How is it applicable today to say "do not follow other gods"? And, surely if the Torah writes this statement, it seems to give strength to the argument that there are 'other gods'! To answer both of these questions we must first study the most fundamental statement in Judaism:

"Shema Yisroel HaShem Elokeinu HaShem Echod" "Hear Israel HaShem Our G-d HaShem is ONE"

The fact that "HaShem is ONE" is not a statement of monotheism. It is not saying "HaShem is one... not two or three", it is saying there is NOTHING ELSE! ie. HaShem is the Only thing - Nothing can exist outside of HaShem! This is obviously a bold statement and perhaps beyond the

scope of this 'shortvort', but if there is nothing else then how can their be other gods to follow?

I believe the questions can be answered in the following way; A god is something that you make yourself subservient to. It is something that your life revolves around. Therefore HaShem's commandment of not to follow other gods can be translated as 'do not become subservient to anything except for me'.

Therefore, if someone needs to watch "TV programme X" everyday at the same time for example, and no matter what one is doing they need to be home in time for that programme - then surely, that Television falls under the category of being 'another god'!!?! "

Do not follow other gods" is telling us to focus on the real source of pleasure (closeness with G-d) and not the counterfeit pleasure of putting our focus into things which are not productive and conducive to the ultimate goal of life - closeness with The Source of all life.

 

 

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