Kol Eliyohu - Parshas Noach

How much food did Noach take into the ark?

(6,21) “And you shall take for yourself from every food that is eaten and gather it to yourself, and it shall be for you and for them for food.”

We can explain that the phrase “every food that is eaten” means the amount of food that can be swallowed at one time, which for humans is the volume of an egg as Chazal teach in Toras Kohanim on parshas Shemini and in the gemora Yoma 80a. This was the amount of food which Noach was instructed to bring into the ark for each meal that was to be eaten, and similarly he was to prepare for each creature the amount that they can swallow at one time for each meal. But because this amount would not have been enough to satiate them, the posuk concludes that “it shall be for you and for them for food” - Hashem will send His blessing that they will satiated from this small amount.

If not for this explanation we would have understood that Noach brought into the ark enough food to satisfy every creature, and if so, why does the Torah not mention the miracle that the ark held more than its natural volume? But now this problem is resolved.

What was remarkable about Haran dying in the lifetime of his father Terach?

(11,28) “And Haran died in the lifetime of Terach, his father, in the land of his birth in Ur Kasdim.”

The Zohar in the beginning of parshas Lech Lecha says: “Until that day it had never happened that a person died in the lifetime of his father”. But it is difficult to understand this statement, because Hevel died in the lifetime of his father Adam, Chanoch died in the lifetime of his father Yered, and Lemech died five years before the death of his father Mesushelach! However, we can explain that the teaching of the Zohar refers only to the period following the flood when it became like a new world, and so these cases are not a problem.

But even after that time, in the ten generations from Noach until Avrohom, it seems that several people died in the lifetime of their father. For example, it says that “Shem lived after he had begot Arpachshad 500 years”, and yet Arpachshad only lived 438 years, which means that he died 62 years before his father. Similarly, Ever lived 191 years after his son Peleg died, and Serug lived 82 years after his son Nachor died. Therefore, the statement of the Zohar is astonishing!

However, after examining closely these calculations we can find the pearl of wisdom in the words of the Zohar. Because it turns out that Haran died in the lifetime of Terach, before Arpachshad died in the lifetime of Shem, so that when Haran died, Arpachshad was still alive. And similarly Peleg and Nachor were still alive. Therefore, as the Zohar says, Haran was indeed the first one (after the flood) to die in the lifetime of his father!

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