A Life Lesson Parshat Noach: Be Kind to the Messenger
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Noach(Genesis 6:9-11:32)

Be Kind to the Messenger

When God brought the flood onto the Earth, Noah and his family were the only human inhabitants whom God had spared. After being at sea for several months, Noah needed to know whether or not the flood had ended and if he would be able to return to dry land. In order to find out, Noah set free a dove from the Ark...

"...to see whether the waters had subsided from the face of the ground. But the dove could not find a resting place for the sole of its foot, and it returned to him to the Ark, for the water was upon the surface of all the earth. So he put forth his hand, and took it, and brought it to him to the Ark." (Genesis 8:8-9)


A LIFE LESSON

Noah and his family were out at sea for many months and were certainly eager to return to dry land. Clearly, when Noah sent out the dove on its mission, he was certainly hopeful that the dove would not come back to the ark - signaling an "all clear" for Noah and his family to return.

But when the dove did in fact come back to the Ark, Noah wasn't angry at the dove. Nor did he express to the dove his obvious disappointment at not being able to return to dry land. Nor did he yell at the messenger about his frustration at not even knowing when he and his family would be able to return. Noah did none of this. Rather, when Noah saw the dove on its way back to the ark, he simply "put forth his hand, and took it, and brought it to him to the ark."

Innocent messengers are constantly delivering news of one sort or another to us. Unfortunately, we almost always show some sort of verbal or nonverbal frustration toward anyone who delivers unwelcome news. Even though the messenger isn't the cause of the news he's delivering, he's nonetheless treated as though he is.

But Noah went even beyond just fighting his temptation of not expressing his obvious disappointment to the dove. He went to the other end of human expression and actually embraced the messenger when he gently put forth his hand, and took it, and brought it to him to the ark.

Noah's actions made the messenger only too willing to repeat its mission a week later and this time the dove delivered great news. Whenever anyone gives you unpleasant news, fight the urge to get upset with the person and make him feel bad. Even try to show him some sort of appreciation. Doing this will make an enormous difference in your personal interactions since people will start seeing you as someone who's consistently approachable, receptive, and caring. And this will lead people to actually seek you out and be eager to share with you the most wonderful and pleasant news.

Published: October 29, 2005

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Visitor Comments: 15

(14) Anonymous, October 19, 2014 2:05 PM

Great!

This is great! Thank you so much for posting it!

(13) jane, September 29, 2013 8:20 PM

great

Thank you for your wisdom.

(12) Don R., October 27, 2011 1:51 PM

Thanks!

Thanks for a most delightful and informative message. God bless you!

(11) Anonymous, October 24, 2011 9:41 PM

but the newscasters GENERALLY who deliver bad news are not to berespected because they feed on peple's fears and uncertainties...

(10) Anonymous, November 1, 2008 8:26 PM

All Messangers are from G-d and must be wecomed as such.

This passage and all the explanations given are very encouraging. The idea of welcoming a messenger even when he or she comes with bad news has deep spiritual implications as well. This saying extends even to notably negative situations that may befall us. The negative things that happen to us are some times (if not all the times) the unseen messenger delivering it back to us in our own coin. Kabala teaches that we are responsible for all that befalls us (the law of cause and effect). Therefore, there is no need to get angry or depressed or point accusing fingers at every one else except us. Such difficult times or situations in our lives may be signaling a need in our lives. It could be signaling a kind of detachment or distancing of our selves from Hashem or even the absence of His presence with us. Therefore it is important to always remember that negative situations we may be facing are simply messengers and the need for sober reflection on our ways. They are a call for a sober reflection on our interpersonal relationships with our friends and enemies (if you have any). They are a call for us to take a closer look at our walk with Hashem. Applying this principal of seeing every negative situation as a messenger from Hashem has personally helped me to remain calm and confident even in the face of worst situations, thereby placing me in a better state to handle the situation Hashem’s way. Shalom.

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