75. "And Elohim said to Noah, 'The End of All Flesh is come before Me'" (Beresheet 6:13). Rabbi Yehuda related this verse to the one reading, "Hashem, make me know my end, and the measure of my days, what it is; I will know how frail I am" (Tehilim 39:5). King David said to the Holy One, blessed be He: There are two 'ends,' one on the right and one on the left. And they are two paths for man to walk to the World of Truth. THERE IS an end to the right, because it is written: "at the end of the days (also: 'right')" (Daniel 12:13). And THERE IS ALSO an end of the left, as is written: "He sets an end to darkness, and searches out all perfection; the stones of darkness and the shadow of death" (Iyov 28:3). What is meant by, "searches out all perfections"? (also: 'ending'). Who is it that searches? He is none other than the end WHO IS to the left; HE IS THE SEARCHER who brings darkness upon the faces of the creatures.
76. 'The end of the right' is, as we have previously said, "at the end of the right." As the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Daniel: "But go your way till the end be; for you shall rest" (Daniel 12:13). Daniel asked Him: "in this world or in the World of Truth?" He answered him, In the World of Truth! As it is written: "Peace to them that rest in their graves" (Yeshayah 57:2). He asked Him, At the time when they shall rise from the earth - MEANING AT THE TIME OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD - "shall I rise and be among them or not?" He answered him: "And stand." Daniel continued, "I know that at the time of the resurrection they shall rise in groups. Some of them shall be the righteous, while the others shall be the wicked of the world. But I do not know with whom shall I rise!" He answered him, "for your allotted portion," MEANING AMONG THE RIGHTEOUS. He continued, But You said "go your way till the end be." But there is the 'end of the right' and the 'end of the left,' and I do not know to which one I will go. He answered him, "at the end of the right" (Daniel 12:13).
77. Similarly, David said to the Holy One, blessed be He : "Hashem, make me know my end," what is the portion of my lot. THAT IS, HE WANTED TO KNOW HIS FATE. And he had no rest until he was told, "Sit you at My right hand" (Tehilim 110:1). Come and behold: the Holy One, blessed be He, told Noah as well: "The End of all Flesh is come before Me." Noah asked, "which end"? THE END OF THE RIGHT OR THE END OF THE LEFT?" AND HE ANSWERS, It is the end that brought darkness upon the faces of the creatures, being the End of all Flesh, WHICH MEANS IT IS THE END OF THE LEFT, WHICH IS THE ANGEL OF DEATH.
78. From the words "is come before Me" we learn that wicked people hasten to attract the Angel of Death upon themselves in order to bring darkness upon themselves. Therefore, because they give him permission, he grabs the soul. But he never takes the soul without permission. That is why THE VERSE READS, "Is come before Me." THIS MEANS THAT HE COMES BEFORE ME to get permission to bring darkness upon the faces of people of the world. And that is why it is written: "I will destroy them with the earth" (Beresheet 6:13). Because I GAVE HIM PERMISSION: "make an ark of Gopher wood" (Ibid. 14), on which to save yourself so that he should have no power over you.
79. Come and behold: We have learned that when there is a plague in a city or in the world, a person should not show himself in the marketplace, because the Angel of Destruction has received permission to destroy everything. This is why the Holy One, blessed be He, told Noah, 'It behooves you to take heed and not show yourself before the Angel of Destruction, so that he may not have power to rule over you.'
80. But, you might say, who mentioned an Angel of Destruction here? It was only the onrush of the waters THAT BECAME A FLOOD. Now come and behold: Whether the world is stricken, or even when the world is only given over for judgment, the Angel of Destruction is in the middle of all punishment done in the world. Now, here as well, there was the Flood. The Angel of Destruction walked within the Flood, and, as a result, he was called 'THE FLOOD.' Thus, he was included within it. So the Holy One, blessed be He, told Noah to hide himself INSIDE THE ARK and not to show himself to the world.
81. And you may wonder how the ark survived, even though it was seen in the world through which the Angel of Destruction walked? But, as long as the face of the person is not seen by the Angel of Destruction, he cannot rule over him. And how do we know this? From Egypt. Because the verse reads: "As none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning" (Shemot 12: 22). The reason is that the Angel of Destruction was present OUTSIDE and could destroy anyone, and none should be seen before him. This is why Noah and all those who joined him hid within the ark. There, the Angel of Destruction had no power over them.
82. Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yosi were on their way, when they came upon the mountains of Ararat, where they observed some deep ravines which had been left from the days of the Great Flood. Rabbi Chiya told Rabbi Yosi: These ravines are from the days of the Great Flood, and the Holy One, blessed be He, has left them to stay on throughout all the generations to come, so that the sins of the wicked would not be erased before Him.
83. Because it is the way of the Holy One blessed be He. He desires that the righteous who fulfill His will be remembered above as well as below. He desires that their memories not be forgotten through the generations. Likewise, He also desires that the wicked who do not fulfill His will BE REMEMBERED. HE DESIRES that their sins never be forgotten and their punishments and their wicked ways always remembered, as it is written: "The stain of your iniquity is before Me" (Yirmeyah 2:22).