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Vayera Question 1

Weekly Parsha Questions

Vayera Question 1

Yechiel Shaffer

In a moment of great drama, Lot, the nephew of Avraham, is whisked away from his home, Sedom, by his guests. In their instructions to Lot and his family they strongly advise:

בראשית פרשת וירא פרק יט

יז) וַיְהִי כְהוֹצִיאָם אֹתָם הַחוּצָה וַיֹּאמֶר הִמָּלֵט עַל־נַפְשֶׁךָ אַל־תַּבִּיט אַחֲרֶיךָ וְאַל־תַּעֲמֹד בְּכָל־הַכִּכָּר הָהָרָה הִמָּלֵט פֶּן־תִּסָּפֶה

17. And it came to pass, when they took them outside, that he said, “Flee for your life, do not look behind you, and do not stand in the entire plain. Flee to the mountain, lest you perish.”

The guests of Lot, angels sent by God, where explicit – now is the moment to look forward and not back.

We also know of the fate of Lot’s wife, who cannot help but turn around and gaze at the destruction of Sodom, the city they called home:

בראשית פרשת וירא פרק יט

כו) וַתַּבֵּט אִשְׁתּוֹ מֵאַחֲרָיו וַתְּהִי נְצִיב מֶלַח

26. And his wife looked from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Why does Lot’s wife turn into a pillar of Salt for looking back at Sodom?

What does salt represent (see the Kli Yakar Bereishis 19:17) about the inadequacies of Lot?

What image does the word נְצִיב invoke (see Ibn Ezra Bereishis 19:26)