The first pasuk of this week's parsha declares Noach an ish tzaddik tamim, a man of complete righteousness. Later on, however, when HaShem is speaking with Noach, (7:1) He says to him "for I have seen you as righteous before me..." The word tamim is left out. Rashi teaches us from this discrepancy that one should only give partial praise of an individual in his presence. His complete praise may only be expressed when he is not present.
R' Chaim Kanievsky makes a simple, yet important clarification of this concept. One should not mistakenly understand this to mean that half the praise should be given in the presence of the praisee. If this were the case, the praisee need only multiply the praise by two to know what people really think of him. This would be the antithesis of what this practice is meant to accomplish. Rather, the term miktzas, partial, refers to any fraction. Therefore, when one hears his own praise he is not completely sure what to make of it. It could indeed be half of his praise in which case the full praise would be double. However, the praiser might very well be giving 99% of the man's praise. And so, he is unsure.
On that note, it occurred to me that Noach, although it is said that he learned Torah, never saw the finished product. Whatever is written in the Torah about him was without his knowledge. Moshe Rabbeinu, honowever, wrote the entire Torah. Anything that is written about him (perhaps with the exception of the last eight pesukim) was with his full awareness. Therefore, we must conclude that even the great praise of Moshe Rabbeinu that we find in the Torah is only a portion of the praise he is due.
However, this approach might be refuted by Rashi at the end of Beha'alosecha (Bemidbar 12:5.) He states that Aharon and Miriam were separated from Moshe to receive HaShem's rebuke in order that Moshe not be present to hear all of his praises. Yet, that rebuke is recorded in the Torah. The only way my theory survives is if we suggest that even what is recorded in the Torah is not the full extent of what HaShem said to Aharon and Miriam.
On the lighter side (since, as illustrated below, the teiva was quite heavy): A good friend of mine and noted author, Mordechai Bodek, wrote a homourous book called Extracts From Noah's Diary. Every year since, I have forgotten to insert a plug for the book. This year (with his help,) I finally remembered.
Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
Al Pi Cheshbon: The Weight of the Teiva and The Constant Rate of Recession
AstroTorah: Sailing the Friendly Skies by R' Ari Storch
AstroTorah: The World's First Boat?
Dikdukian: Noach's Three Sons
Dikdukian: Different Ways to Wake Up