Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Vayeira - 5880
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 was. The selfish mindset and merciless policies of Sodom have been a symbol of evil for all ages. Yet, when Avraham is informed that Hashem is intending to destroy the city, he immediately prays with intensity for their 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 who practise their beliefs differently than the way we do it. Unfortunately, views that do not fit into our approach are labeled by some as heretical, and thus, 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!