20 April 2018

"You Shall Be Holy"

5 Iyyar 5778
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
20 Days of the Omer

It has come to my attention that some people still do not understand my complaints against Christianity and some sects of Hasidism, so I'd like to take this opportunity to try and bring some clarity to the issue. I'll try to make it short and succinct so there can be no misunderstanding.

HKB"H: "You shall have no other gods before Me."

  • Christianity is an idolatrous religion, worshiping a man-god who is supposedly the physical offspring of the Creator, God forbid! 
  • It is a missionary religion intent on bringing the entirety of humanity - especially and including Jews - into that idolatrous worship.
  • They compiled a book of "scripture" which they added to our Tanach and call the entire thing the "Bible" - the "inspired Word of God," God forbid!

This is a horrible, treacherous crime against HKB"H which carries a horrendous penalty - death. It got the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel exiled and permanently cut off from the nation, as well as the first Beit Hamikdash destroyed. We have an obligation from the Torah to our fellow Jews and to HKB"H to prevent its practice and proliferation in Eretz Yisrael.

Some elements in some sects of modern Hasidism are coming closer and closer to the Christian religious model. It is this tendency which I decry and distance myself from.

  • Rebbe 'worship' to the point of believing that a rebbe is still alive or communicating with his followers from the grave or otherwise directing their lives or intervening on their behalf from above.
  • Viewing a particular Hasidic sect as superior to other Jews and "encouraging" others to adopt this path.
  • The addition of a particular Hasidic text which can even supercede the Torah as an object of study. 
That's not to say that other sects of Judaism don't have their own issues. There is plenty of correction and improvement called for all around. But, these seeming similarities between Christianity and some sects of Hasidism are too close for my taste or my comfort.  

In this week's Torah portion [Kedoshim] we are commanded: "You shall be holy, for holy am I, Hashem, your God."

The commentary says...
It was God's will to rest His Presence among the Jewish people so that it could rise to its calling to be a holy nation of His servants (Exodus 19.6). In order to make this possible, Israel was enjoined to avoid the spiritual contaminations that would result from the sexual and religious practices listed in the previous several chapters. This sidrah begins by explaining that the reason for these prohibitions was to make it possible for the nation to become holy by emulating its Creator as much as possible. Furthermore, the purpose of this holiness is for people to become elevated in their lives on this world, and the way to do this, our passage teaches, is by scrupulous adherence to the commandments found on the first tablet of the Ten Commandments....
The first of which is, "I am Hashem, your God, Who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery." And the second one is, "You shall have no other gods before Me."

More commentary...
"...before Me." (in My presence), i.e., as long as I exist. Since God is eternal, this prohibition, too, is permanent (Rashi)  To defy a human king to his face is the worst form of treason, and since God is omnipresent, idolatry is an unpardonable affront. (Ibn Ezra, Sforno)  ...The Torah uses the expression jealous only with reference to idolatry and to a suspicious husband's claim that his wife was unfaithful (Numbers 5.14) The term refers to an abuse of trust and someone's refusal to give up something that is rightfully his. In the context of idolatry, God alone is entitled to the veneration of human beings and He will not countenance worship of other beings. Mechilta teaches that God says, "For idolatry, I zealously exact punishment, but in other matters I am gracious and merciful." In the context of the jealous husband who claims that his wife has lived with another man, he refuses to give up the faithfulness to which he is entitled.


  1. We do have another g-d among us and its name is the golden calf in the form of money and materialism...
    We have already lost most of our holiness, our gentleness, our compassion, and we will never reach the level that we need in order to reach moshiach if we continue in this abominable path...
    But hopefully not this year but now the boss himself will strike the golden calf where it hurts the most and the Jewish people will start to come to their senses and really repent with feelings and love and come together as one nation and one people with one giant golden and lighting heart and after moshiach and redemption, we will start the next stage towards eternity
    Our time in this world is not over and will take time maybe hundreds of years but our time in this exile and evil muck is already ENDING hopefully before 5779 and now as soon as possible

  2. Moshiach will come, no matter what! The difference is 'will he come with glory or, c,v, bringing great suffering'. H' is giving us the time to do teshuvah, each to his/her own capacity, because at this late stage where the world has sunk so low that most cannot even fathom the righteousness of our forefathers, so even if they realize at long last the truth, and pray to H' for forgiveness, H' will forgive them.
    Jack: After Moshiach comes and we will have our Beit HaMikdash, we will have hundreds of years of pure BLISS in this world which will be Olam Habah; when we reach the 7th millenium is when we will be like spiritual beings. There are many interpretations which tell us that we will be on such high spiritual levels but in our human bodies. May it be!

  3. As a convert, I agree that the non Jewish religion is idol worship. I remember, like, 8-foot high statues. If that is not idol worship, I do not know what is. As someone now involved with chassidim, I can say that it boils down to kavanah. If a person goes to the grave of a tzaddik, the kavanah is to pray to Hashem while there. Praying to a tzaddik or any other intermediary is not OK. As for chassidic texts? I study Chumash, recite psalms, and also study Tanya and Garden of Emunah. Chassidic texts are the sod, the hidden part of Torah (pshat, drash, remmes, sod) and is helpful as a form of mussar and also as a source of passion for mitzvoth. No group of people will be perfect, and we have to help each other by pointing out the proper way, as you do by blogging. Col ha cavod. Thank you for the posts and information.