A span, a palm, a hand, an ohm, a knot, a stadion. How beautiful the language of measurement is and we’re not even talking iambs yet.
We probably couldn’t fit the 6,000 animals that live in the Bronx Zoo into the Intrepid, let alone into Noah’s ark that measured three hundred, by fifty, by thirty, cubits. It is as if the Torah goes out of its way to tell us that although Noah spent so many years building his massive ark, ultimately, he needed some Divine pixie dust for it to serve its purpose. The animals would gather. The lions, tigers, and bears would behave. They would all fit inside. The food would last. The roof wouldn’t leak.
The true measure of Noah was that he did not stop to ask, “Why don’t You just make the whole thing?” He worked all those years knowing that God would partner with him and make Noah’s ark far greater than his efforts; his structure, of small physical measure, would expand into a self-contained, fully functioning world.
God doesn’t need a slave to order and say: Build an ark! He could have made it in a second. God desires a partner. It is up to us to rise to that role. Noah’s greatness can be measured by the fact that he figured it out. He “walked with God”. Learning that we can accomplish a partnership with God is probably the biggest legacy he left, an immeasurable bequest.
Noah’s accomplishment was the stepping stone to Abraham, who takes humanity to the next stage; walking before God. This was the original intention of creation: To walk, on our own, for our own benefit. But thank you Noah, as without knowing that we can be partners, there is little hope for us that we can be creators as well!
Thus is the true measure of every human being; his or her ability to construct a life with awareness and willingness for God to imbue the effort with His Infinite power. We are measured by our determination to build something much greater than the sum of all the effort; an eternal partnership, an eternal life.
The Foundation Stone™ and The Foundation Stone™Blog are filled with practical tools that can help us achieve our full measure. We invite you to delve into the Haftarah, Proverbs, the Portion of the Week and Prayer to learn how to access the ultimate partnership with God.
Wishing you a 25 hour, 1,500 minute, 90,00 second, Shabbat that will become eternal and immeasurable.
Rabbi Simcha L. Weinberg