Are Jewish Idolators Fools?

Joshua Sobol derides Jewish idolators as ‘fools’
By Marissa Newman, Times of Israel, 9-3-2015

 
The Israeli playwright Joshua Sobol on Monday derided “mezuzah-kissing” Jews as “fools”.
The remarks came in defense of Israeli painter and political pundit Yair Garbuz, who caused an uproar for saying two days ago at a rally in Tel Aviv that “amulet kissers and pagan worshipers” are controlling the country.

The mezuzah is a small parchment scroll affixed to the doorpost and containing the text of the “Shema Yisrael” prayer. Religious believers commonly kiss the fixture upon entering or leaving a room or building.

Garbuz had told thousands of demonstrators in Rabin Square that the country had been taken over by “handfuls” of extremists.
“They told us, and wanted us to believe,” that right-wing extremists were merely a “handful,” Garbuz said, along with “the thieves and bribe-takers,” “the corrupt and hedonistic,” “the destroyers of democracy,” “those who think democracy is the tyranny of the majority,” and “the kissers of amulets, idol-worshipers, and those who prostrate themselves on the graves of the saints.”
“If all these are just a handful,” Garbuz continued, “how does this handful rule over us? How is it that without anyone noticing or interfering, this, the handful became a majority?”

 

Bennett Says: We Are Going to Win
By Yaakov Levi, Arutz Sheva, 11-3-2015

 
In a video message > Naftali Bennett warned leftists like Yair Garboz.
“All of a sudden I realize what these elections are all about,” he said. “Will Israel continue to be a Jewish state? There are two world views here between two elites.
There is the old elite, who feel that ‘their’ state is being stolen away. This is the elite that artists like Garboz belong to, who feels free to stand before tens of thousands of people and sully everything that is holy to the Jewish people.
“Then there is the great and large group that is connected to their Jewish roots,” Bennett said…
“In these elections, we will decide what kind of country we want. Judaism will win, the ‘primitive fools’ and ‘mezuzah kissers’ are going to win.

 

What is the definition of idolatry?
Answer: The definition of idolatry, according to Webster, is “the worship of idols or excessive devotion to, or reverence for some person or thing.”
An idol is anything that replaces the one, true, universal God.

Exodus 20: And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God..” “You shall have no other gods before me. “ You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them…
Make an altar of earth for me.. Wherever I cause my name to be honoured, I will come to you and bless you. If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it.

 

Erich Fromm: Becoming Free in Judaism

 

“There is only one meaning of life: the act of living itself.”
“If I am what I have and if I lose what I have who then am I?”

 
“God,” a Hasidic master remarked, “does not say that ‘it was good’ after creating man; this indicates that man was not finished.” It is man himself, guided by God’s word as voiced by the Torah and the Prophets, who can develop his inherent nature in the process of history.

The essence of human evolution lies in man’s emergence from the incestuous ties to blood and soil into independence and freedom. Man, the prisoner of nature, becomes free by becoming fully human.
In the biblical and later Jewish view, freedom and independence are the goals of human development, and > the aim of human action is the constant process of liberating oneself from the shackles that bind man to the past, to nature, to the clan, to idols…
Can he do without such absolutes? Is it not a question of choosing between better or worse absolutes, that is to say, between absolutes which help his development and those that hinder it? Is it not a question of choosing between God and idols?

 

 
In his book Psychoanalysis and Religion Erich Fromm draws a distinction between two types of religion: authoritarian ( being a slave of idols, projection of God in man-made things) and humanistic ( fighting idols, finding God in yourself). He writes:

“The essential element in authoritarian religion and in the authoritarian religious experience is the surrender to a power transcending man. The main virtue of this type of religion is obedience, its cardinal sin is disobedience…”
“Humanistic religion is centered around man and his strength. Man must develop his power of reason in order to understand himself, his relationship to his fellow men and his position in the universe.”
“Religious experience in this kind of religion is the experience of oneness with the All, based on one’s relatedness to the world as it is grasped with thought and with love.”

 

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