Category Archives: Bereshit_9:8-9:17

Leading Idea: Establishing, remembering, and remembering in the future

In Verses 9:8-17 God turns his attention from Noah to himself. “As for me…”  Within this passage he reflects on the act of establishing a covenant and remembering it – that is maintaining a covenant (keeping it over time), and the intention to keep it in the future (I will remember).  God also reflects on the ‘sign’ (אות) , or rainbow, as representing the covenant (as a sign of the covenant), as a way of showing us his intentions (it stands as a sign between me and you), and as a way of reminding himself of his covenant. These exercises and discussion plans explore these subtle yet very powerful distinctions.

Drama Activity – אות – lowerPS- upperPS

Drama Activities

Option 1:

Divide into small groups – half the groups will work with the Exodus text (Shemot 12:13) and half the groups with the in the rainbow text – they should create a skit that shows what they think putting the sign (אות) up is about (putting it on the door, in the sky)  in light of their discussion.

 

Option 2:

Divide into small groups – create a skit that shows how you understand the rainbow text in light of some of the distinctions you explored in your community of inquiry.

Activity: Handmade Midrash upper PS-HS

 Activity: Hand-Torn Midrash:

Make a ‘torn-paper Midrash’that draws on how you understand the term אות in light of one of the distinctions you explored in your community of inquiry .

 

Note:

Tearing paper to make collages that express our interpretation of text was developed by Jo Milgrom.  Collages can be abstract or representational, they might use different coloured papers to convey emotions and movement…. in short, anything goes as long as one basic rule is observed – the paper cannot be cut. Some people like to glue the end product down, others leave it without any adhesive. It is up to you. A variety of papers  can be used, including printed paper.

The meaning of ‘אות’ in the Torah

Inter-textual exploration

Using a Tanach, Look up the following references. Is there any difference between the meaning of  ( אות ) in these passages? What do you think the function of the ( אות ) is in each case?  (to show? tell? remind? something else?)

  • Bereshit 4:15  (Cain and Abel)
  • Shemot 31:13 (Shabbat)
  • Shemot  31: 17 (Shabbat)
  • Shemot  8:18-19  (Plagues)
  • Shemot 12:13 (Blood on the doorposts)

Exercise: Showing and Reminding

What is the difference between…

  • Putting a sign on the door to show visitors that they can’t enter without knocking.
  • Putting a sign on the door to remind visitors that they can’t enter without knocking.
  • Putting a sign on the door to remind yourself that you shouldn’t let visitors in unless they have knocked on the door first.

When might you need to post each of these signs?

Exercise: Setting something up vs. Maintaining it

 

Exercise: Establishing something and Maintaining it

Is there a difference between these things, if so, what is the difference?

  • Setting up (establishing) a rule that says “do not enter the room without knocking”
  • Maintaining the rule the says “do not enter the room without knocking”
  • Forming (Establishing) a friendship
  • Maintaining that person as a friend
  • Forming (Establishing) a reputation for fairness
  • Maintaining a reputation for fairness

Leading Idea: Setting Up and Maintaining

Leading Idea: Setting Up and Maintaining

Establishing (מֵקִים ), remembering (לִזְכֹּר) and remembering in the future (זָכַרְתִּי)
In Verses 9:8-17 God turns his attention from Noah to himself. “As for me…”  Within this passage he reflects on the act of setting up or establishing a covenant and remembering it – that is maintaining a covenant (keeping it over time), and the intention to keep it in the future (I will remember).

God also reflects on the ‘sign’ (אות) , or rainbow, as representing the covenant (as a sign of the covenant), as a way of showing us of his intentions (it stands as a sign between me and you), and as a way of reminding himself of his covenant. These exercises and discussion plans explore these subtle yet very powerful distinctions.

Noach (Bereshit-9:8-9:17) – בְּרֵאשִׁית

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Noach (Bereshit 9:8 -9:17) – בְּרֵאשִׁית

8 And God said to Noach, and to his sons with him, saying: ח  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים אֶל-נֹחַ, וְאֶל-בָּנָיו אִתּוֹ לֵאמֹר.
9 ‘As for Me, here, I now set up [establish] my covenant with you, and with your seed [children] after you; ט  וַאֲנִי, הִנְנִי מֵקִים אֶת-בְּרִיתִי אִתְּכֶם, וְאֶת-זַרְעֲכֶם, אַחֲרֵיכֶם.
10 and with all living creatures that are with you, the fowl, herd-animals, and all the wildlife of the earth with you;  with all those going out of the Ark, of all the living things on the earth.

י  וְאֵת כָּל-נֶפֶשׁ הַחַיָּה אֲשֶׁר אִתְּכֶם, בָּעוֹף בַּבְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל-חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ אִתְּכֶם; מִכֹּל יֹצְאֵי הַתֵּבָה, לְכֹל חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ.

11  I will establish my covenant with you; never again shall all flesh be cut off again by waters of a flood; never again shall there be a flood, to destroy the earth!

יא  וַהֲקִמֹתִי אֶת-בְּרִיתִי אִתְּכֶם, וְלֹא-יִכָּרֵת כָּל-בָּשָׂר עוֹד מִמֵּי הַמַּבּוּל; וְלֹא-יִהְיֶה עוֹד מַבּוּל, לְשַׁחֵת הָאָרֶץ.

12 And God said: ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I set between me and you and all living creatures that are with you, for all ages to come:

יב  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, זֹאת אוֹת-הַבְּרִית אֲשֶׁר-אֲנִי נֹתֵן בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵיכֶם, וּבֵין כָּל-נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה, אֲשֶׁר אִתְּכֶם–לְדֹרֹת, עוֹלָם.

13 My bow, I set in the cloud, so that it shall serve as a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.

יג  אֶת-קַשְׁתִּי, נָתַתִּי בֶּעָנָן; וְהָיְתָה לְאוֹת בְּרִית, בֵּינִי וּבֵין הָאָרֶץ.

14 And when I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow is seen, in the clouds

יד  וְהָיָה, בְּעַנְנִי עָנָן עַל-הָאָרֶץ, וְנִרְאֲתָה הַקֶּשֶׁת, בֶּעָנָן.

15  I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and all living creatures of all flesh; so the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

טו  וְזָכַרְתִּי אֶת-בְּרִיתִי, אֲשֶׁר בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵיכֶם, וּבֵין כָּל-נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה, בְּכָל-בָּשָׂר; וְלֹא-יִהְיֶה עוֹד הַמַּיִם לְמַבּוּל, לְשַׁחֵת כָּל-בָּשָׂר.

16 When the bow will be, in the cloud; I will see it, and remember the covenant between God and all living creatures – all flesh that is on the earth

טז  וְהָיְתָה הַקֶּשֶׁת, בֶּעָנָן; וּרְאִיתִיהָ, לִזְכֹּר בְּרִית עוֹלָם, בֵּין אֱלֹהִים, וּבֵין כָּל-נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה בְּכָל-בָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁר עַל-הָאָרֶץ.

17 And God said to Noach: ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.’

יז  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, אֶל-נֹחַ:  זֹאת אוֹת-הַבְּרִית, אֲשֶׁר הֲקִמֹתִי, בֵּינִי, וּבֵין כָּל-בָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁר עַל-הָאָרֶץ.

18 And the sons of Noach, that went out from the Ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth; and Ham is the father of Canaan.

יח  וַיִּהְיוּ בְנֵי-נֹחַ, הַיֹּצְאִים מִן-הַתֵּבָה–שֵׁם, וְחָם וָיָפֶת; וְחָם, הוּא אֲבִי כְנָעַן.