By Rabbi David Shasho
“But Noah found favor in the eyes of Hashem.”
Rav Avraham Halevi z”l says that a curse will not come upon someone who is humble. David Hamelech says in Tehilim 131 ” לֺא גָבַה לִבִּי,” “My heart was not haughty.” The chapter right before that ends with the words, “and he will redeem Yisrael from all their sins.” If we connect the two sentences we can read it as though Hashem forgives us for our sins because we were not haughty. This is hinted in our Pasuk ”ונח מצא” the word מצ״א has a numerical value of 131 just like the chapter in Tehilim. This teaches us that someone who is humble is saved from curses and forgiven for all of his sins. Noach was saved because he was a humble man. The Sefer Eretz Hachaim writes that if the children of a humble man has a bad decree, they will be saved as well. The next Pasuk “אלה תולדות נח” Noach’s children were saved because he was humble.
The שבט מוסר says that Noach’s greatness was his humility, unlike the people of his generation who were all arrogant. Hashem had much patience for the wicked people, waiting for them to change. Being humble and modest is a great character trait. We know Moshe was the most humble of all men. The Orchot Tsadikim says someone who is humble saves himself from many evil things. He also has his prayers answered and any little good he does is considered great in Hashem’s eyes and is accepted a thousand times more readily than the prayers and deeds of someone with arrogance.
“What really is modesty? It is humility and lowliness of the spirit, regarding oneself as nothing. And a man must feel this constantly — to be low in his own eyes, humble of soul, tender of heart, and broken in spirit. The root of modesty is that he shall consider, while he is at peace and quiet, healthy and rich, that the Creator, blessed be He, has done much good to him, and that he is undeserving of all that God has given him. He should think about the greatness of God and the exaltation of His glory, and should consider, “What am I? Am I not a small humble creature and I am in a lowly transitory world.” And he should further think, “All the good deeds that I am able to do are nothing but a drop in the ocean in contrast with what I ought to do.” And he must do all of his deeds for the honor of Heaven, and not to flatter any man, or for the sake of pleasure, but he must do everything for the sake of God’s Great Name. This is the root of modesty.”
May we all try to work on our good character traits to be saved from all bad decrees and have all our tefilot answered.