Our Torah Portion “Noach” reports twice on the downfall of humanity in the eyes of God. In the response to the first, God sends the waters of the flood, which erases all life on earth and God’s answer to the second, the building of the Tower of Bavel, is the dispersion of all humanity to all corners of the earth and the diffusion of language. Both are radical answers to human weakness.
Only with Abraham and later with Moses and the Israelites God opens a different path, away from destruction and punishment, towards a process of learning and self-improvement. God offers help and guidance in form of the Torah and all subsequent teachings of our tradition. Moreover, God becomes a role model for us when looking at each other. Instead of searching for flaws and shortcomings and how we can castigate our neighbour, we should ask the question:
How can I help? How can we make things better?
Shabbat Shalom – Rabbi Schell