Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Vayeira - 5778

TOLERANCE 

Even with the most cursory reading of the Torah and the rabbinic commentaries, one could understand how corrupt and destructive the city and philosophy of Sodom were.  The selfish mindset and merciless policies of Sodom have been a symbol of evil for all ages.  Yet, when Avraham is informed that Hashem intends to destroy the city, he immediately prays with intensity for its survival.  He beseeches the Creator, and asks if perhaps the city has within it enough righteous people to merit survival. 

The actions of our patriarch are recorded for us to learn, understand and emulate. 

Often in our religious life, we hear or meet people that practice their beliefs differently from the way we do.  Unfortunately, views that do not fit into our approach, are labeled by some as heretical, and thus, are used to justify all kinds of harmful behavior towards the other.

By reading our Paresha we can learn that if Avraham can be concerned and even pray for Sodom, one is clearly obligated to be tolerant and act benevolently to those who think and act differently.

May we all be inspired by the life and actions of Avraham Avinu!

Shabbat Shalom