The Wicked Perish from the World

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174) At that time, when the wicked perish from the world, the Creator looks at the world and does not see who will protect them. But Noah, who had to protect his generation at the time of the flood and produce offspring for the world, why did he not protect them? This is why it is written, “For you I have seen as righteous before Me in this generation.” “In this generation,” for in another generation he would not have been righteous, which is why his merit was insufficient to protect the generation of the flood.

175) “In this generation” is to praise him, for he was in that sinful generation. And in all of that, he was a righteous and wholehearted man. Certainly, not only in his generation, but even in the generation of Moses he would have been righteous.

But he could not protect the world because no ten righteous were found in the world, as with the upheaval in Sodom, as it is written, “Suppose ten are found there?” But they were not found there, which is why they were ruined. Here, too, no ten were found except for Noah, his three sons, and their females, who were not ten. This is why they could not protect the generation.

176) When the world is filled with people’s iniquities and the Din comes out, woe to that righteous who is in the world, for he is punished first for the iniquities of the wicked. So how was Noah saved from the flood and was not punished for the iniquities of the generation? The Creator wished to bring out of him generations to the world; this is why he was saved. Also, the Din could not govern him because he was covered and hid in the ark, and was out of sight.

177) It is written, “Seek justice; seek humbleness; perhaps you will be hidden in the day of the anger of the Lord.” Noah sought justice. He went into the ark and hid in the day of the anger of the Lord. This is why the Din could not rule or slander him.

178) It implies here to the upper holy ones, to learn and to know the meaning of the high and holy letters. The inversion of the order of the twenty-two letters is to blot out those wicked. This is why it is written, “And they will be blotted out from the earth,” and it is written, “Come you and all your household into the ark.”

There are two orders in the twenty-two letters: 1) a direct order, AlephBet GimelDalet HeyVav, etc., indicating Rachamim. 2) A reverse order TavShinReishKof TzadiPehAyinSamech, etc., indicating Din.

A house and an ark comprise the same letters [in Hebrew], according to the wording of The Zohar: an ark is written in full, with the letter Yod. But “house” is in the direct order, BetYodTav, and “ark” is in the reverse order, TavYodBet, indicating Din. The suffix of the Hey is passive and is not required [in the word Teivah (ark)]. It is written, “Come you and all your household into the ark.” We can deduce from that that Midat ha Rachamim, implied in “house,” should enter and hide in Midat ha Din, implied in “ark,” so that anything that the ark does not contain is blotted out from the earth.

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