EVALUATING NOAH’S RIGHTEOUSNESS: STATIC OR DYNAMIC?
Rabbi Frimmer – Friday Night Shabbat Sermon 5779 – Rashi, an 11th century Torah commentator, lays out the two sides of the Noah debate: There are those among the sages who view Noah positively. Certainly, had he been living in a generation of just individuals, he would have been more just. And, yet, others view him negatively. Had he been living in the generation of Abraham he would have been considered worthless.In other words, either we’re static in our growth, or we rise higher when those around us are reaching, as well. On this Shabbat of Parashat Noach, we need to refocus the story of Noah on the struggle *each one of us* encounters as we reach for righteousness, and not waste time on the question of whether we started out inherently virtuous. On this Shabbat, let us look to the possibility of newfound strength and capacity that can be discovered in community, rather than engage in the comparison and competition of who reaches higher.