This week we're in parashat Noach, which includes some terrific stories: the flood, the covenant of the rainbow, the tower of Babel. It also includes a fairly distressing story about Noah post-flood, getting drunk, being seen (or perhaps abused) by his youngest son, and cursing that son and his progeny.
That's the focal point of this week's d'var at Radical Torah. I look at clues to Noah's character, explore a few different interpretations of exactly what went on in Noah's tent, and relate the whole thing to the peculiar fact that God felt compelled to invite Noah out of the ark:
I can't help connecting all of this with Noah's reluctance to leave the ark. He built a structure to house a pivotal phase of his life, and when that phase had ended he found himself unready to venture out into the wide world. The ark might have seemed almost womblike, and Noah was in no hurry to be reborn. He knew that once he re-entered the world, the work of rebuilding humanity awaited him. Maybe it's no wonder he fell apart once the pressure of piloting the ark was gone...and once the realization that his work wasn't yet over had set in.
Read the whole thing here: Leaving the ark.