In Eikev, this week’s Torah portion we read:
The graven images of their gods shall you burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it unto yourself, lest you be snared therein; for it is an abomination to the Lord your God.And you shalt not bring an abomination into your house, and be accursed like unto it; you shalt utterly detest it, and you shall utterly abhor it; for it is a devoted thing. (Deuteronomy 7:25-26)
What do we make of the use of the word”abomination” in the context of idolatry? In the Talmud Rabbi Yohanan in the name of Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai noted the word “abomination” in common in both our portion and in Proverbs which says:
Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; my hand upon it! he shall not be unpunished(Proverbs 16:5)
They deduced from the common use of the same word “abomination” that people who are haughty of spirit are as though they worshiped idols (Sotah 4b).
I was thinking about this in the context of the work of Brené Brown. In her brilliant discussion of vulnerability she writes: