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Unread 03-26-2012, 02:33 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 607
I think reading this will clarify the matter to you:

In addition: As you may know, it is traditional among Jews not to say G-d's name Elo-him unless in the context of prayer, blessing, or Torah reading. In everyday speech, we replace letter hey with letter kuf and say (and write) Elokim.

But that word actually literally means "G-d" in plural. (It also means "judges".) So, what about saying the word when we say "foreign gods", "elokim acheirim"? In many communities, it is considered to be ok to say "Elo-him acheirim". But in Chabad circles, it is not. Chabad Chassidus explains that "foreign gods" are actually spiritual aspects of G-d's revelation of Himself. They are a part of the spiritual Universe which in itself, is an aspect of G-d. Therefore, they too are (in a sense) G-d, just the self-concealing aspect of Him. ("Acheirim", besides "foreign" is also related to the word "backside".)

So, all the "foreign gods" that you mention are not really separate entities or, G-d forbid, separate gods, similar to, lehavdil, G-d or Abraham. G-d of Abraham is the only G-d. Lehavdil, "foreign gods" are spiritual entities that are part of G-d's expression of Himself, which people in the ancient times erroneously decided to worship. You can say that the difference between G-d of Abraham and, lehavdil, gods of Egyptians, is the difference between looking at a person's face vs. looking at his toenails (to use an anthropomorphic metaphor).
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