When the dove returned the second time to Noach with an olive leaf in its beak, Noach understood that the waters of the Flood were in the process of drying up. The question arises from where did the dove get this olive leaf? Every living creature and plant perished during the flood. Not only that, but our Chazal tell us that even as deep as the measure of three tefachim into the ground, until where the plough reaches, was destroyed. How then did the dove find an existent olive tree in order to bring back a leaf to the Taivah? The Medrash addresses this question and says that the dove went into Gan Eden and removed it from there. Others say the dove got the leaf from Eretz Yisrael because the Flood did not descend there. Eretz Yisrael was the place where all the fish swam thereby escaping the scorching waters of the Flood. Let us suggest another interpretation.
The olive tree possesses a very unique nature that it will reject any graft from another plant (Medrash Tehillim 128). Its lineage remains pure as can be, untampered from outside and foreign influences. In the generation of the Flood, when the Torah describes how everything from humans, animals, and vegetation propagated and multiplied outside their species, the olive tree remained loyal to its roots by not accepting any infusions from its surroundings. Until this very day we see this unique characteristic of the olive. It is therefore possible to suggest that it was not included in the same fate of eradication from earth as with everything else. Because this species was virtuous amongst all, it was able to miraculously withstand the forces of the tsunami scorching waters that destroyed all life that existed on our planet.
Now we can answer that the olive leaf which the dove brought back to Noach was not from a long distance flight to Eretz Yisrael nor from Gan Eden but rather from a local trip. It was only the olive trees amongst all other vegetation that survived the Flood.
Am Yisrael is compared to the olive (Yirmiyahu 11,16, Menachos 53b,) זית רענן יפה פרי תאר קרא ה’ שמך. The Medrash (Shmos Rabba 31,1) writes that the comparison to olives is that they as the olive they cannot be successfully integrated together with the nations of the world.
מה ראה ירמיה למשול אבותינו כזית אלא כל המשקין מתערבים זה בזה והשמן אינו מתערב אלא עומד כך ישראל אינם מתערבים עם העובדי כוכבים שנאמר (דברים ז) ולא תתחתן בם ד”א כל המשקים אדם מערב בהם ואינו יודע איזה תחתון ואיזה עליון אבל השמן אפילו אתה מערבו בכל המשקין שבעולם הוא נתון למעלה מהן כך אבותינו בשעה שהיו עושים רצונו של מקום נצבים למעלה מן העובדי כוכבים שנאמר (שם כח) ונתנך ה’ אלהיך עליון הוי זית רענן יפה פרי תואר
The Sfas Emes (Tetzaveh) writes that this Medrash conveys the message that even when Yisrael sinks to a low spiritual level, nevertheless they possess inside of them a pure drop of oil from which they will eventually be able to separate themselves from all alien intruders and influences.
The passuk says (Devarim 32,7) זכור ימות עולם בינו שנות דור ודור Chazal say that Hashem commands to remember the punishment he brought upon the earlier generations, the generation of the Flood, the generation of Hafalaga, and to the inhabitants of Sodom. The passuk continues to say בינו שנות דור ודור. This sends the scary message that strains of all these three generations appear in every following generation. That means that in our very own generation תשע”ו we must also experience and deal in some way with the Flood, its generation, and the demise of humanity and the world as we know it. I am referring to the consecutive recent phenomenon that have been setting the stage and stirring up our awareness, to seriously put our focus on the Final Days and the coming of Moshiach. The four consecutive Red Moons on Pesach and Succos, the threat of an asteroid hitting earth, the revelation of a documentary film where we got to see for the first time the holy Chofetz Chaim. Why did the film come out to the public now one might ask? Some say that In the twenties the Chafetz Chaim was quoted saying that He has ruach hakodesh and he sees that there will be a horrific war which will last for five years and then after 10 Shmittas or 70 years, Moshiach will come. This brings us to this year תשע”ו. Can all these be just coincidence?
Another film also just came out about a 15 year old who after being clinically dead for fifteen minutes came back alive and reports of what he saw when his neshama ascended to shamayim. He also relates of the current world situation with developing tensions rising between Russia and the United States in Syria, Iran, ISIS, surrounded by Arabs who swear that the only solution to the Mid East is that they must annihilate the Jewish people, and the current escalating Intifada shooting and stabbings everywhere in Eretz Yisrael. This bochur in his ascent to heaven stated that Moshiach is already here and that they showed him that the war of Gog and Magog has already began in September and it will last about two months.
Whether one believes the statements in this film or not, that is your prerogative. However, with so many messages being sent one after the other, the string of events put together is quite alarming as it fulfills the nevuah of the Neveeim, and therefore it is a call to teshuvah. Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita is quoted on film stating that with the coming war only those who have Torah and Gemillas Chassadim will be spared. The Vilna Gaon said that the war will take only two minutes. This statement only makes sense when nuclear bombs are the weapons of war and are in the hands of meshuga’im such as Iran Russia US Korea and others that we do not even know about. But if chas veshalom these nukes are employed in the final war, how will only the Bnei Torah and Baalei Chassidim survive such a catastrophe while everyone else will perish?
Don’t let us forget that we are compared to the olive tree. During the Flood all of humanity and vegetation were literally erased from the face of the earth. However, the olive trees alone remained standing as if the scorching fiery waters had no effect on them at all. It was as if a protective wall was built around them leaving them void of any damage. This was nothing less than a supernatural phenomenon. The same happened in Mitzrayim that there were Ten Plagues that smote the Egyptians of which none of them affected Am Yisrael. Even if a Yid and a Mitzri both drank simultaneously from the very same cup of water, each with their own straw, the Yid drank water and the Mitzri drank blood. It is not a hard task for Hashem to protect his loved ones. He who said that oil should have the capacity to be lit can also say to vinegar that it should also possess a likewise capacity. After all He created everything and sustains it constantly.
Now we can understand why chachmas Hatorah is compared to olive oil as we found in the lighting of the menorah in the Bais Hamikdash. One of the aspects of comparison between them both is that learning Torah has the capacity to deeply connect the learner with Hashem. Like the character of oil, it has the ability to uplift a person up and out of the murky waters of earthliness and remove him from the many seas of temptation protecting him not to falter again.
It is written that had the generation of the Mabbul been zoche, they could have been the generation which received the Torah. As the gemarrah says (Chullin 139b) Moshe is hinted in the word בשגם (Bereishis 6,3) which equals 345 משה. However they were too caught up with physical pleasures and cravings to be a vessel for such a lofty mission. This concept is hinted in the very letters of their punishment the מבול. The letter mem is the first and last letter of Torah Shebe’al Peh מאימתי שלום. The remaining letters of בול represent the Written Law which starts with the letter ב ends with the letter ל and has the middle letter of ו. Had they merited, by them would have been fulfilled the passuk ומלאה הארץ דעה כמים לים מכסים (Yeshaya 11,9) that the waters that will descend during the time of Moshiach’s revelation will be full of Torah and chachmas Hashem. This potential is hinted in the letters above מבול. Let us hope and daven that while Hashem’s enemies will experience the fires of destruction, we will simultaneously be zoche to experience the fire of the Torah אש דת , the atom bomb of Torah which is בנים אתם and ודברת בם (in divrei Torah), which will protect us and enlighten us to deepen our relationship with Hashem.
בניך כשתילי זתים (Tehillim 128,3). With our tefillos and the help from Hashem, our children should be pure and unadulterated, remaining spiritually beautiful all the time like the olive tree, and shine with the light and glow which are a product from toiling in learning Torah as symbolized by the olive oil.