- Torah and Jewish Thought
I am learning kings I am very confused. It seems like 95% of the Jewish people were worshiping idols. If so, how was anybody allowed to drink their wine like by a wedding? Or to eat their meat the Shehita is not kosher so what did everybody do?
ב"ה Shalom, Chazal say that only prophecy which was needed for generations was written. (מגילה יד ע"א). Therefore, when we study the Navi, we have to bear that in mind and see what lessons can be derived. Your question, or should I say your bewilderment, limits the scope of their actions in the time of the kings, to how would idol worship affect our lives today in regard to drink their wine or eating their Shechita. But their idol worship was far beyond how it affects their wine and meat. This was a corruptness of morals of the highest degree. Imagine people, who on the one hand worship idols, but on the other hand at the same time they are still bringing sacrifices to the Bet Hamikdash. There are a few sayings in the Talmud, which after having read them we will understand that there is a lot more to be expounded than that which meets the eye. On the one hand the Talmud says, (סנהדרין סג ע"ב) that the Jewish people all knew that there was really nothing to this idol worship and it was only an excuse and /or a cover to commit adultery. On the other hand we learn from another Gemara (סנהדרין ק"ב ע"ב ) that there was a real obsession to worship idols and had Jews from a later generation been there, even great Rabbis that would have been swept away with the desire to do so. We also have to understand the Gemara in Yoma (69b) which discusses how the desire to worship idols was abolished by the prayers of the Rabbis after the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash. So my simple suggestion is in order understand the issues of idol worship a bit better in their context of the Book of Kings is to find in the Rabbinical literature of today, commentators who dealt with these issues, since I only touched upon only some of the underlying ideas. All the best