What do we make of the Ark in the flood story? It is certainly the tool used to save that portion of creation that God chooses to perpetuate. It is the singular place of safety in a stormy sea. In a way, we each build our own arks, don’t we? We choose who we wish to bring along on our journey. Some choose to let in many. Some choose to let in none. Some have very lonely arks. Some like it that way. Some choose to belong to exclusive Ark Clubs while others are content with the public Ark launch. Each believes that the Ark they build will somehow protect them from the dangers of the world.
What I find most interesting is that in all of the description of the Ark, there is no rudder or other mechanism to steer the mighty ship. Where it floated and where it landed was completely beyond Noach’s control. The problem with each of our Arks is that at times we can all feel adrift. Perhaps our ultimate fate and destiny is in God’s hands, but each of our Arks does have a rudder. The question is where are you steering your Ark? Have you envisioned where you would like your journey to lead you? Are you actively steering that course? Have you looked beyond to your next journey or where your fellow travelers (those you have invited onto your ark) will journey from the port you leave them?
Some feel that the Torah and our mitzvoth provide a charted course for a meaningful life journey. What a problem if you are the Captain of your Ark, have been given the nautical map, but don’t know how to read it. What a worse problem if you are a passenger on someone else’s Ark and they don’t know either.
Fortunately, Adat Shalom Synagogue is a great Ark to journey on. It also offers many opportunities to learn how to be a great skipper, shipmate or both.
This coming Shabbat, we learn with Rabbi Rachel Shere at 10:00 a.m. in the Youth Lounge. She helps us steer a great course. Be a part of our journey.