What kind of people does God like?

 

Question:    What kind of people does God like?

Most people would unthinkingly suppose that the people that God likes best, would be those who are subservient to His stated will. But is this really so?

Reading Torah closely, you can often discover a point of view that is different to what is commonly supposed.

Take the case of נח (Noah).

Noah was the first human being to earn the appreciation of God. This is stated clearly in the Torah:

Verse

Text

Translation
Bereshit 6;8

ונח מצא חן בעיני יהוה

And Noah found favour in the eyes of God.

The relationship between God and Noah is expressed by these two words in the above verse: נח and חן. The mutual and circular nature of this – and any – relationship is expressed in the transposition of the two letters Het and Nun to compose two different but related words.

Looking more closely at the nature of the relationship between God and Noah, we discover that Noah found favour in the eyes of God precisely by subverting (in a positive and constructive sense) the stated will of God.

God cursed the land because of Adam. The land would not easily yield its fruit. Bread could only be produced by the sweat of Adam’s brow.

And then Noah came along and invented the plough.

The plough not only turned over the clods of the stubborn earth – it also began the process of overturning the curse of God.

God did not like having to curse Adam and the Land. God is always looking for the man who can enable him to lift the curse and change his decree. And this is exactly what Noah began to do.

God likes people like Noah.

It is people, like Noah, who challenge God in positive ways that find favour in God’s eyes.

 

Notes

The Midrashic statment that Noah invented the plough is mentioned by Rashi in his comment on Breshit (Genesis) 5;29.

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3 Responses to What kind of people does God like?

  1. Wonderful! Your analysis makes me aware that the curse was not prescriptive but descriptive. This is what will be, (not what must be) and kudos to you if you can overturn it. I imagine the doctors who found a way to make childbirth less painful are also beloved by Gd. Also intrigued how just as Noach overturned the land, Gd overturned his name from Noach to Cheyn. Can’t wait for Lech Lecha!

    • HevelHai says:

      Thanks for the input! Till you mentioned it, the childbirth angle never crossed my mind. But now I am thinking that Hazal (the Rabbis) point out that Moshe (Moses) was a still greater man than Noah; and they also point out that the midwives mention in the Torah (Shemot/Exodus 1;15) were in fact Yocheved and Miryam, the mother and sister of Moshe. It is a very special moment when we realize that our minds our trending in the same direction as the minds of Hazal. – Hanoch

  2. Syma says:

    I loved this!
    I was thinking about the curse. The serpent was the only one who really got cursed. Eve received a consequence for her actions and Adam received a punishment of having to toil the land by the sweat of his brow- in other words, no manna. He had to make a living, and provide for himself and family or starve trying….and banishment from the garden.
    Noach comes along and accepts this consequence as fact, and makes the best out of it.

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