Is idolatry and adultery the same thing, spiritually?

Can you say that if you do adultery you are worshiping the zodiac? (maybe that was not your intention, but that's the reality?)

"They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar, and terebinth, because their shade is good. Therefore your daughters play the whore, and your brides commit adultery. I will not punish your daughters when they play the whore, nor your brides when they commit adultery; for the men themselves go aside with prostitutes and sacrifice with cult prostitutes, and a people without understanding shall come to ruin."HOSEA

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    Please edit this question to indicate why you suspect that there may be such an equivalence. – Isaac Moses Feb 10 '16 at 13:55
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    I have heard of idolatry being equated with adultery, but in my experience it's a one-way comparison. I've never heard of anyone saying "You did adultery, that's like you worshiped idols." (Although I don't tend to associate with people who commit adultery, I also don't tend to associate with people who commit idolatry) – Daniel Feb 10 '16 at 14:01
  • @Daniel in certain respects, the term fetishism could apply to idolatry and adultery, but that's an English quirk. What even one way comparisons have you heard? – ShamanSTK Feb 10 '16 at 18:41
  • Please cite the exact chapter and verse and link to an online source (such as Chabad.org) In any case, this means that sexual immoraility is part of the worship of idols, not the "same thing spiritually". Also it is a reference to the waters of Sotah not working if the husband is also immoral. – sabbahillel Feb 10 '16 at 18:46
  • @ShamanSTK See here – Daniel Feb 10 '16 at 18:58

They're both very great sins. And in a poetic sense, the prophets compare the Jewish people worshipping idols to a woman straying from her husband. Similarly, "don't have idols" and "don't commit adultery" are the second commandments on each of the two tablets.

It's also worth noting that there was a sexual component to the worship of some Biblical idols.

But they are two different sins. Adultery is a sin, irrespective of worship issues.

  • I assume by "great sins" you mean "grevious/severe," not "fantastic" ... – Isaac Kotlicky Feb 10 '16 at 16:20
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    @IsaacKotlicky I assume by "fantastic" you mean "good/superb," not "bizarre"... – magicker72 Feb 10 '16 at 17:51

The gemara says, lo avdu yisrael avodah zarah ela le'hatir la'hem ha'arayos. The Jewish people only served idols in order to permit arayos for themselves.

This is pretty Freudian regardless of whether or not they are the same sin.

Ultimately the gemara seems to be indicating there is a yetzer hara to destroy the boundaries of the human personality, logic can be circumvented to access this goal via idolatry.

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