The main focus of this week’s Parashah is the Mabul that Hashem brings to destroy the people of the world because of their wickedness and the ultimate start of a new world from Noach. There are many parallels between Maasei BeReishit and the Mabul. When the Mabul first began, creation was reversed as the waters crossed the boundaries set for them on the third day of creation. Also, the waters of the sky and the ground joined together again, a reversal of the second day of creation. This combination killed all of the birds and animals that were created on days five and six. Only the fish and the animals that were on the Teivah managed to survive with Noach.
Just like the beginning of the Mabul is connected to creation, so the end of the Mabul parallels the Maasei BeReishit. On the first day the Pasuk says, “VeRuach Elokim Merachefet Al PiNei HaMayim,” (BeReishit 1:2) and when the waters receded the Pasuk states “VaYaaver Elokim Ruach Al Pinei HaMayim.” (BeReishit 8:1) On the second day of creation, the lower and upper waters were separated, and, similarly, after the Mabul the waters from the Maayanot (lower waters) and the rain (upper waters) were separated. On the third day the land was separated from the water and after the flood the Pasuk states, “Niruh Rashei HeHarim,” “The tops of the mountains became visible.” (BeReishit 8:5) On the fourth day, Hashem provided the moon and the stars, and in the same way after the Mabul the dove returned to Noach with the olive branch as the sun was setting. On the fifth day birds were created, and after the flood Noach used birds to see if the waters receded. Finally, on day six animals and humans were created, and likewise after the flood all of the animals, Noach, and his family were allowed to leave the Teivah. Additionally, Noach was given the Mitzvah of Peru URevu just as Adam was given this Mitzvah on the sixth day of creation. We can see from these parallels that with the Mabul, Hashem essentially hit a “reset” button on the world because He was upset with what man had become. Therefore, He reversed his original method of creation and created the world again with Noach in charge of repopulating it.
Even if we sin and eliminate all the progress that we have made, nevertheless, we can always rebuild.
-Adapted from a Shiur by Rabbi Jachter