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Mishpatim: Leaders Beware: Mitzvah 89 – Concept 32

“Be careful regarding everything I have said to you. The name of the gods of others you shall not mention, nor shall your mouth cause it to be heard.” (Exodus 23:13) Do not turn a city to idolatry. (Rambam, Hilchot Avodah Zarah – The Laws of Idolatry and Paganism)

I find the context of this Mitzvah/Concept to be interesting. Moshe is about to lead an entire nation into a covenant with God. One person is leading a nation. We have witnessed in recent history that impact that one leader can have on his nation. It is in this context that the Torah addresses those with such power and influence: Do not turn an entire city to idol worship!

The same power of persuasion used for monumental good in this portion, can also lead to indescribable evil.

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