There are places in the Torah where many of us moderns have a hard time relating to our ancestors and the societies in which they lived. Oppression of women, slavery, animal sacrifice, a God that intervenes and directs our lives in a forceful and immediate way, to name a few. This parasha, however, is not really one of these moments. In fact, as I read through Noach again and again this year, I couldn’t help but think how much hasn’t changed since those fateful days, in primordial time, when the first humans brought about the destruction of the Earth.
Parshat Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32) Was Noah someone who would have been recognized as a tzadik in any generation? Or was Noah only a tzadik in a relative sense, only in comparison to those around him?