BAC- Noah – 10 21 23
In looking through my files on this week’s parsha, Parshat Noach, I
came across an article from one of my long-time Rabbinical teachers,
Rabbi Edwin Farber, that he penned in 2014, after innocents were being
beheaded on TV by ISIS and after Israelis had been attacked and several
In his article, he talked about a colleague of his who asked a question of
a group of High School students from his Shul. He gave these students a
Suppose there was an island where human sacrifice was the norm. It was
the accepted practice by everybody, even the victims.
Suppose you were to take over that island, and you had the power to put
a stop to such sacrifices. Should you do so?
Now here’s the shocker. They were unanimous in their response. They
all said that they would not stop it because it is the way they practice
their religion and we cannot judge their religion just as we don’t want
them to judge our religion. All of the teens agreed that we have no right
to stop people from killing innocent people if that is their religion,
whether we agree or not.
This is what we call moral relativism and it is what our next generation
is being taught. “I have no right to say that anything is right or wrong. It
may be wrong for me in my particular culture but in another culture, it
may be right.
Who am I to judge?” And that will be reinforced when they go to the
university campuses and listen to professors tell them that all values are
relative to particular cultures. There are no absolutes.
But this is a very dangerous idea. Imagine someone saying, “From our
point of view Hitler was wrong. But in his culture he was right.”
Or, “I may think murder is wrong, stealing is wrong but others may
think it is right. Who am I to judge?”
Could you imagine justifying the beheadings we have seen at the hand
of ISIS or the terror attack in Israel this week that killed a 3-month-old or
the terror attack in Ottawa that cost a Canadian soldier his life? Well – as
we all know many do, in fact, justify these attacks as legitimate forms of
That is why this week’s parsha is especially important at this time.
Parshat Noach teaches that the deliberate murder of innocents is wrong
in every culture.
It is an absolute wrong and any culture that condones it is an evil culture.
The laws of Noah, which include this prohibition of the killing of
innocents apply to all of humanity, regardless of culture or ethnicity.
Remember the sign of the covenant between God and Noah? It was the
rainbow, which as Rabbi Michael Gold points out is a natural
phenomenon where many colors join together as one. This teaches that
the covenant joins people of all races.
God gave Noah a series of laws, the most basic being the prohibition of
bloodshed. Whoever deliberately kills their fellow human being deserves
to be put to death. This is for every human being of every race, ethnicity
, and culture for all humanity has been created in the image of God.
The conclusion of the Noah story is that the murder of innocents is wrong. It
does not matter if that murder is being carried out by people in the west
or the East – whether it is Arab terrorists, Muslim fundamentalists or
people on an island carrying out human sacrifice.
The deliberate taking of a human life is immoral and those who have the
power to stop it – must do so.
And if we have the ability to put an end to the taking of innocent life –
that is our obligation.
Moral relativism is very dangerous and a refusal to categorically declare
murder as wrong and to accept the responsibility of fighting against such
immorality will lead the world to a disaster which, although will not
reach the dimensions of Noah’s flood, will still be extremely painful.
My friends, I find Rabbi Farber’s words true today as much as they were
Our liberal arts colleges, in my humble opinion, are doing a great
disservice to the world by encouraging moral relativism. If Black Lives
Matter can align itself with barbaric terrorists who dismember innocent
babies, then they should have no place on an American College Campus.
Wrong is wrong.
No other Arab country in the region wants to absorb these two million
Palestinians from Gaza. Why is that? Because they will kill anyone
who doesn’t follow their idea of religion. They killed Anwar Sadat for
trying to have his country live in peace with Israel. That’s why they
don’t want these Palestinians today.
Having all those Jew haters in their territory could endanger the peace
treaty between Egypt and Israel that came after so much hardship and
loss of life.
Egypt is doing better since it made peace with Israel. Jordan is doing
better since it made peace with Israel. Trade has increased. Sharing of
technology has increased. The lives of their citizens have greatly
improved. These countries don’t want to live in a constant state of
Peace is better than war. Giving up some land for a peace treaty is better
as long as the participants become new allies.
Leaving a better life to our children than we had through endless wars –
Our Parsha states Noah was a righteous man in his generation.
Righteousness begins with “right”. We all must know right from wrong.
Those that do wrong in society, have to be eliminated from society for
the safety of the vast majority. That’s why we have prisons…so their
evil cannot harm the rest of us.
What Hamas stands for is pure evil. There is no relative morality to
anything about them. They need to be cut off from the rest of us who
live by a basic code of right and wrong!