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November 10, 1995 - Image 45

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-11-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



Abraham asked, "If 50 innocent
men could be found in the city
would God then spare the city?"
"Yes." "But if not 50, then how
about 45? 40? 30? 20? 10?" Thus,
Abraham pleaded with God low-
ering the number with each
argument. But at last there were
no righteous men in the city. Had
there been a handful of con-
cerned, decent, or righteous men,
a minyon, Sodom's fate might
have been averted.
Sodom and Gomorrah per-
ished because of their sins, says
the Torah. They were the incar-
nation of wickedness, evil-mind-
ed, and hard-hearted. A moral
story came out of Sodom and Go-
morrah. Social evil, lack of social
concern for others, self-destruc-
tive, inhospitality, each is un-
acceptable. The way they treat
strangers is a reflection of the
city's moral character.
The destruction of Sodom and
Gomorrah is reminiscent of an-
other biblical story about floods,
the destruction of mankind in
Noah's time. But in neither story
is any form of repentance ob-
served. Noah did not call upon
the people to repent nor did the
people of Sodom and Gomorrah
ask to repent. The spiritual con-
cept of the Talmud, so much a
part of Judaism today, had not
yet been born.
A key figure in the Sodom and
Gomorrah story is Lot, Abra-
ham's nephew. He had chosen
affluent Sodom as his home. He
told how he welcomed the
strangers to his home, promising
the customary stranger's right of
asylum. But no sooner had the
strangers entered Lot's home
than the town's people gathered
enmasse and demanded their
surrender so that the town's
people could make sport of them.
Lot risked his own safety in
order to protect the strangers
under his roof. Lot was warned
to flee the city and to take his wife
and family. "Flee for your life! But
don't look behind you!" But Lot's
wife lingered in flight and turned
around to see the sulfurous fire
that covered the city. The smoke
went up like the smoke of a fur-
nace. Today no trace of the wrong
exists. The names of Sodom and
Gomorrah remain synonymous
today with human wickedness
and divine retribution.111

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days prior to issue date.

If I forget thee, 0 Jerusalem,
Let my right hand forget her cunning .. .

You're Invited to a Metro-Area Celebration

.4111

erus akes
3,000th Anniversary

icelift,- -416

The Eternal Capital of the Jewish People

7:30 p.m. • Wednesday, November 15
Congregation B'nai Moshe
6800 Drake Road • West Bloomfield

Exhibiting

Featuring

Art Work by Children

Rabbi Reuven Hammer



Conservative Movement
Scholar-in-Residence
And Author of
The Jerusalem Anthology

Honoring Jerusalem's
3000th Anniversary

With

Cantors from
Detroit
Congregations

Singing Songs
of Praise

Join us for a Community Gathering



Chairpersons:
Barbara Cook
Joel Shere
For more information call the Jewish Theological Seminary
at: (810) 258-0055

\'‘,Cekbrate Yerusakm1

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