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Parsha of the Week

 Rabbi Yaakov Loeberbaum of Lisa (d. 1832), the author of Nesivos Hamishpat, says  even without bowing down to idols or offering to them sacrifices, merely declaring certain things to be as a result of one’s own work or power is considered heretical idolatry. He explains that this is the understanding of the exegesis in the Talmud  which states that King David desired to commit idolatry until Chushai stopped him; in reality, David merely wanted to attribute his military victories to his own strength and not G-d’s help. This is the meaning behind the juxtaposition of Deuteronomy 8:17, “And you shall say in your heart, ‘my might and the strength of my hand, made me all this fortune’”, to the warning against committing idolatry and straying after false lords. Assuming that one’s success is a result of his or her own toil and perseverance is denying the power of G-d and (heaven forbid) declaring Him secondary in the natural flow of the world. Therefore, attempting to achieve as much wealth, honor, or pleasure as possible can also be classified as a type of idolatry for it implies that it is within an individual’s ability to accomplish such a task unaided by divine intervention.

Shabbat Shalom! Have a Good Shabbos!