Torah Portion Vaet’hanan

This past Shabbat we studied the Torah portion Vaet’hana, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11. Deuteronomy is Moses’ farewell address to the Israelite people before they enter the Promised Land. Part of this portion is known as the Ten Commandments.

4:15-20; God, through Moses, tells the people to not make a sculpted image for a human or any other creature to worship; neither are they to worship the Sun, Moon, or stars.In 5:8-10, again, Moses emphasizes not making any sculpted image of any living being to worship, and to not worship the Sun, Moon, or stars.

The Haftorah is in Isaiah chapter 40. In this, Isaiah ties to explain the mercy, compassion, and greatness of God; Isaiah also speaks of the folly of idolatry-human beings trying to construct, with a sculpture or idea, any idea about God. An idol is a human construction of God, by a statue or a theory, is a way the constructor understands. Idolatry is based upon individual perception and social-cultural conditioning, based on whatever the society or individual values or fears.

God is beyond all comprehension and understanding. ; we humans see the world in a limited sense, from our minds, our experience, and from our society’s conditioning, while God is beyond all comprehension.