Shabbat comes in 4.14 pm: goes out 5.16 pm
The question of Noah’s goodness is complex. In the rabbinic imagination (a midrash), Noah not only builds the Ark, but also plants the trees from which the cedar wood would come. The midrash paints a portrait of trees growing over a long period of time and then Noah building the Ark. Passers by question Noah, and he replies to each individual that “God is about to destroy the world,” thereby giving his generation a chance to repent (something that is completely absent in the text).
In other words, the Rabbis themselves could not imagine that one described as a tzadik would not be active in saving others from destruction. It is this message that is important. To be blameless and righteous is to care not just about oneself, but about the “other” as well.
Rabbi Paul Arberman