Shabbat Noah (Gen. 6:9 – 11:32)

The tale of Noah, like all truly great stories, is simple and also deceptively complex. Along with the many layers of the story, there is – I discovered this year – actually TWO versions competing for your attention.

In one version, the world had become corrupt, but Noah “seemed good in God’s eyes”. Noah takes seven pairs of animals onto a boat of undetermined size or dimension, and it rains for 40 days and nights. At the end of that time, Noah sends out a dove 3 times to test for dry ground. Once on land, Noah makes a sacrifice to God.

In the other version Noah is righteous in his age and is said to have walked with God. Noah builds his ark to exact specifications, and brings just one pair of each kind of animal onto it with him and his family. The flood comes and lasts 150 days, until God remembers Noah. The waters recede and the ark lands on Mt. Ararat. Noah sends out a raven, which flew until the waters dried on the land.

These stories are far from separate as they appear in Torah however. Almost line by line they go back and forth in a kind of biblical tug of war; or perhaps they are meant to wash over us like waves coming in from two directions, bathing us in meaning and possibility.

SO… limited only by your creativity, please bring “interwoven foods”.

Not sure what this Torah portion is about? You can find a brief summary in The Edible Torah’s “Condensed Guide to the Weekly Torah Readings”. For more information on what The Edible Torah is all about, along with insight on how to set up a pot-luck Shabbat experience, check out “The Edible Torah Guide”.