The timeless Torah, perhaps offering a glimpse into the 21st Century, uses the word ‘Hamas’ to describe corruption and evil.
This week’s portion is the story of Noah (“Noach” in Hebrew) and the flood that destroyed the world. For ten generations – from Adam to Noah – God was patient. But with each generation mankind became more and more corrupt. More Evil. More Wicked. But God was patient. He wanted to see if the people would change, if they would repent. There were one or two righteous individuals in every generation. That’s about it…
For example, Hanoch was righteous in his generation, and of course, Noah in his. God was hoping that people would see these righteous individuals and learn from their ways. Even Cain the murderer repented from his sin. But to no avail. In fact, the generation of Noah surpassed the previous ten generations in its level of evil. Finally, after ten generations of continued corruption God finally said “game over”.
But even then, God was long suffering. We are told that the construction of the ark was a 120 year project! Why so long? Because God was hoping that people would see Noah building this massive boat and ask why he was doing so. Noah would then be able to respond that he is building the ark because God is going to destroy the world due to their wickedness. Even the animals were corrupt, cohabitating in abnormal ways. People did indeed ask Noah what was going on, and although he responded as expected, the people would not listen. They preferred a life of corruption, albeit a short-lived one.
But get this – guess what word the Torah uses to convey the extent of the evil, corruption, theft, and bloodshed that was rampant? The Torah uses the word ‘Hamas’ pronounced ‘Chamas’ in both Hebrew and Arabic). Yes – you read correctly. The timeless Torah, perhaps offering a glimpse into the 21st Century, uses the word ‘Hamas’ to describe corruption and evil. What a befitting name for one the world’s top terrorist and murderous organizations. They cannot hide from the extent of their evil! It’s their name – Hamas. The Torah tells us ‘Hamas’ is the worst form of evil. – evil that must be destroyed for the world to function.
May it be God’s will that just as He destroyed Hamas in the days of Noah, may He again destroy Hamas speedily in our day.
Shabbat Shalom from Israel!
By Rabbi Ari Enkin, Rabbinic Director, United with Israel
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