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  • Writer's pictureRabbi Yonah Burr

The Wait

ויחל עוד שבעת ימים אחרים ויסף שלח את היונה וגו' וידע נח כי קלו המים מעל הארץ, וייחל עוד שבעת ימים אחרים וישלח וגו' ויהי באחת ושש מאות שנה בראשון באחד לחדש חרבו המים מעל הארץ וגו' ובחדש השני בשבעה ועשרים יום לחדש יבשה הארץ.

And Noach waited another seven days, and sent out the dove; and Noach knew that the water lightened from on the surface of the land; and he waited another seven days and sent the dove out again... and it was in the six hundred and first year that the water dried from on the surface of the land, and on the second month on the twenty-seven day of the month the earth was completely dry.

Rashi provides the timeline of the flood in detail. The rain and surge lasted for one hundred and ninety days, beginning to recede on the first of Sivan. On the seventeenth of Sivan the teivah landed on the mountain. The tips of the mountains were visible on the first of Av. After sending out the dove a number of times, the water was finally gone on Rosh Hashana. Hashem instructed Noach to leave the teivah the following month, on the twenty-seventh of Cheshvan.

Now, certainly, for flood waters surging fifteen amos above the highest mountain to recede and dry so quickly is nothing short of a miracle [see note 1.] So why was it necessary to even take these few months? Instead of making Noach and his family wait, why didn’t Hashem simply cause the water to disappear immediately when the time came?

We are all familiar with the concept that Hashem prefers to ‘shroud’ the miracles in some semblance of nature, and this certainly is the case here as well.

However, Rabbi Shimon Schwab z”l sees another important lesson here. The Chumash is teaching us a life lesson: Hashem does not do things immediately. In the eyes of Hashem, things will happen when they are supposed to happen, the way they are supposed to happen. Our job is to yearn, and to trust.

We know that this current galus has lasted for thousands of years, but it will end when it is supposed to.

Perhaps the ‘wait’ is for our benefit, to give us time to yearn and develop the required Emunah. We are given this ‘waiting period’ to develop ourselves and make ourselves worthy!

May we merit the final redemption speedily in our days!

Have a wonderful Shabbos!

[1] Mt. Everest is approximately 29,000 feet tall today. The receding of 30,000 feet of water in 150 days gives a rate of 100 inches per hour!
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