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  • Writer's pictureRabbi David Paskin

Simply Righteous

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From Rabbi David

This week's Torah portion begins by telling us that:

נֹחַ אִישׁ צַדִּיק תָּמִים

Noah was a righteous and pure man in his generation. That's why he was saved when the rest of the world was destroyed for its corruption and wickedness.

If you remember the four children from the Passover Seder, one of these Hebrew words describing Noah may sound familiar. The four children are the חכם (wise), רשע (wicked), תם (simple) and שאינו יודע לשאול (one who doesn't know how to ask.) Do you see it?

The child often understood to be "simple" is called, in Hebrew, תם (tam) - the same word that's used in reference to Noah - תמים (tamim). We usually translate תמים regarding Noah as "pure" or "innocent" but what if we were to translate it here as we do in the Haggadah as "simple". Noah wasn't anything all that special but he was "simply righteous" and that was enough.

In a world gone mad, perhaps we can just focus on being "simply righteous" and that will be enough.

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