Thursday, October 25, 2007

Vayera: Noach And Lot

Reading the parsha, I noticed an interesting parallel between the stories of Noach and Lot.

Both Noach and Lot survive an instance of large scale destruction at the hand of God, with special Divine Providence saving them. Noach via the ark, Lot through leaving the city and also by staying in Tzoar.

But then, at the end of Bereshit 19:
ל וַיַּעַל לוֹט מִצּוֹעַר וַיֵּשֶׁב בָּהָר, וּשְׁתֵּי בְנֹתָיו עִמּוֹ, כִּי יָרֵא, לָשֶׁבֶת בְּצוֹעַר; וַיֵּשֶׁב, בַּמְּעָרָה--הוּא, וּשְׁתֵּי בְנֹתָיו. 30 And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar; and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.
לא וַתֹּאמֶר הַבְּכִירָה אֶל-הַצְּעִירָה, אָבִינוּ זָקֵן; וְאִישׁ אֵין בָּאָרֶץ לָבוֹא עָלֵינוּ, כְּדֶרֶךְ כָּל-הָאָרֶץ. 31 And the first-born said unto the younger: 'Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth.
לב לְכָה נַשְׁקֶה אֶת-אָבִינוּ יַיִן, וְנִשְׁכְּבָה עִמּוֹ; וּנְחַיֶּה מֵאָבִינוּ, זָרַע. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.'
לג וַתַּשְׁקֶיןָ אֶת-אֲבִיהֶן יַיִן, בַּלַּיְלָה הוּא; וַתָּבֹא הַבְּכִירָה וַתִּשְׁכַּב אֶת-אָבִיהָ, וְלֹא-יָדַע בְּשִׁכְבָהּ וּבְקוּמָהּ. 33 And they made their father drink wine that night. And the first-born went in, and lay with her father; and he knew not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
לד וַיְהִי, מִמָּחֳרָת, וַתֹּאמֶר הַבְּכִירָה אֶל-הַצְּעִירָה, הֵן-שָׁכַבְתִּי אֶמֶשׁ אֶת-אָבִי; נַשְׁקֶנּוּ יַיִן גַּם-הַלַּיְלָה, וּבֹאִי שִׁכְבִי עִמּוֹ, וּנְחַיֶּה מֵאָבִינוּ, זָרַע. 34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the first-born said unto the younger: 'Behold, I lay yesternight with my father. Let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.'
לה וַתַּשְׁקֶיןָ גַּם בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא, אֶת-אֲבִיהֶן--יָיִן; וַתָּקָם הַצְּעִירָה וַתִּשְׁכַּב עִמּוֹ, וְלֹא-יָדַע בְּשִׁכְבָהּ וּבְקֻמָהּ. 35 And they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose, and lay with him; and he knew not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
לו וַתַּהֲרֶיןָ שְׁתֵּי בְנוֹת-לוֹט, מֵאֲבִיהֶן. 36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.
לז וַתֵּלֶד הַבְּכִירָה בֵּן, וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ מוֹאָב: הוּא אֲבִי-מוֹאָב, עַד-הַיּוֹם. 37 And the first-born bore a son, and called his name Moab--the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.
לח וְהַצְּעִירָה גַם-הִוא יָלְדָה בֵּן, וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ בֶּן-עַמִּי: הוּא אֲבִי בְנֵי-עַמּוֹן, עַד-הַיּוֹם. {ס} 38 And the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi--the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.
Thus, he was made drunk and his two children (daughters) slept with him.

