Sightseeing in the Parsha - Kikar Sdom
One of the most interesting things in the Parasha is the uncompromising effort on the part of Avraham to save the people of Sedom and Gomorrah. The Midrash says that the people of Sedom and Gomorrah enjoyed an abundance of material wealth, but they used it in an evil way, so much so that the world could not exist as long as they existed. After Avraham received the promise that Lot would be saved, the miracle with the angels happens, and Lot indeed is saved, but his wife is turned into a pillar of salt because she didn’t comply with the commandments of the angels as they were leaving the city.
Researchers have attempted to identify the location of these important cities which were once flourishing centers and were then completely destroyed. They did not find a definite answer. Today in Israel, there is an area that is south of the Dead Sea which is called Kikar Sedom. Since Lot’s wife was transformed into a pillar of salt, the area of the Dead Sea has been identified (apparently mistakenly) as the area of Sedom and Gomorrah in our story. Indeed, for many years the area was dead and deserted, without any sign of life. With the beginning of Zionism and the developing of industry in Israel, factories began to develop in the Dead Sea which processed minerals found in the Dead Sea and in the whole area. Further settlements also developed around the area of the factories, and miraculously, the empty and salty desert began to bloom and fill with life. Today around the Dead Sea there are many amazing areas for visitors which feature the uniqueness of this area alongside the different communities which are building the next generation of the Jewish people in Israel. Definitely worth a visit!