The Invisible Man
Abram took his nephew Lot with him as he left Haran on his journey to unknown places and situations. That is all we know about Lot. He quickly becomes the invisible man. Where was he when Abram and company went down into Egypt? He does not appear in any of the verses.
Pharaoh gave many gifts to Abram, but none to Lot, and yet, Lot becomes a wealthy man just after the family caravan leaves Egypt. Abram must have shared his new wealth with his nephew because his nephew remained invisible in Egypt. Lot did not say a word about Sarai being Abram’s wife. He remained silent and his uncle rewarded him.
Why did this invisible man accompany Abram on his journey? The Midrash believes that he was a devoted student, but something happened: some invisible feelings began to manifest themselves as soon as Lot became independently wealthy.
The caravan had become two. Lot had his supporters, and Abram, his. Some slaves chose to leave Abram and go to Lot’s camp. It became clear to Abram that his nephew who looked so much like him that people often mistook one for the other, had to separate.
Perhaps Lot was invisible only because he was in the presence of such a great man. He was always identified with his uncle. He was not his own man. He wanted to make his own mark on the world. He had learned much from his uncle and felt prepared to go out on his own.
Lot chose Sodom, compared in the verse to the Garden of God; Eden. The verse describes Lot’s journey as “from the east,” despite the fact that to get from Sodom from Beth-El and Ai he had to travel from the west.
The verse offers some barely visible hints to explain Lot’s intentions: “Kedem” or east, also refers to Kadmono Shel Olam, the Ancient One of the World. Lot did not only want to separate from Abram, he wanted to break away from Abram’s God as well.
Lot was convinced that even if he did not live near his uncle, if he served Abram’s God, people would continue to associate him with Abram. He would not make his mark. He would remain invisible. So, he broke away from everything associated with Abram, desperate to become his own man.
But he failed….
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