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April 3rd, 2012

Gen 11 notes

Notes on Genesis 11:

-People's lifespans are reduced by around half after the Flood (avg 860 years --> avg 480 years).
-People's lifespans are reduced by around half again after the Tower of Babel (avg 480 years --> 210 years).
-Noah and his son Shem are still living when Abraham is born!

Shem outlives nearly all of his descendants (listed in Gen 11) up to the time of Abraham. The only exception was Eber (possibly where the term "Hebrew" originated?). Shem was living during the time of Abraham and Isaac. Perhaps there is some basis for the story of Utnapishtim (whose name means "he found life").

Teachings

I was struck by this question yesterday.

"If we were to list the areas of greatest concern in our lives (or things that take up the most space in our lives) we would find a diversity of items ... And for each item on the list, ask yourself the following simple questions: Do I look to the Torah as the principal source of guidance in this area of my life? Do I view the Torah as 'instructional' or as 'teachings' to personally apply?"

"Is The Torah Relevant to My Life?" by Ilan Weinberg on www.chabad.org.

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