Mazeltov to Maurice and Glynn Zollmann on the occasion of Micael’s engagement to Alice     Mazeltov to Stephen and Lynette Goldberg on the birth of a grandson in Boston    Condolences to Noah Greenhill on the passing of her mother, Noah Greenhill.

Home » The Shul Connection » Dvar Torah #1 by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

Dvar Torah #1 by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

Dvar Torah #1 by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

 

The Torah states: “Noach was a completely righteous man in his generation” (Gen. 6:9).

The Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 108a, is bothered by the seemingly superfluous words “in his generation.” What are these extra words coming to teach us?

There are two opinions: 1) Praise of Noach. Even in an evil generation he was righteous. However, if he were in a righteous generation, he would have been even more righteous. 2) Denigration of Noach. In his own generation he was considered righteous, but had he lived in Avraham’s generation he would not have been considered righteous in comparison to Avraham.

The Chatam Sofer, a great rabbi, explained that there really is no argument between the two opinions. If Noach would have stayed the way he was in his own generation, then in Avraham’s generation he would not have been considered that righteous. However, the reality is that Noach would have been influenced by Avraham and have reached even greater heights of righteousness.

What do we learn from this? We are all affected by our environment. When we are close to people of good character, we are automatically influenced in positive directions. Choose well your friends and your community; they strongly impact your life!

 

Dvar Torah #2 by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Tower of Babel was built as an effort to show that there is no G-d. They would build it high into the heavens and show that He was not there. This was not “pleasing in the eyes of G-d.” The Torah states, “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower (of Babel) which the children of man built.” (Genesis 11:5) Why does the Torah tell us that the Almighty came to the city and to the Tower?

Rashi, the father of all commentaries, cites the Midrash Tanchuma which states that the Almighty did not actually need to come down to view the tower. He did so in order to teach judges not to condemn anyone until they investigate and understand the entire situation.

In a broad sense, there is a lesson for all of us, not just judges of a court. We all judge the actions of others. Let us not condemn anyone on the basis of hearsay or circumstantial evidence. We must view a person favorably unless we have carefully investigated the matter and have established beyond doubt that he is guilty of the charges against him.

Comments are closed.