Rashi writes: "Noach was afraid to resume... until HaSh-m assured him." How is this derived from the verse?


Gur Aryeh: The word "Hineni" means, "I concur with that which you might say." This shows that Noach was afraid, and HaSh-m reassured him.


HaSh-m's opening words of His covenant with Noach were, "And as for Me," as if in response to Noach's fears. What was Noach afraid of?


Rashi: In response to Noach's initial reluctance to have children, based on the fear of another Flood, HaSh-m already promised him that He would never again destroy the world. Noach's fears persisted however, 1 so HaSh-m agreed to clinch His promise with a covenant, and even showed him a sign.


See Sifsei Chachamim.


Rashi writes: "until HaSh-m assured him... and so He did. Finally, He said [to Noach], I agree to affirm and strengthen my assurance with a covenant, and I shall give you a sign." What are the different stages of HaSh-m's covenant to which Rashi refers?


Gur Aryeh: HaSh-m had originally assured Noach that there would not be another Flood (8:21-22). 1 "Finally," i.e. in this verse, HaSh-m strengthened this assurance to the level of a covenant (Bris) 2 , and even gave the rainbow as a sign.


Although that verse states, "And HaSh-m stated to Himself," according to Gur Aryeh, HaSh-m had already informed Noach of this as well. (See Ibn Ezra to 8:21; also see Ramban loc.cit.)


A covenant is stronger than an assurance, and an oath is more binding than a covenant. A sign gives permanence to an oath. Refer to 8:21:4.2:2; and refer to 9:9:1.2.


Rashi writes: "... I shall give you a sign." Why was this last stage necessary; didn't HaSh-m already take an oath to this affect (Rashi to 8:21)?


Gur Aryeh: Although an oath is stronger than a covenant (refer to 8:21:4.2:2); an oath is still subject to annulment (Hataras Shevu'ah). An oath with a [tangible] sign, however, cannot be annulled. 1


However, in Bava Basra 74a the Gemara does mention the possibility that the oath regarding the Flood could be annulled. (CS)


רש"י: שהיה נח דואג וכו': מנין שנח דאג?


גור אריה: "הנני" פרושו 'אני מסכים למה שתאמר', ומכאן שנח דאג עד שהבטיחו ה'.


רש"י: עד שהבטיחו הקב"ה...וכן עשה. ובאחרונה אמר לו הנני מסכים וכו': מה פרוש דברי רש"י?


גור אריה: "עד שהבטיחו הקב"ה" לעיל (ח,כא)- "לא אוסיף לקלל", "וכן עשה" כפי שכתוב שם, "ובאחרונה"- כאן, "אמר...הנני" ונתן לו אות.


רש"י: שהיה נח דואג וכו': והרי כבר נשבע לו הקב"ה על כך (לעיל, ח,כא)?


גור אריה: שבועה אפשר להתיר, ולכן נתן לו אות.

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