Contact Us

Real Idols

Real Idols


Abraham worshipped idols as did his father, Terach. Abraham was an intelligent man, as was Terach. But Abraham came to recognize the falseness of the idols, while Terach stayed behind.

Because Terach never truly believed in the idols and never truly worshipped them. But when Abraham worshipped idols, it was with all his heart, mind and soul, every hour of the day and night. It had to be real.

Everything Abraham did had to be real. And therefore, he found truth.

Siddur Im Dach, Lulav.

By Tzvi Freeman
From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory; words and condensation by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman. Subscribe and get your dose daily. Or order Rabbi Freeman’s book, Bringing Heaven Down to Earth, click here.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with's copyright policy.
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
1000 characters remaining
Anonymous Brooklyn December 7, 2017

When and where did Abraham worship idols? Never heard that one. Reply

John Robertson September 4, 2017

Idols Now I see the statement the" the church must change with the times".
I had so many questions that ministers could not answer but in Judaism as a Noachide the answers are clear the Torah is true and does not change .The creator G-d is one and does not change .The idols come and go but HaShems law does not alter .What happines this brings to my heart and soul .I never worshiped the idol of man but searched and sought truth . Reply

zak San Diego January 14, 2015

The third temple One wakes up to the world of needs and is satisfied for a moment. One wakes up to the world of spirit and is satisfied forever. For the finite and infinite become as one day. Reply

Michelle January 14, 2015

I firmly believe that God is all! This means god is a polluted fish while in the process of making that polluted fish! Harsh as this may seem while god creates all do we continue to loose faith in all? Is a polluted fish something bad if it is gods making? Thier are reasons god creates religiions he has us all where we need to be in his plan! If i own a pitcure of my parents do i idolize them? No ! I honor them and ask my angels to have my back! I am no better then any creature or all that god is! Reply

Anonymous Arizona, USA March 14, 2013

Real Idols I grew up an idol worshiper. That is all I knew because that is what I was taught. Like Abraham, my devotion to the idols were from the heart. I remember once asking the main idol of all, when I was only seven years of age. Why did you have to die? But in my soul there was sadness. Loneliness. Hunger to know more about the Creator of the Universe. Until one day, He, blessed be the One and Only One. Revealed to me who He really is and who I am in Him. This revelation has been the greatest miracle in my life. Did I deserve it no. I feel ashamed of this past. I hate it with passion, because it separated me from Hashem, blessed be He, for all these years. Yet, what can I make of these experiences in my early childhood? Hashem, blessed be He, is the only One who can give an answer. I trust in Him with all my heart, and soul. There had to be a purpose. And only Him knows which is it. Reply

D W September 20, 2010

I think that the story of the akeidah (binding of Isaac) was when Avraham proved that he really had found truth. when he refrained from completing the sacrifice of his son Avraham was making the statement that no true God would want such a sacrifice.

unfortunately a common interpretation of the story of the akeidah is that avraham was willing to kill his own child in the name of God and that that should be considered praiseworthy. Reply

Yeke Yeke September 19, 2010

"If you really seek truth, truth will find you. Like Avraham, and unlike Terach, who was a phony impostor even in idolatry." I guess the same applies to impostors in one G-d worship.

Then is it better to be idolatrous seeking truth than not being idolatrous on paper only and not seeking the truth? Then it's the non seekers of truth who should be deemed as "real idolatry"! Sincerity is the first sign of a seeker of truth not what one boasts to be or advertises to the world about being non-idolatrous. Reply

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman October 31, 2009

Re: Yoni I didn't see Yoni's comment before. I think he sums it up beautifully. It's great satisfaction to see someone really "gets it." Reply

Esther Morozow mel, vic October 31, 2009

I never knew that! Reply

Sandy Cee Liverpool, Australia October 31, 2009

think so I go along with the comment by YONI that when you believe in whatever you believe in with your whole heart and soul, the truth will find you.
For me, my heart is more truth than my mind, so therefore I "feel" the truth sometimes even before I know it. Reply

d October 30, 2009

to clarify sorry about the bad grammar.
i didnt get the stories confused, i was taking this story about terach and applying to a different story about abraham. the one where he takes issac up the mountain to kill him.

in that story most people interpret the point of the story as that abe was willing to kill issac because g-d wanted him too.

however now after establishing that like terach abe served idols, it would make more sense that the great thing about the issac story was that abe himself wanted to kill issac as idol service but then it was great that he abandoned idols and chose not too, influenced by his belief in what a true god would want from him Reply

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman October 30, 2009

Elucidation This is based on a maamar of the Alter Rebbe printed in his siddur (Sukkot). He explains the difference between a person with da'at and one without. Da'at translates as a sense of conscious living.

Terach was not a man of da'at. He did what he did without delving deeply into it or truly believing in it. Abraham, however, took worship seriously. He pondered the brilliance of the sun, its power and its movement across the sky with great excitement and enthusiasm. And so, when he realized that the sun also set , that it was not all-powerful, that realization shook him to the bone.

That same wakeful, deliberate state of mind that brought Abraham's original enthusiasm over sun-worship and other forms of idolatry brought him eventually to realize the one true G-d. Reply

YONI teaneck, nj October 30, 2009

It means I think what the author is trying to do is explain that when the approach to something, even as heinous as idolatry, is with the whole mind and heart, positive will be the fruit. Subjective truth leads to ultimate truth. If you really seek truth, truth will find you. Like Avraham, and unlike Terach, who was a phony impostor even in idolatry.
Great Lesson. Reply

Roberto d' Goldstein Miami, Fl October 30, 2009

Envisioning To all of us the truth comes in a different way. Some of us have the ability of envisioning things by seeing them, and some of us have the ability to Envision things by simply seeing them.

But most important is to see the image, start acting like the image and sooner or later we become like the image. All of us share one thing in common and that is the image of G-D in thoughts and acts of deeds.

Everything must start at one point and grow. Eternal patience brings peace and with peace clarity and with clarity comes harmony with G-d and with ourselves. Then and only then can we materialize our thoughts into reality. It works with us !!!!!! Reply

Simcha Baker Modi''in, ISRAEL October 30, 2009

Real Idols Besides the English and, therefore the grammar being wrong in places, the context is confusing and I am not at all sure of what point is being proposed for the reader. Terach stayed behind because he never truly believed in idols?? Abraham worshipped idols with all his heart, mind and soul, every hour of the day and night!! How does he then manage to question the efficacy of the idols, when everything he did had to be real?? Did you mix up the two people,Abraham and Terach, in the text?? Very confusing. please elucidate. Reply

D October 30, 2009

rational interpretation of the akeidah thats why he wanted to sacrifice his son but then at the last minute he thought, wait a minute just cause everyone else is sacrificing their sons doesnt mean i should sacrifice mine so he didnt.
the story also shows how much Abraham loved Ismael that he would rather have sacrifced Issac or maybe not maybe he chose to kill the son he loved more, he didnt in the end though so thats whats good about it. whats good is that he decided it would have been bad to kill his own son.
most people will say the point of the story is that abraham was willing to do something stupid like kill his son showing how much he liked god but I think the point of the story is that once he got up there on the mountain to kill him he heard g-d speaking to him and g-d said dont kill your son thats idol worship. Reply