Bereisheit / Genesis
Bread And Salt
By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk
We offer this study in the loving memory of my parents and Revi's parents. may they rest in peace. May there memory be for good. May they be elevated in the heavens. May we dedicate our lives to good deeds, giving charity and loving others in there memory...
Salt is placed upon raw meet to draw out the blood. Salt is a preservative. Salt is a seasoning that enhances the flavor of meat bread and other foods. When our Holy Temple stood we had a Meez Bach/ a Holy Altar. We salted our sacrifices when we placed them on the Holy Altar. Today our Shulcan / Dinning Table is the Holy Altar in the Jewish home. We place salt on the table just like we did on the Holy Altar. We pray at our Table. We share The torah Portion of the Bible at our Table.
Lot prepared unleavened bread, i.e. Matzah. This is bread without leaven. The Torah makes it very clear that Lot prepared Matzah. This is to inform us that Lot was Observant of Avraham's Teachings.
Genesis 19. 1- 3
וַיָּבֹאוּ שְׁנֵי הַמַּלְאָכִים סְדֹמָה בָּעֶרֶב וְלוֹט יֹשֵׁב בְּשַׁעַר־סְדֹם וַיַּרְא־לוֹט וַיָּקָם לִקְרָאתָם וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ אַפַּיִם אָרְצָה: ב וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֶּה נָּא־אֲדֹנַי סוּרוּ נָא אֶל־בֵּית עַבְדְּכֶם וְלִינוּ וְרַחֲצוּ רַגְלֵיכֶם וְהִשְׁכַּמְתֶּם וַהֲלַכְתֶּם לְדַרְכְּכֶם וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֹּא כִּי בָרְחוֹב נָלִין: ג וַיִּפְצַר־בָּם מְאֹד וַיָּסֻרוּ אֵלָיו וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ וַיַּעַשׂ לָהֶם מִשְׁתֶּה וּמַצּוֹת אָפָה וַיֹּאכֵלוּ:
And there came two angels to Sodom at evening; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom; and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face to the ground; 2 And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I beseech you, to your servant's house, and remain all night, and wash your feet, and you shall rise up early, and go on your way. And they said, No; we will stay in the street all night. 3 And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in to him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
יט בְּזֵעַת אַפֶּיךָ תֹּאכַל לֶחֶם עַד שׁוּבְךָ אֶל־הָאֲדָמָה כִּי מִמֶּנָּה לֻקָּחְתָּ כִּי־עָפָר אַתָּה וְאֶל־עָפָר תָּשׁוּב:
This was the night of Passover. Lot was honoring this night even though Passover would not happen for many years in the future. In these two Verses we comp rear the Hebrew Words for bread.
In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return to the ground; for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust shall you return.
Oov Mah Tzot - Unleavened Bread.
Leh Chehm - Leavened Bread
The people of Sedom were really evil. They did not permit hospitality. They were evil to guests. It was against the law of Sedom to invite guests to you home. One could be seriously punished for making a guest feel welcome.
Rabbi said: There was no city more wicked than Sodom: when a man was evil he was called a Sedomite;... The men of Sedom were wicked and sinners. They committed sexual sins... The Sedomites made an agreement among themselves that whenever a stranger visited them they should force him to sodomy and rob him of his money . Br R 50.7 They were wicked to each other. They were adulterers. They were idol worshippers. The shed blood. Br R 41.7
Last week we discussed how hospitably Avraham was and how lot learned to be hospitable from Avraham. We did not dwell on the danger Lot placed upon himself or his family. We did not speak of Lots wife. She did not participate in the Passover meal .A fierce quarrel broke out over the salt, for he [Lot] said to her [his wife], ' Give these guests a little salt,' to which she replied, 'Do you want to introduce that evil practice here also?' Br R 50.4
She gossiped about Lot. When Lot did not have salt for the Passover meal she went from house to house requesting sale. She announced 'We have Guests' and Lot needs salt for the feast he is preparing them. Br. R 51.5
One of our Sages taught, 'Lot's wife turned into salt because she was stingy towards the needy. Lot himself was a generous person, always inviting guests. His wife resented guests and discouraged them. One trick of hers was not to provide salt, a small thing which makes a big difference to guests. Therefore, she was punished by means of salt, measure for measure.
R. Judah ben Shila said in R. Assi's name in R. Johanan's name: There are six things, the fruit of which man eats in this world [and enjoys], while the principal [blessing] remains for him for [in] the world to come. Such is Hospitality to wayfarers, Sabbath 127 a.
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May we bless our Creator and those around us with bread and salt.
Blessings, Love and Peace,
Dr. Akiva Gamliel