Thursday, August 24, 2023

The Temple and its mitvos mirrored idolatry

 Moreh Nevuchim (3:45) THE precepts of the tenth class are those enumerated in the laws on the Temple (Hilkot bet ha-beḥirah), the laws on the vessels of the temple and on the ministers in the temple [Hilkot kele ha-miḳdash veha-‘obedim bo]. The use of these precepts we have stated in general terms. It is known that idolaters selected the highest possible places on high mountains where to build their temples and to place their images. Therefore Abraham, our father, chose Mount Moriah, being the highest mount in that country, and proclaimed there the Unity of God. He selected the west of the mount as the place toward which he turned during his prayers, because [he thought that] the most holy place was in the West; this is the meaning of the saving of our Sages, "The Shekinah" (the Glory of God) is in the West" (B. T. Baba B 25a); and it is distinctly stated in the Talmud Yoma that our father Abraham chose the west side, the place where the Most Holy was built. I believe that he did so because it was then a general rite to worship the sun as a deity. Undoubtedly all people turned then to the East [worshipping the Sun]. Abraham turned therefore on Mount Moriah to the West, that is, the site of the Sanctuary, and turned his back toward the sun; and the Israelites, when they abandoned their God and returned to the early bad principles, stood "with their backs toward the Temple of the Lord and their faces toward the East, and they worshipped the sun toward the East" (Ezek. 8:16). Note this strange fact. I do not doubt that the spot which Abraham chose in his prophetical spirit, was known to Moses our Teacher, and to others: for Abraham commanded his children that on this place a house of worship should be built. Thus the Targum says distinctly, "And Abraham worshipped and prayed there in that place, and said before God, 'Here shall coming generations worship the Lord'" (Gen. 22:14). For three practical reasons the name of the place is not distinctly stated in the Law, but indicated in the phrase "To the place which the Lord will choose" (Deut. 12:11, etc.). First, if the nations had learnt that this place was to be the centre of the highest religious truths, they would occupy it, or fight about it most perseveringly. Secondly, those who were then in possession of it might destroy and ruin the place with all their might. Thirdly, and chiefly, every one of the twelve tribes would desire to have this place in its borders and under its control; this would lead to divisions and discord, such as were caused by the desire for the priesthood. Therefore it was commanded that the Temple should not be built before the election of a king who would order its erection, and thus remove the cause of discord. We have explained this in the Section on Judges (ch. xli.).


  1. depends how you use the word "mirrored"

    A mirror changes left to right and right to left, but not up to down.

    If you mean it was a synoonym for idolatry, as per this usage of the word

    that is not what the Rambam is saying. It was in opposition to idolatry.

  2. Ramban said it needed to be similar to be accepted
    of course he was opposed to AZ but he clearly says the mitzva needed to be similar to AZ

  3. You mean Maimonides or Nachmanides?
    It is similar because they attribute to and worship their false gods. Religions are similar, even though they disagree.
    Hindus put colours on their rosh where we put tefillin.
    You cannot learn Torah by reverse engineering or transplanting idolatry. Eg the Hindus or sikhs use between their eyes (eyebrows) for their spices,. So that's not a source to base where tefillin Shel rosh goes.
    Kaplan does exactly that and turns idolatry into a pseudo Judaism, and then claims the mesora was lost or hidden but preserved by akum..

  4. ok, don't answer the points i raised..

    "Daas Torah Mod Kalonymus HaQatan • an hour ago

    Ramban said it needed to be similar to be accepted
    of course he was opposed to AZ but he clearly says the mitzva needed to be similar to AZ"

  5. your question iws clearly answered by what
    i posted~

  6. nope, i think you are mistaken

    "By making two
    cherubim and distinctly declaring "the Lord is our God, the Lord is
    One," Moses clearly proclaimed the theory of the existence of a number
    of angels; he left no room for the error of considering those figures as
    deities, since [he declared that) God is one, and that He is the
    Creator of the angels, who are more than one."

    That is what Rambam says. For Leonard Kaplan esq , these angels, sefiros etc are all One and all the same as G-d.

  7. So rambam says there is no issur on lesbianism. But then classes it as ways of the mitzrim. Either it is prohibited or not. Or is it too embarrassing that there is no prohibition, hence need to class it as way of the Egyptian? Could we do the same with smoking, or drug abuse?


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