Why does the Torah tell us about Sodom?
“Everything that occurred to the Patriarchs is a sign for their descendants.” (Ramban to Beraishis 12:6) The entire future of the world is foreshadowed by the lives of our Patriarchs and Matriarchs.
The people of Sodom were crazy. Everything was upside down. Cruelty was established as law. Everything they did hurt them and nothing benefited them. They created their own hell. They destroyed themselves for no reason.
My friends, Hashem created us with brains. It’s not easy, but we have to learn to use them. “[Hashem] commanded us to put [tefillin] upon the arm to recall [His] ‘outstretched arm’ and opposite the heart so that [we learn to] subjugate the desires and thoughts of our heart to His service ... and upon the head … so that the soul that is in my brain … may all be subjugated to His service ….” (Hanachas Tefillin)
Generation after generation, since the beginning of time, has acted brainlessly. Paro destroyed himself and his empire. Bilaam destroyed himself. The Babylonians destroyed the Bais Hamikdosh and, soon after, they were themselves destroyed. Titus died a torturous death. This continues to the present: the dictator of the Third Reich, y’mak shemo, shot himself as his empire went up in flames.
Last week the FBI warned of “reliable information” concerning a “generalized threat” to shuls in New Jersey. Jew-haters are sprouting like weeds all over the world.
What exactly is their complaint? What fault do they find in us?
The fact is that they have no clue. They cannot even explain their hatred. They live on the level of animals. I had a very dangerous incident in my life when I first became religious. I was alone in a subway car when two big, hateful people threatened me. It was a miracle that I was not killed. Hashem saved me by a tremendous miracle. When they saw that, by Hashem’s mercy, I was not afraid of them, they literally became afraid of me. When I spoke to them in a soft voice, they started stuttering. They were cowards.
These are our enemies.
“If the nations of the world had realized how important the Holy Temple was to them, they would have surrounded it with walls to protect it!” (Medrash Rabbah Vayikra 1:11) But they destroyed it and lost its blessings.
Psalm 118 states three times “kol goyim savavuni … the nations surround me.” The Chofetz Chaim linked this to the three wars before Moshiach. What should our reaction be? “B’shaim Hashem … in the Name of G-d I cut them down.”
We learn from the Torah how to handle Sodom.
First, stay away. Avraham Avinu stayed away from Sodom. Stay away from tumah. Keep your distance. Lot’s wife looked back and turned to stone. People who get close to insanity begin to think it is normal.
Second, remember that Sodom destroyed itself. Yes, “Hashem caused sulfur and fire to rain upon Sodom,” but it had sealed its own doom. (Beraishis 19:24) The end of evil is destruction.
But from the destruction of evil comes redemption. Amazingly, from Lot came the seeds of Moshiach. His daughter gave birth to Moav, which was the embodiment of tumah, hatred of Hashem and hatred of Am Yisroel. But seeds grow in the dark. From the depths of this darkness came Rus, the grandmother of Dovid Hamelech and Moshiach.
We have to stay away from the darkness by immersing ourselves in the light of Torah. Do not get involved in their culture. The entire Sefer Tehillim begins with these words: “Praiseworthy is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked and does not stand in the path of the sinful and does not sit in the session of scorners, but his desire is in the Torah of Hashem.”
From this vantage point, you will witness the evildoers as they destroy themselves. “You will merely peer with your eyes and see the retribution of the wicked … because [you said] ‘You, Hashem, are my refuge.’” (Tehillim 91)
Just as the destruction of Sodom led to Moshiach and the destruction of Mitzraim led to Har Sinai, so the current implosion of the culture of Yishmoel and Edom is leading to the Geulah Shelemah.
“Behold! All [those] who are angry with you shall be shamed and humiliated; those who contend with you shall … perish…. Fear not, oh worm-weak Yaakov, People of Israel, for I shall be your help -- the words of Hashem – and your Redeemer!” (Haftaras Lech Lecha)
Geulah Shelemah: Final Redemption
Y’mak shemo: May his name be ground to dust