Rabbi Dr Zvi Aviner
IDOLATRY-10/Adam Is Born Into The IDOLATRY Trial
In our quest to study and understand IDOLATRY
We looked at Moses’ Ten Commandments,
Where the top two are lumped together
as the two sides, positive and negative
of the IDOLATRY Commandment.
The First of the Ten , the positive side,
obliges us to Know G-d, and worship Him,
Whereas the Second of the Ten, the negative side,
prohibits the worshipping of idols to their kinds,
Since in the First of the Ten Commandments
the Speaker – G-d- presents Himself by His Attributes YHVH and ELHM
we went to Genesis Chapter One, where YHVH and ELKM
are first presented in full.
We also note that this knowledge of G-d’s Names
should not be left for scholars and theologians
since the Ten Commandments given to Israel,
are also geared towards ALL Mankind
For as a rule, any commandment that was first given to Adam and Noah
such as the IDOLATRY Commandment,
and was repeated by Moses to Israel,
does apply to both – Nohides and Israel.
Hence it behooves every person on Earth,
every child of Noah, to be familiar
with those Names of G-d, since they are the key
to comprehend the Bible.
Thus, in Genesis Chapter One, Moses first presents
an unbelievable, credible history of Earth
that does match our scientific knowledge.
As if Moses speaks directly to us,
the fist generation that can validate his worlds.
Thus, Genesis Chapter One presents the Attributes, ELHM and YHVH,
thereby defining their meaning.
Let’s recall that they are ATTRIBUTES of ONE CREATOR,
who has no name and is beyond our conception.
Thinking otherwise is IDOLATRY.
Last class we learned that in order
to be Very Good in ELHM’ eyes
and see the next Day,
Adam would have to abide by ELHM’s Laws,
And accept YHVH and Her values into his heart.
What are ELHM’s Laws?
Or better asked: What Law of ELHM is paramount?
For that, let’s go to the creation of Adam.
As we remember, before creating Adam, ELHM
stepped down from His High Pedestal of ‘Dictatorship’
and spoke in plural for the first time, saying
“Let Us Make Adam in Our Form and Our Image.”
The verse does not say with whom was He speaking.
The rabbis said: He spoke to whoever was listening,
Or better: to whoever is mentioned in the Chapter.
We’ve already identified the first, most important
consultation of ELHM with YHVH, to make Adam together.
Another important consultation, Rashi says,
took place between ELHM and the Angels,
who are said to be created on Day Two.
ELHM, as a KING Who Consult,
turned to the Angels and said to them:
Let Us make Adam in our Form and Our Image.
Surprised, the Angels responded:
Our KING, why consulting us at all?
Aren’t we your faithful messengers,
who fulfill your wish with no discretion?o
ELHM said: “I consult you, my Angels,
for I wish to show Adam modesty,
that the Superior should consult the Inferior
before making a decision”. o
The Angels asked:
“Our KING, aren’t you afraid that by speaking in plural
You’ve opened the door for IDOLATERS
To think that there are more than One CREATOR, You?”
ELHM said: “I take the risk of IDOLATRY,
for teaching Adam modesty is paramount!”
Hence, the option of IDOLATRY came to the world
together with Adam birth.
It would be the first sin that Adam could commit,
as we’ll see in the story of Eden.
IDOLATRY, then, became possible as the result of
ELKM relaxing His Authority, when He stepped down
and became a KING Who Consults,
A Democratic KING.
Thus, by speaking in plural,
by listening to the opinions of others,
ELKM opened the door for Adam to worship “other gods”
mentioned in the Second of the Ten Commandments.
We have reached a rule of thumb-
Any entity that ELHM consulted with, at Adam creation,
might become an idol in Man’s eyes.
It is as if the very consultation has rendered those entities
a magic charm and power in Adam’s mind.
We wouldn’t ask why ELHM agreed to take that risk,
For ELHM always create things to withstand Judgment.
From that ancient story, we may also derive that
of all the faults of Adam, ELHM picket up our arrogance
to teach us how to overcome it. How to be modest.
How to rule the world with modesty.
And from all the Commandments in the world,
IDOLATRY comes first. For according to Moses,
the Option of IDOLATRY is intertwined with
Does it make sense?
It does, as we realize that IDOLATRY is not just a foolish error
of worshipping wood and stone figure.
IDOLATRY in fact encompasses all aspects of our lives
all of our fascinations and attractions,
all of our ideas and philosophies.
So let’s remember that ELKM made us
– along with the option of IDOLATRY.
NOW, of all forms of possible IDOLATRY,
Which one comes first?
On that we’ll learn next class