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The Snake Made Me Do It!

By Tzvi Fishman
10/24/2011, 5:10 PM

If Eve had read, she wouldn’t have followed after her eyes and got us all kicked out of the garden. If Adam had read, he wouldn’t have eaten the “apple.” If Cain had read, he wouldn’t have gotten angry at Abel.  Today, we don’t have to make the same mistakes they did. We have the teachings of the Torah and the advice of the Sages to rely upon. While I won’t quote from the holy Zohar here, for people who enjoy the secrets of Torah, there’s a lot more to the snake than his pretty long tail.  

Which brings us to Noach. If his generation had taken the time to read, they could have avoided the flood. The Zohar teaches that the wanton sexual sin of the time was the cause of the flood. Measure for measure.

Concerning Noach himself, our Sages express a certain criticism. Yes, he righteously followed each and every order in building the ark, but he didn’t hurry around the countryside, from village to village, warning people what would be if they didn’t improve their ways.  Maybe he felt they wouldn’t listen. After all, the sexual urge is a powerful passion, and people don’t like being told that they can’t do whatever they please, like they did in the days preceding the flood. Noach was a private tzaddik, minding his own business, unlike Avraham who traveled to and fro, teaching people about the godly way to live.

If a person sees that his fellow man is erring in his ways, he has the obligation to enlighten him, so that the transgressor can correct his wrongdoing. If he doesn’t, he himself becomes part of the sin. True, not everyone is on a level to rebuke others, and rebuke isn’t an easy thing to do, but the principle is clear that when you see someone heading for destruction, it is a good deed to endeavor to save him.

That is what I, and other INN bloggers, have been doing when writing about the mitzvah of aliyah. We don’t seek to harm anyone – rather to wake people up to the higher and holier reality which we enjoy here in the Land of Israel, living according to the guidelines of Torah. And this is why I urge readers to browse through the website, to alert them of the dangers that brought on the flood.  Whether it is the flood of assimilation that is devastating the Jewish People in the Diaspora, or the flood of immodesty and licentiousness in which the world is drowning, everyone must do his share to save not only himself, but also his fellow.

Put the two together and you get the Covenant of the Brit between G-d and the Jewish People, coming up in the Torah portion of Lech Lecha next week, where our sexual holiness and the gift of the Land of Israel are inseparably linked.

Shavuah tov!