Idolatry and Murder

Question

Idolatry is the most condemned act in the Torah. What makes idolatry a more serious offense than murder? What makes it so believing an inanimate object has spiritual powers is a worse sin than irreversibly ending another person’s life? Obviously one can reverse the damage of praying to a piece of metal or stone made into a certain shape. But no one can ever undo taking away another’s life.

6 months

Answers

  1. The Sages teach that idolatry is the ultimate betrayal of God. It is described as being the spiritual equivalent of adultery. It is true that once a life has been taken it cannot be returned and there are many reason why a person may commit murder but they are not reasons that deny the Omnipotence of God and transfer it to something else. It is that dimension that makes it so terrible as an idol worshiper recognizes that there are spiritual powers in this world but the idol worshiper is not prepared to attribute them to the only true source. By doing that they are introducing into the world the ability for others to follow suit and deny God’s existence.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team