Really now; always to be compared to Avraham.
“Well! You’re a tzaddik, for your generation, sure, but Avraham! Now that’s a tzaddik!”
And the proof that they bring? Noach didn’t argue with Hashem when He said that the world was going to be destroyed so he should build the teivah (ark), compared to Avraham, who argued with Hashem about His plans on destroying the wicked cities of Sdom, etc.
This really isn’t fair. I can’t imagine being told that the whole world was going to be destroyed; can you? I would think that he would go through some kind of shock first and foremost. And then the whole building project? The Torah commentaries state that Noach was told to take his time building so that when people would see him and he would explain what he was doing, they would do teshuvah and change their evil ways, thus removing the threat of destruction.
REALLY? This is the most unreasonable thing, actually showing that Noach was amazing! He explained, alright, but instead of changing their behavior, they taunted him and made continual fun of him. And yet he kept going, he didn’t give up and hide in a cave away from people, or didn’t despair completely. He did what he needed to do to save his family.
And even before that, when things first got tough for Avraham, back in his homeland when he first got religion, his father picked up the family and moved away. And even then, G-d told him to leave the family to keep him on the straight and narrow. It’s much easier to be holy when you’re not with wicked people.
And what was the big deal for Avraham to argue with Hashem about the cities? He didn’t live there. It was pretty much an intellectual game. “What if there were 100 good people? How about 50? How low will you go, G-d? 10? No? Okay, I tried.” Yet when it came time to argue with Hashem about saving his own son who was supposed to be offered up to G-d, whatever that was supposed to mean, he didn’t say a thing. How can we say that Avraham was better than Noach? Because Noach saved the world and Avraham created the family that’s still tearing itself apart today centuries later?
No, I haven’t turned soft or addled in my old age.
I’ll keep looking for more answers.