Entertaining Parsha Questions & Riddles for Young and Old Alike
5) Why did Hashem let the lion hurt Noach just because he came late once with its food?
(Bereishis Rabbah 30:6, Rav Eliyahu Meir Bloch
zt”l, Tanchuma 9, Rav Mordechai Gifter zt”l)
5) Noach was busy around-the-clock feeding each animal its particular food. He could hardly sleep that entire year! Once, he delayedthe lion’s meal, and as he was about to leave the Teivah at the end of the year, the lion struck him. He went away limping and coughing blood. He was punished because not taking care of that lion’s health could have weakened all future lions. One commentator points out how careful a rebbi must be to teach his talmid well, since not taking care of a talmid could, G-d forbid, weaken all his futuregenerations as well. Others understand that Noach was able to step on snakes and scorpions and not get hurt, since he was involved in chessed (kindness), but once he was late for the lion, he lost this protection.
7) Which question should Noach not have asked Hashem? (Pirkei d’Rabi Eliezer, chapter 23)
7) When Hashem commanded Noach to gather at least two of each species of animals and birds,Noach was overwhelmed and asked, “How can I manage to bring all the creatures to the ship?” He didn’t realize that Hashem wanted him to have the zechus (special merit) of bringing the animals himself. However, once he questioned Hashem about his task, he lost his zechus, and the animals came by their own instinct. From here we learn to have confidence: We must never doubt our ability to do greatwork for Hashem; Hashem will help!! Indeed, we find that there are two types of people—those who think “Ich ken nisht…” (I can’t do that) and those who think “Ich ken yuh…” (I can do it). We must not paralyze ourselves by telling ourselves that we can’t accomplish our goal. If Hashem tells us to do it—then it can be done!
19) Why did the flood rains pour down for forty days?
19) Theviolent rain lasted for forty days – which corresponds to the forty days necessary for an embryo to form, since that immoral generation troubled Hashem to create babies that should not have been born.
20) Why did Noach bless a certain creature
that it should live forever? (Sanhedrin 108b)
20) Noach saw one bird called “Orshina” (Phoenix) exhausted on a shelf. He asked it, “Don’t you needfood, too?” It replied, “I saw that you were busy, so I didn’t want to bother you!” A grateful Noach blessed that creature that it would never die.
23) What did Korach have in common with the Dor Hamabul (Generation of the Flood)? (Baal HaTurim)
23) Korach’s enormous wealth led to his arrogance and downfall. Similarly, the Generation of the Flood lost out by being too comfortable! They becamearrogant and denied that it was Hashem Who was sustaining them. (See Devarim 8:14)
24) Where did Noach get the grapevine from which he produced the wine that made him drunk?
(Targum Yonasan 9:20, Taam Vodaas, Maharzu 36:4)
24) Noach got the grapevine from Gan Eden. One can understand Noach’s desire to drink wine after the destruction of the world—to cheer him up after seeing that utterdisaster. It was like making a “L’chaim—to life!” He also hoped that the wine would give him the strength to be able to have more children.
25) Why didn’t Noach have children until he
was 500 years old? (Rashi, Bereishis Rabbah 26:2)
25) Hashem did not want Noach to have children who would be killed in the Flood because of their sins. So Noach was childless until he was very old. In his old age, hefathered righteous children.
26) Why didn’t Noach’s mussar (criticism) make the wicked people repent? (Sanhedrin 108b)
26) Noach scolded his generation too harshly. That’s why they didn’t listen to him! Criticism works only if it is given gently and sensitively, with love and caring.
27) Why did Noach hide for a while from the people of his generation?
(Zohar volume 1:58b, Seder...
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