Parashah Noach 2020 (Noah) Genesis 6:9 – 11:32

Who doesn’t know the story of Noah and the Ark? How Noah was the only righteous man found throughout the world, so God decided to save him and his family from the destruction of mankind, which had become evil and godless in everything they did.

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The flood comes, all life (except the fish, of course) is destroyed, and Noah and his family repopulate the earth.

Later, we are given the generations of Noah that came after him and then told the story of Babel, that evil town whose population sought to be as God by building a tower to the heavens and, in essence, placing themselves with God. Well, we all know what happened then- God created Republicans and Democrats, and since then people haven’t been able to work together, at all.

Nah, that’s not what really happened.

What did happen is that God created different races and languages which confused everyone, with the result that mankind became separated by language and race.

This parashah ends with the generations of the children of Noah specified, down to the time of Abram (who was not yet called Abraham).

I think we can all agree that one of the most terrible societal ills that exist in the world today is racism. It has resulted in nothing but war, murder, social unrest, rioting, and hatred. It is probably one of, if not the main, reason for millions upon millions of unwarranted deaths that have occurred throughout history, and to this day keeps people from being able to live and work together.

Now, have you ever considered that this horrible, evil thing called racism was created by God? Well, isn’t that what we just read in this Shabbat’s parashah?

In Genesis 11 we are told that God confused the world by giving them different languages and spreading them all over the earth, and since we have different races throughout the earth, and we know that up to Babel there was only one race (the descendants of Noah), then clearly God not only made different languages but different races, as well. Although we aren’t told this specifically in the Bible, and an important rule of biblical exegesis is that you can’t make an argument from nothing, I think it is safe to say that somewhere, somehow, different races were created and since God created everything, well…?

Racism is not so much hatred of another race, but the belief that one race is more important or better than another race. The hatred is what follows from the wrongful ideology that one race is better than another.

So, based on what we read in Genesis 11, since God separated all people into different languages and (assumedly) races, then God created racism, right?


God created different languages and races, but mankind created racism, the hatred of anyone who is of a different color or language. And since mankind created different religions, racism includes hating those of a different religion, as well.

God made us different, and at Babel, it was to help us not become too powerful before we were ready to be so. I don’t believe God wanted us to become separated by race and language forever but he did it to protect us from further punishment. To try to be as God is blasphemy and so, by creating the confusion that kept us from building the tower, God was actually protecting us from hurting ourselves.

In fact, in the long run, creating different races will help to strengthen us as a species. Look at animals: when we cross-breed animals we create what is called Hybrid Vigor, and that is (according to Wikipedia):

Heterosis, also called hybrid vigour, the increase in such characteristics as size, growth rate, fertility, and yield of a hybrid organism over those of its parents. Plant and animal breeders exploit heterosis by mating two different pure-bred lines that have certain desirable traits.

So by creating different races, God gave us the potential for humanity to become a more vigorous and healthy species.

Now, you may be thinking that God has specified we shouldn’t mix different races. After all, throughout the Tanakh God condemns the pollution, so to speak, of allowing pagans to marry into Israelite families, and vice-versa. In truth, he doesn’t specify not allowing (what today) we call mixed marriages, but he is adamant that religious differences are forbidden in marriage and even in social or government contracts.

Do you remember in Numbers 12 when Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses for marrying a Cushite woman, who almost certainly was of African origin, i.e. black? God did not agree with them; in fact, he was quite angry that they spoke against Moses, at all, and God never even mentioned the fact that Zipporah was black.

The only intermixing that God condemns deals with worship, i.e. someone who worships the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob should never marry or be involved with someone who worships a different god. The color of their skin is not important, neither is their language or their native land. We see this in the Bible, such as with Rahab and Ruth, just to name two. And the Torah is clear, more than once, that so long as someone “sojourns with the Israelites” (meaning converts to their lifestyle and form of worship, which for Jews is one and the same thing), then they are adopted into the family of God and have the same rights (and obligations) as the Israelites do under the covenants God made with them.

To put it all together, when God created different peoples at Babel, he actually gave us the opportunity to improve ourselves through hybrid vigor, which is also the best weapon we can use against racism. Racism gets its strength from ignorance- the ignorance of not knowing the other race. Once people of different races work and worship together, they learn that we are all the same. God created different races from the same mold, only he used different colored inks, and only after we interact with different races do we realize that we are all the same under the skin and that knowledge is what will defeat racism.

God made us in his image, no matter what color we are or which language we speak, and when he confused us at Babel it was really part of a plan to make us better in the future. It’s up to us to make that plan work.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe, share these messages with others and I always welcome your comments.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Shabbat Shalom!

When Does Your Right Conflict with My Right?

