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  Calling Evil By Another Name 

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Posted by: Rabbi Elazar Meisels 8/5/2007 7:24 PM

“Do not bring abomination into your house [lest] you become cheirem [banned] like it; thoroughly revile and abominate it, for it is cheirem [off-limits].” 7:26



  • Do Not Bring Abomination Into Your House – In it’s most literal sense, this verse contains a prohibition against allowing idols to be present in ones home [even if he will not worship them.] Our sages explain that this also includes even renting one’s home to one who will practice idolatry within it. – Talmud
  • Do Not Bring Abomination Into Your House – The word “Cheirem” contains letters that spell Rama”ch and have a numerical equivalent of 248, which corresponds to the number of limbs in a person’s body. This teaches us that for the sin of allowing idolatry into ones home, he will be punished through his entire body. If one repents however, then he can count on Divine mercy to erase his offense and this is symbolized by the word Racheim [mercy], which is what emerges from these letters when they are rearranged. – Baal Haturim
  • Thoroughly Revile And Abominate It – Idolatry is so vile, offensive, and harmful, that we must not tolerate it in any form whatsoever. It should not even be referred to by its proper name. Rather, a pejorative term that pokes fun at its name is more appropriate for such an unwelcome presence in our midst.

It is rather difficult for us to imagine just how offensive idolatry is given that we don’t often encounter it in modern times. Yet, given the Torah expends so much effort decrying its worship, even according it prestigious mention in the Ten Commandments, we can surmise that it was not only a false approach to life, but also highly dangerous and unproductive. In order to ensure that we would never be ensnared by it, the Torah bids us to mock and thoroughly reject it in any form whatsoever. What this approach lacks in political correctness, it more than makes up for with its strict insistence on moral integrity.

Copyright ©2007 Rabbi Elazar Meisels - Free mp3 Torah Audio

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