Sedra of the Week: Vayera
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Sedra of the Week: Vayera

 Rachie Lister, Senior Rebbetzin at Edgware United Synagogue, looks ahead to this week's portion of the Torah

God remembered Avraham and He sent Lot out when He overturned the cities in which Lot lived. (Genesis 19:29)

The verse refers to Sodom and Gomorrah. But we know Lot only settled in Sodom and he could not have lived in two cities at the same time. How do we make sense of it?

Commentator Abraham Ibn Ezra says Lot lived in just one of the cities, but the Midrash says it was as if he lived in all the cities because his righteousness made a difference to them all. All of them were privileged and blessed because Lot lived in their region.

Ramban writes that Lot only became good because he associated with his uncle Abraham. He had chosen to reside among a sinful and immoral nation. This teaches us about the power of goodness. Abraham was so great he drew Lot after him even after they had parted ways and Lot had chosen to reside among people with low moral standards. Lot became so great that he later left his mark on thousands of people across five cities.

As spiritual descendants of Abraham, we have inherited the power of infectious goodness.  We are described as ohr l’amim, “a light unto the nations”. We are also all responsible for each other’s actions, meaning our good actions can affect another.

We should treasure our ability to do good, not just because it makes us better, but because it can improve those around us and those improved by us can, in turn, spread goodness further.

We try wherever possible to spread our good characteristics as an example to others and to keep good company so righteous people can have an everlasting influence over us.

  •  Rachie Lister is Senior Rebbetzin at Edgware United Synagogue

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