The portion continues restating the Ten Commandments, and emphasizing some of the ways we have to relate to our fellow human beings. These are guidelines aimed to love, care, protect and cherish them.
Rashi explains the order of this sentence saying that the "idols" at first are like fantasies when we desire them, and later we end up turning them into "gods" as we make them our main purpose in life. In the Ten Commandments there is also a reminder to avoid negative or evil speech.
We must not be indifferent or unconcerned about our fellow man's pain, misery or disgrace.
With this preamble the Torah introduces its fundamental principle.
Love, as the material manifestation of God's love, unites everything because all comes from Him and it is sustained by Him.
Why does this verse come after the Torah’s cornerstone "love your neighbor as yourself"?
We have to let our consciousness mature long enough to be able to fully experience and manifest love as our true essence and identity. Thus we share all we create and produce with those who don't have. By doing this we elevate others with our love.
"You shall rise before the white-haired, and honor the face of the old man." (19:32)
We have to honor the acquired wisdom from our own experiences by engaging our consciousness with it. We must not disregard anything we learn, thus every day we apply our knowledge. Love is the greatest knowledge and teacher of all, and sustains the truth in everything we learn. As we mentioned in this blog, from love emanates all wisdom.
The next chapter of the portion lists the consequences of living in idolatry, and with customs that reject the holiness the Creator wants us to honor in order to be always close to Him.
Those consequences range from turning our hearts into stones (becoming dense as stones by our attachment to a materialistic lifestyle), expelling ourselves from the people and the land that represent oneness with God. Hence "dying" as the result of not living anymore in the true life God offers us when we walk in His ways.
Separation from the illusions derived from darkness is clearly commanded in the last sentence, and continues commanding us to separate between clean and unclean, darkness and light.
In the haftarah we read along with this portion, the prophet (Ezekiel 22:1-6) warns that the Promised Land does not allow or condone impurity, and that we will be expelled from it if we tamper our consciousness with anything other than the holiness the Creator wants from us.