Painters of Sultan Murad III [Public domain]

What about Noah’s wife, and languages for empathy

This week’s Torah portion, called a Parashah, is the 2nd portion of the cycle, Parashat Noach and reminded me of a story I wrote, in a couple of different versions, a few years ago based on a question about some of those who stayed behind, in the Great Flood story. This image, btw, is an Islamic image of Noah’s Ark, which I found interesting. There is another version of this short, written in second person singular, as an experiment in trying to understand why writers are told not to do it, but her is what I think was my first imagining of this short short.

Waves lapped at her breasts, the cold water raising goose bumps on her clammy chilled flesh. The matron shivered, lifting her head, drawing a deep breath from her belly, and pushing the words out with her diaphragm:

“Soon and very soon

we are going to see the King”

the others joined in, linking arms,

“Soon and very soon

we are going to see the King”

Was she seeing that right?

“What are they doing singing?!” tears stung her face as Naamah bellowed

“Get them in here, son! Now! Drag them by their idiotic hair if you have to, but get them in this boat! What do they think they are doing?! They …”

Her words were drowned out by her friend’s next call,

“No more crying!”

The others, lifting their voices above the waves, responded:

“No more crying there, for

we are going to see the king”

Naamah lunged at the railing, one foot already hooked over the side, as Shem and Yapeth dragged her by each arm, her third son linking his hands around her struggling waist, dragging her back inside as her husband slammed the door, lowering the massive bar, enclosing them all in darkness, muffling the cries outside the arc.

At last, when she her breath returned, over the already stifling stench of the animals,

“She told me, but I could not stop her. Demanding an audience, she said.”

All four men stared at her. What?

“An audience with the One who decreed this flood. Protesting the lack of input in this decision.”

“What a hell of a way to protest. They aren’t gong to get very far.”


Originally drafted in 12014 H.E. (Holocene Era)

AIso, is it still true, that empathy makes us stronger, not weaker?

Octavia Butler dealt with that question, too, in her last novel (I think), Parable of the Talents.

  More on my continuing striving with empathy next time, friends:

  Nos vemos!      ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different sources to translate the word “rest”  into both Spanish and Hebrew.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.  (Anyone notice them in this story??)

3.) Write a blog post or comment here that uses a Hebrew word, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

5.)  Can someone tell me why half of this is in block and half is in free format, and refuses to keep my formatting in the first half of the post, which has put itself into the new block editing format?  This is just bizzare.


Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport


Read, Write a book or read mine for free on community cooperation between the Black and Jewish communities in DC…

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

     by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans with readings available for free on my home page…) in the present, to

           help build a kinder future: Baby Acres: a Vision of a Better World


Babylon 5 review posts, how story inspires learning…

Peace     ! שָׁלוֹם

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.


Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


17 thoughts on “What about Noah’s wife, and languages for empathy

  1. Yeeks, how I would make changes to this story, now, and how clear it is, what Stephen King says about too many adverbs, and double adjectives cutting the pace in half!

    This is painful to read, sorry, I should have just edited it instead of posting the original for comparison.

    This is the perilous writing process, I guess.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Interesting to hear from Noah’s wife! I don’t recall if Naamah is Noah’s wife name from text or tradition or your own decision as a writer, but I think it’s a good choice of name,

    I think for me, I’d be curious to hear Naamah’s story starting before the flood, perhaps during the ark building process. Noah built the ark, but didn’t try to get anyone else to change their ways. How did Naamah feel about the upcoming flood and ark-building process? Was she talking to her neighbors?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wondered the same thing the first time I leyned that aliyah about Tuval-Cain, and then started writing.
      It is her name from tradition, which was partly what inspired me to tell the women’s stories in my first and worst novel, Creator: Friend or Foe, which began life as the short short Angels and Clay Bobs.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Thanking Petruv for his comment on a slightly different version of this story:

    “Never believed that story. The sheer impossibility of it. Taking it at face value though, I certainly haven’t considered the point of view of the people left behind! The last line certainly packs a punch!”

    –this version:

    The clear waters are lapping at her breasts. You can see the goose bumps on her flesh. The woman is shivering, looking right at you. She lifts her head, drawing a deep breath from her belly, and bellows these words out with her diaphragm:

    “Soon and very soon,we are going to see the King!”

    You’ve heard this song before, in a church, a long time ago. Now, the others join in, linking arms and responding to her call:

    “Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.”

    The waters have reached the woman’s neck. You wonder what are they doing singing at a time like this. Then it hits you. Tears sting your face as you cry out to Shem, Japeth, and Ham:

    “Get them in here! Now! Drag them by their idiotic hair if you have to, but get them in this boat! Right now! They …”

    Your words are drowned out by the woman´s next call,

    “No more crying!”

    The others, lifting their voices above the waves, respond:

    “No more crying there, we are going to see the king.”

    You lung at the side, one foot already hooked over the edge, but your sons catch you by each arm, the third clutching your waist, dragging you back inside as Noach closes the door. The last thing you see is the writing on a plank of wood held high; demanding an audience with the One who sent this Flood. Demanding land for everyone, and justice for all.

    The writing looked like blood.

    Liked by 2 people

Please Share your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s