Parshat Vayera teaches us that we can always choose to be good. Lot did not seem to be going in the path of his father figure Avraham; He was surrounded by an immoral society that he partook in. He changed from the respectful person he was shown to be to conforming with his surroundings. In last week’s parsha he was captured, yet once he was saved he still decided to go back.
After thinking that Lot may not be good, he does an act of chesed. In Sedom, hachnasat orchim, welcoming guests into your home, was not only uncommon but was not allowed. However, when Lot saw that travelers were passing by Sedom, he invited them into his house and did hachnasat orchim. People of the city came banging on his door to try and get to the guests and harm them, but Lot still refused. Lot put his, and his family’s, life in danger for these strangers—to do this mitzvah that Avraham instilled in him. In a place filled with bad and evil, it is hard to stay true to one’s values.
After living there for many years and having changed, Lot was able to choose to do a good deed. We can always choose good. It may be hard with our yetzer hara but if we take the example from Lot who was surrounded in such a bad place and people came to kill him for choosing to do good, then we can too. Even if we are surrounded by bad, we should take the leap of being good and hope that others will follow. By doing mitzvot we can lead others to do them as well. Think of something that you know is bad that you do to be like everyone else (ex: gossiping) and try to choose good next time you are about to do it. Stop yourself and make the change.
By Shira Sedek