Insight and commentary on the Torah and Gospels every week, adapted from Torah Club resources.
Noah demonstrated his faith in the unseen by obediently building the ark. His obedience demonstrated that he possessed the fear of the LORD: “In reverence [he] prepared an ark.” His reverent obedience manifested his assurance of things hoped for and his conviction of things not seen. “Faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected” (James 2:22).
In the Talmud, some of the sages viewed the seven days of creation as a broad outline for human history, as the Scripture says, “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it passes by” (Psalm 90:4). Accordingly, they compared each of the six days to a millennia of history. In the poetic words of the sages, the Messianic Era will be a “day that is altogether Sabbath.”
The Chasidic concept of tzaddikism explains that the merit and favor of a single righteous person can be extended to others. On the basis of God’s gracious favor for one man, the entire nation received the forgiveness of sin and a restoration of relationship with the Almighty. The ultimate redeemer is like the first redeemer, making atonement for the entire nation on the basis of His merit alone.
The high holidays of the Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur foreshadow the last days and the final judgment. Yom Kippur comes just ten days after Rosh HaShanah, the day on which the Torah commands the blowing of the shofar. The blowing of the shofar on Rosh HaShanah warns the congregation to repent because the days of judgment have begun. The fanfare of Rosh HaShanah sets the scene for the Day of Judgment in the heavenly courtroom.