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Friday, November 11

The Weekly Shtikle - Vayeira

This week's shtikle is dedicated le'ilui nishmas my brother Efrayim Yechezkel ben Avi Mori Reuven Pinchas, whose 46th yahrtzeit is Shabbos, the 18th of Cheshvan.

As well, this Tuesday, the 21st of Chesvan, is the 23rd yahrtzeit of my great uncle, Rabbi Lord Immanuel Jakobovits. The shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmaso, Yisroel ben Yoel.

As the evil city of Sedom is destroyed, Lot and his family are escaping the mayhem when his wife disobeys her orders and looks back at the carnage. She is instantly turned (19:26) into a pillar of salt.

Why salt? David Farkas offered the following explanation in HaDoresh veHamevakesh, in the name of R' Moshe Eisemann of Ner Yisroel.

The reason why salt was chosen, is because salt is a retardant, used to curtail growth. Marauding armies would thus sow their enemy's lands with salt to prevent it from being farmed, and even today we use it for pickling, to prevent the growth of decay. The reason why Lot and his family were commanded not to look behind them is because they had become part of the Sedom culture. It was only in the merit of Avraham that they were saved. For their own merit, they needed to show that fleeing the city was a complete divorce from that evil society. They needed to move on and to grow to become new people. If they were to look back, it would show that they simply were not ready to leave their previous life. When Lot's wife looked back, she showed just that. She was unable to grow. As the saying would go, "You could take Lot's wife out of Sedom, but you just couldn't take the Sedom out of Lot's wife." This was most accurately symbolized by her transformation into a pillar of salt.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:

AstroTorah: A Scratch on the Wall

AstroTorah: Witnesses to Sedom's Destruction

AstroTorah: The Mysterious Midrash by R' Ari Storch

AstroTorah: Lot's Twilight Escape by R' Ari Storch

AstroTorah: I Can't Believe it's not Fresh by R' Ari Storch

Dikdukian: Different Forms of Yirash

Dikdukian: Be'er Shava

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