Select Halacha by date:

Or by subject:

Or by keyword:
Search titles and keywords only
Search All    

Weekly Perasha Insights
Shabbat Morning Derasha on the Parasha
Register To Receive The Daily Halacha By Email / Unsubscribe
Daily Parasha Insights via Live Teleconference
Syrian Sephardic Wedding Guide
Download Special Tefilot
A Glossary Of Terms Frequently Referred To In The Daily Halachot
About The Sources Frequently Quoted In The Halachot
About Rabbi Eli Mansour
Purchase Passover Haggadah with In Depth Insights by Rabbi Eli Mansour and Rabbi David Sutton
About DailyHalacha.Com
Contact us
Useful Links
Refund/Privacy Policy
Back to Home Page

Today’s Halacha is

Dedicated By
Isaac Moses

Click Here to Sponsor Daily Halacha
  Clip Length: 42:30 (mm:ss)
Download
print       

Parashat Kedoshim: Modern-Day Idolatry

The Torah commands in Parashat Kedoshim (19:4), “Do not turn to the idols, and do not make for yourselves gods of metal.”

The Torah is an eternal book whose messages are eternal. And thus although paganism in its ancient form – the worship of inanimate objects – does not really exist in our society, nevertheless, the lesson conveyed by this prohibition is as relevant today as ever.

It has been observed that the Torah in this verse first speaks of “Elilim” (“idols”), and then calls them “Eloheh Masecha” (“gods of metal”). When a material object is elevated to the status of an “Elil,” as an object of high value and importance, it is eventually perceived as an “Elohim” – a deity, the supreme value in a person’s life.

This phenomenon is, unfortunately, alive and well in our society with respect to money. Nobody worships money as a divine being, but many people, sadly, afford too much importance to it, perceiving it as a supreme value. There are many people whose minds are preoccupied mainly with the pursuit of wealth most of the day, every day. There are those who devote inordinate amounts of time to furnishing their homes so they can enjoy the highest standards of luxury. And people invest untold numbers of hours, sacrificing time for family, for prayer and for learning, to work and earn wealth so they can purchase luxury cars and go on luxury vacations.

Our religion is not opposed to wealth, or to luxurious homes, cars and vacations. Poverty is not a virtue according to Jewish teaching. However, we are warned against making anything other than G-d our highest priority. And this includes money and material standards. It is perfectly acceptable to work, earn money, and then enjoy the money we earn, but on the condition that it does not become an “Elil” – the object to which we accord the greatest value. We need to keep money in its proper perspective, and recognize that there are things far more valuable and important.

I recall once passing by somebody’s home on a Sunday afternoon and watching him washing his car. I looked carefully and saw that he not only washed the metal, but also the tires.
Certainly, there is nothing wrong with washing one’s car. But washing one’s tires? I believe this reflects an unhealthy obsession that falls under the prohibition against “Elilim.”

Enjoying material benefits is perfectly acceptable, but we must stand guard to avoid falling into an obsession with materialism. We need to maintain our priorities, to always be mindful of what’s more important and what’s less important, and ensure not to turn money and luxury into “Elilim.”


Sefer/Parasha:
Parashat Toledot: Understanding the Story of Yishak’s Blessing
Parashat Hayeh-Sarah: The Dangers of Vanity
Parashat Vayera: Akedat Yishak & Akedat Abraham
Parashat Lech Lecha: The Influence of a Sadik
Parashat Noah: When the Going Gets Rough
Bereshit: G-d’s Signature
The Sukka and Torah Commitment
Yom Kippur: Throwing Away Our Arrogance
Parashat Nisavim: It Depends Only on Us
Parashat Ki Teseh: The Pinhole of Repentance
Elul: The Time is Now
Parashat Reeh: The Reward for Early Struggles
Parashat Ekeb: The Synagogue and the Bet Ha’mikdash
Parashat VaEtchanan: Nahamu Nahamu
Parashat VaEtchanan: Nahamu Nahamu
Page of 44
652 Parashot found