As the Torah has no words without a purpose, these words tell us that at that instant, the A-mighty "shut the door" on Sodom. If not, I will know.'" We It all began with a need not to need anyone. 9 “Get out of our way,” they replied. Kegon zeh. 19 Your[c] servant has found favor in your[d] eyes,(AH) and you[e] have shown great kindness(AI) to me in sparing my life. Lot was sitting there, and when he saw them, he stood up to meet them. See Talmud, Bava Kamma 20b, where this and several other examples are raised. If Hashem could lead Israel out of Egypt, couldn't Hashem teach Tikun to those in Sodom? One has water while the other has bread. Absolute benevolence, absolute justice, absolute light and absolute darkness. "You write a lot of interesting article titles, but if the Holy Scriptures won't support your views, I certainly wont either. 12 The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Other instances are scattered throughout the Talmud, and also discussed in later halachic works. God dealt with people primarily on a … They delighted in acts of cruelty, especially to those who had done them no harm. A pinch of Lurianic Kabbalah could help us here. Rabbi Abraham Twerski explains that in both cases the laws were changed to allow and even promote sin. (AW), 29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain,(AX) he remembered(AY) Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe(AZ) that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived. Avodah tzorech Gavoah (“work is a need of the High One”). And, where research lab managers see a need for collaboration with a competitor, when that's likely to benefit both, that collaboration is likely to occur. Both in the antedeluvian world and in the world of Sodom the laws were changed and corrupted to legalize sinful behavior. Reply. Here’s a Rather, the Talmud uses the term “Sodomite attitude” to describe an extreme form of isolationism.classic example:1, Joe owns a large tract of land that is not in use and that he doesn’t wish to lease. Aren’t we better off sharing everything? When someone wrote to the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, that the final redemption cannot be complete until “the needy disappear from the earth,” the Rebbe responded that he did not concur. Why Tohu? Gain a concise, fundamental grasp of what the Bible is all about with our NEW "Know the Bible" series. The answer is "yes" but the overall answer is "cruelty" with the trigger for destruction being rape. All in all, a virtual garden of Eden. Plainly, the residents of S'dom and 'Amorah were psychopaths, so sought to be cruel to those, who had done them no harm. Why this inequality seen in babies from birth? Sodomize definition, to subject to sodomy; commit sodomy upon. But because the Sodomites were psychopaths, they sought-out Lot's visitors, in order to rape them. The A-mighty sends into the World those morally deficient, to challenge us. Sodom and Gomorrah Are Destroyed Abraham and Sarah (as they were named by this point) were growing old, yet the Lord informed him of the growing wickedness and coming judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodom and Gomorrah have come to represent the epitome of evil. All have in common one thing: They all need one another for their own wholeness. Reply, Jews, in Nazi-held Europe, sometimes had to save children by putting them into the care of Christians. Let’s go back briefly to the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. (AP) 25 Thus he overthrew those cities(AQ) and the entire plain,(AR) destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. Lot at first pitched his tent at or very near the S'dom "city limits". The earth was rich in nutrients as well as precious minerals. A lesson is that the righteous: (a) should not allow psychopaths to take charge of public affairs and (b) if, nonetheless, psychopaths do take charge, the righteous must flee. With self-sufficiency, we have all the evil of private ownership with none of the good. . It seems from your writing that the people of Sodom were born into Tohu. Genesis 19 tells the story of how God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for their wickedness, but spared Lot and his family (mostly). Reply, Why are some people born in favourable circumstances while others suffer from birth? It’s commerce that redeems capitalism and It’s commerce that redeems capitalism and makes it good—very good. One with great wealth has to figure out how to use that wealth to improve the World. Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed. Kabbalah, Chassidism and Jewish Mysticism. Those, who did this, wanted to make "normal" ("lawful") the doing of things that should not be done. Accordingly, they did not look back to Egypt at all, let alone with longing, as did the 603,538 of their peers. The Sins of Sodom and Gomorrah (18:20-21) "Then the LORD said, 'The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. Reply, There are far too many examples of pro-isolationism in the Bible to even consider the notion that isolationism was their problem. They turned the walls and buildings to dust and something that fell from the sky ignited when each of them came in contact with the ground. A married couple evolves over many years into a single being because they learn to need one another. That is why - absent Abraham's intercession for the residents of S'dom - Lot would have been incinerated along with other S'domites. (18:20-21) When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. Sodom and Gomorrah were cities mentioned in Genesis, notorious for their flagrant sin. (AV) 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace. But there’s more to it than that. When we need others, it is not contrary to independence since it helps to clarify the meaning of that independence. One person may be richly steeped in abstract knowledge but poor in application, while another does not fare well in abstractions but has a knack for putting ideas to work. Cited and discussed by Philip Wexler in Social Vision (Herder & Herder, 2019), p. 114. I have begged her to stay with me and let me help her recover and she refuses. But when he took-up residence in S'dom, he expressed his affinity for S'dom's perverse and perverted laws.The duty to flee a place, wherein one has been oppressed, is clear from Sh'mos. See more. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. We all say we want to be perfectly self-sufficient, but we recognize that would be a nightmare. This is not Karaism or Protestant Reform, where every student can go back to the text and read whatever feels right to him. .”15. Rather, the Talmud uses the term “Sodomite attitude” to describe an extreme form of isolationism. The lesson: when persecutors - psychopaths - take charge, Jews must flee. Even with all the love in the world, they are only truly bonded when they find a need for one another in their hearts. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the Lord is about to destroy the city! And allow yourself to need that friend. 36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. Are all souls equally disposed and if so qhy are some souls born in comfortable surroundings but others face abject misery from birth? Reply, Thank you for a deep and very clear study on this theme! (X)” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking. 19 That evening the two angels came to the entrance of the city of Sodom. 32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line(BD) through our father.”(BE), 33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. You can read some of them here. [f](AL)), 23 By the time Lot reached Zoar,(AM) the sun had risen over the land. That’s the central point of the story with Lot, Abraham’s nephew who lived in Sodom. They were cruel to those, who had done them no harm. when you will listen to His voice . 2 “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. Much of Germany was bombed to rubble and for 45 years, the country was divided. You're correct. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.(BI). And we don’t want them coming here, either. Panama has been settled for four centuries. Someone, who is poor, seeks to better him- or herself and founds a company or a school, which benefits many others. What do these two times have in common? These saviors benefit all descendants of those saved, who will never know their benefactor. Ultimately, it’s our interpersonal needs and the commerce between us that bind all of humanity together as a single, healthy organism. I am sending her this talk so that she won’t feel like a burden when she needs help. It is then written: "and they shut the door." Lot, deluded, was wiling to risk his daughters by substituting them for his guests, whom the Sodomites wanted to rape. These were not countries with a few sinners here and there. No one would accept anything from anyone else. doesn't this contradict their attitude of "what is mine is mine and what is yours is yours" if they truly felt isolated from one another, why would his hospitality bother them? That's what makes Judaism so resilient and potent at all times, in all places.I should also note that the fate of the generation of the Flood was similarly sealed singularly on חמס —robbery: "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth has become full of robbery because of them, and behold I am destroying them from the earth." Reply, The only nations suffering from Capitalism are those who don't engage in it. Reply, The city of Gomorrah was a tent city outside the walls of the community of Sodom (why they are mentioned together). (E) 2 “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. That explains why they were isolationists, wishing neither to benefit anyone nor to receive from anyone. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by Jacobz de Wet/Wikipedia/Public Domain According to archaeologists working on the site believed to include the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, they found evidence confirming the Biblical record that the two cities were destroyed by sulphur and fire: 23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came… While I have accepted the help of others and now use my means to help others, my youngest sister feels like she needs to be independent. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is a cautionary tale of the destructive consequences of sin. Their righteous acts save lives. But now it makes sense. The court says to him, “Your fellow citizen gains and you lose nothing. Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings 12:5. Reply, This makes me wonder whether the great research labs, scattered among the worlds nations, would not have been better off pooling their resources in the effort to find a Covid-19 vaccine.They clearly need each other, yet seem to be motivated by profits, and so work independently and alone. Genesis 18:22-33 says there were not even ten righteous people in Sodom. What’s a healthy organism? Reply, You could put them all in the same lab for 10 years, but without providing incentives nothing at all is going to happen. Sodom was in control of the other communities so that is why other Angels weren't dispatched to them. All rights reserved worldwide. Some of those kids were so young, they did not know they were Jewish. Sodom and Gomorrah was an ancient city of Syria located in the plain of Jordan. That 60% was impoverished before Capitalism showed up. Genesis 6:12. The New Testament uses these cities as examples of behavior that God’s people need to avoid. "What was wicked of them? The Talmud even discusses whether the homeless camper can ask the court to prevent Joe from throwing him out—because the Torah says, “You must do that which is good and upright.”2 What Joe is doing, in Talmudic eyes, is pure evil. And that is what makes a healthy human world as well: A world where people add value to life by discovering how much they need one another. In Lurianic terms, “the light was too great for containment.” We moderns might say that when the parts of the whole work independently of one another, they generate far more energy than the whole can contain. (AF) Flee to the mountains(AG) or you will be swept away!”, 18 But Lot said to them, “No, my lords,[b] please! Genesis 18:20-21 And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will … There are only two times that the Holy One, blessed is He, totally destroyed an entire population: 1) The great flood at the time of Noah, and 2) Sodom & Gomorrah. Several time in the Bible the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were given as examples of God’s judgment on those who reject Him and rebel against His Lordship (Luke 10:12, 17:29; 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 1:7). They established laws prejudiced against visitors, and found every way they could to discourage any passersby. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground() 2 “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s houseYou can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.” "Hey they we're just wicked ok? The final judgment is that we can’t legally compel Joe in this case, since that would be limiting the statutes of property ownership in ways that could lead to loss or inconvenience.3 But there are cases in which property ownership is not diminished and no significant inconvenience is caused. Some readers are questioning whether this essay follows the simple meaning of the text.While that is not really the subject of the essay—it's more an exposition of the highly enlightened Talmudic ethos of commerce—it is quite clear that, yes, there is sufficient evidence to support this reading of the text.Let's not forget the statement of Ezekiel 16:49 (cited in the essay), in his rebuke of Jerusalem: "Behold this was the iniquity of Sodom your sister: pride, abundance of bread, and careless ease were hers and her daughters', and she did not strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. This killing saved the Jew on the spot, and those, whom the Egyptian and his progeny would also kill.Most cannot see over the time-horizon, so can't know our acts' long-term impacts. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? What are those commodities? Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. So, they would have taken the visitors to the "city limits" and adjured them to leave and never to return. In Genesis 18, the Lord shared His plans to destroy these cities due to their sins: "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is … 22 But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar. The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah wasn't independence and isolationism, it was extreme wickedness. In fact, the most righteous man in Sodom was Lot—the man who offered his daughters to be gang-raped. Lot left, reluctantly. Reply, I don't think so. While most Orthodox Jewish and Christian scholars have held the position that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their rampant homosexual behavior (namely, sodomy), there are others who believe that those cities were destroyed because of their pride.. There’s another description in the Talmud of the Sodomite attitude: One who says, “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours.”4 Or, as Rabbi Ovadiah Bartenura reads that, “I don’t want to give you anything, and I would appreciate it if you don’t give me anything.”5, Okay, so he’s not the kind of guy you want on your baseball team, “I don’t want to give you anything, and I would appreciate it if you don’t give me anything.” Why is that the ultimate evil?but is he really