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Two Minutes of Torah: Noach - Washing Everything Clean

I don't know about you, but at the end of a long, busy day there's nothing like stepping into the shower, feeling the water on your skin and washing away all of the dirt and grime that has accumulated.  I always feel when I step into the shower that I'm not just actually washing myself clean, but at the same time there's a sense of washing away everything that I need to get rid off at the end of a long day.  Water has an amazing power to give us that sense of being refreshed, renewed, and revived; and it also has an ability to wash away all that needs to be gone from our bodies.  

It's interesting therefore to think about this week's Torah portion of Noach when water comes down to flood the earth, destroying everything on this planet.  We read that the earth had become corrupt before God and was filled with corruption.  God decides that all flesh must be destroyed so says to Noach: I've decided to put an end to all flesh for the earth is filled with lawlessness because of them I'm about to destroy them from the earth and then God instructs Noach to build the ark because God says; I'm about to bring the flood waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh under the sky in which there is breath of life.  

Everything shall perish in this week's Torah portion, and water appears first and foremost as God's instrument of destruction.  The entire earth is filled with water so high that even the hills in the mountains are covered.  And the rain falls for forty days and forty nights so that when Noach and his family and all the animals emerge from the ark there is nothing else left.  But at the same time we might wonder why God chose water as the method of destruction.  

We know that water brings with it cleanliness and in this way God may have been trying to wash away the sins of the people and wash everything away so that the world could be clean once again.  But at the end of the story most importantly God promises, through the covenant of the rainbow, ne.ver to destroy the world again by flood and so never again will we have this cleansing, brought down by God to remove the sinfulness and lawlessness from our world.

In this way, at the end of Noach's story, is the challenge to each one of us.  We have to keep this world clean, we have to be the ones who ensure that it does not become filled with lawlessness and corruption as it was once before, in the aftermath of Noach's story.  We are the ones once again, and it's reaffirmed who are responsible for the earth and all that is in it.  God cleansed the world once for us and will not do it again.  And so we have to be the ones who are mindful of making sure that this world never needs the full scale cleaning and wash that happened when God flooded the earth.

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