How do you react when you hear bad news involving other people? Do you feel sorry for them and what they are experiencing? Do you try to help them in some way? Do you pray for them? Our first gut reaction is who we truly are.
In Parashat Ki Tissa, Hashem tells Moshe that he will destroy the Jewish people because they had sinned with the ‘golden calf’. However he would create a new nation from Moshe’s progeny. What a great offer! Moshe’s reaction was not joyous. Immediately, he prays for the survival of the nation and tells Hashem that if the nation is destroyed “erase my name from your book.”
Our great commentators compare Noach when he was told by Hashem that the world will be destroyed by a flood to that of Abraham who was told of the destruction of Sodom and that of Moshe. Noach did not seem to care about his neighbors whereas Abraham and Moshe did argue and pray on their behalf.
They are the ones we need to emulate.