Sunday, 10 November 2019

Parsha: Vayeira, Lot's Lot

Rabbi Y Seplowitz: 
«Lot was a man of contradictions.  He moved to Sodom to get away from his uncle Abraham.  He didn’t want to live near his uncle; Abraham was too . . . “religious.”  (“I can’t tolerate Abram or his G-d!” — Rashi’s commentary on Genesis, 13:11)

Yet, he adhered to many of the practices he had learned in his uncle’s home.  Abraham placed great emphasis on the Mitzvah of entertaining guests.  Although hospitality was actually outlawed in Sodom, Lot risked his life by inviting strangers to his home.  He served them Matzah, since it was Passover.  (He had learned from his uncle, who was, of course, a prophet, that there would some day be such a holiday  at that time of year.

Lot chose to live among the Sodomites; he was attracted by the material wealth the city had to offer.  The fact that it was a hotbed of evil and immorality didn’t faze him.  In fact, he seems to have preferred the decadent lifestyleof his neighbors over the restrictive morals of his uncle’s home.  Given the choice of Jerusalem vs. San Francisco, Lot chose ‘Frisco!»
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To further our understanding re: Lot - a thought once popped into my head about Lot's Middah k'neged Middah. Lot had proposed that Anshei S'dom could do what they want with his 2 daughters. And it turns around, that's what happened to Lot himself, he wound up having relations with them shortly after having been mafkir them.

The Torah text is subtle, yet upon reflection, the juxtaposition of these texts does suggest a literary connection.

Shalom and Best Regards,

1 comment:

  1. Rabbi Wolpoe's reference to Middah k'neged Middah raises an interesting issue regarding this concept. It usually refers to a punishment being specifically appropriate to the misdeed. Is this a possible meaning here? Would you then say here that Lot was punished with having slept with his daughters -- a form of being mafkir them as daughters -- because he already treated them as hefker in connection to Anshei Sdom? It could be problematic to see Lot as perceiving this act to be a punishment for Rashi states that he really knew what he was doing and it was not against his will. It may be, though, that punishment is not a factor of the perception of being punished but the objective nature of the event -- this was a bad thing for Lot. Of course, Rabbi Wolpoe may not, to begin with, presenting Middah k'neged Middah as a factor of punishment. He is just showing a connection in events.

    Rabbi Ben Hecht