There is definitely no lack of speculations, rumours, legends or Jewish commentaries on Na’amah (Noach’s wife).
The English translation for the Hebrew name Na’amah is LOVELY.
The kabbalistic ZOHAR sees Na’amah as a kind of demon working together with Adam’s first wife Lilith. Na’amah is also called “Mother of the Fallen Angels”. Please note that there exists a vast variety of interpretations who or what the “Fallen Angels” actually were !
Other Jewish commentators see in Na’amah a completely righteous woman (Zaddeket). Why ? Because she bore Noach three sons of whom one, Shem, became the father of the later established Jewish nation. And why should G – d have saved Na’amah from the Flood if she was a demon ? Why not only Noach and his sons ?
As a matter of fact, we will never be able to find a precise answer, as Na’amah lived thousands of years ago and none of us was there. What we can do us going through many sources and thus get a small picture of events .
Na’amah was the sister of Tuval – Cain. The father of these two children was Lamech, a descendant of Cain. Their mother was Lamech’s second wife, Zillah.
Don’t get mixed up with the two existing Lamechs because one belonged to the generations of Cain and the second Lamech was the son of Methushelach (Methusalem). This Lamech became the father of Noach and belonged to the generations of Adam’s third son Seth (Shet). Noach’s mother was Asmoah bat Elishua.
Na’amah, as a descendant of Cain, married Noach who was a descendant of Shet. The Torah teaches us that Cain and his descendants were anything but righteous. Doesn’t this mean that the generation of Shet must have been happy when the descendants of Cain were all killed in the Flood (Mabul) ? It says that Cain descendants all lost their lives in the Flood except for one person: Na’amah. And this is the reason why we still carry a piece of Cain in us.
It was the generation of Enosh (the son of Shet) starting the first idol – worship in world history. The people knew that there is a G – d but made the mistake to believe that G – d had left His Creation and put the sun in charge of ruling the universe. Worshiping the sun or other planets continued for thousands of years.
After nine generations, the world was entirely messed up and far from G – d’s original Creation plan. In those days, the people mostly settled in what we call today, Iraq and Syria. They didn’t care about got and did whatever they wanted. “Who needs G – d when there is everything what a human desires ?” This is how Noach’s generation thought.
They had a long life, plenty of food, a constant mild climate and sicknesses were unheard of. The people stole, raped or had sex with animals (see Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin 108a ff.). Before the Flood, human beings as well as animals had a totally different DNA and thus were able to bear children from animals. Meaning that a woman having sex with an animal could become pregnant and an female animal could bear a “child” from a man. I am not sure whether any of us can imagine what kind of creatures were population planet Earth.
My personal opinion is that G – d brought the Flood because His Ma’aseh Bereshit (Creation) was in serious danger. The official version in Talmud Sanhedrin: G – d brought about the Flood because the people were corrupt and stole whatever their eyes desired.
As soon as Noach and his family had entered the Ark, sexual relations were forbidden (see Midrash Rabbah / Parashat Noach or Talmud Sanhedrin 108b). Simply because G – d doesn’t want other to enjoy themselves while His creations die.
How do we know that sexual relations were forbidden ? Sefer Bereshit (Genesis) 6:18, teaches that when G – d commanded Noach and his family to enter the Ark, He listed male and female separately. Meaning, all men entered the ark in one group and the women in another group. See also Rashi, Midrash Rabbah / Parashat Noach or Talmud Sanhedrin 108b).
The Talmud in Sanhedrin 108b teaches that three cohabited while being in the Ark: The dog, the raven and Noach’s son Ham. As a punishment, Ham’s skin was affected. In addition to that, his firstborn son Kush is said to have been black. Later, various descendants of Ham moved down to Africa.
I am sure that certain readers may, once again, call the Talmud and me rassist. Not that I care too much but what we rather should do is concentrating on the history in those days and on it’s impact !
By the way, until a while ago, black people used to be called KUSHI in Israel. There was nothing wrong with it and, until today, there is a children’s song called “Kushi Katan Halach la’Gan …”. However, as far as I know, officially we don’t use the word Kushi anymore although the usage wouldn’t be rassist at all, as the expression comes from Kush, the son of Ham.
The punishment for the dog is to be chained or kept on a leash by their owners in order to prevent them from attacking others. Rashi explains that the raven was condemned to spit seed from its mouth into the mouth of its mate.