Failure of Man

Rabbi Soloveitchik’s perception of the flood in Parshat Noach, was that Hashem wished to create a new society after starting over with Noach. The punishment that generation received did not really change man’s nature. He was still very easily drawn into sinning.

Therefore, Hashem had to change the world order. There would be a different relationship between man and beast. The Torah says, ומוראכם וחתכם יהיה על כל חית הארץ, your fear and dread shall be upon all the beasts of the earth. The Pasuk goes on to say, בידכם נתנו, that they were into your hand.

The Rav wrote that we were not happy about this. The Torah was compelled to concede defeat to human nature corrupted by man.

The hope was that this new dominion would change man. Now animals were meant to serve man. They were to help him work and they could be eaten to provide nourishment.

The end result of all of this was that there was a need for man to have a spiritual leader to drive man to reach greater heights. These events set the stage for the emergence of Avraham Avinu to change the world in a positive way.