Rambam On The Laws Of Idolatry

Rambam (1135-1202), Mishneh Torah, “The Laws of Idolatry,” Chapter 1 (abridged):

1. The sages in the days of Enoch and Enoch himself decided that since God created the stars and heavenly spheres in order to govern the world, they are His faithful servants. Thus the stars are worthy of praise, and it corresponds to God’s will.

2. With this idea in mind, they started to build temples for the stars, make sacrifices to them, and laud them. All of it was done with the aim of fulfilling the Creator’s will. This marked the beginning of idolatry.

3. Thus idol worshipers do not claim that a concrete star is a god. Everybody knows that only You are God. Yet people err in that they consider the unwarranted actions to be fulfillment of Your will.

4. Many days have passed and false prophets have surfaced. They started telling that God ordered them to convey to the people: “Serve some star, make sacrifices to it, build temples to it, and create its image so that people could worship it.” They showed the people a certain form that they themselves invented and said, “This is an image imparted on me in prophesy.”

5. This is how they started creating images in temples and gathering there for worship. They suggested to the people that the image can bring evil or good, and one should fear or serve it. The cult servants convinced them: “Propagate the service and it will bring you luck; do this or that, or don’t do this or that.”

Related Material:
Laitman.com Post: You Shall Not Make For Yourself An Idol
The Kabbalah Experience: “Beliefs, Mysticism and The Supernatural”
The Path of Kabbalah: “The Great Illusion”

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