The story is told of Rabbi Elya Lopian, one of the holy remnants of that rarefied world of Kelm, Lithuania and a student of the famed Alter of Kelm, a talmid of Rav Yisrael Salanter. He was waiting at a bus stop for his bus to come. And at one point, he looked into the distance to see if his bus was on its way. He stopped himself and later said, “In Kelm, I would have been rebuked for such a useless expression of impatience.” After all, what good is it to look for the bus in the distance; it’s coming or it’s not.
One might think that Noach failed the Kelm test. But the stakes were higher. There is waiting for the bus, then there is waiting for the Redemption! But I think that something along these lines might have been the objective of sending the raven and then the dove out, to see if the land had dried. Noach was not going to leave the Ark unless given the Divine go-ahead. Why bother looking out then?
Looking increases the anticipation. The goal of the Ark was not to be on the Ark. The Ark was intended to be a temporary protection from the destructive scene outside. The goal is to get off the boat and rebuild. That was the redemption for Noach, which he awaited eagerly. Like we are told to do:
12. I believe with complete faith in the coming of Moshiach, and although he may tarry, nevertheless, I wait every day for him to come.
“Achakeh Lo” is an avoda too. We do Mitzvos in our private zone, and should be looking forward to, and actively anticipating the opportunity to share that with the world outside our zone.
Have you invited someone over for Shabbos yet? #shabbosproject