179. Rabbi Yitzchak analyzed the words: "He who caused His glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, that divided the water before them to make Himself an everlasting name" (Yeshayah 63:12). He said that "His glorious arm" is the merit of Abraham, WHO IS THE EMBODIMENT OF CHESED and who is to the right side of Moses, Tiferet of Moses. IN OTHER WORDS, MOSES IS THE SECRET OF TIFERET AND CHESED IS TO HIS RIGHT. SO THE TERM "ARM" INDICATES THE RIGHT ARM OF THE TIFERET OF MOSES. And, therefore, "that divided the water before them" indicates that the merit of Abraham, WHO IS CHESED, divides the water. And for what reason? "To make Himself an everlasting name."
180. Come and behold: What is the difference between Moses and other people? When the holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses, "Now therefore let Me alone...and I will make you a great nation" (Shemot 32:10), Moses immediately asked, 'Shall I abandon Yisrael, forget their punishment, AND NOT PLEA FOR MERCY FOR THEM, FOR MY OWN WELFARE? The world now shall say that I have killed Yisrael, and that I did the same as Noah had done before me.'
181. Noah did not plea for mercy on behalf of the world, and they all perished, because the Holy One, blessed be He, had told him that he and his children would be saved by the ark - as the verses state: "and, behold, I will bring the flood waters..." and "and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth (Beresheet 7:4) and "As for Me, behold, I establish my covenant..." and "Come you...into the ark." Because Noah did not plea for them, the Flood waters are named after him, as it is written: "for this is as the waters of Noah to Me; as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth" (Yeshayah 54:9).
182. Moses said: Now all the people shall say that I have killed them, because Hashem has told me that He shall make me a great nation. Now it is best for me to die rather than have Yisrael destroyed. Then immediately, "Moses besought Hashem his Elohim" (Shemot 32:11). He prayed for mercy, and indeed mercy for the world was aroused.
183. Rabbi Yitzchak continued: At first, when he pleaded for mercy for them, what did he say? He said, "Hashem, why does Your wrath burn against Your people?" (Ibid.). AND HE ASKS: Why did Moses ask why? They sinned by idol worshipping - for it is written: "...they have made them a molten calf and have worshipped it" (Ibid. 8) - nevertheless Moses asked why! AND HE ANSWERS THAT we have already learned that when a person is trying to appease a friend who has been offended by another, he should not magnify, but should rather minimize, the offense in the eyes of the offended. Later, he should maximize it in the eyes of THE OFFENDER. SO THIS IS WHY MOSES ASKED BEFORE THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE: "WHY DOES YOUR WRATH BURN AGAINST YOUR PEOPLE?" HE MINIMIZED THE SIN, BUT AFTERWARD MAGNIFIED IT TO THE PEOPLE OF YISRAEL, saying: "You have sinned a great sin!" (Ibid. 30).
184. He did not relent, but kept pleading with the Holy One, blessed be He, for mercy, to the point of offering his own life FOR THE SAKE OF YISRAEL. As it is written: "and if not, blot me, I pray You, out of Your book which You have written" (Ibid. 32). And then the Holy One, blessed be He, forgave them, as it is written: "and Hashem relented of the evil..." (Ibid. 14). But Noah did not act AS DID MOSES, he only pleaded to be saved and left the world to its fate.
185. So whenever Judgment is upon the world, the Holy Spirit says, "Alas! There is no one like Moses." As it is written: "Then He remembered the days of Moses... Where is he who brought them up out of the sea...?" (Yeshayah 63:11). The verse tells us, "Hashem said to Moses, 'Why do you cry to Me?'" (Shemot 14:15), showing that he himself brought them up out of the sea through prayer and because he prayed for Yisrael upon the sea, he was called "he who brought them up out of the sea," as he did bring them out from the sea.
186. "Where is he that put His holy spirit within them?" (Yeshayah 63:11) refers to Moses; to he who caused the Shechinah to reside among Yisrael and led them through the depths on dry land when the waters were cleft, as if frozen. And all this happened because he was willing to offer his life to save Yisrael.
187. Rabbi Yehuda said that even though Noah was righteous, it was still not worthwhile for the holy One, blessed be He, to protect the world because of him. Come and behold: Moses did not ask anything on the basis of his own merit. He depended on the merit of the Patriarchs. But Noah, unlike Moses, had no other person on whose merit he could depend.
188. Rabbi Yitzchak said that even though this was the case, when the Holy One, blessed be He, said to him "But with will I establish My covenant," he should have asked for mercy for them as well. And he should have sacrificed the offering he gave AFTER THE FLOOD, before it happened. Maybe that would have calmed the Judgment of wrath that hung over the world.