Worship of foreign deities, one of the three cardinal sins.

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Holly Jolly Sukkos

An idol used by an idolater is assur b'hanaah (roughly, forbidden for use) and only loses that status if an idolater physically annuls it's "consecrated" status, e.g. by damaging it. Similarly, ...
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Questions regarding selling “mitzvah” items to Christians for use in their Church service

My understanding is that one is not aloud to intentionally sell anything to an oved avodah zarah ("idol worshipper") if he knows that he will use that item for his idol worshipping purpose. There are ...
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31 views

Aesthetics and chukoseihem

In general, there is a prohibition to adopt practices from other cultures (See, e.g., Maimonides' Laws of Idolatry 11; see also: ...
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Does Maimonides Allow Prayer to Angels?

In his Mishna Commentary to Sanhedrin 10:1 Maimonides lists as his 5th principle the prohibition to pray to an angel even as an intermediary. He counts this in his enumeration of his 13 principles in ...
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Their altars…and *his* asheirah?

Shemot 34:13: כִּי אֶת מִזְבְּחֹתָם תִּתֹּצוּן וְאֶת מַצֵּבֹתָם תְּשַׁבֵּרוּן וְאֶת אֲשֵׁרָיו תִּכְרֹתוּן For you shall dismantle their altars, break their monuments, and cut down his ...
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1answer
61 views

Can a Jew drink wine of a ger toshav?

I've heard it said that a Jew cannot drink the wine of a non-Jew. Can a Jew drink the wine of a ger toshav? It appears to me that the reason a Jew cannot drink from a non-Jew's wine is that it is ...
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2answers
71 views

Was Mordechai correct in not bowing down?

The Megillah explains that Mordechai's refusal to bow to Haman is what provoked Haman and nearly resulted in the death of many Jews worldwide. Halachically was Mordechai correct in not bowing down, ...
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54 views

Milk from a worshipped cow

The gemara in Avodah Zarah 34b brings the shitta of Rav Achdevoi who holds that if one wants to be mekudeshes with intestinal fluid from a calf that was worshipped then the person is not mekudeshes. ...
2
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1answer
64 views

Are star stickers mutar?

Do any contemporary poskim discuss the usage of star stickers with regard to the prohibition of depicting celestial bodies (e.g. the glow-in-the-dark ones people put on walls and ceilings)? What if ...
3
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1answer
64 views

Is there a heter for mentioning the names of the Greek gods?

At the end of Rambam Hilchot Avodah Zara 5 (halacha 14 by some counts, 10 by others), he says ‫ ואפילו להזכיר שם עבודה זרה שלא דרך שבועה--אסור, שנאמר "לא תזכירו". לא יאמר אדם לחברו, שמור לי ...
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Is showing excessive honor to Gedolim idolatry?

At what point is the kavod shown toward the Gedolim considered idolatry? Terms like 'Gadolatry' are sometimes used as if to indicate that too much respect is being shown for certain rabbis to the ...
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2answers
126 views

Zoroastrianism .v.s. Judaism [closed]

Does anybody think Zoroastrianism inflenuced Judaism, cause online people say Zoroastrianism was the first monotheistic religion http://avesta.org, and that Judaism copied it, also that Zoroastrianism ...
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1answer
202 views

is it permitted to make a snowman?

Is it permitted to make a snowman? Or is it considered constructing a graven image? Prompted by this: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/saudi-arabia-issues-fatwa---4967400
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1answer
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Elazar ben durdayah and the Metaphors

The Gemara in Avodah Zarah (17a) says: “When Elazar ben durdayah was at the moment of the onset of cohabitation, [the harlot] blew with her mouth and said to Elazar, “Just as this current of air ...
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1answer
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Where is the story about Elazar ben Durdayah and the harlot?

My rebbe mentioned to us that just as Elazar ben Durdayah was at about to have cohabitation with harlot, she passed gas. The harlot said to Elazar ben Durdayah, "Just as this current of air cannot ...
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1answer
76 views

Was the Golden Calf associated with a particular deity?

