Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Omer 2016 Day 39: Lot's daughters

Day 39: Netzach in Yesod, Endurance in Foundation

"Lot went up from Zoar and settled in the hill country with his two daughters, for he was afraid to dwell in Zoar; and he and his two daughters lived in a cave. And the older one said to the younger, 'Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to consort with us in the way of all the world. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him, that we may maintain life through our father.'" (Genesis 19:30-32)
If your first reaction is "Ew!" then good, you don't believe in incest. The Torah doesn't either and, usually, it is punishable by death, which begs the question: Why are Lot's daughters rewarded with children for taking advantage of their father in this way?

The Jewish Women's Archive has a possible answer: "the Holy One, blessed be He, who knows man's thoughts, judges them by their thoughts and not their deed. The daughters' true intent was not to lie with their father, on whom they had no sexual designs, but to save the world from total devastation." Having just survived the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, losing their mother and married sisters in the process, and fearing that the whole world had been destroyed, Lot's daughters' primary goal was to survive into the next generation. Their children became the foundation of the Moabites and the Ammonites.