Vayera – the Lot thickens

To what extent should a parent influence, direct or channel a child’s life? Can a parent go too far? The Akeida , the binding of Isaac , is seen by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin as a model for the above important question.   In his book “The Genesis of Justice”, Alan Dershowitz writes : “No biblical narrative is more dramatic , more poignant and more confusing than G-d’s command to sacrifice his son Isaac…… No one can read the story of the Akeida literally and accept it as a guide for human action.  It cries out for explanation, for reflection and for concern.  It provides no answers, only eternally unanswerable questions, and in that respect it is the perfect tool for teaching the realities, limitations and imperfections of both divine and human justice.”


The sedra Vayera also contains the story of Sodom and Gemorrah , which presents an intriguing scenario for psychiatrists.  Did Lot‘s wife develop a paralysing post traumatic depression or was she depressed before the disaster? asks Israeli psychiatrist Ilan Kutz. He also asks were Lot‘s daughters immediately pregnant because of previous incest, a characteristic feature of life in Sodom?

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2 thoughts on “Vayera – the Lot thickens

  1. Sodom was certainly a bad place.
    In “The Midrash Says”, I liked this story “Once Eliezer, servant of Avraham, happened to pass through Sodom. When walking in the street, he was attacked and beaten by some Sodomites until he bled. Eliezer went directly to the judge to demand justice.
    “What happened” asked the judge.
    “This man inflicted a wound on me!” complained Eliezer.
    “This is a clear-cut case. Pay this man immediately for having let your blood!” decided the judge.
    Eliezer did not hesitate. He took a stick and beat up the judge until the judge was bleeding. Then he said to the judge, ‘Now you owe me money because I let your blood. Instead of paying it to me, you can give it straight to the other fellow!”.

    … A quick thinker was Eliezer!