Parashat Vayera: Don’t Look Back!

By: Susan Moger

In today’s Torah reading I will focus on the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities known for their wickedness and immorality. The people there engaged in sinful acts for which G-d destroyed their cities.

G-d sent two angels to investigate the situation and determine if there were any righteous individuals within the cities. The angels arrived at the house of Lot, who was Abraham’s nephew and a righteous man.

Lot welcomed the angels into his home and offered them hospitality. However, the wicked residents of Sodom soon surrounded Lot’s house, demanding that he hand over the visitors so they could engage in immoral acts with them. Lot, knowing the severity of their intentions, pleaded with the crowd not to commit such wickedness.

Realizing that there were no righteous individuals left in the cities, the angels informed Lot that G-d would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. They instructed him to gather his family and flee the cities before the punishment was unleashed.  Lot and his family obeyed the angels’ command and escaped just in time.

As G-d had warned, fire and brimstone rained down upon the cities completely destroying them. This act of divine judgment serves as a reminder of the consequences of leading a life filled with sin and immorality. It serves as a powerful lesson for us regarding the importance of leading lives that are guided by moral values and obedience to G-d’s commandments.

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah also emphasizes the significance of righteousness and the impact it can have on others. Lot’s righteousness saved him and his family from destruction. It reminds us that even in times of great wickedness, we can strive to be righteous and make a positive difference in the world.

As Lot’s family was fleeing, Lot’s wife looked back to see what was happening to her city – something the angels had instructed Lot’s family not to do. As a result, she turns into a pillar of salt. From a modern standpoint this event can be seen as a lesson about the dangers of clinging to the past and being unwilling to let go of negative influences. Lot’s wife’s act of looking back may symbolize a reluctance to fully embrace the new path that G-d had set for them. This interpretation highlights the importance of trust and faith in following G-d’s guidance, even when faced with difficult circumstances or the need to leave behind familiar surroundings. It reminds us of the significance of letting go of harmful attachments and embracing the future that G-d has planned for us. I’m a big fan of not looking back and replaying painful experiences. Living in the moment withs hope for the future.

 Let’s continue to pray for peace in the Ukraine and in Israel. Peace out.

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