are just passing on the mistakes made by their teachers, who got them from their teachers.  But when did this love of nonsense start?


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