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Friday, October 27

The Weekly Shtikle - Noach

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my dear Zadie and Bubbie, HaRav Chaim Yaakov ben Yitzchak and Yehudis bas Reuven Pinchas.

    The first pasuk of this week's parsha declares Noach a "ish tzaddik tamim," a man of complete righteousness. Later on, however, when HaShem is speaking with Noach, (7:1) He says to him "for I have seen you as righteous before me..." The word "tamim" is left out. Rashi teaches us from this discrepency that one should only give partial praise of an individual in his presence. His complete praise may only be expressed when he is not present.
    R' Chaim Kunyevsky makes a simple, yet important clarification of this concept. One should not mistakenly understand this to mean that half the praise should be given in the presence of the praisee. If this were the case, the praisee need only multiply the praise by two to know what people really think of him. This would be the antithesis of what this practice is meant to accomplish. Rather, the term "miktzas," partial, refers to any fraction. Therefore, when one hears his own praise he is not completely sure what to make of it. It could indeed be half of his praise in which case the full praise would be double. However, the praiser might very well be giving 99% of the man's praise. And so, he is unsure.
    On that note, it occurred to me that Noach, although it is said that he learned Torah, never saw the finished product. Whatever is written in the Torah about him was without his knowledge. Moshe Rabbeinu, however, wrote the entire Torah. Anything that is written about him (perhaps with the exception of the last eight pesukim - certainly not a discussion for now) was with his full awareness. Therefore, we must conclude that even the great praise of Moshe Rabbeinu that we find in the Torah is only a portion of the praise he is due.
Have a good Shabbos
Eliezer Bulka


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