Each week our girls at Lev Lalev study the Torah and on Shabbat, discuss lessons they’ve learned. Since the orphanage was founded on Jewish religious principles, and supported through the tzedakah and charity of so many wonderful people, we wanted to share with you a glimpse of the value driven lessons that the girls learn about.
This week’s Torah portion says that Noah was a righteous man in his generation. The Rabbis question whether this means that he was righteous despite the fact that the generation was on such a low level, or that he was only righteous in comparison to everyone else. Most scholars agree that both positions have merit. Yes – he was righteous despite coming from a morally corrupt society, but he would’ve been even more outstanding if the standards were higher. This is why he built the Ark with skill and purpose, but did not go out and actively try to encourage people to repent. In the end, as you know, his family was saved but the society perished. Our job is to not only help individual people, but in so doing, upgrade and uplift the world around us. We say that if you are kind to others, it not only changes them, but it changes the entire world.
The Tower of Babel appears on the surface as simple, but in my mind it’s complex. Yes, the world worked together, and seemed to do so for a common purpose! But, the purpose was to overtake G-d and become masters of their own fate. From here we learn that while harmony is important, substance is the overriding matter. Here, too, we learn life lessons. We must have exemplary values or all this harmony stuff can actually bury us. I don’t wish to get too political, but to explain what I mean, let’s think about Communism. Its goal was to create a sense of equality. In reality, it was a totalitarian political system which removed G-d from the equation.