IDOLATRY-13/ELKM opened the door for idolatry

Noahide Seven Commandments Torah classes

© 2017 by Rabbi Dr. Zvi Aviner

IDOLATRY-13/ELoKiM Opened the Door for IDOLATRY

Know your CREATOR, know yourself and know the difference

1: Denying Moses’ First Commandment is IDOLATRY

In our quest to  understand the IDOLATRY Commandment, we’ve ‘exhausted’ the First of Moses’ Ten Commandments, that says:

1. “I Am (Essence)
2. “YHVH your ELoKiM (Attributes in Oneness
3. “Who took you out of Egypt Land…” (Kingship)

It is a ‘positive’ commandment, obligating us to KNOW the Speaker, G-d, by these very Names and Titles by which  He has elected to present Himself. These Names are the key to the Torah.
Hence denying or rejecting them is a sort of IDOLATRY. Thus,

1. Denying His Self, or Existence (line 1) is like “uprooting the Tree,” and is considered IDOLATRY.
2. Denying His Attributes (line 2,) distorting or mispronouncing them is also a sort of IDOLATRY. Separating them in our mind or preferring one Attribute over the other, or denying their Oneness, is also a sort of IDOLATRY and  is called  “separating the glued ones.”
3. Rejecting His Kingship (line 3) is a rebellion, also  a sort of IDOLATRY. For instance a person may believe in a CREATOR, but reject the notion that this CREATOR intervenes in our history and affairs.


2: The IDOL’S list is coupled to KINGSHIP

We move now from the First to the Second of Moses’ Ten Commandments. As we’ll soon see, it lists ALL THE POSSIBLE IDOLS EVER CONCEIVED BY THE HUMAN MIND!   The list constitutes seven lines:

(Moses’ Second of the Ten Commandments)
1. “Thou shall not have for yourself
2. “Other ELoKiMs
3. “ Over my face
4. “Thou shall not make for yourself any image or statues
5. “Of anything in the Heavens above and in the earth below….
6. “Thou shall not bow to them
7. “Nor serve them…”

We’ve already noticed that the Second Commandment follows  KINGSHIP (line 3 of the First Commandment.) Hence IDOLATRY as a battle of  KINGSHIP:  We either enthrone YHVH ELoKiM, on us, or we would enthrone the idols on us. Moses  leaves no ‘neutral option’ of worshiping no one,.

In fact,Adam is born to withstand  that battle. For that, let’s see the verses.

3: He spoke in plural

Earlier we quoted the Midrash (Rashi) saying that before making Adam, ELoKiM turned to whoever is mentioned in the text.  He also turned to His Self, or to His Angles and said in plural voice:

“Let us make and Adam in our Form and Our Image.”

Surprised, the Angels asked: “Our King! Why do you consult us at all? Are we not your faithful messengers who fulfill your wishes without discretion?” Indeed, an Angel in Hebrew is merely a messenger.
ELoKiM answered: “I consult you, my Angels, to teach Adam modesty: that  the superior should consults the Inferior.”

The Angels referred to ELKM as Our King for by speaking in plural He had ‘stepped down’  from His High Pedestal as a Tyrant who ruled “awesomely alone,” to  become a King Who Consults with modesty.  His answer indicated that He wishes Adam to do the same: to learn to rule with modesty, by the art of listening, in a democratic way.  .

But there is a deeper  implication to the story (see Rashi).
The Midrash continues saying that the Angels then asked:  “Our King! Are you not afraid that by speaking to us in plural you’ve opened the door for IDOLATERS to think they have more than one CREATOR?”
And ELoKiM answered: “I’ve taken the risk of IDOLATRY for teaching Adam modesty is paramount!”

Hence , by speaking in plural  ELKM opened the door for IDOLATRY to exist. Earlier, when He ruled awesomely alone, IDOLATRY could not exist for it wasn’t tolerated.  ELKM would have terminated any rebellion instantly with no MERCY.  But when He stepped don to be a King Who Consults, Who Allows other opinions to be heard, He allowed IDOLATRY to exist. .

Criticism and Free Will are at the core of Democracy   .

IDOLATRY is therefore not just a Commandment of many.  Man is born to withstand the IDOLATRY trial.  It was opened up the moment ELKM planned to make us. .   .

 4:  Who and What might serve as an idol?

So who may serve as our idol? Since  ELKM opened the door for it  by speaking in plural, it comes out that whoever ELoKiM consulted with before making Adam, is a potential  IDOL.  It is as if ELKM’s Consultation has rendered that entity a magical charm in Adam’s mind and heart, so much that Adam would be forever attracted to it , adore it and even worship it instead of adorning and worshiping the True CREATOR.

You can see that in another way. Since the Groom ELKM consults the Bride YHVH to make Adam, any other consultation would be seen by Adam as a False Bride of ELKM.

Moreover, since ELKM Longs to meet His Bride, this Longing can be diverted to the false Brides, to the idols.  Hence by definition IDOLATRY is based on a battle of attractions and fascinations.    We are either attracted or fascinated by the idols, or by our true God. No escape. So let us better be fascinated by our true God of Israel,

No wonder that  the prophets of Israel regarded IDOLATRY as a sort of ADULTERY; where Israel worshiped  false Brides.

defining idols

it comes out that In the IDOLATERS’ eyes the entities with whom ELKM had consulted before making Adam are either

1. Powerful ‘Partners’ of ELKM, his Councilors.
2. Powerful G-ds  on their own rights.

  5: Who are the False Brides?

