Print This Post Print This Post

Who Are These “Other gods”?!

Written by Rabbi Moshe Kormornick

Do not have other gods in my presence (20:3)
When the Torah warns us not to follow other gods, it implies that there are other gods.  However, the Torah declares, as we do everyday “שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ה’ אֱלֹקֵינוּ ה’ אֶחָד – Hear Israel, Hashem is our God, Hashem is [the only] One”[1].  Obviously there is no god except for Hashem, so what is the Torah telling us, and considering that the Torah was written for every generation to follow, how do we apply this commandment today?

The Baalei Mussar answer that the ‘other gods’ that we serve today are not images carved from wood or stone, they are anything that we are subservient to other than Hashem.  For instance, if one arrives a minute late to Shul because he ‘just had to look at the news headlines’ then he is showing that he is subservient to the news, placing it in front of Hashem.  Similarly, one who compromises on his integrity when a lot of money is at stake has placed financial gain ahead of His Creator.

Therefore, we see that this commandment is certainly no less relevant today than it always was.  In fact, with the recent colossal advancement in technology, many would argue that we are more at risk of transgressing this commandment than any other generation of recent times.

[1] Devarim 6:4

Leave a Comment