The call

“The two angels came to Sodom in the evening and Lot was sitting in the gate of the city. And seeing them, he rose up and went to meet them, and worshipped prostrate on the ground. And he said: ‘I beseech you, my lords, turn in to the house of your servant and lodge there. Wash your feet and in the morning you shall go on your way.’ And they said: ‘No, rather we will spend the night in the square.’ He urged them very much, so they turned toward him and came to his house: he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.”

“They had not yet lain down when the men of the city, Sodomites, converged upon the house; from young to old, all the people from every quarter. And they said to Lot: ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them.’ Lot went out to them, to the entrance, and shut the door behind him. And he said: ‘I beg you, my brethren, do not act wickedly. See, now, I have two daughters who have never known a man. I shall bring them out to you and do to them as you please; but to these men do nothing inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.’ And they said: ‘Stand back!’ Then they said: ‘This fellow came to sojourn and would act as a judge? Now we will treat you worse than them!’ And they pressed very violently upon the man, upon Lot, and they approached to break the door.”

“And behold the men stretched out their hand and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. And the men that were at the entrance of the house they struck with blindness, from small to great; and they tried vainly to find the entrance. Then the men said to Lot: ‘Whom else do you have here? – a son-in-law, your sons or your daughters? All that you have in the city remove from the place, for we are about to destroy this place; for their outcry has become great before Hashem; so Hashem has sent us to destroy it.’ So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law [and] the betrothed of his daughters, and he said: ‘Get up and leave this place, for Hashem is about to destroy this city!’ But he seemed like a jester in the eyes of his sons-in-law.”

“And just as the dawn was breaking, the angels urged Lot on saying: ‘Get up – take your wife and your two daughters who are present, lest you be swept away because of the sin of the city!’ Still he lingered – so the angels grasped him by his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hand of his two daughters in Hashem’s mercy on him; and they took him out and left him outside the city. And it was as they took them out that one said: ‘Flee for your life! Do not look behind you nor stop anywhere in all the plain; flee to the mountain lest yo be swept away.’ Lot said to them: ‘Please, no! My Lord – See now, your servant has found grace in Your eyes and Your kindness was great which You did with me to save my life; but I cannot escape to the mountain lest the evil attach itself to me and I die. Behold, please, this city is near enough to escape there and it is small; I shall flee there. Is it not small? – and I will live.'”

“And He replied to him: ‘Behold, I have granted you consideration even regarding this, that I not overturn the city about which you have spoken. Hurry, flee there, for I cannot do a thing until you arrive there.’ Therefore the name of that city was called Zoar (Segor). The sun rose upon the earth and Lot arrived at Zoar. Now Hashem had caused sulfur and fire to rain upon Sodom and Gomorrah, from Hashem, out of Heaven. He overturned these cities and the entire plain, with all the inhabitants of the cities and the vegetation of the soil. His wife peered behind her and she became a pillar of salt.”

“Abraham arose early in the morning, to the place where he had stood before Hashem. And he gazed down upon Sodom and Gomorrah and the entire surface of the land of the plain; and saw – and behold, the smoke of the earth rose like the smoke of a kiln. And so it was when God destroyed the cities of the plain that God remembered Abraham; so He sent Lot from amidst the upheaval when He overturned the cities in which Lot had lived” (Gn 19:1-29).