Are the Golden Calves constructed by Aaron and Jeroboam affiliated with any specific deity? In Ugaritic literature Baal is portrayed as a bull mating with his sister Anat who was a female calf. Does ...
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2answers
137 views

New Year Eve Fireworks

Is one allowed to go out watching the fireworks in the new year of the common era, is there any reason, why it could be forbidden?!
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1answer
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Assuming Christianity is Avodah Zarah (RamBam), can I get my car fixed by a gentile right before/during Nittle Nacht?

Assuming Christianity is Avodah Zarah (RamBam), can one get his car fixed by a gentile, with a new part, put in, over Christmas? Obviously, there's no way to know whether the mechanic will work on the ...
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0answers
42 views

May Jews create sculpture, and under what restrictions?

I do not know if a realistic or abstract freestanding or hanging sculpture of any creature as art (for a museum or store) is permitted me to create or for Jews to view, or whether it would be ...
2
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2answers
171 views

Christmas and Ex-mas

Why do some Jews refer to Christmas as Ex-mas? Is there anything wrong in Jews saying Christmas?
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1answer
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Why didn't Rochel just destroy the idols?

Instead of stealing Lavan's idols (Bereshis 31:19), why didn't she merely destroy them?
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3answers
150 views

Why isn't it considered idol worship to give respect to the torah?

When the Sefer Torah is brought out of the ark, everyone stands up and kisses it. On occasions such as simchat torah and hoshana rabbah people dance around the Torah. To an outsider these actions can ...
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1answer
208 views

Christianity as a test for jews

I was looking for sources demonstrating Christianity as a test for Jews. My search began when I was reading Rambam in Mishneh Torah (Laws of Kings 11:4; English): [...] Can there be a greater ...
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2answers
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Is “siman tov u'mazal tov” a halachically problematic phrase?

Literally translated, this is what is commonly said in the Jewish community, upon hearing very good news (typically lifecycle events as such as engagement, marriage, birth). "A good sign and a good ...
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1answer
131 views

Are chess pieces with faces on them considered idols?

If a chess set has pieces which seem to be mini sculptures of faces etc. (like many of the hand-made ones you will find in South Africa), are they considered idols? Did anyone hear of something like ...
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1answer
120 views

Are there any Lubavitchers that believe that their Rebbe more than mortal

I have heard that many people think that some Lubavitchers (obviously mistakenly) think that their rebbe is somehow more immortal than everyone else. Does anyone know if this is true and to the extent ...
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1answer
79 views

Should observant Jews travel to areas that are centres for Avodah Zarah (Idol worship)? [closed]

In the light of the recent tragic event in Nepal, the question arose in my mind whether observant Jews ought specifically to travel to the far east where avodah zarah is intrinsic to the society?
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1answer
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Why can't one be cured with Asheira wood?

The Gemara in Pesachim (25a) says א"ר יעקב א"ר יוחנן בכל מתרפאין חוץ מעצי אשירה היכי דמי אי נימא דאיכא סכנה אפילו עצי אשירה נמי ואי דליכא סכנה אפילו כל איסורין שבתורה נמי לא לעולם דאיכא סכנה ואפי' ...
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Does Judaism appreciate the wanton destruction of idolatry done by Islamic groups?

Many of the idolatrous heritage sites like Bamiyan Buddha, Sufi shrines, and Hindu idols are being destroyed by Islamic fundamentalists around the globe. Does Judaism allow a non Jew to demolish such ...
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159 views

Does the Jewish tradition command Jews to love Christians?

Does the Jewish tradition command Jews to love Christians, who believe in a triune (trinity) God and believe that Jesus is God or a part of the triune God? If so does this extend to fringe minority ...
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2answers
288 views

Are Jews commanded to love Muslims?

