Bo – Modern Idols

his week’s parsha describes the Egyptian worship of idols, not least of which was the ram. The ram happens to be the symbol of the zodiacal sign of Aries – the month of spring when the forces of nature reawaken. The Egyptians were shamans who worshipped nature, like the Nile River, and the ram was a particularly potent god-symbol for them. Hence the Jewish people were instructed by G-d to take a ram, publicly slaughter it, and smear its blood on the doorposts – a clear sign of negation of idol worship. Even though we may view ancient idol worship incomprehensible, and consider ourselves so very much more sophisticated – the truth is we too worship idols. Our idols are the stock exchange, realpolitik, power, and the i-phone. One day in the future, the sophisticates of tomorrow will view our idols as ancient and incomprehensible. But here we are, unable to face life without our friends on Facebook and Twitter. We too must take our idols and sacrifice them publicly. That might consist of simplifying our lives with less technology, or having faith that reasonable effort will yield sufficient income without neglecting family and loved ones by working around the clock from the home office. Every epoch and nation has its idols. We may call it ‘culture’, but the absolute standards of Torah reveal the truth. Do you worship any idols?