154. "Put away the strange Elohim" (Beresheet 35:2) that they took from Shchem, vessels of silver and gold, upon which were engraved the images of their deities. Rabbi Yehuda said these were the images of strange Elohim made of silver and gold, AND NOT VESSELS WITH THEIR IMAGES. Jacob hid them there, so that they would not derive benefit from idolatry. A man should never derive benefit from it.
155. As Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Chizkiyah were walking along the road, Rabbi Chizkiyah asks, Why is it written, "And he took the crown of Malkam from off his head and its weight was a talent of gold, with the precious stones; and it was set on David's head" (II Shmuel 12:30)? We have learned that Milkom was the abominable idol of the children of Amon, as it is written, "the crown of Malkam." Why, therefore, was it set on David's head, and why it is called 'abomination?' While other dieties of the heathen nations are called the 'Elohim of the people,' 'other Elohim,' 'strange El,' 'another Elohim,' and the like, only Malkam is called an 'abomination.'
156. He answers that the Holy One, blessed be He, calls all the deities of the idolatrous nations, NOT ONLY MALKAM, by this name, as it is written, "And you have seen their abominations, and their idols" (Devarim 29:16). What of the verse, "And he took the crown of Malkam" the idol Milkom? HE ASKS, HOW COULD DAVID SET IT ON HIS HEAD? Assuredly, IT WAS THE CROWN OF AN IDOL, but before Itai the Gittite became a proselyte, THAT IS, WHILE HE WAS STILL A HEATHEN, he broke Milkom's heathen crown, destroying the image engraved on it. He thereby made it permissible for use. THEN DAVID put it on his head. Come and behold, the abomination of the children of Amon was a serpent deeply engraved on the crown. It was therefore called an 'abomination,' WHICH MEANS filth. THIS IS THE SECOND ANSWER FOR THE QUESTION THAT RABBI CHIZKIYAH ASKS RABBI YEHUDA: WHY IS THIS IDOL CALLED AN ABOMINATION?
157. Rabbi Yitzchak said that the verse, "Put away the strange Elohim that are among you," refers to other women who, WHEN TAKEN CAPTIVE, brought with them all their jewels. Thus, it is written, "And they gave to Jacob all the strange Elohim," which are the women and all their jewels, and their deities of silver and gold. "And Jacob hid them," THE GOLD AND SILVER, so that his people would derive no benefit whatsoever from them, the aspects of idolatry.
158. Come and behold, how much Jacob was a perfected man, and how he cleaved to the Holy One, blessed be He. It is written, "and let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar to El, who answers me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way on which I went" (Beresheet 35:3). At once, "they gave to Jacob" (Ibid. 4). From this, we learn that it is incumbent on man to praise the Holy One, blessed be He, and give thanks to Him for all the miracles and goodness He did by him. This is the meaning of the verse, "and was with me in the way on which I went."
159. Come and behold, first it is written, "And let us arise, and go up to Bethel" IN THE PLURAL, because he counted his sons with him; then it is written, "and I will make there an altar" IN THE SINGULAR, and not 'and we will make,' because he excluded his sons from this act. Why? Because it was for him alone to do it. Jacob surely composed the evening prayer and built the altar,(BOTH ACTIONS BEING THE CORRECTION OF THE NUKVA). It was for him to do, NOT FOR HIS SONS, for his children were not born until after he had fled from his brother and had gone through the troubles that followed, as it is written, "and was with me in the way on which I went." Thus, he did not include them in PREPARING THE ALTAR, BUT SAID, "AND I WILL MAKE THERE AN ALTAR," INSTEAD OF 'WE WILL MAKE.'
160. Rabbi Elazar said, From this we learn that whoever received a miracle should give thanks, and whoever ate bread should say grace, and not the person who ate nothing. JACOB THEN SAID, "I WILL MAKE AN ALTAR," AND NOT 'WE WILL MAKE.'