Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We tend to envision Lot's wife becoming a salt pillar as a (lehavdil) medusa-like sudden freezing from a normal human-organic state to a stone-cold hard mineral state.

Was this incident a miracle?

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Aben Ezrah explains that she was burned by the sulfur-salt mixture that was raining down on the region. This left her as merely a pillar of salt.

This clearly implies that the fact that she and the rest of Lot's family were not getting hit by this downpour was a miracle. By looking back at the suffering of S'dom she lost the the privilege of this miracle so Hashem removed His divine protection from her and therefore she was hit.

Lot's wife becoming a salt pillar was a natural event (given the miraculous disastrous circumstances) that was prevented until then by super-natural means.

share|improve this answer
I don't have sources at the moment, but isn't that why Lot was afraid to dwell in Tzoar? Hashem allowed Tzoar not to be overturned (L'vilti hofki es haIr) so that Lot could flee there, but the gofris and melach were still hailing down, only Lot and his daughters were divinely protected. – YDK Oct 22 '10 at 16:40
All this, of course, can be found in her biography co-authored by her daughters: "Our Mother the Netziv" :) – YDK Oct 22 '10 at 16:46
@mevaqesh, I believe you are misunderstanding Aben Ezra. Where Rabbeinu Bachya saw that Aben Ezra wrote such a pshat is a mystery to me, but Rabbeinu Bachya clearly says that Aben Exra wrote that it is referring to the land. However, the Aben Ezra that we have as it is stated is clearly discussing the plain meaning subject of the possuk, who is clearly Lot's wife. – Yahu Jan 4 at 9:28
@Yahu after further thought, I concur. Rabbenu Bachya remains inexplicable. – mevaqesh Jan 4 at 20:02

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.