כח . אוּלַי יַחְסְרוּן חֲמִשִּׁים הַצַּדִּיקִם חֲמִשָּׁה הֲתַשְׁחִית בַּֽחֲמִשָּׁה אֶת־כָּל־הָעִיר וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא אַשְׁחִית אִם־אֶמְצָא שָׁם אַרְבָּעִים וַֽחֲמִשָּֽׁה:
Perhaps there shall lack five of the fifty righteous; will you destroy the whole city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty five, I will not destroy it.
*Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak, the “Holy Jew”, once said: “It is forbidden to seek only righteous people. Instead of beseeching mercy for the sinners, Abraham looked for righteous men – and he failed. Moses, our teacher, beseeched mercy for the sinners: “please forgive the sin of this people” (Numbers 14:19) — and he was answered: “And God said, “I have forgiven!”
*Abraham asks Hashem if he will destroy Sodom if there are 50 righteous people living there. Hashem says that he will not destroy Sodom. Then Abraham asks Hashem that if there are 5 people lacking of the 50 righteous people. Hashem answers Abraham that if there are 45 righteous people he will not destroy. Hasem does not answer in the words which Abraham used, which was 5 people lacking, but instead answered that he was willing to spare if there were 45. Hashem did not want to be tricked as, if you delete 5 from
50, then the result is 0, which meant that Abraham was asking Hashem to spare Sodom even if there were 0 righteous people. Therefore Hashem answered Abraham in a clear manner, giving an exact number 45.