Dvar for Vayeira (Genesis 18:1-22:24)
Parshat Vayeira contains the story of Lot, who escaped the destruction of Sedom by hiding in the mountains with his two daughters. When his daughters thought the entire world was destroyed, as it did with the flood, they thought their only option to continue human existence was to use their father to procreate. While in their minds that may have been their only option, their decision to name their children Amon and Moav, which literally means “the son of my people” and “from my father” is discussed by many commentaries. Were they proud of what they did, or was it a necessary evil?
Rav Moshe Feinstein explains in the form of a fascinating story that although Lot’s daughters were not proud of what they felt they needed to do, they also thought it was important for people to know that their births were not supernatural. To avoid people making a religion out of presumably miraculous birth, Lot’s daughters were willing to publicize their admittedly shameful act, to avoid any misunderstandings in the future. Their honesty and willingness to face ridicule to avoid future misguidance are so impressive that Moshiach will come from their lineage. This pursuit of intellectual honesty regardless of the price is something worth admiring and striving for.