Well, coming up, IY"H, this weekend is the Sabbath of Noah. We read Parshat Noach and the entire episode of building the ark, finding the animals and captaining a ship to a new world.
As the portion is being read in synagogue, I will be sitting in my seat thinking of "my family" that has been saved from the flood by G-d, of the creatures that were rescued to repopulate the animal world, and of the wicked people who were destroyed because of their immorality, idolatry and corruption. (At left and below, scenes from Noah! Ride the Wave!)
Noah and his family were on the ark for about a year. What did they do as they floated upon the waters? They did acts of chesed (loving-kindness). Morning and night, Noah and his family fed the animals, cleaned their cages and looked after all their needs. They barely slept, and instead spent their time caring for the creatures in their charge. The Michtav Me'Eliyahu states, "To become the builders of the new world, Noah and his family had to cultivate within themselves the ...trait, chesed, kindness and mercy, giving of themselves."
Maybe G-d wants to give mankind a chance to continue on, but still, there are so many earthly threats to our existence today. If we want to survive the dangers, like Noah safely bobbing upon the seas, we must follow his example and live lives of giving and doing for others, lives of chesed.
To read more about Noah: http://voices-magazine.blogspot.com/2010/09/high-holidays-belong-to-me.html.
Photos from my camera.