> Weekly Torah Portion > Parents & Kids > Family Parsha

Say Something

Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32 )

by Nesanel Yoel Safran


Once, a long, long time ago, life was wonderful and life was terrible. It was wonderful because people lived much longer and healthier lives than we do today. Everyone was strong and rich and the world was clean and beautiful. But it was terrible because people forgot all about God and were very cruel to each other. They robbed and killed and hurt each other in every possible way. In fact there was only one good man left on the whole planet! His name was Noah.

God looked at the world and thought, "This has gone too far. I made this beautiful world to give people a good life but they've really messed things up." So He told Noah, "Make a giant ark and fill it with every type of animal and bird, get in with your family and hold on. Soon I'm sending a flood that's going to wipe everyone and everything off the face of the earth. Only you will survive, and from you the world will begin again."

Noah was sad when he heard this. But he made a mistake. He didn't try to do anything to change the world around him, although he very much hoped that the people would stop being bad. But that didn't happen.

So Noah started building the giant boat.

When he finished it, he loaded it up with animals, like God told him. Then the great flood came, and the ark set sail on its journey, to begin a new and better world.

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        "OK, everyone, I mean everyone stays after school today!" cried Mrs. Handler.

        Mrs. Handler, the teacher, had gone out of the classroom for a minute to make copies of a homework assignment. When she came back, she saw that the kids had gone wild and turned the room upside-down. Even the papers from her desk were scattered everywhere.

        "Don't even think that any of you will get home today before 3:30!" she growled as she straightened her desk.

        Amy, the teacher's pet, raised her hand and walked smugly toward the teacher. "May I be excused from staying after school?" she asked. "I didn't do anything wrong. I sat quietly at my desk the whole time," she added proudly.

        Mrs. Handler looked at Amy. "Did you try to stop them?" asked the teacher.

        "Well,," said Amy.

        "Did you tell them it was wrong?" the teacher asked.

        "Not really," blushed Amy.

        "Did you even feel bad when you saw what they were doing?"

        Amy was quiet. "No," she finally whispered. "I was just happy that it wasn't me."

        The teacher thought a moment and said, "Amy, you're a good kid, and I know you would never do something like this. But it's not enough. You can't watch your friends acting like animals and just be quiet. Maybe some of them would have listened if you had said something to stop them. At least you could have tried. I'm sorry Amy, but if you knew better and didn't say anything, you're also to blame, and you'll also stay after school today."

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Age 3-5

Q. Why was the teacher mad?
A. Because the kids messed up the classroom.

Q. If Amy didn't mess up the room, why did she also get punished?
A. Because she didn't try to stop her friends.

Age 6-9

Q. When we see somebody doing something wrong, is it enough to just be quiet?
A. No. We should try to stop them if we can.

Q. Why do you think Amy didn't try to do something?

Age 10-13

Q. What did Amy's teacher want her to learn by making her stay after also?
A. That it's not enough to just be quiet, that she had to speak up when she saw her friends were doing something wrong.

Q. Can you think of a time when you saw someone doing something wrong? What did you do?

Q. At that time, what feelings made you want to stand up for what was right? And what feelings made you want to just not get involved?

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