So who exactly may serve as our idols? Let’s note that ELKM is a harsh Judge, yet He would not place us in a long life trial of IDOLATRY without telling us who are these Idols and how to avoid worshiping them!

By our definition, whoever ELKM had consulted with before  making Adam, would serve as a potential IDOLATRY TRAP. Thus

Since He Consulted  the Six Days and made Adam, hence they would serve as Adam’s IDOLATRY trap. .

Since He Consulted with His Wisdom and Science  and made Adam, hence  they would serve as Adam’s IDOLATRY trap.

Since He consulted with His Self and made Adam’s self, hence our ego would serve as our IDOLATRY trap

Since He consulted the Drive to procreate and the Drive to Rule Over and made Adam, these Drives would serve as Adam’s powerful IDOLATRY trap.

All these consultations would be regarded by Adam as ELKM’s false Brides,

is this true?  Let’s see:


6: The Six Days as a path of IDOLATRY

We’ve said that the Six Days would serve as idolatry trap.  How? A Hassidic tell says it all:

Having sinned in Eden, Adam and his wife should have been driven out to die on earth.  Yet the CREATOR did not executed the verdict right away.  Instead, the CREATOR called: : “Adam, where are you?” (Genesis 3: 9) Hopping  they would come out, confess and repent.

But Adam and his wife failed to do so and, instead, hide behind a bush.  Then Adam blamed his wife, and she the serpent. As a result, they were all driven out of Eden to live on Earth.

Since then, the reverse is true: Adam  hears the CREATOR still calling him: “Adam, where are you? Come to me!” Only that this time the CREATOR is hiding BEHIND NATURE, while Adam seeks him.

Idols of the Sixth Day

Adam, living on the Sixth Day, hears the CREATOR’S calling A”dam,where are you?” .  So he seeks the CREATOR in creatures made close to him on the Sixth Day.  He seeks the CREATOR  in Crawling Creatures, powerful Beasts and Cattle. So fascinated is Adam by these creatures, that he warships them, thinking they are his CREATOR. After all, had not ELKM consulted with these creatures to make Adam?

You see this fascination with Beasts in the painting of Cave Man. You see that in the way the ancient Chinese worshiped Dragons and Snakes.  You see that fascination in the way the ancient  Greek worshiped Beasts and Snakes. The Bible tells us that the  Philistines worshiped Flies.  We know that the ancient  Egyptians too worshiped Snakes, Beasts and Holy Cows. In India they still worship holy cows.  The common denominator is that all  these creatures proliferated close to Adam on the Sixth Day.
But as Mankind has progressed, we have learned the fallacy of these idols.

Idols of the Fifth 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 Fifth Day of CREATION.  He seeks  Him in Crocodiles, Birds and Fish. So fascinated is Adam by these creatures, that he worships them instead of his true CREATOR. Has not ELKM consulted the Fifth Day’s creature to make Adam?

You see that fascination in the way the ancient Egyptians depicted  their gods’ faces  as Crocodiles, Birds and Fish.  Other ancient cultures   worshiped Eagles and Whales.
But as Adam progressed in history he has learned that the CREATOR does not hide in these creatures.

Idols of the Fourth Day

Still hearing the CREATOR calling him, “Adam, where are you? Come to me!” Adam now seeks the CREATOR deeper in Nature, in items created on the Fourth Day. He seeks Him in the Sun, Moon and Celestial Bodies. So fascinated is Adam by these awesome natural forces, that he worships them, instead of his true CREATOR. Had not ELKM consulted the Fourth Day’s creatures and made Adam?

You see that  fascination in the way the ancient Babylonians worshiped Celestial bodies and Astrology. You see that in the Greek and the Roman faiths. .

But as Man has progressed in history, he has discovered the fallacy of these idols. The CREATOR is definitely not hiding in them.

Idols of the Third and Second Days

Still hearing the CREATOR calling “Adam, where are you? Come to me!” Adam seeks the CREATOR even deeper in CREATION, on things created in the Third and Second Day. He seeks Him in majestic trees, Mountains, the  Ocean and Winds.  He seeks the CREATOR in fertility itself.  Had not ELKM consulted the Third and Second Days to make Adam?

You see that fascination in the way the Canaanites worshiped magnificent trees and high mountains. You see that in the way they worshiped the  deity of  fertility, the Baal.   The Canaanites practiced sacred prostitution, a thing that made them so popular. The Greek too worshiped tall mountains and beautiful trees, the ocean and other natural forces. .

But as  Adam’s knowledge grew in history, he discovered the fallacy of these idols.


Idols of the First Day of CREATION

Still hearing the CREATOR calling: “Adam, where are you? Come to me!” Adam now 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. Adam even seeks Him in the Wisdom and Science itself, or in Consciousness.

 As you see, the entire course of Man’s spiritual historical journey  can be seen as predicted by the miraculous Chapter One of Genesis. it sis as if the Torah wants to warn us and made us aware of the IDOLATRY trial into which we are born.

but we’ve not yet exhausted the list of possible idols.

With who else did ELKM consult at Adam creation? Who else may serve as our False Bride?