Daily Aliya for Vayeira, Sheni (2nd Aliya)
Aliya Summary: The angels departed, with Avraham escorting them on their journey. Their destination: the Sodom region; their mission: to destroy the five cities of the region, and rescue Lot (Avraham’s nephew) and his family, who resided there. G‑d informed Avraham of His intention to destroy Sodom because of the great evil of its inhabitants. Avraham attempted to save the region, asking that it be spared if it contains fifty righteous people. When it was apparent that this was not the case, Avraham “bargains” with G‑d – eventually asking Him to spare Sodom even if there are only ten righteous individuals there, but even ten were not to be found.
When negotiating with G-d, Avraham’s expression of humility before G-d is “and I am dust and ash”. The Gemara says that because of Avraham’s humility his children merited two mitzvot – the ash of the Para Aduma and the dust of the Sota. While the ashes remove the impurity of touching the dead, the (Sota) dust can create life (if proven innocent). Thus, Avraham’s humility in dealing with G-d affects the full gamut of Jewish life and death, underscoring the importance of humility and respect.