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American Idols—Money

The Worship of Money

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American Idols - Money: The Worship of Money

In this first class of the series, Rabbi Friedman introduces and defines the general concept of idol worship before looking at specific “idols” of American society, starting with the worship of money.
Idolatry; Paganism, Materialism, Money

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Sheiny Dembrin Passaic May 18, 2018

Poverty = Dead About the saying, “poverty = death”, it think the explanation is as follows: G-d told Moses to go back to Egypt and he has nothing to fear “for those who want you to be punished are dead.” Rashi asks, “What? Dasan and Aviram — that’s who G-d was referring to — weren’t dead. They were poor, and that’s why G-d said they were dead.” My explanation to a poor man is considered dead is that they lost some of the respect that they had from Paroh. Why don’t you ask Chabad.org at the Ask the Rabbi column?

Thank you, Rabbi Friedman!

Happy Shavuot to you all out there! Reply

Terry Markovits Texas March 4, 2015

5 Star ***** Lecture ! Rabbi your Lecture on False idiol's is very thought provoking.
The mindset of the rich is: In G-d we Trust...BUT all others pay cash !
The lust of money throughout history has created nothing but negative results
in the world of greed and power.
The lust of money has destroyed the very fabric of HaShems commandment to Love one another as He Loved us !
To do Justly and to walk Humbly is no longer a thought in today's materialistic world.
Every day 24/7 man is bombarded with TV commercials to buy their material offerings
for a better lifestyle.
In conclusion may I say ,once again..Thank you Rabbi for your 5 Star Lecture .
Be Well. Be Safe and Always follow your heart that HaShem has given you.
Shalom! Reply

Giovanna January 24, 2014

Good Teaching! G-d Bless you for doing it! Reply

Anonymous oo November 30, 2013

What it means to worship G-d 1st of all, in my opinion, God just means "One who is in the highest authority". Therefore to worship G-d means, (honor), i.e live by his laws, and to trust in G-d means, to trust in his word by believing the consequences he said they would bring. Therefore anyone who subjects themselves to ways/laws that are contrary the laws/Mitzvahs of G-d, is idol worshiping whosoevers laws/ways they subject themselves to, if those laws/ways are contrary to the word of G-d. Reply

Anonymous Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452 September 30, 2013

American Idol of Money Very good instruction and very wise. Thank you for providing this. Reply

james cooley Kansas city, Kansas usa May 3, 2012

Idolatry these subjects are so good, good lecture!! Reply

d LONDON, UK via chabad.org.uk January 25, 2012

I totally agree with the comment from: Posted By Anonymous, Mesa, Arizona, USA

It is true, what a world this would be if the billionaires and zillionaires would just give a drop off their money! But I see them as wicked for not being able to...I believe this will bring judgement unto them. Reply

Julie Durham, UK January 20, 2012

Rabbi Worship Ummmmm... very possible, does it depend on what goes on in the mind behind the statement? or is it more corporeal than that, like guru worship? Reply

daliah via chabad.org.uk January 18, 2012

thank you great subject and lecture. Reply

Anonymous January 16, 2012

Rabbi Worship A lot of people--especially a lot of haredim--engage in rabbi worship and this appears to be facilitated by the rabbis and religious establishment. By "rabbi worship" I mean that people appear to treat rabbis, not only as instruments of G-d but as purely righteous tzaddikim whose keverim are a valid place to pray with notes to the rabbis, upon the rabbis' deaths. (I am religious but I think that a lot of people, due to their need for a corporeal experience, engage in rabbi worship. Reply

Anonymous stockholm, sweden January 9, 2012

thankyou So good to hear this, Thankyou for this wisdom it gave me so much. thankyou!! Reply

Anonymous December 30, 2011

Thanks! Thank you Rabbi Friedman for you clear elucidations.

May your satisfaction increase in proportion to the number of people you have helped though your knowdege and teaching. Reply

Julie Durham, UK December 29, 2011

Poverty and death I think that poverty brings about the death of that part of the self (an unreal self or ego construct) which worships the idol of material wealth. The "self" which cannot die is the soul and is part of the Eternal, not really a self at all.

At least that's how I see it.

I think Rabbi Friedman has made a brilliant analysis here - nail on the head! Reply

M. Margaret Scottsdale, AR December 29, 2011

Amen to Anon in Mesa Arizona i think the coming of moshiach definitely will mean a different attitude towards wealth. Spiritual wealth & earthly possessions. We live in a world where money means opportunity: this is the precious gift the monetarily wealthy can give to the poor: opportunity. Not judgements, not 'education streaming' or hand-outs, just more opportunites. There is still, as we see with OWS, an important discussion to be had about what my zaidy called: the 'Almighty Dollar', as opposed to Lord Almighty, B'S. Happy 2012 chabad; & thanks for your leadership!! Reply

Martha Bogotá, Colombia December 27, 2011

American Idols Exellent speech! Reply

mark alcock Dbn., ZA December 27, 2011

Wrong ! ( poverty is unequal & unlike to death ) Job lost everything, but due to his undying faith after perennial testing. Then G-d restored Job and his wealth,even though his spouse became faithless, too. Reply

Anonymous Mesa, Arizona, USA December 24, 2011

American Idols I wonder if that wealthy man learnt his lesson and gave, at least, half of his wealth to the poor. That action would be the greatest investment. Can anybody imagine how many people would benefit from some of this wealthy man's wealth? Many would be able to fulfill their dream of a complete education. Others would be able to remedy a health need. And some others would give orphans a place to be like home. And so on, and so on. There are those who have such a grandiose wealth that they nor their family would ever be able to consume. I just do not understand that. While there are other people who are starving in the world. Rabbi Friedman, you mentioned that some people believe that if you have nothing it is because G-d does not love them. I have been poor all my life, and I see G-d's glory every day, specially when I call upon him with all my heart and soul. He is Alive! Reply

Anonymous December 23, 2011

Religion vs Atheism All my life I have thought I picked the right path - the one that was towards more Godly behavior. And I believed that in the end it would always win; but currently everyone around me is saying "You have to join Zimmah", It's too intimidating not to, you won't find job security etc. I have a disability - and I keep running into people who force expectations on me I'm just not capable of. How do I get back to the safe life I used to know? Is there a Jewish group that can help me? I have known job security prior. What this group keeps doing to my life is devastating! I want to be surrounded by Reform Jewish mindsets that truly believe in God - but there aren't any. What can I do? Reply

Leifsha Baltimore, MD December 22, 2011

"poverty=death" I have heard it say that poverty=death" when someones, I think Yaakov's ,possessions were taken away ( by Esau ? ) Reply