Compare/contrast to Noach, upon leaving the ark (in Bereshit 9), who became drunk, and whose children (at least two of them) covered their father's nakedness:
כ וַיָּחֶל נֹחַ, אִישׁ הָאֲדָמָה; וַיִּטַּע, כָּרֶם. 20 And Noah the husbandman began, and planted a vineyard.
כא וַיֵּשְׁתְּ מִן-הַיַּיִן, וַיִּשְׁכָּר; וַיִּתְגַּל, בְּתוֹךְ אָהֳלֹה. 21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
כב וַיַּרְא, חָם אֲבִי כְנַעַן, אֵת, עֶרְוַת אָבִיו; וַיַּגֵּד לִשְׁנֵי-אֶחָיו, בַּחוּץ. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
כג וַיִּקַּח שֵׁם וָיֶפֶת אֶת-הַשִּׂמְלָה, וַיָּשִׂימוּ עַל-שְׁכֶם שְׁנֵיהֶם, וַיֵּלְכוּ אֲחֹרַנִּית, וַיְכַסּוּ אֵת עֶרְוַת אֲבִיהֶם; וּפְנֵיהֶם, אֲחֹרַנִּית, וְעֶרְוַת אֲבִיהֶם, לֹא רָאוּ. 23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.

Also, contrast Noach's awareness of what happened, after recovering from his drunkenness, with Lot's obliviousness. By Noach:

כד וַיִּיקֶץ נֹחַ, מִיֵּינוֹ; וַיֵּדַע, אֵת אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה לוֹ בְּנוֹ הַקָּטָן. 24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his youngest son had done unto him.
כה וַיֹּאמֶר, אָרוּר כְּנָעַן: עֶבֶד עֲבָדִים, יִהְיֶה לְאֶחָיו. 25 And he said: Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

While by Lot:
לב לְכָה נַשְׁקֶה אֶת-אָבִינוּ יַיִן, וְנִשְׁכְּבָה עִמּוֹ; וּנְחַיֶּה מֵאָבִינוּ, זָרַע. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.'
לג וַתַּשְׁקֶיןָ אֶת-אֲבִיהֶן יַיִן, בַּלַּיְלָה הוּא; וַתָּבֹא הַבְּכִירָה וַתִּשְׁכַּב אֶת-אָבִיהָ, וְלֹא-יָדַע בְּשִׁכְבָהּ וּבְקוּמָהּ. 33 And they made their father drink wine that night. And the first-born went in, and lay with her father; and he knew not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
לד וַיְהִי, מִמָּחֳרָת, וַתֹּאמֶר הַבְּכִירָה אֶל-הַצְּעִירָה, הֵן-שָׁכַבְתִּי אֶמֶשׁ אֶת-אָבִי; נַשְׁקֶנּוּ יַיִן גַּם-הַלַּיְלָה, וּבֹאִי שִׁכְבִי עִמּוֹ, וּנְחַיֶּה מֵאָבִינוּ, זָרַע. 34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the first-born said unto the younger: 'Behold, I lay yesternight with my father. Let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.'
לה וַתַּשְׁקֶיןָ גַּם בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא, אֶת-אֲבִיהֶן--יָיִן; וַתָּקָם הַצְּעִירָה וַתִּשְׁכַּב עִמּוֹ, וְלֹא-יָדַע בְּשִׁכְבָהּ וּבְקֻמָהּ. 35 And they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose, and lay with him; and he knew not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
Also, the focus on repopulating the earth after the destruction. Thus, by Noach:
א וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹקִים, אֶת-נֹחַ וְאֶת-בָּנָיו; וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ, וּמִלְאוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ. 1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them: 'Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth.
And by Lot:
לא וַתֹּאמֶר הַבְּכִירָה אֶל-הַצְּעִירָה, אָבִינוּ זָקֵן; וְאִישׁ אֵין בָּאָרֶץ לָבוֹא עָלֵינוּ, כְּדֶרֶךְ כָּל-הָאָרֶץ. 31 And the first-born said unto the younger: 'Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth.
לב לְכָה נַשְׁקֶה אֶת-אָבִינוּ יַיִן, וְנִשְׁכְּבָה עִמּוֹ; וּנְחַיֶּה מֵאָבִינוּ, זָרַע. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.'

Nothing deep to say here. Rather, I just spotted this potential connection.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I spotted it too, but didn't post it on my blog because I too had nothing deep to say about it :)

smoo said...

Maybe to teach us that solving problems through destructive means (even if justly deserved) invariably leads to more problems than it solves.

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