Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The crime of Sodom was selfishness

Among the myths and legends in the bible is the story of Sodom.  Conventional wisdom has it that the inhabitants of Sodomy were involved in some kind of unacceptible sex, hence we now have the word "sodomy" (often used to refer specifically to homosexual sex).

However, it turns out that according to one of the most authoritative Jewish books (Pirkei d'Rabbi Eliezer), which expands upon a verse in Ezekiel, the crime of Sodomy had nothing to do with sex.  It was about selfishness.


Rabbi Zeera said: The men of Sodom were the wealthy men of prosperity…[and] Rabbi Nathaniel said: The men of Sodom had no consideration for the honor of their Owner by (not) distributing food to the wayfarer and the stranger, but they (even) fenced in all the trees on top above their fruit so that they should not be seized….Rabbi Joshua, son of Korchach, said: they appointed over themselves judges who were lying judges, and they oppressed every wayfarer and stranger who entered Sodom by their perverse judgment, and they sent them forth naked as it is said, ‘They have oppressed the stranger without judgment (Ezek 22:29).

I had heard this long ago from the left liberal Rabbi Michael Lerner, and I am glad that it turns out to be true.

1 comment:

  1. Now how do we get this info out to the christians?