The midrash states that the sin that resulted in the annihilation of Noach’s generation was the sin of theft. The Alter of Kelm commented on Bereishit 6:12, “G-d saw the earth and behold it was corrupted”, that G-d was the only One who saw that the people were corrupt. Indeed, after 120 years of warning, not a single human being heeded the warning. How is that possible? Apparently they had made peace with their corrupt behavior. How does a generation legitimize their sin? By legalizing their sin.
Once an improper act is legalized there is no chance of teshuvah. A person will not repent for what he thinks is permissible and proper. In our generation we are witnessing an ever-increasing attitude that if an undesirable behavior is uncontrollable, it should be legalized. Examples are gambling, smoking, physician-assisted suicide, gay marriage, abortion, and drugs. In some case not only are they legal but publicly funded. October 17, 2018 marked the legalization of recreational cannabis here in Canada. In light of these “legal” behaviors, which are not proper in the eyes of our Creator, we must ask ourselves: “are we sinking into the same legalized depravity of Noach’s generation?”
“But when that day and hour will come, no one knows – not the angels in heaven, not the Son, only the Father. For the Son of Man’s coming will be just as it was in the days of Noach. Back then, before the Flood, people went on eating and drinking, taking wives and becoming wives, right up till the day Noach entered the ark. And they didn’t know what was happening until the Flood came and swept them all away.” Matthew 24:36-39
It is a trick of the yetzer hara to delude us into thinking that what is wrong is actually right. As reasoning, intelligent beings, we are very good at justifying our bad behaviors.
I recently had the privilege to join in a silent protest against abortion at a busy, major intersection. We held signs for the passing vehicles to see. The signs stated simple messages such as: “abortion is bad for women”, and “abortion kills children”. I was not surprised, but definitely saddened, by the reaction of many passers-by, who could not resist yelling obscenities and making other gestures our direction. Our society has justified this “legal” killing of children, and by silently protesting, we were viewed as the adversary in the eyes of many, simply because we cherish life and made a public stand to proclaim such.
We should be, particularly as mothers and grandmothers, alarmed at the legalization of bad behavior, as our children and grandchildren will grow up in a world that has become more and more desensitized to right and wrong. As we see our generation legalizing bad behavior, we should be brought to our knees to intercede and beg for forgiveness! I pray we do not bury our head in the sand and continue building our personal arks, ignoring the bad behavior of our society. May we have the boldness of Avraham and Moshe to beg and plead with G-d on behalf of our wayward society. May we be brave enough to take a stand for what is right in the eyes of G-d.
Hashem, we beg you to forgive us! And please give us the boldness and the opportunity to stand up for Your ways and to be a light in this ever-darkening world!
Be blessed and be a blessing,