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Is American Idol an Idol?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein


Library » Torah » 10 Commandments | Subscribe | What is RSS?



Is there any parallel between forbidden idol worship and what is happening on TV shows like American Idol?


While many people watch American Idol “religiously”, it is not really a religious form of worship. i.e. they don’t really think the “idol” is a G-d. (Sorry guys).

However, although this type of activity is not a form of “biblically prohibited” idolatry, on a more refined level anytime we “worship” something other than G-d, i.e. anytime something, or someone, takes precedence over the will of G-d, we are worshiping an idol to a certain extent.

That “idol” can be anything, and anyone, including ourselves. If we know G-d wants us to do something or to refrain from doing something, yet our yearning for a particular object, our enjoyment from a particular show, or our own self arrogance, becomes more important than G-d’s will, that is an “idol”.


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Mitzvot » 10 Commandments
Holidays » Shavuot » 10 Commandments

It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.