Disparaging A Tzaddik
"Noach was a tzaddik and perfect in his generations, and Noach walked with G-d..." Those rabbis who interpreted this verse disparagingly did a great favor to the Jews, because they saw with Divine inspiration that almost all the great tzaddikim would be met with opposition. Even Moshe, the greatest of all prophets, was suspected of various serious offenses. Now, the very first tzaddik mentioned in the Torah was Noach, and had everyone explained this statement as complimentary, we would have deduced from this that any person against whom there is opposition cannot be a tzaddik. Chazal thus deliberately discussed the first tzaddik in a disparaging manner, to teach us the opposition to a tzaddik does not have to be a clear sign of a flaw in him, for in spite of this, "Noach found favor in the eyes of G-d."