The Pasuk states, ”Eileh Toledot Noach Noach Ish Tzaddik Tamim Hayah BeDorotav Et HaElokim Hit’halech Noach,” “These are the offspring of Noach – Noach was a righteous man, perfect in his generations; Noach walked with God” (BeReishit 6:9). At the beginning of the Parashah, God wipes out all of the people on earth except Noach and his family. In a sense, suggests the Abarbanel, Noach thus replaces Adam as the leader of mankind. Why, though, is Noach deserving of this position? Rav Moshe Feinstein, commenting on the first Pasuk in the Parashah, mentions that “Toledot,” understood literally as “offspring,” can also refer to Noach’s good deeds. The fact that the Torah chooses such a word may imply that there is a connection between Noach’s children and his actions — namely, that he loves doing good as much as he loves his children. Such an attitude toward serving Hashem certainly makes Noach worthy of being the leader of humanity.
Unfortunately, there are Jews who think they don’t play such a significant role in serving God. They might think that doing a Mitzvah from time to time won’t benefit them or Hashem. The Torah, however, says that one should love God and thereby come to realize that every Mitzvah he or she does is significant. Serving God should not only be a job that needs to be done – it should be a job done for love of the Creator of the World. When one internalizes this, he or she will also come to realize that since every Mitzvah is an expression of love for Hashem, each and every one of them is important. This realization will hopefully lead us to a more motivated and purposeful Avodat Hashem, like that of Noach.