21st Century Flood



The story of the Great Flood in this week’s Torah reading is relevant today more than ever. Look around. People everywhere feel submerged in a flood of anxiety and the deluge shows no sign of abating.

We are anxious about our finances, our safety, our future, our country, our families, our children. And though we live in the Information Age, the latest technology only floods us with choices, but provides few solutions.

How can we prevent these raging waters from overwhelming us? How can we find shelter from the storm? How can we build an ark of refuge for the 21st century flood?

At this uncertain and stressful time, we read the Torah story of Noah’s ark with its many provocative questions and equally provocative answers for today. Among them:

  • Why did G-d choose water – the symbol of life, cleansing, blessings and knowledge – as the means of destruction? Why not fire?
  • What is so harmful about knowledge without integration?
  • What secret did Maimonides know that Rousseau and Russell could not grasp?
  • The rain did not need to turn into a flood; it could have been a rain that waters the fields. But no one listened. Are we listening today?
  • How can we find an ark of refuge from the modern-day flood of anxiety?
  • Once fortified by Torah’s guidance, how can we build a better world?




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