IDOLATRY-16/The idols list in the ten commandments


© 2017 by Rabbi Dr. Zvi Aviner

IDOLATRY-16/The  Idols’ List  in the Ten Commandments

Know your CREATOR, know yourself and know the difference

1: Denying Moses’ First Commandment is IDOLATRY

Let’s repeat: Doing the opposite of what the First of Moses’ Ten Commandments says, is a sort of IDOLATRY. Thus, if the Commandment says:

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

1. Denying His SELF, or His Existence is a sort of IDOLATRY. The rabbis referred to it as “uprooting the tree.”
2. Denying His Attributes’ or their Oneness is a sort of IDOLATRY. This includes Separating the Attributes, or worshiping one over the other, which is called “separating the glued ones.” Mispronouncing them or distorting them is a sort of IDOLATRY.
3. Rejecting His Kingship is rebellion and a sort of IDOLATRY.
Let’s move to the Second Commandment, which lists all possible idols in the world!


2: The LIST OF IDOLS in Moses’ Second Commandment

(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…”

Note that the idols are listed immediately after KINGSHIP (line 3 in the First Commandment) since IDOLATRY is a battle of KINGSHIPS. We either enthrone YHVH ELoKiM on us, or enthrone the idols on us. Moses leaves no neutral option of worshipping no one. Since Man is born to withstand the IDOLATRY trial, Man would have to choose!
Let’s discuss the idols on the list, one by one.

1: “You shall not have for yourself…”
Many commentaries see this line as referring to ‘’anything we adore instead of our true CREATOR.” This can be drugs, alcohol, a political party, a philosophy, art, science, etc. Worshiping such an idol means surrendering your life to it, disregarding any moral issue. Moses says here that if a person does not surrender his life to G-d, he would fall a prey to such “social idols.”

2: ”Other ELoHiMS…”
This prohibition refers to worshiping entities considered powerful, yet  “Side by Side” with ELKM. These idols are perceived as ELKM’s PARTNERS (Besides YHVH.) In fact, any entity with which ELKM consulted before making Adam, can be perceived as “His Partner.” In that sense, the creatures made in  the Six Days may be perceived as the CREATOR’S Partners,since He consulted the Six Days and made Adam. . The Sun and the Moon were  perceived as ELKM’s Partners.
In fact, technically speaking, the Nations are not ‘obliged to observe Oneness in a pure way as Israel.  Hence they do not sin if they follow G-d’s Partners. But that notion is diminished in our days when the knowledge of G-d is available to everyone. .

3: “Over My Face…” 
Here Moses forbids the worshiping of entities considered ‘inferior to ELKM,’ while having a power of their own. To this category belong the  concept God’s mother, God’s son, etc. These entities ‘cover ELKM’s face” since they ‘sit ‘in front of Him.’ They separate Him from us. .

4: “Any image of…”
Once you’ve worshiped any item in Nature, you’d be tempted to carve out a statue or an image of it and worship it.

5: “Of anything…”
This pertains to worshiping a statue of any imaginary power, like Demons, Aliens, etc. .

6: “You shall not bow…”
This line prohibits the worshiping of idols in the specific way the followers do.

7: “Nor serve them…”
This line prohibits the worshiping of idols in the way we  worship HaSheM. Like chanting Psalms to idols.

Each of these items is a headline, that requires detailed discussion, much beyond our classes.

Note that most idolaters are erroneous. Their souls seek the true CREATOR, only that they lack the true knowledge, the Torah, Bible.  The Hebrew word for sin, Het, actually means “missing the target.”
One who worships idol while knowing the true CREATOR, is making an avon, a graver sin.
One who worships idols in rebellion to G-d, is a poshea, evil, who is beyond repentance.


3: An Example: Enosh, the father of idolatry

The RaMBaM (Maimonides) brings Enosh as an example of one whose teaching prompted humanity to slide down the entire two Commandments!
Indeed, as we’ll learn, Enosh was the illustrious grandson of Adam, a charismatic leader of his time. On Enosh it is said that “it was then that they began calling the name of YHVH.” The Hebrew word for ‘began,’ huchal, also means “profaned.” Hence Enosh profaned YHVH name by praying ONLY TO HER, forgetting ELKM. He preached that the Kingdom of Mercy, of YHVH, is around the corner, .
In other words: Enosh separated the glued ones, or violated line 2 of Moses’ First Commandment.

Enosh also taught his disciples to address their prayers ONLY to Her. Then he told them to see YHVH everywhere, even inside the Moon, Sun, Trees, stones, leaves.  Hence, he said, one can address YHVH inside these entities.   “Pray to the King’s Councilors,” he told them.  Seeing him praying to the Sun and the Moon, the disciples began to pray to them for their own power. From thereon they deteriorated to make and bow to statues and images of items in nature, etc.  This way they sled down the entire First and Second Commandments of Moses. .

Thus Moses’ Commandments are based on the spiritual  downfall of Man through history, .