A White Supremacist, Richard Spencer, was at the University of Florida campus the other day for a speaking engagement. There were hundreds of protesters, extra police brought in, some violence (by the protesters) and the Governor declared a state of emergency before Spencer even showed up.

This ministry, Messianic Moment, is not a venue for political activity or opinions, but I couldn’t let this one event go unmentioned.

I am not going to talk about racism; I want to talk about the right to free speech, and when that right should be ignored.

Here are some examples from the past when free speech was legally blocked:

The Alien and Sedition Acts were four bills passed by the Federalist-dominated 5th United States Congress and signed into law by President John Adams in 1798. … The Federalists argued that the bills strengthened national security during an undeclared naval war with France;

The Sedition Act of 1918, enacted during World War I, made it a crime to “willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of the Government of the United States” or to “willfully urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of the production” of the things “necessary or essential to the prosecution of the war.”

Currently there are legal exceptions to free speech: one cannot publicly use obscenity, child pornography, use fighting words and offensive speech, make false statements of fact, incite illegal activities, and under certain conditions regarding the government cannot talk about work, national security, etc.  Of course, these things do happen, proving that what is illegal is not always policed.

The best known example of an exception to free speech is that you can’t scream “FIRE!!” when sitting in a crowded room if there isn’t any fire.

Getting back to the U of F event, the freedom of speech given to Mr. Spencer caused violence, cost the state (probably) tens of thousands of dollars in extra security, property damage and police salaries, and the protesters also spent their own money making signs that, truthfully, were saying things which everyone else already knew.

I would have just told Mr. Spencer that he isn’t welcomed here. His right to free speech and public assembly would infringe on the rights of the general public to their safety by creating a potentially violent confrontation. Even if his words are not inciteful, the message he presents is, and as such does not qualify as “protected” speech under the Constitution.

I believe this country is so obsessed with protecting the rights of the “little guy” that they are abrogating the rights of everyone else.  There are examples everywhere (too many to list) of someone (usually a member of some minority group) claiming their rights have been violated, and consequently trying to get the courts to force the other party to give up their rights in order to appease the plaintiff.

It is the case of the squeaky wheel getting all the grease.

If it was up to me, I would have told Mr. Spencer, “Thanks, but no thanks. Take it somewhere else.” And if he didn’t like that, tough! And as for the people that went to protest, I think the best way to protest someone saying things you don’t agree with is simply don’t go to hear them. Doesn’t that make more sense than showing up, causing a violent scene and costing the state money? Besides that, the violent actions by the protesters gave credibility to his message of supremacy!  He was just talking, they were being violent- who’s the hateful one now?

If protesters just didn’t go, then the only people that showed up would be the ones that agreed with him, and his whole engagement would have been nothing more than “preaching to the choir”- a total waste of his time. And to top it off, the university could have charged him to be there, so instead of the state wasting any number of thousands of dollars, the racist would have paid to have no one show up. Again- doesn’t that make more sense?

The bible tells us we shouldn’t stand by and allow evil, but does that mean we have to go out of our way to protest a speech that is by someone who advocates hatred? Yeshua said we shouldn’t throw pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6), and told Shaul (regarding his persecution of the new Believers) that one shouldn’t kick against the goads (Acts 26:14.) The message is that we shouldn’t waste our time and wisdom fighting against something when we can’t win. There will always be bigotry, hatred and racism so long as there are people in the world. If we were all one skin color and one religion, we would then separate ourselves by eye color, or shape of the nose, or size. It doesn’t really matter what the object of hatred is, there will always be hatred. There will always be love, too, and these two opposites will fight against each other forever.

Love is stronger, but because hatred is easier it will often win out. Sad, but that’s the way it is, and it will be that way until Yeshua rules.

From a spiritual standpoint, I would say we should ignore these events. Don’t go to protest something you disagree with because that will only make it more visible. And if you are in a position to refuse an audience to someone who is preaching what you believe to be sinful, evil or just plain wrong, don’t allow their right to speech overrule your right to speech- speak up and say, “NO: you are not welcome here. Go somewhere else.” If you hear someone speaking hatefulness and biblically incorrect rhetoric, ignore them. The best way to win an argument is to not start one. Personally, I think the biggest insult any one person can give to another is to pretend they just don’t exist.

We are to be a light to the darkness, and in order to do that we must be in the darkness. But there are times we must realize that some darkness will never allow the light to shine. The racist and hateful darkness in the world is often times like a Black Hole, which is so dense light cannot escape it.

Don’t fall into a Black Hole; choose your battles, and don’t waste your time fighting against stupidity and hatred. Instead, ignore it and give it nothing to work with.

Let your speech and godly actions be like water on those fires of hatred, and you will be the light that you need to be.