Earlier this evening Rabbi Frand delivered a beautiful and fitting eulogy for Rabbi Naftoli Neuberger ZTL, the Menahel of Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore who was niftar on Chol HaMoed. Rabbi Frand extolled Rabbi Neuberger’s extraordinary sense of responsibility for all Jews – Rabbi Neuberger was legendary in not resting until he knew that every detail necessary for the success of an undertaking was covered to the extent feasible – and illustrated his point with a thought on the parsha in the name of Reb Simcha Zissel Brodye.
Noach did not leave the ark until he was commanded by HKBH to do so. (8:15-18) If he was to wait for HKBH’s command why, earlier, did Noach bother sending the raven and the dove to see if the land was dry enough for living (8:7-13)? He should simply have waited for the command.
Noach was charged with saving humanity (his family) and the animals and birds. He carried this extraordinary responsibility squarely on his shoulders. Being responsible for something means seeing to every last detail to be sure the intended goal is realized to the full extent within one’s control. Part and parcel of Noach being responsible for every being’s survival was that he had to investigate whether the land was dry enough to be inhabited. This is why he sent the birds. The fact that he would not be leaving prior to HKBH’s command did not mitigate from his achrayus to inquire whether conditions were appropriate for those in his charge.
Gal Einai, Copyright © 2006 by Gedalia Litke and Torah.org.