A part of the Tora portion of this week is:
Moshe warns us against idolatry (the definition of idolatry is the belief that anything other than G-d has power) and against self-righteousness ("Do not say because of my virtue that G-d brought me to occupy this land ... but because of the wickedness of these nations that G-d is driving them out before you.") He then details the rebellions against G-d.
At first, it seems very easy to worship G-d alone. In the second instance, however, it can be very difficult to truly attribute all power to G-d alone. For that which we perceive to be good and pleasing, we easily accept from His hands and in this we acknowledge His power.
But what if "evil" strikes us, things that we perceive as not pleasant? How easily we prefer, consciously or unconsciously, to attribute that to something or someone else! However, we must learn that G-d is an Absolute One outside of Whom there is nothing else. No power that stands in opposition to Him. Knowing that He is a loving Father we may recognize -- even if we don't experience it that way -- that everything He gives us is for the better. The moment you place a power in opposition to Him it easily leads to rebellion. For if that "other" is stronger, why not worship it, or if G-d is stronger but indifferent - which of course He is not - it makes it easier to rebel, however if you recognize everything from His hands as "good" you will worship only Him.
As we receive the "evil" from His hand, so we also receive the "good" from His hand. But how easy it is to think that that satisfying job, that good salary, that nice family is due to all the efforts we have put into it. However, here again we must recognize and acknowledge that our work and efforts in this would not have led to any result if it were not from His hands that we would receive it. The moment we think that we ourselves have that power, we place ourselves as a power against G-d, and make ourselves our own idol. This too can easily lead to rebellion, after all, if we can do it ourselves we don't need G-d, and it may even be that His Will, His Torah, can get in the way of our actions and we deliberately break rules -- G-d forbid -- to follow our own plan.
Brought By Angelique Sijbolts
Illustration By Sarah Bakker
Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners en intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.
The Divine Code
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