Torah is Not a Book of History
By Rabbi Rami Pavolotzky
This week we read parashat Noach, the Torah section that tells the famous story of the universal flood. The main character of this parasha is, of course, Noah, the leader God chose to rebuild humanity. The fact that this parasha bears the name of Noah only adds to his remarkable figure.
According to the Torah, Noah lived 950 years (Genesis 9:29). However, how much do we know about Noah, apart from we are told regarding the story of the flood? Almost nothing! We are only told about a dark episode that apparently occurred right after the flood ended, when Noah got drunk (Genesis 9:20-27). We are also told that he had three children and that he was 650 years old when the flood started (Genesis 7:6) and that he lived 350 years after the flood (Genesis 9:28).