Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Wonders of Idolatry

R' Kook has the most fascinating take on idolatry. From The Fear, The Trembling and The Fire:

For Rav Kook, the holiness within idolatry shows itself in a number of its qualities, primarily in idolatry's:

(1) Constant spiritual novelty
(2) Deep passion, to the point of frenzy
(3) Imaginative representations
(4) Infinite commitment to the Divine

See the following!


הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Oh, that's funny; I'm actually learning about Hinduism myself at the moment, and as it happens, they see the Western "Idolatry" as being very close-minded about it.

Supposedly they feel that:

1. Any Verbal or Mental perception of G-d is 'Idolatry' in a way- it's the G-d in your mind, not the real G-d.

2. Most Indians didn't know how to read back then, so

3. The images are obviously not a representation of the Divine (only a fool would think they are 'worshiping' the icons (idols)). they are a means of non-verbally telling us different aspects of the Divine. So, while 'humanizing' a god is obviously a misrepresentation, it might actually help the ideas come forth in a meaningful way.

So some (gods) would be represented as having blue skin, or many arms, or the head of an elephant to represent that while all we can do is perceive them in human forms, they are anything but human.

Maybe if we know more about such religions with many 'divine representations', we can understand more about what the bible felt about it...

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Correction Re: first paragraph- they see the Western [terming of it]"Idolatry" as being very close-minded about it.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

That's funny; he says Hassidim are the bearers of the positive aspects of pagan traditions. explains a lot!

Chai18 said...

there is probably some copyright infringement with posting those pages