6:13 (based on Sanhedrin 108a) that "the decree to destroy mankind was sealed only because of robbery." Yet, previous passukim indicate that terrible immorality was also occurring, and in reality, it was their sin of immorality that lead to them being condemned to death. Why does Rashi state that the fate of the Dor HaMabul was sealed because of robbery, and not because of immorality? The Midrash explains in Vayikrah that Hashem does not first punish a person on his body; rather, He first extracts punishment from the person's money and only then - if the person continues to sin - does He punish the person's body. We see this in regards to the punishment of a person who speaks lashon hara. After a person speaks lashon hara, he may find a negah tzaras on his house. If the person does not do teshuva, he will then have a negah tzaras on his clothing. If he still does not do teshuva, he will receive a negah tzaras on his body. This is part of Hashem's kindness to us; He does not start by exacting punishment on our person, but rather starts with our possessions. With this in mind, we can now understand the Rashi. Hashem would have preferred to exercise his middah of chesed and first punish the Dor HaMabul via their money, but He could not because their money was not their own as it was obtained through theft. Thus, Hashem was left with no other option but to destroy the Dor HaMabul. The Dor HaMabul was condemned to be punished for their immorality, but their propensity for theft led directly to their punishment by physical destruction. The final decree to destroy all mankind was only sealed because of the stealing that was taking place during that generation. Let us daven, that we are all zocheh to Hashem's ongoing and everlasting ahavah! Have a good Shabbos!
Rabbi Yaakov Schwartz
Menahel, Middle School
Page 4 Talmudical Academy Of Baltimore
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