12 Shvat 5781 / Monday, January 25, 2021 | Torah Reading: Beshalah
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Numbers Don't Count    

Numbers Don't Count

When it comes to the Truth, it doesn’t matter how many people believe lies. God doesn’t care about social pressure or popular opinion – and neither should you.


Noah was the ultimate rebel.  


Think of it: A mommy with her kids is walking by and she sees a guy covered head to toe in clothing. One kid stops and asks the man, “What are you doing?” 


“I am building a big boat.” 


He looks around and sees miles and miles of dry land.  


“All of us will be wiped out in an epic flood and the ground we are standing on will become water. Then the boat will float away to safety.” 


They hold their hands out, and not a drop of precipitation falls into their palms on this bright and sunny day.  


“Uh, let’s run along kids. Why don’t we go, um, anywhere. 


Noah denied the entire world in favor of his conscience. By doing so he became a weirdo, an extremist, a freak spending 120 years preparing for something that never happened before. 


Hashem chose him to live. He chose one man, Noah, over the millions of people who inhabited the earth and died in the flood.  



Closing Our Conscience  

Imagine what happens when 10 people tell you it's okay to walk around in your bathing suit all day. What happens when 100 people say it's fine? What happens when the most famous people on earth are doing it?  


If everybody is doing it, especially the coolest people on earth, then it must be the right thing to do. We all start to follow. We do it so much that we don’t even stop and think about it anymore. Pretty soon, it is so normal that those handful of people still wearing suits look like they are from another planet.  


We live in a world of majority rule. The majority chooses the leaders. They choose what’s in fashion. Unfortunately, they also dictate what is right and what is wrong.  



The Silenced Majority 

How many mitzvot have been "taken down" by popular vote?  


How many human behaviors, once seen as abominable have been recast as chic simply because enough people clicked like?  


Is this the first time it happened? 


During the time of Noah, everybody was into sodomy, idol worship, and stealing. Everybody was doing it, so you weren’t singled out if you went with the flow. You were only blacklisted if you went against the norm of everyone else. 


Only Noah ignored the people. He listened to the One trendsetter that mattered and tuned everything out. G-d's rules are immutable – even if they don’t agree with the consensus algorithm.  


Noah probably had a hard time getting work, fitting in, and being invited to anyone’s never-Trump party. He persisted because he had emuna that Hashem created the world and it is inevitable that it will be rebalanced to the way it should function.  


It happened, but not immediately. For over 600 years of his life the world lived in such chaos. Never did a bolt of lightning come out of the sky hitting the one guy telling everyone it’s okay to dress like your sister.  


Then it happened. Hashem rebalanced the world. He obliterated everyone and everything.  


God chose Noah over the entire earth and its millions of inhabitants because Noah chose God over the entire earth and its millions of inhabitants.  



Then and Now 

There is no difference between the tests Noah faced and the ones we face today.  


For not dressing like everyone else, we get stares. For not believing like everyone in the room, we get sneers. For committing the high crime of not wanting to have “just one drink, man,” we get subjugated.  


We are supposed to believe that this is a test of faith, but things aren’t letting up. They are getting stronger, taking new liberties while commandeering ours, with no consequences at all. They have more money, more power, and more influence.  


It feels like the only way to stand up for Hashem in this world will be from prison, or on an unemployment line that never ends.  


That’s the test. Noah had to endure that test for 600 years.  


But he did – so can we. 


Hashem does not take bribes. He doesn't accept favors. He doesn't let anyone get a free pass in return for selfies with A-listers. 


Every day of our life we must face the answers to two questions: Did you live your life according to how G-d wants you to? If you didn’t, are you trying to return to His path and repent? 


Even if you are the only one person on earth who strives to say yes, know that Hashem will protect you. Even if 4 billion people are mocking Him and you, He will erase that many to protect you.  


It happened in the time of Noah. It will happen in the time of Mashiach.  


It is happening right now.  


Will it be Hashem or everyone else? 



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