This week’s Torah parshah is Vayera (Genesis 18:1– 22:24). The parshah contains the the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the questionable hospitality of Lot, the incestual sexual relationships between a drunken Lot and his daughters, the revelation of Sarah’s pregnancy, the birth of Issac, the expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael from Abraham’s family, and the legendary story of the binding of Isaac. Needless to say, there is much that can be said, but today I want to focus on the women from Lot’s and Abraham’s families.
Women figure prominently in Lot’s family. In the parshah, we first meet Lot as host. Two male visitors (angels) come to stay at Lot’s house. When some of the male inhabitants of Sodom learn of this, they come to Lot’s door wanting to harass and sexually assault the guests. To protect his guests, Lot offers his unmarried daughters to the men instead. Later in the text, we learn that Lot can safely leave Sodom because he is righteous (although what may have spared his life more is the fact that Abraham is his uncle). Continue reading “Vayera and Women’s Agency by Ivy Helman”