What is unique about the worship of Molech that distinguishes it from other avodah zara enough that it deserves discussion and specific prohibition in the Torah? We see it specifically discuessed here.

  • Aside from the fact that it involves murdering your children?
    – Shimon bM
    Apr 22, 2013 at 10:34
  • @ShimonbM, well murder is also already prohibited in the Torah. Molech worship involves many things that are prohibited and is certainly very bad; however, (1) Idolatry and murder are already prohibited elsewhere and (2) I am quite sure that other pagan religions around at the time involved human sacrifice. What is different about Molech?
    – Daniel
    Apr 22, 2013 at 14:44
  • The Chinuch (Mitzvah 208) answers your question according to Ramban and Rambam: hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=34302&pgnum=138
    – Menachem
    Apr 22, 2013 at 21:09

1 Answer 1


The Ramban on Leviticus 20:5 addresses the question. He says you have to answer differently based on the machloket in the gemara on what Molech was. But by simple understanding that it was an idol, the prohibition comes to teach us that you can't serve another idol (not Molech) by passing your child through fire. Even though that was not the way that particular idol was served.

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