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Finding the ark within

תיבת נח
ציור: יואל וקסברגר, מלכות וקסברגר

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

What should we do when we are inundated by a flood? When the entire world goes crazy? As described in this week's Torah portion, parashat Noah – sometimes we need to enter an ark. To gather inside it, to protect our families, to preserve our basic values, and not to get confused by everything happening outside. The book "Netivot Shalom" (Paths of Peace) suggests that we search for and discover our own private Noah's ark:

"Even when flood waters are raging all around us and everything looks bleak, there is a Noah's ark that can save us. When a person feels low and downcast, the best advice is: 'Make yourself into an ark.' (Genesis 6:14). Each of us has a divine spark within that extremely powerful, providing the strength to rise above and navigate the raging waters. Each of us is a kind of Noah’s ark that can provide salvation from the flood. Everyone has something inside that is purely good, a unique capacity or quality, closely guarded in the worst possible situations, that will never be surrendered. It is this special something that saves us during the most difficult times. Our generation has three Noah's arks within it: the Torah, Shabbat, and Jewish unity. These are strong forces for good that enable us to prevail over the bad that surrounds us. But this parasha does not belong to any single generation. It is for every generation to study, until the end of time, for no matter how bleak the situation may appear to be, we can always escape to and cleave to what is uniquely good inside of us.”

So what’s your Noah’s ark?


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