The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.
R' Frand began the vort by quoting the famous Rashi who notes that Noach can be viewed as a Tzaddik on a varying scale, depending on who he was being compared with. R' Frand then mentioned a former attendee at his shiur a Rav Kolson (sp?) who used to drive from Fredrick, MD to the shiur until he recently passed away. R' Frand described how upbeat this Rav always was and how he lamented that Noach could not just be viewed as a Tzaddik, instead of being compared to others and criticized.
R' Frand next quoted a Gemara in Avodah Zarah which notes that Noach was a Tamim and a Tzaddik. Rashi on the Gemara explains that as a Tamim, Noach was pious, and as a Tzaddik, he avoided Chamas (loosely translated as thievery).
R' Frand then asked - how does one measure up to be a Tzaddik? He answered based on the Rambam who explains that a Tzaddik is conscientious of other people's money. When he is an employee, he works as hard as possible while he is on the clock.
R' Frand supported this theory by noting that the Rambam calls Ya'akov a Tzaddik when he worked for Lavan. But this reference is odd, since Ya'akov is not generally referred to as a Tzaddik (that role is usually attributed to Yosef). However in this instance, where Ya'akov worked so hard for Lavan, we see that he is a Tzaddik as well.
R' Frand closed the vort by quoting the sefer Kav HaYashar who writes that the individual who does not want other people's money and works hard for his employer is a Tzaddik, because the ikur of being a Tzaddik is to be careful with other people's money. He demonstrated this based on Noach being called a Tzaddik and Anav (modest). Noach was called a Tzaddik because he did not want other people's money and for this reason he was saved. He was also an Anav, even though the world was his after the waters of the flood receded, he did not see himself as the master of the world.
R' Frand also quoted the new R' Bukspan sefer (Parsha Pearls) which applied this concept to the pasuk in Bereishis 6:11 in which Hashem said that he was going to destroy the world because of Chamas. Rashi explains that the generation of the flood committed the cardinal sins of adultery and idol worship, but their sentence was sealed because of Chamas.
The Yerushalmi explains that Chamas is stealing, but less than a perutah value so that the thief cannot be prosecuted. It gives the example of someone who has a pile of dates and passersby take individual dates which each have a value of less than a perutah. By the time they are done, he has lost everything but has no one to sue, because each theft was less than the minimum amount.
But although this was horrible, why did this seal their fate?
He answered that a person who steals a minimal amount so that he cannot be prosecuted is working the system and does not regret his acts. Meanwhile, a person who commits adultery or another major wrong knows that he is acting inapporpriately and can have regret. But a person who thinks that what he is doing is not wrong has no hope.
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