Does the Jewish tradition command Jews to love Muslims, who believe in the same God as the Jews do, as opposed to Christians, who worship avodah zarah (A human being worshipped as an Idol)?
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1answer
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Voodoo and benefiting from idol worsphip

In the apartment complex of someone I know, there is a voodoo witch who sprinkles oil on the doors, gates, and walkways of the complex to ward off evil spirits. In order to not benefit from this ...
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How can Jewish merchants sell their wares to Christians before their holidays? [duplicate]

The first perek of Avoda Zara makes a strong pronouncment that it is forbidden to sell or buy from an idol worshiper close to his holidays, because by doing so, you help him celebrate that holiday. ...
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2answers
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May I give non-mevushal wine to a non-Jew?

If I know that non-mevushal wine is available to be used for avodah zarah (as in http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/5211.htm) and that the prohibition against lifnei iver includes non-Jews[1], then am I ...
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2answers
139 views

Visiting sites previously used for idol worship

Given the prohibition on entering a place of idol worship (Rambam, Peirush ha-Mishnayos, Avodah Zarah 1:3), when, if ever, is one permitted to visit a historical site that has been used as a place of ...
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Depicting a constellation

Assuming the intention is at least partly for educational purposes, Is it mutar to arrange star stickers in the form of actual constellations (say, on a ceiling) or is that included in the prohibition ...
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3answers
345 views

Is Buddhism Avodah Zarah?

Is Buddhism Avodah Zarah, atheistic, or a philosophy not related to any specific brand of theism? If it is Avodah Zarah, then one would not be able to enter a Buddhist temple, benefit from items of ...
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Pictures of rabbis in the living room

Are there any poskim prohibiting hanging Pictures of Rabbis in ones house? Lots of people do it but I never understood why this is not prohibited due to too much kavod for human being, which is close ...
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3answers
219 views

What exactly do Noahides do?

There is a modern "Noahide" movement(I believe propagated by the Lubavitcher Rebbe), where people join together to be b'nei noah and not part of another religion. From some googling, I've seen that ...
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121 views

Is the Christmas tree an Ashera?

Do any poskim equate Christmas trees with the Ashera tree mentioned in the Gemara?
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245 views

How did the Tammuz die?

In reference to the verse in Yechezkel (18:4) which states "and the women sat, weeping over the Tammuz" - many commentaries try to explain who the Tammuz was. Amongst the opinions brought, and perhaps ...
2
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1answer
331 views

whats worse: Apikorsus or Avoda Zara?

Is it worse to be a heretic who denies the authenticity of the Mesora, or a follower of Avoda Zarah. are their any rabbinic sources which discuss this question?
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Greek Ruins — Previous Sites for Pagan Worship

I know that Maimonides states not to enter places of idol worship. That being the case, is it permissible to visit Greek ruins that where once used for a pagan religion?
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May one buy wine from a Muslim

If a person were to go to a Muslim wine shop and found wine only handled by a Muslim. Is the wine forbidden? I would think not because Muslims are monotheistic and even if they would use the wine in a ...
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Is there a difference between an Icon and an Idol in Judaism [closed]

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 ...
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1answer
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Why Was the Idol of Micha Tolerated?

This answer brings sources that suggest that the Idol of Micha was present in the tribe of Dan even in the desert. This is also implied by Targum Pseudo Jonathan when Amalek attacks in Exodus, (second ...
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4answers
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Why is Idolatry a sin

What is the wisdom behind declaring Idolatry as a cardinal sin in Judaism? What is wrong if the true God as well as some other person\Object is worshipped along with him as long as he is not leaving ...
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2answers
185 views

Should a Christian church as a whole be seen as an Idol Halachically

Churches here have a highly visible protruding cross (which is an Idol) on the roof and at many places all over the structure, does that mean the church itself becomes an Idol, i.e a large Idol, also ...
7
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224 views

Reading books about Avodah Zarah

Is it permissible to read books about Avodah Zarah? Is it permissible to read Greek mythology for informational purposes, seeing as it's not particularly tempting to anyone nowadays? Is it ...
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Who are the idolaters?

I'm having hard time understanding the definition of idolater. It is easy for me to recognize for example that who prays a statue is an idolater. But what about other monotheistic religions? Are ...