Sunday, October 13, 2013

Lot's Self-Sacrifice

Lot liked his uncle Abraham. He was a chassid of Abraham. There were other family members and nephews, but only he, Lot, went along with Abraham's views wholeheartedly. (Which is why he never squealed to the Egyptians on Abraham's real relationship with Sarah).

Like his uncle, Lot appreciated the opportunity to lavish upon guests; Most especially if they were indeed hungry.

Still, Lot preferred distancing himself physically from uncle Abraham. He wasn't as "religious" as his uncle; But he did indulge, as did his uncle, in congenial outreach to needy souls.

Once, having lived in Sodom for a while, Lot found a voyager out on the street, hungry for food. He instructed his daughter to secretly feed the homeless man at night, without rousing notice of the act of goodwill. Sodomites loathed and would kill perpetrators of goodness and charity.

In fact, the Sodomites caught Lot's daughter red-handed. They took her to a roof, stripped her, smeared her entire body with honey, and bees ate her up or killed her. It was this girl's cries that God refers to: "I will go down now to verify that she so cries." (Gen. 18:21)

Lot thus lost a daughter.

When the angels arrive to Sodom, dressed as passers-by, Lot now risks his OWN life to grant favor to strangers. He suggests they enter his house - only do so by taking a detoured side entrance.

The Sodomites had a great detection system in place to catch perpetrators of goodwill. Lot too was caught in the act.

This urge to do good, at the risk of self-sacrifice, even after losing a daughter to the cause, earned Lot an unusual prize. God rewarded Lot by providing that it be his seed that shall share in the Messianic dynasty's lineage.

(Heard this this Shabbos Lech-Lecha from the chassid Rabbi D.S. Pape, who remembers the Rebbe saying this in a farbrengen in 770 where he occupied a permanent "box seat", that -- on account of this self-sacrifice --  Lot merited the privilege of hosting two seeds of the Messianic genetic pool.)

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