Noah's Window

October 26, 2020, Israel   

Sometimes it seems like luck is not a friend of ours. Sometimes it feels that the stars are aligned against us. Others get all the breaks and somehow we always end up with the short stick; we are always a day late and a dollar short. To explain that expression (perhaps to non English speakers), it means ...Had I showed up yesterday I would have had this business contract, but...alas, I was a day late. Had I had one more dollar I could have had this investment, but I was just a little bit short. So we lost out while someone else made a big profit. 

And yet, there are indeed times when things go bad, all successful businessmen can point to a time when their business took a nosedive. The great Levi Strauss more than once saw a shipload of gold, or merchandise, go down to the bottom of the ocean, but yet he did succeed, in the long run. Every successful person has his scars and bruises, his betrayals and disappointments. Such is life, such is mankind.

I am not one to preach to others but when I find an inspirational lesson, I like to share it. make of it what you like. I always say one need not be a believer to benefit from the Bible. It's lessons are for all. So I read this past week in the synagogue the following words...

And it came to pass at the end of forty days that Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made." (Genesis, Chapter 8, verse 6)

Now the Torah is written without punctuation. And it occurred to me; the words. "that he had made" are these words referring to the ark itself or to the window? Well we know that Noah built the ark, so it does not make sense that the Torah needed to tell us that. No where else does the ark have the words that he had made attached to it.  Thus I figure it must be referring to the window itself. But again the question occurred to me: If Noah built the entire ark, certainly he also built the window? Why did the scriptures find it necessary to mention this in particular?

What occurred to me was the idea that this window represents for us the Window of Opportunity. The previous verse ends with ...the top of the mountains were seen. Noah was cooped up for a long time and clearly was anxiously looking forward to seeing some dry land. The tops of the mountains represents hope, ambition, the future. Noah was looking ahead and planning ahead. 

Now here is a key point in my mind, that he had made; The window was made by Noah much earlier. Noah prepared for this moment, he was hoping for this moment, and when the moment came Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made earlier.

When we look at God's original instructions to Noah, we do not see a window specifically in these instructions. Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin (1816 - 1893) suggests that "Noah did this of his own initiative".

When we prepare ourselves we will be ready to open that Window of Opportunity as soon as we see it, as soon as it becomes available. Others will think, Darn, I want to finally see the mountain top, but I cannot!

Now it is a little late to start constructing a window.

A great job opportunity may come along, but we have not the required skills and now it is too late to acquire those skills. Thus the job will go to someone else, someone who had made those preparations earlier. 

In Krav Maga terms, that window of opportunity will come when we are attacked, or threatened; those who have prepared in advance will be able to take advantage of the situation, their "luck" will improve. 

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