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    Two Hebrew letters – No’ach

    No’ach means “rest” (Gen. 5:29). The theory is that No’ach invented the plough and thus made toil easier.

    In the first four chapters of Genesis we see how civilisation began. Stage by stage the elements of culture – gender, work, speech, dress, even music, begin.

    The names of the early generations suggest many aspects of human civilisation.

    Verse 29 of Chapter 5 implies that No’ach’s full name was Menachem, “comfort”. A verse that comes at the end of Parashat B’reshit says that No’ach found chen, “grace” in the eyes of the Lord. No’ach and chen – both being two-letter words with the same letters in reverse – seem to be a play on words. The Targum says that what No’ach enjoyed at the hands of God was compassion.

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