Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
Yes, it's true, we have been familiar with the story of Noah's ark since kindergarten. Yet our yearly encounter with this week's Torah portion always provides new insights. Many commentators call upon us to find our own "Noah's ark." Indeed, each of us must sometimes escape from the surrounding flood, from everything that troubles us. Rabbi Shalom Noah Berzovsky explains this necessity in the book "Netivot Shalom" (Paths of Peace):
"Even when flood waters are raging all around us and everything looks bleak, there is a Noah's ark to save us. When someone feels low and downcast, the best advice is: 'Find yourself an ark.' Each person has a divine spark from which extraordinary powers derive, providing the strength to rise above and navigate the raging waters: This is their Noah’s ark that can save them from the flood.
Our generation has three Noah's arks: 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 whatever the situation may be, including the worst possible scenario, we can always escape to and cleave to what is good."
And to continue with this thought, Noah's ark can be family, serious study, or any activity that gives us strength and stability when the storm rages all around us. So what's your Noah's ark?