Pre Shabbos Links

Rabbi David Schallheim on Parshat Noach – From Generation to Generation
The true use of technology is to complete the Creation, as partners with the Creator. We mention this idea in the verse recited in Kiddush on Friday night: “God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because on it He abstained from all His work; which God created to make” (Bereishit 2:3). It would have been sufficient to write, “which God created,” why does the verse add, “to make?” This teaches that mankind is partner in the ongoing process of Creation.

Our condolences to Rabbi Schallheim on the recent loss of his mother. May Hashem comfort him among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Rabbi Zev Leff on Parshas Noach
The sins of immorality and robbery of the generation of the Flood were merely symptoms of the underlying disease of deficient character development. Noach attacked the symptom, but failed to cure the disease. He did not teach them to know Hashem through contemplation of His middos and to walk in His ways by correcting and developing their own character traits. Hence he was unsuccessful. His rebuke may occasionally have suppressed the symptoms, but they soon reappeared, since the underlying cause had not been treated. Without changing their underlying character, no true repentance was possible.

Rabbi Avraham Twerski on Shabbos – The Holiness of Time
The Torah states that man was the last of Hashem’s creations, and as we have seen, man was created in an incomplete state and assigned the task of developing himself into the Divine concept of what man should be. He was given the charge to subdue and dominate the land. However, he was to do this as man, not like the wild beasts that dominate the jungle. Six days are to dominate the world, and the seventh day is for man to become master over himself. It is noteworthy that Adam was not given fire until after he had experienced Shabbos (which is why we recite the blessing for fire at havdalah on Shabbos night). Man could not be trusted with the potentially destructive power of fire until he was able to become spiritual and achieve control over himself.

That is the purpose of Shabbos, a blessed and holy day on which a person can elevate oneself spiritually and achieve self-fulfillment. Inasmuch as self-fulfillment is a requisite for simchah, Shabbos is a day of simchah.

Rabbi Boruch Leff (based on the teachings of Rav Yaakov Weinberg) Noach: Unified Technology Against God?
When man can accomplish all that he wishes to accomplish, he does not need God. Witness that they left ‘from the east.’ The previous reference to ‘the east’ was to the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:8). They wished to leave the closest possible place to God that existed then and wanted to forge their own destiny without God’s assistance. They wished to build a unifying city and tower but specifically wanted to begin the building in a valley. Although the usage of a hill or mountain would facilitate making the tower as high as possible, they didn’t want to use anything natural or ‘God-made’. There was no room for God’s involvement in their project.

Thus their choice of bricks and mortar. They reject using natural ‘God-made’ materials like stone or clay and choose to create their own inventions for building materials.