By Shalom Olensky
This week in the Torah:
When the Earth is completely dry after the flood, G-d tells Noah, “Leave the Ark. You, your wife, your sons, with their wives…All the animals, take them out with you….” (Genesis 8:16-17)
Why did G-d have to tell Noah and family, etc., to leave the Ark??
In the Ark, there reigned a miraculous atmosphere, similar to Moshiach’s times, when animals will be peaceful instead of preying. The animals miraculously marched into the Ark and coexisted peacefully. If they were to return to the outside, things would return to normalcy and preying animals would return to their natural instincts. So, Noah didn’t want to leave such a state of G-dly revelation.
Noah was commanded by G-d to leave, and return with his family and all the animals to the regular atmosphere outside the peaceful Ark. Why? The purpose of returning to the land is to begin inhabiting it by having children and thereby revealing an even greater G‑dly light; a light which can be seen only in reproduction, wherein a species, which by nature is limited, can reveal Infinity latent in creation, in the continuous reproduction from generation to generation ad infinitum.
Although at first, in the instance of a spiritual “flood” – a threatening bombardment of physical worries, one must “Enter the Ark”, i.e. invest oneself totally in the Ark represented in the words of Torah and Prayer, and this will save him from the “flood,” nevertheless, one must realize that eventually the Divine intent is for him to eventually leave this space of fully Divine atmosphere, and go out to the outside and bring the G-dly light to the world.
Have children. Noah thought that there might, G-d forbid, be another catastrophe destroying humanity and he was therefore reluctant to invest himself in producing progeny. However, G-d promised never to destroy the world and its inhabitants again. But G-d did not promise explicitly that all his progeny would be righteous. Yet, Noah did not worry about that, teaching us to do what G-d wants, to have the children and to let G‑d take care of the rest.” Leave the Ark and be fruitful and multiply” is G-d’s command. How will I raise them? Where will I get the strength needed for this? G-d, who individually provides for everyone’s needs, will open a new channel of blessing for the new child. In the merit of fulfilling G-d’s command, and trusting in Him for one’s children’s wellbeing, G-d will, in turn, realize one’s hopes for one’s children.
(Based on Likuttei Sichos Vol. 25, Noach)