the core of evil? Points of Interest from the Story of Sodom and Gomorrah . At the same time, it is not biblical to say that homosexuality was the exclusive reason why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Final judgment had been sealed. The souls of the people of Sodom originated from the realm of tohu. ?In the meantime, Hassidic or Ashkenazi jehudim are the only ones to be accountable? Surprisingly, both appeal to Scripture to support their positions, most notably Ezekiel 16:49 and Jude 1:7. And that explains why the destruction was total: cruelty was do deeply embedded, that destruction was the only cure.There's a lesson for us: when comes the time to destroy a genocidal regime, all - who served that regime - must be killed. Your statement, "they clearly need each other" is not necessarily true. He hasn’t lied to anyone. But my guess is that it was his connections. Reply, This is by far one of the best articles I've read on Chabad. Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away(Z) when the city is punished. “I don’t want to give you anything, and I would appreciate it if you don’t give me anything.” Why is that the ultimate evil? There should be pretty good records of births, marriages, etc. The laws were given to prevent the Jewish people from turning into these people. There’s much talk today about whether capitalism is evil. In managing on her own she has become an alcoholic and crack addict. If there's an unbroken chain of Jewish mothers, then a person is Jewish and should be accepted as such.So, get back to your roots. Now for some words from a more recent Kabbalist and chassidic master, Rabbi Sholom Dovber of Lubavitch, writing in 1914:8. In Genesis 14, the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Zoar, Admah, and Zeboim all rebel against him and raise an army. We trust Hashem to causes our acts to have good effects. The web is soon to be exposed and the spider will no longer be because every corner of the dwelling will be cleaned by its keeper. Copyright © 2019 by Zondervan. Sodom and Gomorrah are two of the Old Testament’s most infamously sinful cities. G‑d was not pleased with that world. It’s all one big capitalist market out there. Sodom and Gomorrah have come to represent the epitome of evil. because G‑d will bless you . Reply, Why didn't Hashem fill the people of Sodom with Tikun? Thankfully, there were kind people around me who believed in helping children that didn’t belong to them. Tzedakah (charity) is an obvious way. Withholding money from a spendthrift child is an inobvious way. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. (Unless you go outside of the scripture to some other source). The gamut of opinions and explanations of this concept is presented at length by Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz in his Shnei Luchot Habrit (“Shelah ha-Kadosh”), Sha’ar ha-Gadol. According to the Bible, “the men of Sodom were wicked” (Genesis 13, verse 13).For its many sins, God destroyed Sodom and all the inhabitants of the “cities of the plain” in an intense conflagration, but not before allowing Abraham’s nephew Lot and his family to flee to safety. (BJ) 37 The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab[g];(BK) he is the father of the Moabites(BL) of today. Reply, No one is saying that we're not supposed to work together at some point. Reply, I refer you to 'The Enemy of Nature: the end of capitalism or the end of the world?' Reply, All of us face challenges. Just the fact that one person sold and the other bought is good. Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed. When the world was created, it was at first, as Genesis says,6 “tohu.” Tohu is generally translated as “chaos.” Rabbi Isaac Luria, however, describes tohu as a state of isolated ideals.7. The universe began with an explosion and we are putting back together the fragments. See Rashi to Sh'mos 13:18. He was allowed to acquire a house in the city because he expressed a willingness to conform to S'dom's customs. The hostility to travelers in the story of Lot must be read within this context—if they have everything, why are they so hostile?But most of all, we have a strong and unchallenged tradition of our sages, recorded in the Mishnah and Midrash and later in the Talmud—and well-cited here. See also Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, Likkutei Torah, Emor 37c ff and Mattot 87a ff. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. (Q) We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door. Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. 38 The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi[h]; he is the father of the Ammonites[i](BM) of today. But I can’t flee to the mountains;(AJ) this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. Wow, this is really eye-opening, and relevant to today's world of populism and more nationalistic policies versus working with allies. You may have heard of the Pauli exclusion principle, that no two particles in the universe can be in precisely the same state—because if this principle were violated, there would be nothing to prevent the entire universe from collapsing upon itself. 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