Parshat No’ach 5778: How Old are You Anyway?

Shalom Friends;

Our Parshat HaShevua, Noach is sponsored by Jack and Chana Kaminker and family of Ramat Beit Shemesh whodedicate this vort Lilui Nishmas Jack’s Father Aryeh Shlomo Leib ben Elyaqum. To the Kaminker family, many thanks for your sponsorship and your continued kindnesses.

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.

Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
skype: mark.burt3

Parshat No’ach 5778: How Old are You Anyway?

by Moshe Burt

In our Parshat Noach (as rendered to English in the Sapirstein Edition, “The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary”), Sefer Breish’t, Perek 8, posuk 13 portrays the Earth having dried after the Mabul (the Great Flood):

“And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the waters had dried from upon the earth; …”

Tractate Rosh Hashana, Daf Yud [ten], Amud Bet [second side of the Daf) (as rendered to English in the Schottenstein Edition Talmud Bavli: The Gemara] renders Sefer Breish’t, Perek 8, posuk 13:

“And it was at one and six hundred years, in the first [month], on the first of the month, the waters had dried from upon the earth…”

In “the six hundred and first year” of what?? For this answer, we need to look back in Torah to Sefer Breish’t, Perek 7, posuk 11 (as rendered to English in the Sapirstein Edition, “The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary”) which reads:

“In the six hundredth year of Noach’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all of the fountains of the great deep burst forth; and the windows of the heavens were opened.”

This vort will not deal with the learned disputes between R’ Eliezer and R’ Yehoshua as to the commencement of the Mabul, when Creation took place or the disputes concerning how long before Rosh Hashana must a tree be planted and take root. We will, however discuss R’ Meir’s p’shat (ibid.; Daf Yud, Amud Bet) regarding equation of “the first [month], on the first of the month” of “the six hundred and first year”:

R’ Meir holds that from the fact that it is still only a single day that has entered into the six hundred and first year and the verse already calls it a “year,” we learn that a single day in the year is regarded as a full year.

Notes 15 and 16 in Daf Yud, Amud Bet (ibid.,as rendered to English in the Sapirstein Edition, “The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary”) relate:

Note 15: The Flood commenced in Noach’s six hundredth year, on the seventeenth of “the second month” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 7, posuk 11) — the moment of drying recorded… took place nearly ten and one-half months later, in the “first month” of the six hundred and first year.

Note 16: The event marked by this verse [Sefer Breish’t, Perek 8, posuk 13] occurred at the very beginning of the six hundred and first year, on the very first day of its first month (be it Nissan or Tishrei).

Yet, the verse refers to this date as at one and six hundred years. Clearly, the Torah regards a single day in the year as equivalent to a full year. (Rashi; cf. Tosafos)

Having learned this piece of Gemara has given this author pause and perspective to contemplate one’s age.

Example: The famous comedian Jack Benny, Mr. [Perennially] 39 years old. Benny was born on February 14, 1894 (8 Adar1 5654) and passed on December 26, 1974 (12 Tevet 5734).

Wikipedia writes of Benny:

He died on December 26, 1974 at age 80.

With the perspective of the above piece of Gemara, Jack Benny passed on (12 Tevet 5735) in his 81st year.

This author’s birthdate is 2 May, 1948 (23 Nissan 5708). Immediately upon the day turning to 24 Nissan 2017, this author began his 70th year.

May all who subscribe to these Parshat vorts live in happiness and good health to at least a full 120 years.

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them and that the expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes, at government expense; both due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. May our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of three years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and prevent Chas V’Challila the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos and Chodesh Tov!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.

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