Torah Study Notes 10-29-11

Notice to readers. These notes are unedited and comments and corrections are welcome. All page references are to Plaut. It is assumed that readers are familiar with the text but these notes are most intelligible when read with the text readily available. Initials are indicated in an effort to give recognition to someone who asked a question or made a comment. “”PG” is Rabbi Paul Golomb.

October 29, 2011

p. 64

9:18  A strange story of Noah’s nakedness. Canaan is damned. Why? PG: It is likely that something is missing. Possibly a story that everyone knew. Did they discover Canaan on top of or under Noah? It was a known scandal? There is a teleological need to debase the Canaanites – who were ousted from the land. Adam’s generation was punished because they had failed to take responsibility for their lives. Violence is an upset to the current order. Why are we told this story? Noah’s failing was that he despaired of human-kind. Everyone else had drowned. The two fundamental sins set forth in Genesis are loss of faith in God and loss of faith in people. CL:  Wine was a staple of the ancient world. PG: The OT is consistent in condemning the drinking of wine – not even for ritual purposes. This is a relatively uncompromising text – an idealized guide. DC: You don’t prohibit something unless the people are doing it.  

9:28 A listing of Noah’s descendants. Many of the names are recognizable from later use in the Torah. LL: Does “before the Eternal”  have a metaphoric meaning referring to Nimrod?  PG: Could be a colloquial expression. Like where someone answers “Baruch a shem.” I am feeling fine thanks to God.  SF: Nimrod is the beginning of the warrior code. This is Paul Johnson’s view. Establishing leadership on the basis of personal strength.


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