Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Parshat Behar, 7th Portion, Leviticus 25:47-26:2, May 28, 2016

”You shall not make idols for yourselves, nor shall you set up a statue or a monument for yourselves. And in your land you shall not place a pavement stone on which to prostrate yourselves, for I am the Lord, your God.” (Leviticus Chapter 26:1)
Is this about God not being able to share? I like to think of “making idols” as knowing, where “not knowing” is about not attaching ourselves to that which we cannot know. In the same way that all the commandments are important, so to is it presumptuous to choose one person or thing to idolize and not another.

I believe that we should not even idolize God because we cannot know her. Idolizing is reducing something bigger than we are to something we can understand. But we can’t possibly understand the unknown in the same way that a two-dimensional shape can't know what it would be like to be of three dimensions. 

It is convenient to have statutes to worship. It is interesting (and I may be wrong) that for that years after their death, there were no statutes of Buddha (500 years  after his death) or Christ (200 years). As Blake wrote, “never pain to tell they love, love that never told can be.”

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Thanks for commenting. One cannot study the Torah alone.