Lot’s wife and looking back

[…guard my tongue from slander and my lips from speaking guile…]

In Gen. 18:16-19:29, the story of the destruction of the cities of the plain (Sodom and Gomorrah) is told. Many people are puzzled about the meaning of Lot’s wife looking back at the destruction, and being turned into a pillar of salt (Gen. 19:26).

R’ Joseph Telushkin, in “Jewish Literacy” (p. 35), quotes an elderly congregant who had the best interpretation I’ve ever read. “When you keep looking back, you become inorganic.” (Sodium chloride is indeed an ‘inorganic’ compound, chemically speaking :-))

For this reason I shall not dwell or comment here on the self-immolation and ‘going David Brock‘ of a certain place I once called home. (Those otherwise inclined may find a nice roundup of commentaries here.)

Something survived, with its name, with its face. Our former home died, and its spirit lives on elsewhere. Let this haunting piece of music , which I and many others discovered at our former home, serve as a fitting elegy. And let us move onward, yet try hard to remember so we won’t get fooled again.

4 thoughts on “Lot’s wife and looking back

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s