Perashat NoahFriday, October 24, 2014
The French like to say, ”Après moi, le déluge”, meaning ”After me, the flood”. The usual use of this expression happens when a person does not care about what will take place after one leaves; ”There may be a flood after one leaves, who cares?”. It is certainly a selfish attitude that demostrates a lack of care about anyone else except oneself. The phrase is used by despots, as well as by leaders who do not care about their country, city, village, company or institution after they leave it. However, it is also used by private people in a careless attitude toward others.
There is yet another possible usage to this French saying. This would mean ”The flood is behind me”, meaning, ”I don’t have to worry about anythig anymore, since everything bad is behind me. I don’t care about the rest.” Still, this usage also shows a selfish and careless attitude about the present and the future, and about others.
This week we read Perashat Noah. The Perasha is famous because it speaks about the Flood that drowned the entire planet Earth only ten generations after Adam. The people on Earth had become corrupt! Humanity was reduced to selfishness, carelessness, disrespectfulness, depravity and deviance. Unity did not exist. There was a complete lack of respect to human, and even animal, life. The moral compass of society was completely off; right was considered wrong, and wrong was considered right. Good was considered bad and bad was considered good. Victims were to blame and victimizers were to applaud. And no one opened his mouth to rebuke the lies and speak the truth. The silent majority decided to live their lives without protesting the evil around them. As long as evil did not touch them directly, they could not care less about the rest of humanity.
”The A-mighty saw that the wickedness of Man was great, and that every thought in their heart was but evil always, so He reconsidered having created mankind on Earth and He had sadness and said : I will blot out mankind from the face of the Earth.”
As I look at the world around me, I see so many of the same infractions that the generation of the Flood was guilty for. Moral decadence, confusing right from wrong, good with evil, calling terrorists ”freedom fighters”, anti-Semitic Opera as Art, and so many more tragic realities. On the one hand, Israel and the Jews are victims and yet they are called the aggressors; on the other hand, a hateful and descrimiatory faith is called pure and peaceful. Many say ”Après moi le déluge”, with a careless and selfish attitude. And yet others, thinking that the Flood is certainly behind us, feel we have nothing to worry about.
I am afraid with the present ingredients the world finds itself living with now, holds that the Flood is in front of us, and we ought to be very worried about the direction our civilization is going. Although G-d did promise that there will never be another flood, but He didn’t promise that other things may not come.
The choice is ours. It is up to us to change the direction in which this world is going.
Jun 2 2020
Sivan 10 5780