Vertluch: Parshas Noach


This weeks parsha begins with the well-known words of נֹחַ אִישׁ צַדִּיק תָּמִים הָיָה בְּדֹרֹתָיו, meaning Noach was righteous, and a tamim; he was faultless in his generation. Many ask that later on, when Hashem tells Noach כִּי אֹתְךָ רָאִיתִי צַדִּיק לְפָנַי בַּדּוֹר הַזֶּה, He leaves out the word tamim. It would seem that Noach was demoted a category from a tamim to just a regular tzaddik. What did he do to deserve this downgrading, so to speak?

Ksav Sofer offers a beautiful idea.

Rashi brings down that Noach was a trailblazer in the agriculture industry as he was the person who invented the plow. The ability for someone to plow a field was a concept introduced by Noach. Up until that point the procedure to plant was that a person went out into his field, physically planted the seeds and put their complete trust in Hashem. Whether it was through emunah sheleima, tefilla or both they clearly relied solely on the Ribono Shel Olam. They would daven fervently and pray for rain so that their seeds would sprout and produce. They understood quite clearly that Hashem and only Hashem can make their field produce vegetables, fruits and wheat.

However, this all changed, after Noach created the plow. People now began to think that everything they did was solely due from their efforts. They were capable of doing things and producing anything they had wanted and they slowly forgot who was in charge and who should be thanked. Instead of davening for rain they were convinced that once their seeds sprouted it was obviously because they had their hands in everything. This is what led them to slowly drift away and veered them towards committing more and more aveiros.

Noach himself was a tzaddik but the fact that he invented a vessel that caused others to forget Hashem it diminished his level of tzidkus, not allowing us to call him a tzaddik tamim. It caused them to lose focus and allowed them to stray to the point where they ultimately forgot that there was a Hashem who has his hand in everything. He therefore he lost his title of tamim.

Tosfos in Shabbos (31) brings a Yerushalmi which says that the word emunah refers to seder Zeraim. Because when someone plants something there is a tremendous level of emunah that they must have in order for what they had planted to grow and sprout forward. Remember what we had to do before these tools were created and readily available. The fact that Noach introduced the generation to that vessel- which led people to forget Hashem-was the reason that we can no longer consider him tamim, perfect, as something was now missing from his behavior.

What we have to realize is that we don’t live life for ourselves. We are responsible for what we do, how we act and what we create and develop. How we act, what we create, how we behave…everything will have an effect on our surroundings, on our family and on an entire generation.

Through understanding this may we all merit to witness the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days.