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Many of the Christians refer the Idols of Jesus or cross as "Icon" and say that since they are actually religious symbols and hence cannot be Idols. It sounds absurd but does Judaism differentiate between Icon and Idols like how Christianity does?

e.g: The following image is considered to be an Icon: Wikipedia writes it as Icon

and also on wikipedia the engraved picture is called as icon of St Nicolas carved in stone.

P.S: I feel anyone can get away by changing the name of such objects and toying with semantics , am I correct?

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closed as off-topic by Double AA May 18 '14 at 7:04

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions about comparative religion, and questions about what others have written about Judaism, are off-topic on Mi Yodeya. This includes any question that requires of its answerers any knowledge of a religion besides Judaism." – Double AA
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In order to answer this we would need to see a definition of "icon". I'm not aware of this being a term in halacha (though I'm far from expert). – Monica Cellio May 18 '14 at 16:36
@Matt I'm not DoubleAA, but I'm guessing that the last sentence of that close reason is what's relevant -- we would need to know what Christians think the difference between idols and icons is before attempting to answer (hence my comment). Putting a question on hold isn't meant to be permanent; it's to get issues resolved before people start posting answers that might turn out not to be what was being sought. (That's why there's a "reopen" option, for people with enough reputation.) Hope this helps. – Monica Cellio May 19 '14 at 4:03
@Matt I agree that some outside knowledge is often needed, but note that with the other question there were plenty of halachic sources to bring -- users on Mi Yodeya don't need to deeply understand the trinity to answer; they just need to be able to report on reliable sources whose authors understand this. Do you see the difference? To even attempt an answer to this question as it stands, our users need to know something about this alleged icon/idol distinction, and while I suppose people could search fo the word "icon" in sources, I'd like that info to be in the Q so they don't have to. – Monica Cellio May 19 '14 at 16:15
@IsaacMoses according to that question, this should definately be on topic, because it's asking how halakha views [x]. The problem is that apparently it requires knowledge of Christianity, which I don't understand because any question about Christianity requires knowledge of it – Matt May 19 '14 at 17:46
Adel, as far as I can tell from the one example you give, the difference between "icon" and "idol" in Christianity is that an icon includes a small picture of someone with a beard in the corner and an idol doesn't. Or maybe that an icon includes a picture of a cruse on a table and an idol doesn't. Or maybe that an idol has fangs and an icon doesn't. Or.... Nor is the page you link to helpful: it says only that an icon "is a religious work of art... from Eastern Christianity"; but so is an idol, to my understanding. – msh210 May 21 '14 at 18:37