Idolatry

The following is a well stated definition of idolatry. We often forget idolatry  exists even today in our generation and our culture. if we live as though it does not exist we are bound to commit the sin of it. Though not in the form of little wooden images, idolatry is an expression and manifestation of our pursuits. Idolatry is not so much what exists but how we interact with what we create in our space.

shabbat-candles-007-1Shabbat saves people from becoming alienated from and oppressed by the fruits of the their labor. Technology involves building and shaping the external world. It thus creates a solid existence outside of the human being. As Marx and other suggested, the production machine is first reified, then absolutized , then worshiped. When value is projected onto the external product or machine, the human may be devalued.

Idolatry is not merely the worship of stone and wood. Idolatry consists of giving absolute authority to something relative , that is, to anything other than the Divine. IN degrading another human -in the image of God for the sake of achievement or profit, in sacrificing relationships for work, in wantonly destroying some part of the world for production, one sets up work as the ultimate authority and abides by its dictates. That is idolatry. The Sabbath is designed to take one out of such a framework.”

-The Jewish way, living the holidays, Rabbi Irving Greenberg, pg. 137

 

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