Jewish Soul Journey

A LINGUISTIC JOURNEY ON (NOACH’S) NOAH’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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