Compassion, Love, and Appreciation (Parshat Noah – Mussar)

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When Noach was commanded to build the ark, HaShem told him (6:16): “You shall make a light for the ark.” What was the purpose of this light? All the people of the world were lost in the flood. Only Noach, his wife, his sons and their wives survived. HaShem commanded Noah to place a light in the ark so that Noach would remember the great calamity-the loss of practically all of mankind from the face of the earth.

Noach was instructed to not dismiss the loss of human life as a necessity of Divine judgment, but rather to feel sorrow for those who perished in the flood. Even though those who died were corrupt, nevertheless, they were the creations of HaShem-each one formed in the image of HaShem.

If HaShem instructed Noach to mourn for the immoral people of his generation, how much more so, should we honor, care, and love the righteous people of our generation!

Let us remind ourselves of the dedication of our rabbis, teachers, and community leaders, as well as, all of the fellow members of our community who compose the very fabric of our lives. Just as it takes ten Jews to “make a minyan“, it takes fellowship to create a thriving, dynamic Jewish life. In addition, we should pray for and influence those people who have not yet recognized the truth of the Torah.

With all the responsibilities and pressures of life we sometimes forget to “remember” those closest to us, i.e. our family members. Just as Noach made a special light to remember the people of his generation, let us make a special effort to reflect on and appreciate the love, kindness, and joy that our families give to us.

Today: Take a few minutes at the Shabbos table to express love and appreciation to your family.

Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller and the Salant Foundation

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