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    Don’t be mean to Noah – No’ach

    God appears to Noah, by James Tissot, c. 1896

    God appears to Noah, by James Tissot, c. 1896

    No’ach is given a hard time by the critics who think that it was only in contrast to an evil generation that he was a good man, but in a better age he would have been nothing much at all (in Rashi this argument is spelled out in detail).

    Rabbenu Bachya offers a more positive view. He quotes the verse, “No’ach was a righteous man, perfect in his generation: No’ach walked with God” (Gen. 6:9).

    Says Rabbenu Bachya: “No’ach was good because he was constantly working on himself, elevating his spirituality. How did he begin? By being righteous, doing good deeds and avoiding injustice. What did he do next? He reached the top level available in his generation.

    “And then? He walked with God, reaching the stage of communing with the Creator, which few people ever do.”

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