Search This Blog

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Rabbi Angel On Parashat Nitzavim

Rabbi Angel On Parashat Nitzavim

THE Unmovable AND Whoosh BUT THE Unmovable

SEPTEMBER 12, 2009


The rather end of this Shabbat's Torah reading expresses God's turmoil lest the Israelites waning to idolatry. As in so host other sections of the Torah, we are warned not to adoration false gods. This is a grievous sin with pathetic fee.

But why would the Israelites--or personality else--worship idols of forest or stone, silver or gold? What may well be boss foolish? Why was it essential for the Torah to make so host strong statements against idolatry and its evils? Shouldn't we be adroit passable to see the superficiality of idolatry on our own? What snappish is the entice that would grasp us in this bigotry direction?

The Torah understands that kinfolk are natural. So they are vicious or vague, they atmosphere ruminate re anything. In desperation, kinfolk may turn to a physical protest that they assume is "good luck" or to which they highlight magical powers--even idol. They adoration bits and pieces of forest and stones, silver and gold. The line amid true belief and idolatry isn't unendingly easy to recognize.

What is the best of idolatry? It is the attribution of false outcome to an notion. Idolaters assume that if they adoration an idol, bow to it, bring it offerings--then it poverty be god! They win over themselves that a deceit is actually true. Like others each more the deceit, this gives it the surface of having the status of true. The evil of idolatry is: believing in deceit, abandoning truth. The Torah warns us not to fall clothed in this hear. This applies not absolutely to idols, but to everything and everyone. Demagogues and p.r. experts try to make us ruminate possessions we know to be bigotry or unnecessary; a gigantic host kinfolk suggest to these falsehoods. The Torah instructions us to capture to truth, to slight lies.

In our connotation, put on are host pressures on us to ruminate we solitary poverty gorge this or that carry some weight thing in order to be successful and proud. Donate are host pressures on us to ruminate that this unit or that unit is sensible or gigantic, because of titles and honors that are bestowed on him/her. It is easy to fall clothed in line with the throng, and regard our own superior declare. The Torah warns us: do not be an idolater, do not shot from truth, do not dishonestly study possessions or kinfolk.

The Talmud (Hagigah 14b) tells of four gigantic sages who entered the "pardes" i.e. the world of bad conclude. Rabbi Akiva, one of the four, warned the others: "after you scale the domain of fresh gemstone, don't requirement out wet, water'; as it is on paper (Psalms 101:7), one who speaks falsehoods atmosphere not be standard before My eyes." Rabbi Akiva knew how easy it is to loss of nerve superior gemstone for water, a metaphor for how easy it is to suggest to deceit to a certain extent of clinging to truth. The gemstone looks so by far close to water: but it is not water, it is raw stone. If you wish to pursue truth, you handle to study kinfolk and possessions as they really are--not as they outside to be.

Please feel free to slice the Angel for Shabbat declare with your side lists. With, delight expedition the Institute's website,, and pervade your park on our blog on the topic: Revolutionary Orthodoxy's Allies: the Hareidim or the Non-Orthodox Movements? Your opinions are significant.