Parsha: Vayeira (2023)

Don’t look back!” this was the last warning that was given to Lot’s family as they ran away from Sedom.

This week’s Parsha includes the story of the destruction of the city of Sedom as Avraham’s relatives escape the danger.

Indeed Irit, the wife of Lot (Avraham’s nephew) did look back and was punished and turned into a pillar of salt.

What’s wrong with looking back? And why salt?

The city of Sedom represents pain and suffering, moments of failure and confusion.

We may have experienced these in our life in the past.

The angel warns us not to look back. Don’t get stuck there, move forward, these moments are only in your past. Don’t let it define you, look ahead.

Salt is unique, while a little bit of salt on a dish is desirable, a cup or plate full of salt is not.

Taking lessons from the past can be beneficial, but only in small measures.

We may have the urge to look back and think the unproductive thoughts of “I should have,” or “I shouldn’t have.”

Let’s fight that urge and listen to the angel’s encouraging voice not to look back but to look forward.

In these challenging times we may have the urge to always be kept updated and to be on the look out for more information.

However, there is also information and messages that can bog us down and deflate us. Here too the angel’s message of “Don’t look back” directs us to be careful what we look at.

Let’s look forward and march ahead.

Shabbat shalom!

Rabbi Zalman