Midreshet Amit


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Noach: The Lesson of Accountability

By: Merah Frank

After the flood waters recede, Noach builds a Mizbeach for Hashem and offers up animal sacrifices. G -d smells the sacrifice and says to himself, “I will not again curse the ground anymore for the sake of man when the images formed by the heart of Man are bad from his youth "יצר לב האדם רע מנעריו"

Does G-d really feel that Man is evil from the time he is born? If so why create them? Why the emphasis of youth here? Rav Shimshon Rafael Hirsch explains that in general youth makes mistakes because their minds have not matured yet? While G-d has given independence to everyone, youth in general want to be independent and not have people telling them what to do. As they mature they realize that everything that has been holding them back makes them free. When you are younger and make mistakes, people accept them because you are a kid but if you made the same mistakes as an adult then that would call for a second flood. The Radak explains that people are created with a evil inclination before they are created with a good inclination and it is our responsibility to develop our Yetzer Tov as we mature. We can be held accountable for the sins done in our youth, but as we develop and mature it is our responsibility to make the right choices.