This is my version of the Bible story authenticated by Senior Rabbi Emeritus Dr. Abraham Levy, PhD., and by Dayan Daniel Kada, LLB from the Sephardi Beth Din and Rabbi of Lauderdale Road Synagogue.
The Lord Ha Shem made all the earth
and everything thereon.
But men and women were so bad
He wished His work was gone.
Ha Shem gave all mankind a chance
to pray and to repent.
I tried but could not make them change
Ha Shem did not relent.
Ha Shem had trained me from a child.
I made tools for our lands,
a plough, a scythe and then a hoe.
Before, they used their hands.
I, my wife and family
were all He chose to save.
He came and told us what to do
to live on flood and wave.
“Go read the book of sapphire stones,
Use pitch and gopher wood.
Do as I say, and listen hard
and build an ark of wood!”
He told me what the size should be,
how many stories high
where the windows ought to go
“Take care the Flood is nigh!
Be brave, all life will not be lost
that’s what the ark is for.
Take food for all the birds and beasts
you’ll not find any more.”
I should have asked Ha Shem to save
my friends and everyone.
I didn’t and I set to work
until my task was done.
The wind got up, the rain came down.
We hurried, two by two,
inside the ark which lifted off
and floated as boats do!
Forty days and forty nights,
the rain came pouring still.
The mountains were below us now,
and most of us were ill.
I had to work though I was sick.
The feeding took all day.
Some animals ate best at night,
they each lived their own way.
Apart from us, all life had died.
The water drowned it all.
Some twelve months passed. Ha Shem was kind
and made the waters fall.
The Covenant He’d made with us
He kept. It rained no more.
The waters dropped, the Ark touched land
‘twas Ararat we saw!
Another forty days went past.
I sent two birds to fly
and find a peaceful resting place
if there was one nearby!
They both returned, the waters dropped,
I thought I’d try again.
My dove brought back an olive leaf
we all were happy then.
A further time, the dove flew out
and left the Ark for good.
The earth was back but boggy though,
we’d leave too when we could!
A lovely rainbow arched the sky
the Covenant, a sign
Ha Shem would never flood again
His world, that’s yours and mine!
It’s bye for now! from Charlotte Sebag-Montefiore. I’ll be here early April, and I hope you will be too!
The audio version of this can be found here: