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Pagan Baggage?

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Rabbi Jonathan Blass

22 Cheshvan 5763
Question
SHALOM RABBI. SINCE AVRAHAM AVINU CAME FROM AN IDOLATROUS BEGINNING, DO YOU FEEL THAT IT IS POSSIBLE THAT HE MIGHT HAVE HELD ON TO SOME OF THIS PAGAN BAGGAGE FROM HIS UPBRINGING AND APPLIED IT TO THE REVELATION HE RECIEVED FROM HASHEM. AND IF SO, COULD IT HAVE PLAYED A PART IN HIS DECENDANTS DISOBEDIANCE FROM TIME TO TIME COUPLED WITH THEIR STRUGGLE TO BE LOYAL TO ABSOLUTE ETHICAL MONOTHEISM?
Answer
Abraham's rejection of idolatry was total, passionate and encompassed his entire identity and the identity of the nation that he founded. The struggle to realize this ideal over history comes from the work involved in dealing with a complex world that seems to be made up of conflicting forces, demonstrating all the while the Divine unity that runs through it all.
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