What is Avodah Zara (Idol Worship)?
I was having a very interesting conversation with a man who, like most Jews, believed the Rabbis when the Rabbis taught him that idol worship is the partaking in weird ceremonies to idols. He’s an honest partner in a conversation and clearly wants to arrive at the Truth.
Telling the Jews that avodah zara (idol worship) is only the worshipping of foreign idols was a very sophisticated application of half truth on the part of the Rabbis. In fact, idol worship is much more than performing weird ceremonies (which the Rabbis actually do) and some forms are far more insidious.
He wrote: Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan funny I thought it was “worshipping false gods”- like the golden calf or materialism. Your definition seems odd to me. Using torah for nefarious presences. Like – preemptive war- when have I heard rabbis calling for a preemptive war? 1967? And I hate to say it religions, sadly have always had a low tolerance for dissent.
Yes, the Rabbis have taught us to think of avodah zara (idol worship) only as as performing weird ceremonies – which it is, in part, and which they themselves do.
But it goes beyond that. It’s learning Torah in order to accrue power and distorting interpretation in order to deceive and control.
Avodah zara is also not teaching the Jews that all of the Names in Torah are our Names – including the holiest Names. It is inducing a state of amnesia in the Jews.
Avodah zara is not teaching the Jews that the Name Israel and the word HaMitzvot have the same gematria – that everything Israel does in the embodiment of the the Mitzvot.
Avodah zara is teaching the Jews to believe things – because once our consciousness is invested in an idea and we are convinced of it – we make it happen.
This is the worst of the avodah zara.
If a Jew believes that we will get our reward for suffering in this world in the world to come – so it is. Our collective believe makes that true.
Avodah zara is psychological warfare that keeps Jews on a very low level of self-awareness and awareness of our abilities. It is using the mind to create low level realities.
The mind, unless one is very highly trained in self-control, once directed, “falls into” that which it is convinced is true and creates that reality. Any misuse of that strength/weakness (depending on one’s level of mastery over the mind), any steering of the mind to the purpose of control or any nefarious purpose is idol worship and comes under the injunction not to deceive.
The mind is to the purpose of creating beautiful worlds. If we are not creating beautiful worlds with our minds, and we don’t know how to or even that we can, we are clearly in the pit of idol worship.