ב ' ח
Bereisheit Limood Chapter 19
Genesis 19.1 - 38
Bereisheit Limood Video
And They Came, Two Angels To Sedom
By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk
Dean of Jewish Studies
B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC
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Dear Reader, what happens when an Angel comes to visit? It depends. What will the Angel see? What will the Angel Observe? Our discussion begins with two Angels visiting Sedom.
וַיָּבֹאוּ שְׁנֵי הַמַּלְאָכִים סְדֹמָה בָּעֶרֶב
וְלוֹט יֹשֵׁב בְּשַׁעַר־סְדֹם וַיַּרְא־לוֹט
וַיָּקָם לִקְרָאתָם וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ אַפַּיִם אָרְצָה1:1
And they came, the two Malachim to Sedom in the evening and Lot sat in [the] Gate [of judgment] [in] Sedom and he Lot saw and he arose and he called to them and he bowed his face [anger] to the ground.
The Word Malachim is one of three occurrences in Ha Torah. Malachim means Angels. The Letter ה Hey which is before Malachim represents an article meaning The Malachim. Which Angels? You know, 'The Angels'. This is like everyone knows them. They are the Angels that guarded Yaakov. See Bereisheit 32.7 Regarding the Malachim, Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and Rabbi Nosson Scherman, The Artscroll Tanach Series - Bereishis Vol. I(a) (Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. 3rd Impression, 1989), p 628
One Angel was Michael who was sent to inform of Sarah's conception, Gavriel to Judge Sedom and Raphael to heal Avraham. Raphael would be assigned another mission after completing his. He was sent to save Lot.
The Angels came in the evening. It was near the time for a new day to begin... Twilight. The end of one day and the beginning of another.
As the sun set, a new day was approaching in Sedom. The way of living in Sedom was going to change with the onset of a new day...
וְלוֹט יֹשֵׁב בְּשַׁעַר־סְדֹם
And Lot sat in [the] Gate [of judgment] [in] Sedom
This was Lot's first day as a Judge according to our Sages. Sedom has a righteous judge one day and Divine Judgment Descends upon their sinfulness. Notice the second Word, ישב meaning 'sat'. Yoh Shayv normally is spelled with the Letter ו Vav יושב. When Yoh Shayv is spelled correctly, i.e. with the Letter Vav added the meaning changes to 'was sitting'. Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and Rabbi Nosson Scherman, The Artscroll Tanach Series - Bereishis Vol. I(a) (Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. 3rd Impression, 1989), p 677
וַיָּבֹאוּ שְׁנֵי הַמַּלְאָכִים סְדֹמָה
And they came, the two Malachim to Sedom
Notice the Gematria.
ו6 י10 ב2 א1 ו6
ש300 נ50 י10ו6
ה5 מ40 ל30 א1 כ20 י10 ם40
ס60 ד4 מ40 ה5 = 640
עַל־כָּל־דְּבַר־פֶּשַׁע עַל־שׁוֹר עַל־חֲמוֹר עַל־שֶׂה עַל־שַׂלְמָה עַל־כָּל־אֲבֵדָה אֲשֶׁר יֹאמַר כִּי־הוּא זֶה עַד הָאֱלֹהִים יָבֹא דְּבַר־שְׁנֵיהֶם אֲשֶׁר יַרְשִׁיעֻן אֱלֹהִים יְשַׁלֵּם שְׁנַיִם לְרֵעֵהוּ1:1
For every kind of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for garment, or for any kind of lost thing, which another challenges to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double to his neighbor.
Why did the two Angels come to Sedom? To condemn their evil acts of sin and to bring justice / Judgment...
י10 ר200 ש300 י10 ע70 ן50 = 640
The people of Sedom were Noachides who were rebellious to the Seven Laws of Ha Torah. They were wayward. They were unruly. They were mutinous.
הִשָּׁמֶר מִפָּנָיו וּשְׁמַע בְּקֹלוֹ אַל־תַּמֵּר בּוֹ כִּי לֹא יִשָּׂא לְפִשְׁעֲכֶם כִּי שְׁמִי בְּקִרְבּוֹ1:1
Take heed of him, and obey his voice, Do not rebel; for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My Name is in him.
The people of Sedom were rebellious towards God.
ת400 מ40 ר200 = 640
כִּי־יַכְרִית יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת־הַגּוֹיִם
אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה בָא־שָׁמָּה לָרֶשֶׁת אוֹתָם
מִפָּנֶיךָ וְיָרַשְׁתָּ אֹתָם וְיָשַׁבְתָּ בְּאַרְצָם1:1
For The Lord your God Shall cut off, i.e. eliminate the nations from before you, where you go to dispossess them, and live in their land;
The sins of Sedom were great. There were no righteous people left after Lot's relatives were removed. These perverse Noachides were removed.
י10 כ20 ר200 י10 ת400 = 640
What is the point? Mystically the first four Words Speak of the coming Judgment for the sinful people and speak of their rebellion of the judgment and of their elimination...
וַיָּבֹאוּ שְׁנֵי הַמַּלְאָכִים סְדֹמָה
And they came, the two Malachim to Sedom
כִּי מַלְאָכָיו יְצַוֶּה־לָּךְ לִשְׁמָרְךָ
For his angels Have Command to go to guard you in all your ways. This means the Angels have the Orders, the Commands, to do whatever is necessary to guard us, to correct us if our way is wrong.
Mystically we observe the fate of the people of Sedom. They rebelled. They were condemned. They were eliminated. This means their names were removed from the Book of Life. They will be remembered no more. May each of us be careful to walk in the path that does not require this type of correction.
All of Lot's children and grand children were lost... destroyed except his two youngest daughters. A pillar of salt marks the area outside of Sedom where his wife turned to look back. One has to ask, what mother would not look back for one final view of where her children and grand children lived?
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 Beach/ 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 of kindness to strangers and of removing the chometz, i.e. the leaven during Passover.
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; 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. 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.
This was the night of Passover. Lot was honoring this night even though Passover would not happen for many years in the future. A fierce quarrel broke out over the salt, for he [Lot] said to his wife, 'Give our guests a little salt,' to which she replied, 'Do you want to introduce that evil practice here also?' Br R 50.4 We have no salt. She went to borrow salt from the neighbors. She gossiped about Lot. When Lot did not have salt for the Passover meal she went from house to house... 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, Eeris turned into salt because she was stingy towards the needy. Lot himself was a generous person, always inviting guests. Eeris 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.
Salt is a preservative that was missing in Lot's home. Salt was missing because of a rebellious wife. Eeris was condemned and eliminated for her actions. She embraced wickedness! She was not participating in the elimination of chametz / leaven from their home. She was not assisting with the Passover meal. She understood the custom of Passover from living near Abraham and his followers. Still she spoke out against Lot among her neighbors. Eeris considered the custom of offering salt with bread evil. The Midrash Says Eeris looked back because of her two older daughters and as a punishment she was turned into a pillar of salt. Rabbi Moshe Weissman, The Midrash Says (Brooklyn, New York: Benei Yakov Publications 1980), p 177