Vayikra: Chapter 31

The waters of Noah


This section is essentially about peace, and about how it is brought to the world above and the world below through the righteous. The righteous man must argue on behalf of the whole world when God proposes to destroy it, even if he is informed that he himself will be saved. Moses is our model for this, rather than Noah, who did not beg for mercy for the world. In this sense "the waters of Noah" were Noah's fault; it was due to him that all the people in the world died. But it was also due to Noah that the land endured after the earlier generations had corrupted it.