hebrew
1)

What does "Lo Sa'asun Iti" mean?

1.

Rashi and Targum Yonasan: It means that one may not make an image of any of the celestial bodies that serve Hashem in the Heaven. 1

2.

Ramban #1: The Torah is issuing two prohibitions; (a) against making images to assist Hashem (Lo Sa'asun Iti ... "); and (b) against making images per se (Lo Sa'asu lachem"). 2

3.

Seforno: The Pasuk is issuing a prohibition against making silver or golden gods to act as intermediaries.

4.

Ramban (according to Kabalah): It is synonymous with "Al Panai". 3


1

Incorporating the sun, the moon, the stars, the Mazalos and the angels (Targum Yonasan).

2

As the Torah writes in Vayikra 26:1 (Ramban).

3

Refer to 20:3:4:4*.

2)

Having written "Lo Sa'asun Iti", why does the Torah need to add "Elohei Kesef ... "?

1.

Rashi It is a prohibition against making the Keruvim (on the Aron ha'Kodesh) out of silver. 1

2.

Ramban: Refer to 20:20:1:2.


1

As this is akin to idolatry (Rashi)

3)

Why does the Torah then add "v'Elohei Zahav"?

1.

Rashi: This is an additional prohibition against manufacturing four Keruvim, instead of two.

4)

What does "Lo Sa'asu lachem" come to include?

1.

Rashi: And this adds a prohibition against making Keruvim in the Shuls and in the Batei Midrash,

2.

Ramban: Refer to 20:20:1:2.

5)

What is the underlying reason behind these prohibitions?

1.

Ramban #1 (in Pasuk 21 [citing Ibn Ezra]): Because Hashem wants us to worship Him directly, not via intermediaries. 1

2.

Ramban #2 (citing the Mechilta): The Torah is instructing us here that, when constructing a Mizbe'ach of earth or of stone (Pasuk 22), one should construct it in the Mishkan and in the Mikdash in the Name of Hashem, and not in the field in the name of the demons. 2


1

Because, wherever we mention His Name, He will come and bless us, in which case intermediaries are unnecessary (Ramban).

2

As they had been accustomed to doing in Egypt (See Rashi, Vayikra 17:5).

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