Vayera: Chapter 23

"And Lot went up out of Tzoar"


There are no coincidences in life. No matter how accidental or random an event may appear to be, there is always an existing and underlying order and root cause. For example, Lot is taken advantage of by his daughters. He gets drunk with wine and his daughters engage in an incestuous relationship with their father. The Zohar explains that the wine corresponds to negative Left Column energy in this specific situation because it was used for immoral purposes. Remarkably, King David's ancestry is rooted in this incestuous relationship, and from the House of King David, will emerge the Messiah. A profound lesson of life is distilled through this controversial chain of events. Kabbalistically, the spiritual and physical worlds are perfectly balanced - the greater the force of negativity, the greater potential for revelation of a positive force. The Messiah is destined to generate the greatest possible spiritual Light in this world and therefore, the Messiah must emerge from the lowest and darkest realm. A union between Lot and his wife cannot be considered darkness, so this relationship could not plant the seed of the Messiah. Incest is considered the lowest and darkest form of union and therefore, it can also be transformed into the highest and brightest form of spiritual Light.

Beginning with verse 314 and onward, we find what is known as midrash hane'elam - "hidden explanations." These hidden explanations of the Zohar appear primarily in the first few sections of Genesis. This particular section explains that the story of Lot and his daughters is a parable referring to man and his Evil Inclination. The Zohar explains how the Evil Inclination always catches us and how we can protect ourselves from it.


The flaming light of a candle holds no genuine value or worth when measured against the brilliant radiance of the sun. However, in a darkened room, a single flame assumes great importance and significance. We are born into a world of darkness so that our spiritual efforts achieve significance and illumination. Constant striving against our dark side bestows value and worth upon our positive attributes. Awareness and recognition of the importance of confronting our dark side and transforming our negative characteristics into positive attributes, arise through the words and wisdom of these verses.