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Why Was Noah Not the First Jew?

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Added by Admin in Bereshit-Noach


Rabbi YY Jacobson

Civilization was saved because of him. But Only Abraham became the Father of Judaism. Why? The Answer Teaches Us the Essence of Judaism.

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"It would seem that Noah is the ideal forefather for the Jew; the man who, like Noah, will always be alone amongst the nations, and who lives life based on his own inspired standards and not based on popular trends. But no. Noah is clearly not Jewish. As a matter of fact, all non-Jews are called by the Torah ‘the children of Noah’. Only Abraham who is born ten generations later will be chosen as the ‘first Jew.’ Why?" "Noah is a hard man to understand. On the one hand he is paid the highest of compliments, and is the only man that the Torah itself explicitly coins as a “A Tzadik (righteous man), perfect in his time.” He saved civilization, and every human alive today is one of his descendants. Notwithstanding the ridicule of his neighbors and acquaintances, he trusts G-d implicitly and singlehandedly builds an enormous ark that takes him 120 years! He is a lonely man of faith who rejects world opinion and peer pressure, and retains his integrity despite living in the most morally depraved generation in the history of humanity." "The defining difference between Abraham and Noah is not found in their own levels of faith and piety, rather it is found in how much of that piety they influenced upon others. The hallmark of the Jew is not only that he believes, but that he inspires others to believe. It is not only that he is good, but that he infuses his surroundings with goodness. And that is where Noah failed." "This class will explore the essential meaning of what it means to be a Jew, and why only Abraham and not Noah had what it takes to become the father of the Jewish faith. We will also learn the history of the name ‘Jerusalem’: Who named the city? When? Why? And what does the name even mean? And what does this have to do with Noah?"

Tags: noach
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