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In last week's Parasha, we all know the story of Abraham arguing with God to have God spare the cities on account of the righteous. However, I haven't heard much about the end of the story.

Genesis Chapter 19

24 Then the LORD caused to rain upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;... 27 And Abraham got up early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD. 28 And he looked out toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the Plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the land went up as the smoke of a furnace. 29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt. 30 And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar; and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. ... 36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. 37 And the first-born bore a son, and called his name Moab--the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. 38 And the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi--the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.

The way i interpret this story, Abraham awakes the next morning and witnesses the destruction of the cities, and must therefore conclude that Lot is dead. The story picks up with Lot hiding in a cave, and stuff happening that discusses the heritage of certain peoples, but it never answers the questions as to whether or not he ever leaves the cave, or if he ever reunites with Abraham.

So my questions are: Did Abraham think Lot died with Sodom and Gomorrah, and did he ever find out Lot was alive after the fact?

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Rashi on Genesis 20:1:1:

ויסע משם אברהם. (excerpt)

להתרחק מלוט שיצא עליו שם רע שבא על בנותיו

My translation (and context):

The parsha (paragraph) following the story of Lot mentions that Avraham travelled to Grar. Almost every commentary asks why Avraham did this, as there was nothing wrong living in Elonei Mamre and there was no famine or other crisis forcing him to move. Rash"i is commenting on why Avraham moved, and one of his reasons is:

"To distance himself from Lot, as a bad reputation came upon him (Lot) since he had relations with his daughters."

If you follow the sequence of events, this story with Lot occurred in the cave after Lot left Tzo'ar. So, according to this explanation, Avraham had to have known that Lot was saved from Sodom.

  • Appreciate the answer. Doesn't seem definitive as Rashi isn't citing anything else. Wondering if there are still other opinions out there. – Aaron Nov 2 '15 at 21:09
  • @Aaron I generally use Sefaria, as he lists several commentaries on the sidebar. I haven't browsed all of them, but other than Rash"i, none of the others mention this angle. And, I agree, that it would be useful if Rash"i had cited the source for this last comment. Maybe it is there, but Sefaria omitted it? – DanF Nov 2 '15 at 21:23
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    @Aaron, re "Rashi isn't citing anything else": he often paraphrases midrashim without indicating what he's paraphrasing. Have you tried checking an edition that adds in sources that he left out? Perhaps it indicates where he got it from. – msh210 Nov 2 '15 at 22:20
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    @Aaron cf. sefaria.org/Bereishit_Rabbah.52.4: "ויסע משם אברהם פנה מפני ריח רע שהיו אומרים לוט בן אחי אברהם בא על שתי בנותיו" – msh210 Nov 2 '15 at 22:35
  • @Aaron, see also: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/29118/5 – Seth J Nov 2 '15 at 22:49
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Maimonides (The Guide of the Perplexed II.42; as explained, I believe, by Rabbi Dr. Menachem Krakowski) maintains that the passage is describing the events as they were prophetically witnessed by Abraham, meaning he was aware of the entire sequence of events.

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