Noah – The Doorkeeper

*In a poetic and metaphorical—though never literal—sense there are ideas and qualities that endure as Godliness. Theology

11 In the six hundredth year in the life of Noah, in the second month, on the seventeenth day, on that day all of the deep water sources erupted and the fissures in the sky opened up. 12 The rain was on the earth for forty days and forty nights. … 15 The animals came to Noah, to the ark, in twos of all flesh that was alive. 16 Those that came were male and female of all that was flesh, as God commanded him to do. YHWH closed the door for him.  

Genesis 7

Who closed the ark doors on that stormy day? The wind? Noah? God?

If the wind blew the door shut, then natural forces could be relied upon to aid us in crises.

If Noah closed the door by himself, then none of us need to wait for our own moment of divine protection.

If God shut the door, then we should all wait patiently for divine providence.

Actually, Noah had waited hundreds of years for God to show him favor when that door slammed shut. He was already 600 years old. Few of us will ever reach 1/6th of his lifespan, so should we expect to be so blessed? Will we ever be witness to a clear demonstration of God’s work in this world for our benefit?

1 Song of Ascent: I life up my eyes to the mountains – where will my support come from? 2 My support will come from YHWH – creator of the skies and earth.

Psalm 121

This is might be when this concept began: God’s act of protecting one person instead of another – a family or a group or a species. Some people are sure God can be felt in the shutting of a door, a protective act. Others wait for the opening of a door to see God’s light flood in on them.

Should we wait for a divine doorkeeper? Don’t we deal with doors all day long? Do we even need instructions or commands when faced with closed doors? In our limited years on earth, we will close many doors for ourselves, maybe waiting for a split second see if this will be that closure that we have been waiting for.

18 Out came Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him.

Genesis 8

Everyone’s voyage towards God begins when our minds are opened to the wonders of the world. We look for hints of God in the shadowy corners behind the door and again as light floods into a room when the door swings open.

16 There is a rainbow in the cloud; and I will see it, as a reminder of the eternal covenant between God and all living flesh that is on the earth.

Genesis 9

All of humanity and every one of the creatures God created are the witnesses when a rainbow shines out in the open sky. As we gaze upon the shining rainbow we see the sign of divine cosmic grace for all.

Midrash Harabah and English translations by Rabbi Gail Shuster-Bouskila ©2021

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