True Compassion by Dani Yaros


In Parshat VaYera, the Torah describes the cities of Sedom and Amorah in which people were so wicked that there was a law prohibiting one from providing food or money to a poor person.  Yet we find that Avraham Avinu begged HaKadosh Baruch Hu to spare the people of Sedom and Amorah, despite the fact that these people represented traits that were contradictory to the traits for which Avraham stood.  Why did Avraham consider it so necessary to daven that the wicked people of Sedom and Amora be saved?

Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l provides an answer to this question.  Generally, when one hears about the suffering of another human being, he begins to daven for that person.  However, when one is informed of the suffering of his enemy, with whom he disagrees, one often mistakenly goes so far as to thank the Ribono Shel Olam for making this person suffer, thinking that his enemy deserves the punishment that he receives.  Rav Moshe Feinstein explains that Avraham realized that it is wrong to daven only for the welfare of people with whom one agrees.  Avraham Avinu recognized that even the people from Sedom, with whom he disagreed so fiercely on so many issues, deserved to be davened for, and that even they should be pitied for the affliction that they were destined to receive.  We must learn from Avraham that just as he davened for even the lowlifes of Sedom, so too, we must daven for our fellow human-beings, regardless of what their viewpoints on life may be.  We must pray that each and every person who is suffering has his needs fulfilled with Hashem’s help. 

How Thoughtful Rabbi Josh Kahn

The Importance of Yirat Shamayim by Joseph Jarashow