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    Lot – Lech L’cha

    Lot flees from Sodom, by the Providence Lithograph Company, 1908

    Avraham’s nephew Lot plays a central role in this sidra.

    The word Lot probably means a covering or veil (Isa. 25:7).

    After reading the narrative of Lot’s poor judgment one actually wishes a veil could be drawn over the episode.

    The Midrash recognises that Lot had affectionate feelings for his uncle but when the two separated, Lot gave way to greed and lust and abandoned religion.

    He was hospitable but rather stupid and his careless invitation to visitors to have their way with his daughters does not redound to his credit.

    His wife (Idit or Irit according to the Midrash) turned into a pillar of salt because she looked back and dawdled when she should have fled from the salty winds.

    The sages say that she became salt as a punishment for feeding her guests salt, thus compromising the family’s tradition of hospitality.

    Rabbinic tradition found very little to praise in the character of Lot and his wife.

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