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In Parashat Vayera, we read that Lot gives the angels matzah (19:3). Rashi's explanation for this detail is that it was Pesach. The connection between matzah and Pesach is obvious, but I am confused as to why we can say that they observed Pesach at all at this point chronologically.

My understanding is that Pesach is about the exodus from Egypt, which has yet to happen. One might argue that Pesach was simply a pre-existing festival that was later endowed with greater meaning, but I find that doubtful. Moreover, matzah is eaten because there was no time for bread to rise when the Jews went out of Egypt (this is attested in numerous places, including Deut. 16:3), and this has not happened yet, so either way, I do not see why they would eat it.

How exactly is this supposed to be rationalized? Or is this supposed to simply be a coincidental prefiguration of Pesach in some shape or form?

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    The Ohr Hachayim writes, "According to our sages (Midrash Hagadol), the date was the 16th of Nissan and Lot had baked matzah in anticipation of the eventual Passover holiday some 400 years hence." I'm just curious about considering Lot as a forefather. Other meforshim separate him from Avraham in that the malachim ONLY ate matzah from him, and not matzah ashira. – rosends Feb 19 at 21:34
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    Possible duplicate of Avot keeping Mitzvot – DonielF Feb 20 at 3:25
  • @Salmononius2: I see where the overlap is coming from, but I had assumed the idea that the patriarchs were Torah observant to mean that they observed the mitzvot that made sense for them to keep (as the accepted answer mentions as one approach). – Maroon Feb 20 at 7:32
  • Lot still maintained certain elements that he had learned from Avraham. Thus, it could be that he had learned this from Avraham and just kept doing it. @rosends – sabbahillel Feb 20 at 13:49
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This is not a simple question, but I'll try to keep on the Pshat path. Here's the simple logic of saying what he's saying:

  1. Obviously, because the Midrash (B"R 48,12) says that Avraham meeting the angels took place on Pesach, and afterward, the angels went straight to Lot, therefore with Lot, it was Pesach time too (adn Rashi refers to that Midrash).

  2. So was Lot on Avraham's side or not? Was he good or bad? The Torah says he served Matzos - Rashi uses it to stress that Lot was as observant as Avraham.

  3. Rashi, traditionally, never dives into philosophical questions of logicality and consistency even with hos other interpretations. He just gathers and slightly develops those specific interpretations.

But it seems that your question is not about Rashi, but about the general rule that our sages set regarding our forefathers keeping the whole Torah, which is discussed here.

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