Aliya Summary: This Aliya recounts the story of the Tower of Babel. Noach’s descendants gathered in the Babylonian valley and started building a tower, in an attempt to reach the heavens and battle G‑d. G‑d disrupted their “plan” by causing them each to speak a different language, thus destroying their communications. This caused them to disperse and settle in different lands. The Torah then lists the ten generations of Shem’s descendants. The tenth generation is Abram (later to be known as Abraham), who married Sarai (later to be known as Sarah).

Commentaries contrast the two sinful generations in this Parsha. Dor HaMabul (floor generation) was destroyed because their sins included the destruction of society by total disregard of a person for his fellow. Dor HaPlaga (tower generation) sinned against G-d alone, not against each other. In both cases, the basic tenets of creation were ignored, and it documented for us to learn from.