© 2020 by Rabbi Dr. Zvi Aviner
ELoKiM Opened the Door for IDOLATRY
Know your CREATOR, know yourself and know the difference
1. ELKM spoke in plural, allowing IDOLATRY to exist
While ELKM was engaged in the series of Consultations making Adam, saying repeatedly “Let Us Make Adam in Our Form and Our Image,” the Angels asked the obvious question:
“Our KING! Aren’t you afraid that by speaking in plural you’ve opened the door for IDOLATERS to think they have more than One CREATOR, you?”
ELKM said: “I take the risk, for teaching Adam modesty is paramount!”
The Angeles understood that ELKM had allowed IDOLATRY to exist. Some even called up: Our KING! Don’t make him!”
On which ELKM said: “I have already decided to make him!”
This legend is based on the Hebrew word for “Let Us make…” Since it can be read as “he has already been made” in the past tense.
But rabbinical legends are always told to express a profound truth. Here the notion is that as long as ELKM ruled as a “Dictator,” Awesomely Alone, IDOLATRY wouldn’t be tolerated. Any rejection or rebellion against ELKM would have been wiped out with wrath immediately. It is only after ELKM had stepped down to SPEAK IN PLURAL like a KING WHO CONSULTS, whose ears are opened to the opinion of others, that IDOLATRY has become tolerated and possible.
The notion here is, in fact, that ELKM foresaw that Adam, equipped with Free Will and Self Consciousness, would not survive for long under His Sole Ruling, as a ‘Dictator.” He therefore changed the way He rules, stepped down and became a KING WHO CONSULTS to give Adam a chance to win our End Of Days Trial.
And the price for ELKM’s concession to Adam, is the opening of the door for rejection of Him and IDOLATRY,
Who then could serve as Adam’s possible idols? The Angels wondered.
The answer is: Whoever ELKM consulted with to make Adam, might serve as Adam’s possible idol.
For the idolater would think that this item is ELKM’S PARTNER. At first the idolater might worship that entity as ELKM’S PARTNER, but later the idolater would forget ELKM altogether and worship the entity for its putative power. (Maimonides)
Moreover, whoever was consulted by ELKM would acquire a magic status in the idolater eye. Though ELKM consulted these items to make Adam and enrich his life, though they are precious gifts by ELKM to Adam, yet these very gifts may serve as IDOLATRY TRAP. After all, everything that ELKM creates is for JUDGMENT.
Hence, the potential idols are –
- The Six Days of Nature
- Wisdom and Science
- Sex Drive
- Drive for Power
Let’s examine these IDOLATRY TRAPS one by one
The IDOLATRY TRAPS
1: Worshiping Idols of Nature
A Hassidic tell says it all:
Soon after Adam and his Wife sinned in Eden (she wasn’t yet called Eve) the CREATOR (YHVH ELKM) called “Adam! Where are you?” (Genesis 3: 9) – hopping that they’d come out, confess and repent their sin and be forgiven. Had they done so they would have stayed in Eden forever.
But as the story goes, Adam and his Wife failed to come out and repent, and instead they blamed each other. Adam blamed his Wife, and she the Serpent. As a result, the CREATOR chased them out to live on Earth, where they would face the Angel of Death.
But here on Earth the CREATOR never gave up on Adam. He still calls us: “Adam, where are you? Come to me!” Only that here on Earth the CREATOR is in the hiding, BEHIND NATURE or behind the entire Six Days, while Adam is seeking Him.
So Adam keeps hearing the call of the CREATOR in his heart, and he searches for the CREATOR, only to find out that Nature stands as a screen between us and the CREATOR. For sometimes Adam would be fooled to think that a particular Day of CREATION is his CREATOR, and he worships the creatures made on that Day, only to find out later his error. One day, of course, al humanity would realize who the true CREATOR is. Meanwhile, Man is traveling in history through the journey of IDOLATRY. This is how it works:
IDOLS OF THE SIXTH DAY
Adam, living On the Sixth Day, hears the CREATOR calling us from the depth of Nature- “Adam, where are you? Come to me!”
Adam first seeks the CREATOR in items close to him, that were made on the Sixth Day like himself. He searches for the CREATOR hiding in the Cattle, Beasts, and Crawling Creatures, and think that they are his CREATOR. So powerful these creatures are in Adam’s eyes that he adores them. It is as if the very Consultation of ELKM with the Sixth Day had rendered these creatures a magic power in Adam’s eyes. And Adam bows too these creatures and worships them.
Thus, he worships Holy Cows, Fierce Beasts, Snakes, and Dragons. After all, had not ELKM consulted with these magnificent creatures to make Adam?
The Indians (In India) and Egyptians and Sudanese worshipped Holy Cows
The Ancient Chinese worshiped Dragons
The Greek worshiped Beasts
.But as Adam’s progresses in history, he seeks the CREATOR deeper in Nature.
IDOLS OF THE FIFTH DAY
Still hearing the CREATOR calling him: “Adam, where are you? Come to me!” Adam seeks the CREATOR deeper in Nature – in creatures made on the Fifth Day.
He searches the CREATOR in Crocodiles, Birds and Fish.
So fascinated Adam is by these creatures, that he adores them and even worships them, taking them to be his CREATOR. After all, had not ELKM consulted with the Fifth Day to make Adam?
Thus, the ancient Egyptians worshiped Crocodiles, Birds and Fish. They depicted their deities having a face of these particular creatures. They also worshiped Eagles and Whales.
So did other ancient civilizations.
But as Adam’s knowledge has progressed, he discovered the fallacy of these Fifth Days’ idols. Next he would seek the CREATOR deeper in Nature.
IDOLS OF THE FOURTH DAY
Still hearing the CREATOR calling “Adam, where are you? Come to me!” Adam seeks the CREATOR deeper in Nature, in things created on the Fourth Day. He seeks Him in the Sun, Moon and Celestial Bodies. Adam is so fascinated by these entities that he is tempted to worship them, thinking they can affect his life. After all, had not ELKM consulted the Fourth Day to make Adam?
The Babylonians worshiped Celestial bodies and developed Astrology.
The Egyptians and Greeks and Romans followed suit.
But as Adam’s knowledge has progressed, he discovered the fallacy of these idols. Next he would search for the CREATOR deeper in Nature
IDOLS of the THIRD and SECOND DAYS
Still hearing the CREATOR calling “Adam, where are you? Come to me!” Adam seeks the CREATOR deeper in CREATION, in things created on the Third and Second Days. He seeks the CREATOR in the Magnificent Trees, in majestic Mountains and in the Oceans. He seeks the CREATOR in the seed of Life, in Fertility.
The Canaanites worshiped magnificent trees and high mountains and the gods of fertility. They worshiped the Baal and the Ashtoreth as deities of fertility and sex.
The Greek worshiped the Ocean.
But as Adam’s knowledge progressed, he discovered the fallacy of these idols. Next he would seek the CREATOR deeper in Nature.
IDOLS of the FIRST DAY
Still hearing the CREATOR calling: “Adam, where are you? Come to me!” Adam seeks the CREATOR in the deepest layers of CREATION, in Space, Chaos, Energy, Darkness and Light. He seeks Him in the Beginning itself, in the Big Bang, and even in the putative alternative Universes.
As you see, the entire course of human spiritual journey can be predicted by the miraculous Chapter One of Genesis. You can’t do this exercise in human history by using any of the ancient myths told in Moses’ time!
In addition to Consulting the Six Days, ELKM consulted other entities to make Adam. Can they serve as Adam’s potential IDOLATRY TRAPS?
END OF IDOLATRY CLASS 12
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