Jewish Soul Journey

A LINGUISTIC JOURNEY ON NOACH’S ARK

                                   Have
you ever stopped to think about just how much in our lives depends upon (teivos)
words?  Although in theory, we could
manage the basic tasks of  survival
without them, it doesn’t take much imagination to appreciate that without
language we would probably function much as the animals do, but in a less
accomplished fashion, since we lack the instincts and physical prowess that
they were given.   Language is a
repository for human traditions and culture. Each nation uses words that convey
the collective cultural, historical and geographic experiences of its people
and their unique worldview.  These words,
however, are descriptive, but not creative.

(Lashon
Hakodesh) Hebrew
is a unique language in that it was the instrument with
which the Creator fashioned the creation. Thus the DNA,
the blueprint, of the created universe, exists within the letters and words of
the (Torah) Five Books of Moses.  
Consequently a word in Lashon Hakodesh not only describes the
subject, it literally creates it and continues to do so.  

When
(Hashem) G-d brought the flood waters to inundate the world, He directed Noach
to build a (teiva) Ark.  In Lashon Hakodesh, “ark” and “word”
are cognates, that is, they are both composed of the same letters.  This is not mere coincidence.  There is a profound spiritual message in that
equivalence.   Sheltered within that
“word-Ark”- were all of the precious letters and words which were going to
ensure the continued physical and most significantly the spiritual survival of
its hand picked human passengers and their ecosystem, the necessary animals,
birds and vegetation that made up their world.

This
“word-Ark” was constructed of certain specific dimensions. The dimensions of
the Ark were (shin)
three hundred (amos) cubits long; (nun) fifty (amos) cubits wide and (lamed)
thirty (amos) cubits high. The three letters, nun, shin and lamed,
which are embedded within these dimensions, form an(rashei teivos)
acronym for the three major motivators of human behavior – the (neshama)
soul, the (seichel) mind, and the (lev) heart. 

These
qualities are expressed through the personalities of the three sons of Noach
whose names were: Shem, Cham and Yafes. 
Shem personifies the (neshama) soul in all of us which ideally is
drawn to the spiritual and dedicated to learning and following the ways of
Hashem.  Cham personifies our (lev)
hearts through which the emotions are expressed.  Yafes personifies our (seichel )intellect whose
cultural and esthetic pursuits should ideally be directed at refining and adorning
a person’s good deeds and Torah study ( as it is written in the Zohar
Chadash
Part I  parashas Noach,
36a).

            Like the Ark – words, too, are a vehicle.  They are the repository for our thoughts,
ideas, dreams and hopes.  Just as the Ark had three
dimensions, length, width and height, language has three dimensions.  These dimensions in our verbal expression
provide the means for setting course and direction and maintaining balance and
stability in our lives.   The quality in
language which gives direction to our thoughts is our seichel,
our unique intelligence that assists us in navigating through life’s
challenges.  This attribute is expressed
through the Ark’s
shin amos length. The characteristic of language that provides
stability and guidance is our neshama which endow us with the
spiritual balance that keeps us at an even keel as we face adversity during our
voyage through the seas of this physical world. 
This attribute is expressed though the nun amos width of
the Ark. The
trait in language which provides the emotional coloration, the vitality and
enthusiasm is the lev – our heart.  This attribute is expressed through the lamed
amos
height of the Ark.

We
are all well aware of the power of speech which can either build or destroy
worlds.   When Shem, our neshoma, takes
the lead in our lives and focuses us upon the service of Hashem, and Yafes, our
minds which supplies the intellectual support for that endeavor and in
conjunction with Cham, our hearts providing the inspiration, we are able to
produce spiritually empowered  (siach)
speech spelled out in Loshen HaKodesh – the Sin of Sham,
the Yud of Yafes and the Ches of Cham
which becomes the vehicle for the Torah directed communication of ideas that
shapes and sustains the world.

             When Noach emerged from the
Ark, he
offered (korbano) sacrifices, to praise and thank Hashem.  Today, we accomplish this through our words
of (tefilla) prayer.  Indeed, when
we perform the (mitzvos) commandments and make them the primary focus of our
lives, they become the guiding light over all aspects of our neshama,
thereby transforming our siach, speech, into a sincere appeal for our
long awaited (Moshiach) true redeemer.  Moshiach spelled in the order of mem, shin,
yud, ches
alludes to the perfection of all mankind through our Mitzvos
guiding our neshamosShem – to its fulfillment, then directing
our intellect – Yafes to its fullest potential and thereby guiding our
heart – Cham – to its fullest potential. This will be one of the powers
of healing and rectification that the Moshiach will bring to the world.                                     

                                                            
   



              May we all fill our (teivos)
Arks
with (kedusha) holiness so that they can serve as a sanctuary
for us in our voyage through this world thereby meriting to complete our
passage through the storms of (galus) exile safely returning us to our
home port of final (geula) redemption soon in our days.

All articles appearing on this blog are copyrighted by Rabbi Yehoshua Binyamin Falk. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to share/download/copy this information as long as it is accompanied by the copyright. Separately authored/copyrighted materia

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