Vayishlach: Chapter 13

"Put away the strange Elohim"


While walking, Rabbi Chizkiyah questions Rabbi Yehuda as to why the crown of Malcam was considered the crown of an idol and "an abomination," and why it was permitted to be set on David's head. After Rabbi Yehuda explains that the image of the idol on the crown was broken, thus making it permissible to wear it. Rabbi Yitzchak proceeds to interpret the title verse. He reveals that Jacob hid the idolatrous gold and silver images so that his people could not derive any benefit from these representations of false deities. There follows a discussion of man's responsibility to thank and praise God for His miracles and His goodness. This is why Jacob alone prepared the altar at Bethel - although his sons were with him, Jacob alone suffered the tribulations that run throughout his story, making him worthy and deserving of the task.


It is a man's natural tendency to worship his own ego and credit himself for all of his accomplishments. This is true idol worshipping. The concept of praising and thanking God is a code denoting the need for true appreciation and awareness of the existence of The Creator' s beneficence. Appreciation is for our own benefit and not in any way for The Creator, who has no need or desire for praise and thanks. Appreciation and awareness are spiritual forces that help to protect all that we have received from negative entities. The goal of an evil entity is to lower our guard and make us vulnerable. When there is no consciousness of The Creator's role in our good fortune, dark forces can loot us of our spiritual Light. This manifests physically as the loss of blessing, whether in relationships, health, or financial prosperity. This passage stirs appreciation for The Creator within us. This gratitude is derived through Jacob, who recognized and warned his children about the idols in their midst.