1. "These are the generations of Noah..." (Beresheet 6:9). Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion with the verses: "NOAH WAS A RIGHTEOUS MAN...", AND, "Your people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land forever; they shall be the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified" (Yeshayah 60:21). A WAS RAISED AFTER THE STATEMENT, "THESE ARE THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH," THE TEXT SHOULD HAVE CONTINUED, 'SHEM, HAM, AND JAPHETH.' IT SHOULD NOT HAVE ENDED WITH "NOAH WAS A RIGHTEOUS MAN." HE FURTHER STATED: Happy are Yisrael, who occupy themselves with the Torah and are familiar with its paths, through which they will merit the World to Come.
2. Come and behold! All Yisrael have a portion in the World to Come. Why is this so? Because they observe the covenant on which the world is established. This is as it is written in the verse: "If My covenant be not day and night, it were as if I had not appointed the ordinance of heaven and earth" (Yirmeyah 33:25), MEANING THAT YISRAEL KEEP IN HOLINESS THE COVENANT OF CIRCUMCISION BY NEVER DESECRATING IT WITH SPILLING OF SEMEN IN VAIN, OR BY SEXUAL IMMORAL BEHAVIOR. Therefore, Yisrael, who has accepted the covenant and observe it, have a portion in the World to Come.
3. Furthermore, as a result, they are called 'righteous.' We deduce from this that whoever observes the covenant upon which the world is established is called 'righteous.' How do we know this? We know this from Joseph, who observed the everlasting covenant BY NOT MATING WITH HIS MASTER'S WIFE, and was therefore called 'righteous.' And this is why it is written: "Your people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land forever." RABBI CHIYA THUS EXPLAINED THE VERSE, "NOAH WAS A RIGHTEOUS MAN," AS MEANING THAT NOAH OBSERVED THE COVENANT. FOR THIS REASON, HIS OFFSPRING HAVE CONTINUITY. THE VERSE THUS STATES: "THESE ARE THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH. NOAH WAS A RIGHTEOUS MAN;" BECAUSE HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS AND THE CONTINUITY OF HIS CHILDREN ARE CONNECTED.
4. Rabbi Elazar said that we have learned that whenever the term "These (Heb. eleh)" appears, it always annuls something previously mentioned. Now, it is written in the portion of Beresheet, "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted" (Beresheet 2:10). THIS MEANS THAT this river, WHICH IS YESOD, is drawn and comes out OF EDEN, WHICH IS CHOCHMAH, and enters the garden, WHICH IS MALCHUT, to water it from the supernal waters and bring it pleasure, making it produce fruit and seed. This gives satisfaction to everyone. The garden is pleased WITH ITS FRUIT, which brings pleasure to the river, BECAUSE IT MADE THE FRUIT. As it is written: "Because in it He rested" (Ibid. 3), MEANING "IN THE RIVER," WHICH IS YESOD. And it is also written: "And He rested on the seventh day" (Ibid. 2), MEANING IN THE GARDEN WHICH IS MALCHUT. AS RABBI ELAZAR EXPLAINED, THE WORD "RESTED" IS DERIVED FROM 'REST' AND 'SATISFACTION'. This is the secret of the matter OF THE RIVER THAT COMES OUT OF EDEN - MEANING YESOD, for it produces offspring, and no other SFIRAH CAN PRODUCE ANY FRUIT.
5. Come and behold: so it was with Noah below. Noah was the sacred covenant below, as YESOD, OR THE RIVER THAT COMES OUT OF EDEN, is above. And he is called "Man of the earth," BECAUSE THE EARTH REFERS TO MALCHUT AND YESOD IS MALCHUT'S MAN. So now we have learned a secret, that Noah needed the ark, WHICH ALLUDES TO MALCHUT, so he could unite with it and preserve the seed of the whole world. As it is written: "to keep seed alive" (Beresheet 7:3).
6. RABBI ELAZAR ASKS: What is the ark? AND HE ANSWERS: It is the ark, WHICH IS MALCHUT, of the covenant AFTER SHE RECEIVES YESOD, WHICH IS CALLED THE COVENANT WITHIN HER. And Noah and the ark below were like YESOD AND MALCHUT above, BECAUSE the covenant is mentioned in relation to Noah, as it is written: "And I will establish My Covenant with you" (Beresheet 6:18). As long as the covenant was not established in Noah, he did not enter the ark, as it is written: "And I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark." Only then does the ark become the Ark of the Covenant, MEANING THAT AFTER THE ARK RECEIVED AND ACCEPTED NOAH THE RIGHTEOUS, WHO IS THE COVENANT, IT BECAME THE ARK OF THE COVENANT.
7. So the ark and Noah are completely, as are MALCHUT AND THE COVENANT above. And because the covenant above brings forth offspring, so Noah begets generations. That is why IT IS WRITTEN: "These are the generations of Noah." THIS IS TO TEACH US THAT LIKE THE COVENANT ABOVE, WHICH IS YESOD OF ATZILUT, NOAH BORE EVERLASTING GENERATIONS, BECAUSE HE MERITED THE HOLY COVENANT, AND YESOD OF ATZILUT, WHICH IS CALLED THE COVENANT, RESTS UPON HIM.
8. "Noah was a righteous man." This is assuredly so, for his righteousness corresponds to YESOD above. That is why it is written: "the righteous are the foundation (Heb. Yesod) of the world" (Mishlei 10:25), and the earth is established upon him. He is the pillar that upholds the world, WHICH IS MALCHUT. THAT IS WHY HE IS CALLED THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD. And what is THIS YESOD? It is the Righteous. Thus, Noah is the righteous below, AMONG THE SOULS. AND HENCE IT IS WRITTEN: "NOAH WAS A RIGHTEOUS MAN" - TO TEACH US THAT THE WORLD IS MAINTAINED BY HIM.
9. And the secret of all this is revealed in the words, "And Noah walked with Elohim" (Beresheet 6:9), which mean to teach us that he never separated himself from Him, FROM MALCHUT. And he merited being called a righteous man on earth, as did the supernal Yesod, the foundation of the world.' He is the covenant of peace and the peace of the world. Thus, he is called "man of the earth," MEANING THE 'HUSBAND' OF THE EARTH. And that is why the verse is written: "Noah found favor in the eyes of Hashem" (Ibid. 8).
10. RABBI ELAZAR ASKS: What is the meaning of "his generations" IN THE VERSE "perfect in his generations?" AND HE REPLIES THAT they are his descendants, who issued from him, all of whom he perfected THROUGH HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS and by whom he was also perfected. IN OTHER WORDS, THE VERSE "PERFECT IN HIS GENERATIONS" HAS TWO MEANINGS: (A) HIS WHOLENESS PERFECTED ALL THE GENERATIONS THAT DESCENDED FROM HIM, AND (B) HE WAS PERFECTED BY THE GENERATIONS THAT DESCENDED FROM HIM. ANOTHER EXPLANATION IS THAT Perfect MEANS that he was born circumcised. As it is written: "Walk before Me and be perfect" (Beresheet 17:1), MEANING CIRCUMCISED. "In his generations" includes only Noah's descendants and not the generations in the world in general because they descended from him. IN OTHER WORDS, EVEN THOUGH THE VERSE MEANS THAT HE WAS PERFECT IN ALL THE GENERATIONS OF THE WORLD, IT SAYS "HIS GENERATIONS" TO INDICATE THAT ALL THE GENERATIONS OF THE WORLD ARE HIS, AS THEY ALL DESCEND FROM HIM.