posted a very thought-provoking Dvar Torah
on Parashat Ekev
entitled: The Snare of Idolatry
. The concept presented is both intriguing, disturbing and – unfortunately - very applicable to our situation today. It’s well-worth a read:
“…Perhaps we can suggest that it is not either forced or assimilated idolatry but accidental idolatry. The Gemara (Avodah Zarah 8a) says that the Jews in exile worship idols in purity. What this means is that through their close personal connections with idol worshipers, it is as if they worship idols themselves. They cause others to worship idols. They praise idols. They discuss idolatry and value the contributions idol worship has brought to society. In this way, while they don't technically worship idols, they encroach on idolatry and associate overmuch with it. Perhaps that is part of exile and is an aspect of the punishment of living outside of our land.”
What’s most disturbing is that while the commentary refers to those living in exile, today it appears that those living in Eretz Yisrael
have also fallen into this trap. And, as we all know, ”if the Jews in the Land of Israel worship idols, they will be exiled”
In his commentary on Parashat Ki Tisa
, in his book Eretz Yisrael in the Parashah
, Rabbi Moshe Lichtman also explores the concept of the “snare”, and “worshiping false gods in purity” (unintentionally - without paying attention).
Perhaps it’s time we all took a closer and more profound – albeit painful – look at the concept of Avodah Zarah
and all of its trappings -especially since Israel is currently swarming with “fishers of men”.
Related: Torah Sources and the Sin of Idolatry