Monday, July 22, 2013

Sodom's Sin

And no, it wasn't just lack of hospitality.

(Note to late-20th century Christianity:  "hospitality," while extremely important to the Biblical worldview, isn't as important as you thought it was.  Not every single rite, ritual, custom, practice and parable is actually about hospitality.  Nor, needless to say, are almost any of them about sex.)

According to Nahum Sarna, in the JPS Torah Commentary, the "outcry" and "outrage" that reach God's ears concerning Sodom in this Sunday's first reading

... connote the anguished cry of the oppressed, the agonized plea of the victim for justice …. The sin of Sodom, then, is heinous moral and social corruption, an arrogant disregard of basic human rights, a cynical insensitivity to the sufferings of others.  The prophet Jeremiah  identified Sodom with adultery, false dealing, and the encouragement of evildoers – all without any feelings of contrition (23:14) – while Ezekiel sums up the situation as follows:  “Only this was the sin of your sister Sodom:  arrogance!  She and her sisters had plenty of bread and untroubled tranquility, yet they did not support the poor and needy.” (16:49)

Good enough for us.

No comments: