For an explanation of the methodology of this series, see the introduction.

"And God saw the earth, and behold it had become corrupted, for all flesh had corrupted its way on the earth." (Gen. 6:12)

Peshat (basic meaning):

Rashi: "for all flesh had corrupted"
Even cattle, beasts, and fowl would mate with those who were not of their own species.

Remez (hinted meaning):

Baal HaTurim: The next verse: "the end for all life is approaching," (6:13) is instructive because the word keitz/end alludes to the total days of the flood, 190, which is the gemataria of the word keitz: forty days of rain (see 7:12) and 150 days of surging water. (7:24)

Derash (interpretive meaning):

Ohr HaChayim: G‑d informed Noah that "the end for all life is approaching." (6:13) According to the Zohar this means that the destructive forces caused by man's sins which are called keitz have appeared before G‑d commanding the speedy destruction of the perpetrators of this evil. The Torah tells us how long G‑d restrained the attribute of Justice. This is why there are repeated references to G‑d's awareness of man's wickedness. (starting from 6:5)

Sod (esoteric, mystical meaning):

...all flesh had corrupted its ways...

Zohar Miketz 198:
And Elokim saw the earth and behold, it was corrupt." (Gen. 6:12) Why was the earth corrupt? Because all flesh had corrupted its ways, as has already been explained. Rabbi Hiya opened the discussion, saying, "And Elokim saw from their deeds that they had repented from their evil ways." (Jonah 3:10) Come and see: when the people are righteous and observe the commandments of the Torah, the earth is invigorated [i.e. becomes a sanctuary and a throne for the dwelling of the Shechinah so that She is able to bestow bounty] and is full of joy. And why is that? Because the Shechinah dwells upon the earth and everyone—both Above and Below—is joyous.

But when mankind corrupts its ways, does not observe the commandments of the Torah, and sins before its Master, then it is as if mankind drives the Shechinah out of the world. Then the earth is left corrupt, for the Shechinah is repelled by it and does not dwell on it. Then, the earth is corrupt. And why should the earth be corrupt? Because a different spirit rests upon it, causing the corruption.

Thus it is said of Israel that they give strength to Elokim/G‑d, and through this they maintain the world. "Elokim/G‑d": this is the Shechinah. If G‑d forbid Israel is found guilty, it thus says, "Be exalted above the heavens, O G‑d" (Ps. 57.6) [meaning that the Shechinah rises up and is removed from the world (Zohar HaNig'leh)].

BeRahamim LeHayyim:
We'd better wake up and smell the roses before, G‑d forbid, they are gone. Acid rain, the "greenhouse effect", the plethora of cancers, disappearance of bees, melting polar caps, Israeli draught and shrinking Dead Sea, El Nino, Swine Flu, etc. Sometimes it can seem so hopeless.
...the Shechinah dwells in any place where there is joy in mitzvot observance...
On the other hand, there is The Power of Positive Thinking. Starting right now, in you, then expanding through your home, then your neighborhood, circle of friends, work place. Let’s align ourselves up with sacred energies, maybe even pray. We can change the world, rearrange the world... bring joy to the world...

If the Shechinah dwells in any place where there is joy in mitzvot observance, any and all of our combined efforts can do lots to stem a harsh decree.

"You are wherever your thoughts are. Make sure your thoughts are where you want to be." {Rebbe Nachman, Likutey Moharan I: 21}

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