9 Indescribable Blessings
Genesis chapter nine begins with God Blessing Noach and his sons. Holy Scripture says, ‘And He, God וַיְבָרֶךְ Vah Yih Vaw Raw Kih Blessed everything from א Aleph to ת Tav of Noach and everything from א Aleph to ת Tav of Noach’s sons.’ Holy Scripture is informing us that they were entirely blessed. There were no favorites. God Blessed Noach and his sons equally. What does it mean to be blessed? It means God has Bestowed Mazel / Luck on us. We are successful despite ourselves.
Let’s pause to ponder what it was like to have a 360 degree of Blessing from God. What is it like to be blessed in every direction? Let’s look at Abraham. (Genesis 12.3) quotes The Lord Speaking to Abram, ‘And I will Bless those who bless you, [plural] and curse him/her [singular] who curses you; and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.’ Later, after the Akeidah when Abraham was 140 years of age (Genesis 24.1) says, ‘And Abraham was old and well advanced in age, and The Lord had Blessed Abraham with everything from Aleph to Tav in all things.’ Abraham was entirely blessed.
Do you remember our discussion at the beginning of (Genesis?) I shared the most frequently used Word in Ha Tanakh [The Hebrew Scriptures]. אתEht means everything between א Aleph The first Letter of The Aleph Bet toת Tav The last Letter of The Aleph Bet is included. Another way of expressing that is, Abraham was entirely Blessed. The Word אֵת Eth is an emphatic way of saying ‘Everything is included’ from the Letter Aleph to The Letter Tav. Nothing is excluded. Rashi says Eht implies additional facts or things. Aryeh Kaplan The Bahir (Lanham, Maryland, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers) 1st edition, 2004 pp 108, 109 – Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and Rabbi Nosson Scherman, The Artscroll Tanach Series – Bereishis Vol. I(b)(Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. 3rd Impression, 1989) p142 – Rabbi Avrohom Davis, The Mesudah Chumash A New Linear Translation Bereishis (Hoboken New Jersey, KTVA Publishing House, Inc., 1991) p 42
Good Versus Evil
The Gematria for the letter ד Dalet is four. The shape of the letter Dalet is like an open door, a passage through which one may journey. דָלֶת Dalet is spelled ד – Dalet – ל – Lamid ת – Tav. דָלֶת Dalet means door. (Proverbs 13.3) says, ‘He/She who guards his/her mouth keeps his/her life; but he/she who opens wide his / her lips shall have destruction.’
The first two letters of Dalet spell דַל Dahl, meaning – poor, crushed, oppressed. (Genesis 9) concludes with, ‘And Noach lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. And all the days of Noach were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died.’ The relationship between Noach and the Dalet is four.
• Cham prevented Noach from having a fourth son.
• Cham closed the door on Noach walking with God.
• Cham prevented Noach from continuing as a Priest
• Cham prevented Noach from presenting Offerings to God.
Cham used his blessing to disrupt the good in our world. Noach cursed Cham’s son Canaan to stop the evil in our world.
Midrash Bereishit Rabba [siman 7] informs us some about the Spiritual battle between the forces of good and evil. When Noach sobered from being intoxicated by wine, he knew what his youngest son, his worthless son, had done to him, and he said, ‘CURSED BE CANAAN even though it was Cham who sinned. Yet, Canaan, his son, was cursed!
Rabbi Judah and Rabbi Nehemiah shared their views. Rabbi Judah said that (Genesis 9.1) says, ‘God Blessed Noach and his sons.’ His point was, ‘One cannot curse what God has Blessed!’ Therefore Noach cursed Canaan, the fourth son of Cham. Rabbi Nehemiah commented, ‘It was Canaan who saw it [in the first place] and informed them. Therefore the curse is attached to him, [the one] who did wrong.’ Rabbi Berekiah said that Noach grieved while living in the Tava because he did not have a young son to wait on him. Noach expressed his thoughts, ‘When I go out from the Tava, I will beget a young son [a fourth son] who can care for me. Then the evil Cham emasculates his father. Noach exclaimed, ‘You have prevented me from begetting a young son to serve me; therefore, that man [your fourth son] will be a servant to his brethren!’ Rabbi Huna said in Rabbi Joseph’s name that Noach said, ‘You have prevented me from begetting my fourth son. Therefore I curse your fourth son.’
After Blessing Noach and his sons with everything from Aleph to Tav, The Lord Instructs them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. Things became dicey because Noach did not have any more children. Each of us is a descendant of Noach and his three sons.
(Genesis 9.18 – 19) says, ‘And the sons of Noach, who went out of the ark, were Shem, Cham, and Japheth; and Cham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noach, and from them was the whole earth populated.
What happened to Noach? Our sages teach Cham Emasculated His father to prevent him from having a fourth son.
And Noach awoke from his wine and knew what his younger son had done to him.
Procreation is one of The Mitzvot of Ha Torah. When Cham emasculated his father, he prevented him from having a fourth son. The Torah does not record Noach as having more children. So, as a result of being emasculated, Noach curses Canaan, Cham’s fourth son. Noach cursed Canaan because he could not curse Cham. After all, God Blessed Cham.Study Partners, the point is no one can curse what God has Blessed. Cham was the recipient of a 360° blessing.
Remember Balaam who tried to curse The People of Israel. In (Numbers 23.8) Balaam exclaimed, ‘How shall I curse, he whom God has not cursed? How shall I defy, he whom The Lord has not defied?’ (Numbers 23.20) says, ‘Behold, I have received a Command to bless; and He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.’
Many covet the blessing of God. That is understandable! Each of us desires favor from The Lord. Favor from the Lord, i.e. Blessings are bestowed upon the faithful who Observe His Commands.
The Priesthood is another Mitzvot of Ha Torah. Once Noach was emasculated, he could no longer serve as Priest, let alone the High Priest. Emasculation ended Noach’s ability to serve God as in the past. His body was scared. He could not continue his service as a Priest. Shem/Melchizedek – [King of Righteousness] became the Priest of God. He lived near the Holy Altar in Jerusalem. (Deuteronomy 23.2) states, ‘He who is wounded in the testicles, or has his male member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord.’ Leviticus 21.17) says, ‘Speak to Aaron, saying, Whoever he is of your seed in their generations who has any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.’
Noach understood the spirituality of God’s Blessing. Noach was righteous. May we follow the Guidelines of righteous living. May we help others and bring peace and healing to our world. May this coming Sabbath and every Sabbath be a blessed Day.
Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk