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Section:  Avodah   Category: Olam HaTorah
Parshas Noach - Why Didn't The Fish Die In The Mabul?

Every single living creature on earth outside the teiva during the Mabul died, except for the fish.  The explanation for the destruction of innocent animals is that the world is created to revolve around mankind and man influences his environment.  Man's corrupt ways spreads unconsciously even to animal that do not possess intelligence to make any decisions.  Such is the power of humanity.

Why were the fish spared?  Why were they protected from man's influence?  Many explain that since they lived alone and not with man, the influence did not spread to them.  However most living creature live far away from civilization and have never been in a 100 mile radius of a human.  Why were the animals in the middle of the desert, the beasts of the Himalayas, the species living in a remote island in the South Pacific, or the living creatures in Antarctica killed?  Were they more influenced by man then the fish swimming off the Mediterranean coast?

Maybe we can offer B'Derech Drush as follows.  It is impossible for anyone to hermetically seal himself from bad surroundings.  No matter how strongly we protest and fight off bad ideas and negative influences, when society degenerates a level, the top of society goes down as well although no one notices because they are all focusing on he bottom of the totem pole.  

There is only one way to prevent yourself from falling and even elevating yourself in this period of decay, to immerse yourself in Torah.  If your life is Torah you will protected from all that goes on around you and continue to soar to lofty levels even as the world crumbles around you.

Ein Mayim Elah Torah.  Water is compared to Torah.  While animals that never came face to face with mankind disintegrated with the rot of human behavior, the fish who were immersed in water were able to come face to face with mankind and not be influence the slightest bit. They were in a world of their own, a world of water or Torah.

RELATED ARTICLES:fish  mabul  Parshas Noach  Torah

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Visitor Comments: 4

AA, 2010-10-05 06:02:04
"Gam L'Adam" it says in last weeks Parsha. Chazal elaborate that Chava gave to eat 'also' to the "behaimos, chayos, v'ofos". Chava never gave the fish to eat from the Eitz HaDaas. Hence they never sinned.

Why didnt she - is a little more at length.
Anonymous, 2010-10-05 06:03:45
Let's hear!
ZZ, 2010-10-05 10:02:36
if the fish didn't sin eating from the Eitz hadaas, why do they die?
AA, 2010-10-06 06:42:44
To ZZ: Why shouldnt they die? Only Adam was to live forever - not the animal kingdom.

To: Anonymous:

Why not the fish?

Why the other animals yes?

1) Chazal say Chava didnt want ti die and leave Adam to marry another - so she fed him too. She may have thought he might marry from the animal kingdom (as we see Adam at first also thought to be mizdaveg with animal kingdom before realizing he was "levad".

Fish was never a hava aminah - a potential possibility. They are not of our world.

or

2) Perhaps after the aveirha - when Chava realized she erred - she regretted her actions and wanted to continue to live to serve Hashem, even if in a diminished capacity (similar to Adam's rational according to the Ramban).

But, the world was to too pristine (spiritually) as Hashem's handiwork - too perfect for a post 'Yetzer Horah influenced' Chava (having eaten etc.) and even with Teshuvah she reasoned Hashem would have to replace her. So she did a chet l'shmah and brought the rest of the world down to her (and now Adam's) level by giving them too from the Eitz Hadas.

Now ALL the world was on the same playing field (so to speak).

So why not the fish? Again because the aquatic world is NOT part of ours. It is (according to sefarim) a 'zecher' to the 300 worlds that existed before ours.

(Perhaps that explains the Mishnah "kol mah sh'yesh bayabasha yesh b'yam! A parallel sort of world. Again the sefarim explain that is why there are no korbanos from the aquatic world!).

So she need not degrade them by eating from Eitz Hadas - in order for her and HER WORLD to survive!

We must say this anyway to explain why "hishchis kol basar darko" - all the animals became corrupt due to Man's influence on them - yet not the Aquatic World! They were not impacted by Man's corruption - because they were NOT part of Man's world!

Sorry for the length.

AMA

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