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Parashat Noah


“Noah sent forth a dove to see how far the waters had receded. The dove returned toward evening with a torn leaf of an olive tree in his mouth.”

Our sages comment that the symbolism of the olive leaf was, “Let my food be bitter as the olive leaf, as long as it comes to me directly from

G-d, rather than be sweet as honey, but from the generosity of a human being!”

True satisfaction with what one has should not depend on quantity or even quality, but on how it is obtained.

If whatever we have is earned honestly, by means of the skills and capabilities bestowed upon us, and not gifts of charity, it should be satisfying. If we are beholden to other people for what they give us out of benevolence, this should not please us, even if we were to accumulate great wealth, and luxuries in that this manner.

During the entire stay in the ark, the animals were amply fed by Noah with food that was appropriate for them. The dove indicated that even a bitter leaf obtained by its own efforts, was more satisfying than Noah’s provisions given for free.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Shaul