From Parashah Lech Lekha we see that Sodom people were mentioned as wicked and sinners against the Lord Gen 13-[13] & In parashat Vayera we are again told they were sinners. Gen 18 [20] If sin (Khet) is categorized as unintentional wrong doing. Can we say that the people were unaware since the two words(AVON &/or PASHA)are not used in the text? Or can we say that their guilt is contained in the word (Ra/wicked)?


Rav Hirsch explains that חטאתם is not necessarily inadvertant sinning but is used here in the sense of moral degeneracy, their forsaking דרך ה. That is they could have called it inadvertant because

Concerning sexual excesses there is generally no no just outcry, it is thought to be no matter for the civil authorities, they can simply due to the prevailing laxity of morals, at moat, a sin against Hashem, they can even become the mode and fashion, are in any case excusable, over that there is no great outcry.

Thus because the people of Sodom were following the law, that is completely obeying the legal system that they had instituted, the regarded themselves as completely justified. Indeed Rav Hirsch in Vaera 19:4 points out that every group within society, even those that would ordinarily be at loggerheads, joined in the attack on Lot and his family.

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