Genesis chapter nine begins with God Blessing Noah and his sons. Holy Scripture says, ‘And He, God וַיְבָרֶךְ Vah Yih Vaw Raw Kih Blessed everything from Aleph to Tav of Noah and everything from Aleph to Tav of Noah’s sons.’ There were no favorites. Noah and his sons were equally Blessed by God. What does it mean to be blessed? It means God has Bestowed Mazel / Luck on us. We are successful despite ourselves. Luck is a special gift from God! Luck is a special benefit.
Let’s pause for a moment to ponder, what it was like to have a 360 degree Blessing from God. What was it like to be blessed in every direction of life? To help us better understand the extent of God’s Blessing let’s look at Abraham.
Holy Scripture 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.’
Do you remember our discussion at the beginning of our exploration of Genesis? I shared about the most frequently used Word in The Bible. את Eht means everything from א Aleph The first Letter of The Aleph Bet to ת Tav The last Letter of The Aleph Bet is included. Again, 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
After Blessing Noah and his sons with everything from Aleph to Tav The Lord Instructs them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. That is where things become dicey! The Torah Informs us that Noah did not have any more children. The earth was populated through Noah’s three sons.
Genesis 9.18 – 19
And the sons of Noah, who went out of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth; and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah, and from them was the whole earth populated.
What happened to Noah? Our sages teach Ham Emasculated His father to prevent him from having a fourth son.
And Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his younger son had done to him.
Our sages teach that procreation is one of The Mitzvot of The Torah. When Ham emasculated his father he prevented him from having a fourth son. The Torah does not record Noah as having more children. So as a result of being a emasculated Noah curses Canaan, Ham’s fourth son. Noah cursed Canaan because he could not curse Ham because God blessed Ham. Dear Ones, the point is no one can curse what God has blessed. Ham was the recipient of a 360° blessing. Numbers shares the story of the false prophet Balaam trying to curse The People of Israel. Balaam exclaimed, ‘How shall I curse, he whom God has not cursed? How shall I defy, he whom The Lord has not defied?’ Numbers 23.8 Later Balaam explained to king Balak that God is not a man, that he should lie; nor the son of man, that he should repent. Has He Said, and shall He not Do it? or has He spoken, and shall He not Make it good? Behold, I have received a Command to bless; and He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.’ Numbers 23.19 – 20 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.
Balaam and Noah understood the spirituality of God’s Blessing. Balaam was a false prophet and Noah was a righteous prophet who altered the course of humankind. Curses are placed on those who violate the Mitzvot of The Torah. Those of us who desire to have a happy blessed life would be wise to observe The Commands of The Torah.
May we do our best to stay within Torah’s Guidelines of righteous living. May we help others, May we bring peace and healing to our world. May this coming Sabbath and every Sabbath be a blessed Day.
Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk