Parshas Noah

Build it to Last Forever

Make for yourself an Ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with compartments, and you shall caulk it both inside and outside with pitch. Bereishis 6:14

Can Man Create Something Indestructible?

Noach's ark has been discovered. If you don't believe me, you can Google it. Sure there are those who argue, say that it’s not true, the Ark’s wood couldn’t have remained intact for thousands of years, it surely rotted a long time ago. But they’re wrong; Noach’s Ark had to be indestructible to hold up against the destruction of our planet. As the heavens poured out the Almighty’s judgment the Ark stood against mountainous waves, huge hail raining down mixed with fire and ice, lightening so fierce it ignited the sky, and powerful winds that cut through the earth. When Hashem’s decree was fulfilled our planet was profoundly reshaped. Was technology in Noach’s time so advanced that they were able to glue and nail the wood together in such a way that it would not separate? Did he use special wood and special tar? What about the Ark made it indestructible?

The Power of a Mitzvah

The answer is that the source of its unyielding strength was the commandment itself. Noach was the only person on the spiritual level able to build an Ark strong enough to endure the ultimate forces of the destruction. Sure his sons could help chop the trees and bring the pitch, but they could not participate in actually building the Ark. If they had done so, it would not have withstood the wrath of Hashem that was wrought for destruction.

The Ark, and all inside were safe, because Noach build the Ark. And here again there are those that say it was impossible for one man to build such an Ark, Noach must have had help. But the dissidents are wrong. There is a fundamental principle that they do not understand:

A Superpower Power Granted to Man

Hashem gave Man the power to bind the spiritual with the material. Since Noach’s intentions were solely for the sake of Hashem’s commandment, he elevated the Ark to a level that was higher than nature itself. Therefore, it could not be destroyed by nature. Similarly, Chazal tell us that if Moshe Rabbainu would’ve entered Eretz Yisrael and built the Bais Hamikdash it would never have been destroyed. If Noach’s children would’ve helped him, the Ark would’ve leaked! They were not capable of elevating the material to the level needed to resist the flood. It was not their mitzvah.

In life we must focus on what we can do rather than what we cannot. We all have the ability to bind the spiritual to the physical; it is a gift from Hashem. Look to help others even in small ways; give a smile or open the door for someone. By adding spirituality to our daily activities we elevate the world from mundane to extraordinary. This is what makes us God’s eternal children.