“What is this,” thought the Mateh as it began to float. For generations it had laid in the field, dropped by the murderer, Kayin. Now the waters seemed to be filling the land. What was to become of the Mateh, now just a part of the flotsam and jetsam of this strange and awesome flood. The Mateh floating along until it bumped into a huge boat. And from that boat came a hoary hand. No’ah plucked the Mateh from the rising sea. He looked on silently, for he was a silent man in a silent world, all life disappearing below the waves. He leaned heavily on the Mateh watching his world disappear. Then he turned and went below to feed the animals. If the Mateh had had a nose, it would have pinched it. The stench was unbearable, There were many species of animal, all in pairs. No, wait there are some that count seven. No’ah did count them again and made sure that of every Kosher animal, that is any animal that could be sacrificed, there would be enough to sacrifice and for the animal to replenish its species. The Mateh watched in wonder. This ancient man was caring for these young animals all on this floating ark.

It occurred to the Mateh that this Ark was a huge seed for planting, for repleneshing the earth. Eventually, the waters would rescind. Land would become visible and then viable. Grasses would grow, trees would blossom and life would bloom. This Ark, this seed contained the heart, breathing acts of creation or rather re-creation. The Mateh felt strange in this old and silent man’s hands. No, he was not a Tzadik, though he was a good man. After all, he was the most righteous of his generation. A generation so wicked that it had to be flushed from the earth. Did that make No’ah righteous or just a little less evil than the evil that surrounded him. The Mateh felt that this was a good man. It was not easy to be righteous in a world where righteousness begat derision, taunts and ridicule. No, this definitely was a good man, a person worthy of becoming an ancestor. Others would come more righteous than he. But for this time and this place, this silent old man was the one to sail the seed and then plant it rebuilding plant and planet and people. This was No’ah, the silent.

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