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Modern-Day Idols

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

In this week's Torah portion there is an emphasis on the prohibition of idolatry. Idol worship is the opposite of the commandment to believe in the Creator, love Him, and recognize His unity and infinity.

The Torah lists several prohibitions and laws concerning idolatry, some of which were practiced in ancient times, and some of which are practiced in certain parts of the world to this day:

- Burning people, including the boys and girls, before idolatry.

- Do not believe the one who presents himself as a prophet, and commands us to worship other gods. Such a person is a false prophet.

- Do not listen to a person who incites people to worship idols.

- A city that became entirely idolatrous, after people from it incited all its inhabitants to worship idolatry. We must not allow such a city to exist.

In the prohibition of idolatry, there is something special. All idolatry is nothing but a lie and figment of imagination. The statue itself has no power and no ability, and only the person worshiping it imagines in his mind that the idol has any powers.

The question therefore arises: How is it possible that in G-d's world there is room for a reality that is nothing but a lie and imagined, and that completely contradicts the truth?

The answer to this is that G-d's will is that faith be revealed through human actions. That is why He created His world in such a way that idolatry could be a reality so that the sons of Noah would come and choose the truth and abolish it. In this way, they discover that it has no foundation in reality and that the only real thing is the divine reality.

The core of the prohibition of idolatry is the feeling that there is a reality apart from G-d, and such a feeling is at the root of every sin. If one is feeling that G-d is the true reality of all creation, he would not even think of committing a sin. We must remember that idolatry, and the false feeling that there is a reality apart from G-d, is for us to make the right choice: that we recognize the truth that there is nothing but the infinite Creator.

Brought By Rabbi Moshe Bernestein


Rabbi Moshe Bernestein is a writer and a Community Rabbi in Netanya, Israel. He believes in making connections between the Jewish People and the Noahides worldwide in order to share and enhance the knowledge of the Torah's Universal Code for Humanity and fulfil Isaiah's Prophecy 11:9 " And the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the oceans".

More from Rabbi Moshe Bernestein


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