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Home -- Content: Series 7 (Laws) -- Translation: English -- Book: 1 (Tora) -- Part: 1 (Positive) -- Command: 185 -- Text
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The Sharia of Moses in the TORA
Part 1 - The 248 Positive Commandments of the Tora

185 - DESTROYING ALL IDOL-WORSHIP


Deuteronomy 12:2-3 -- 2 “You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. 3 And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place.”
Deuteronomy 7:5 -- “But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire.”

The injunction to put down idol-worship applies in the Land of Israel, but not outside it.

Maimonides declares the commandment on the abolition of idolatry to be “the principal and first object of the whole Law, as our sages distinctly told us in their traditional explanation of the words all that the LORD has commanded you by the hand of Moses (Numbers 15:23); for they say, ‘Hence we learn that those who follow idolatry deny as it were their adhesion to the whole Law, and those who reject idolatry follow as it were the whole Law.’”*

* Kid. 4oa; Moreh Nebuchim III, 29

You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods…and you shall destroy their altars, etc. (Deuteronomy 12:2-3). Now is not the following a logical conclusion? How is it in the case of trees, which can neither see nor hear? Merely because an opportunity to sin was occasioned by them, Scripture says, ‘Destroy, burn, exterminate them!’ If then one makes his fellow man deviate from the path of life to the path of death, does it not follow all the more that he should be punished?”*

* Lev. XX, 15, Rashi

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