so we’re studying Avodah Zarah (idol worship) in Talmud now–page 43a today. It’s a lot of talk about how to annul an idol, can a Jew annul the idol of a pagan (answer: no), under what circumstances can this annullment happen, etc. It raises a lot of interesting questions about God and energy work and all sorts of stuff about which I’ll blog some other time, but for the moment–

looking over the Rambam (Maimonedes) on this today: “if you annul the mishtamshe of an idol, the mishtamshe are permitted for use but the idol is not until it’s annulled, tho if you annul the idol itself the mishtamshe are also permitted for use.” And I realized that the correct translation of “mishtamshe” is probably “accessories.”

And now I can’t stop thinking of our idol as a big ol’ Barbie doll, accessories sold separately– the pink tennis raquet, the pink car, maybe a pink doghouse with pink dog. And so now when they specify that the idol needs to have a bird in her hand, I picture Barbie with a scary, bloody vulture. When they talk about what to do with the smashed bits of idol if it falls, I picture her dismembered plastic leg being found somewhere along the road. When they talk about cutting off the ears or head of an idol… well, you get the picture.

I really want to do some sort of video short now reading the gemara and demonstrating the annullment of idols on everybody’s favorite blonde.

Wiccans out there, don’t fear, I’ll talk about the real life issues another day.

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