Lech Lecha: Chapter 20
"And there was a strife between the herdsmen of Abraham's cattle"

When Abraham discovered that Lot, his nephew, was engaged in Idol Worshipping, Abraham knew immediately that he had to disconnect himself completely from Lot. The spiritual principle of this story concerns the influence that our immediate environment exerts upon us. It is incumbent upon all of us to associate with people who are sincere in their desire for spiritual growth. Although our own intentions may be pure, the influences that surround us inevitably affect our way of life.


The Kabbalistic definition of Idol Worshipping includes much more than simply praying to statues or other false gods. Whenever we allow an external object or situation to control our behavior, our thoughts, or our emotions, we are worshipping an idol. Many people, for example, worship the idol of money. They are disciples and servants to their own businesses. Others are ruled by appearances and the perceptions of those around them. The moment we allow the external world to control our hearts and minds, we are committing the sin of Idol Worshipping. In this portion, freedom from external negative forces and influences is bestowed upon the reader.