Re: Noah

David Rockove (drockove@juno.com)
Wed, 25 Dec 1996 13:01:17 EST

Rachel wrote:
>After re-reading Noah again I can't help but wonder why Hashem didn't give
>the people a chance to repent? He didn't even warn them, only Noah. Was
>repentance an option? Would Hashem have changed his mind if they repented?
>And if so, Why didn't Hashem tell the people about the Mabul?
>After the Mabul, when Hashem says He'll never destroy the earth like that
>again, I get the feeling He was sorry He did it. If He warned the people
>maybe it could have been avoided.

In response to Rachel's question about whether Hashem gave Noach's
generation time to repent, the answer is a most certain YES!
First, Hashem waited 10 generations from Adam until Noach to bring the
flood. The ills of Noach's generation, while the worst of all, were not
unique. All previous generations also sinned. Hashem waited 10
generations to give the world a chance to do teshuva (repent). Only then
did Hashem decide to bring the Mabul.
Second, even after Hashem decided to destroy the world, it took Noach 120
years to build the ark. Hashem wanted it to take so long so people would
hear about the impending doom and repent. The medrash tells us that Noach
was asked constantly "what are you building?" When he would tell the
world about the coming flood, they just laughed at him.

As we say in the Yom Kipper prayers, Hashem doesn't want to kill the
sinner, only to see them repent and return from their evil ways.