Wednesday, November 04, 2015

derech eretz is implicit

In the story of the destruction of Sdom Lot seems to bargain with the angels and win a reprieve for the city of Tzo'ar.  My wife was bothered by this give and take - do angels have agency?  Was it their call to make? 

Ramban address this point:

. והנה זכותו של לוט היה מציל בנים ובנות וחתנים, לא כאשר חשב אברהם שימית צדיק עם רשע. וברור הוא שהיו המלאכים יודעים דעת עליון בזה, כי גם צוער בתפלתו נמלטה:

Even if the text doesn't say that this was G-d's plan or that the angels stopped to consult Hashem, you have to assume they did so.  Ramban then adds:

ויתכן שהיה זה לכבוד האכסניא, כי דרך מוסר לשלוחים להציל בעל ביתם וכל אשר לו, כאשר עשו שלוחי יהושע (יהושע ו כג): שהצילו גם כל משפחת בעלת ביתם

Since derech eretz demands that you can't sleep in someone's home and then blow it up the next day, implicit in G-d's command to destroy Sdom was a built-in exclusion for Lot's home.  I think the ba'alei musar refer to this idea in other places as well.  G-d doesn't have to spell out to leave Lot's house alone.  Even if G-d explicitly said to destroy the ENTIRE city (which Avraham assumed meant tzadik im rasha), derech eretz delimits the command and allows the angels to interpret it she'lo k'peshuto.   It's like a built-in override.

On a totally different note: is there a shul out there that was considering hiring a YCT musmach that will now not do so because the Moetezes of Agudah rejects the institution?  Why do I have a lot of trouble believing that.  So can someone explain to me what exactly was accomplished with their declaration?

1 comment:

  1. We see a similar thing by makas bichoros hashem said he'll kill every first born. But what about the Jews house? Whoever put the blood on excluded them from the plague! could be chesed protected and excluded lot from it. (Maybe also do to an act that defined him as really not part of sedom)