Project Genesis

Judaism and Non-Jews

Idolatry and Non-Jewish Practices

Rachel and the Teraphim

Question: Why did Rachel take her father’s Teraphim, his idols?

Answer: According to the Midrash, Rachel took them because she objected to her father’s use of them for idolatrous purposes. Laban wasn’t a Jew; the Jews are descended from Abraham, whereas Laban was descended from Abraham’s brother Nachor. Abraham’s father Terach was an idolator, and evidently Abraham’s brothers didn’t join him in breaking away from idolatry. But idolatry is forbidden even to non-Jews; this is one of the commandments given to Adam and Noah.

All the Best,
Rabbi Azriel Schreiber

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