Israel Forever

For the week ending 30 October 2004 / 15 Heshvan 5765

The Lesson of Sodom

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

The total destruction of the sinful cities of Sodom and Amorah is graphically described in the Torah portion which will be read in synagogues everywhere this Shabbat.

Ramban, in his commentary, points out that there were people in other lands who were extremely wicked and yet did not meet the awful fate of the Sodomites. He offers two reasons why Sodom had to be destroyed.

One is that these sinful cities were located in Eretz Yisrael whose holiness does not tolerate the abominations of which they were guilty. There was also the need to create an historical precedent which would serve as a warning to the Jewish People who would inherit this land of what could happen to them if they should falter in their obedience to the Torahs commands.

It is the hope of every Jew that this lesson which they learn in hearing the Torahs account of the destruction of Sodom, which was guilty of disrespect for G-d and callous disregard for the needs of others, will somehow reach all Jews in Israel and guarantee Israel forever.

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