If you were asked who you consider a devoted spouse, whose name comes to mind?
The wife of Noach certainly demonstrated such character. The Midrash states that her name was Na’amah, which means pleasant and lovely. She was known to be a Tzadekes, a righteous woman who raised righteous children and deserved to be saved from the Mabul, the Great Flood, in her own merit.
It states in the Torah, “And Noach found favor in the eyes of Hashem.” It is really interesting to see the reason for this. The Ramban explains that all of his deeds were naim u’neimim, fitting and pleasing. Na’amah, pleasant, the word to define the wife of Noach, was the same word used to describe his behavior. Thus the two of them exemplified outstanding modes of conduct.
It states in Mishlei, “Kindness and truth shall not leave you…and find favor and good understanding in the sight of G-d and man.” If a person acts with kindness and is grounded in truth, and follows the direction of the Torah, he will find favor in the eyes of Hashem and people. Society will look upon such an individual with admiration. Yet, when discussing Noach, the Torah indicates that he found favor in the eyes of Hashem. What did people think of him?
The society around him was degenerate. Noach was charged to build the Ark. It was a 120-year project. During that time it was hoped that people would see him building the Ark, engage in discussion of his objective and what the future had in store, and be led to mend their ways. That didn’t happen. The opposite did. People taunted him. “Old man,” they called him, “Why are you building this Ark?” His answers were met with ridicule and defiance.
Imagine being married to someone who devoted his energies, time and resources to such a project. Imagine being married to someone whose actions were laughed at. How did Naamah react? She was supportive of her husband. Her aspirations were not in material gain. She supported his service of Hashem and his good works.
By building the Ark, Noach saved the world from total destruction. His actions made it possible for the world to carry on. Na’amah had a significant share in that accomplishment. By supporting Noach, she had a vital, indispensable role in saving humanity.
Do we recognize and give credit to those who work behind the scenes? What level of devotion and kindness do we demonstrate?
Rabbi Hershel D. Becker
 Breishis 4:22, As per Rashi, Breishis Rabah 23:3 (There is another interpretation in the Midrash that Na’amah cited in the Torah was not righteous and not the wife of Noach.)
 Breishis ibid. Gur Aryeh, Ramban
 Proverbs 3:3-4
 Ibid. Ralbag, Metzudas David
 Rashi Noach 6:14, Midrash Tanchuma, Breishis Raba 30:7
 Sanhedrin 118b
 Ha’amek Davar Breishsis 4:22