By Rabbi Shmuel Gluck
Moshe Rabbeinu describes how we shouldn’t worship idols made of stone and wood. He continues to say that we should also not worship silver and gold idols which people keep with them inside their houses. Rashi explains that people kept their wood and stone idols outside, and didn’t worry about them being stolen. But they kept the gold and silver ones inside to protect them from theft.
It seems bizarre that people can appreciate their idols’ inability to protect themselves and still consider them capable of protecting the people who own them. There’s a similar contradiction with those that serve fire and water knowing that each one can be consumed by the other.
I find it fascinating that the human mind allows us to ignore compelling arguments to support our personal agendas.
I find it fascinating that the human mind allows us to ignore compelling arguments to support our personal agendas. We don’t even feel guilty when we do this. The Chochmo U’mussor refers to this as being Mamshich Emes L’rtzonchem, that people create a truth that will be consistent with their interests.
We consider a Rav smart unless his P’sak goes against our interests. We consider a Halacha to be relevant if it supports our agenda, and not as relevant if it doesn’t. Sadly, our ability to create what we want reality to be is often a tool to manipulate others.
Instead, live objectively, always filter decisions, and ask yourself if you have an agenda. Otherwise, instead of serving Hashem you are, as the Passuk describes, Al Tiyu Bicho Eil Zor, don’t place yourself to be an Avoda Zara, serving yourself instead of Hashem.
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