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Daily Aliya for Vayeira, Shlishi (3rd Aliya)

Aliya Summary: The angels arrived in Sodom, and Lot invited them to his home to eat and rest. Word of Lot’s guests spread throughout the city – a city that abhorred all acts of kindness – and the incensed residents of Sodom surrounded Lot’ house, with intent to assault the guests. Lot refused the demands that he surrender his guests, and – as the Sodomites prepared to break down the door – the angels struck all those surrounding the house with blindness. The angels informed Lot of their mission, and encouraged him to flee. Lot, his wife, and two of his daughters were escorted out of the city to safety, and were warned not to look back as the city was being destroyed.

The word “and he lingered” is read with the rare cantillation mark (trup), the shalshellet, which musically emphasizes the reluctance of Lot to believe and to leave. In contrast, the same word is used in describing the haste with which the Children of Israel left Egypt at G-d’s command, symbolized by the matzah which they hastily baked, rather than waiting for the dough to rise and produce a “proper ” bread, thus demonstrating their faith and confidence in G-d. Just another example of the many hidden pearls of lessons in the Torah (the lesson here being the subtlety used when disparaging Lot’s initial intentions).