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

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What to do with the Cross on the Chess King?

Many (perhaps most) Chess sets come with a King piece that has a cross on the top of it. Is there any problem with owning or using such a chess set? Should one break off the cross?
2
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2answers
309 views

Can one bow before a king? Can one bow to a statue of a king?

Can one bow before a king? Can one bow to a statue of a king? For example, if one is visiting North Korea, may one bow to the statues as shown in this picture? Note that they are not fully ...
6
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1answer
110 views

Why is mevushal wine good enough for kiddush, but not good enough for avoda zara?

So the reason why we use mevushal (cooked) wine is that it's seen as a wine inferior and incapable of being offered to an idol (Shulchan Aruch, YD 123). I understand why one can drink mevushal wine in ...
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1answer
53 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
69 views

Was Baal worshiped via child sacrifice?

I heard Glenn Beck, on the radio today, saying that the "Old Testament" false god Baal was worshiped via child sacrifice (among other things). Is there any evidence of that from Tanach itself (i.e. ...
4
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3answers
797 views

Is there any problem with thanking a non-Jew by saying “God bless you?”

If your neighbor/coworker/etc. is a religious non-Jew and they do you a favor, is there a problem to say "thank you, God bless you?", assuming you think they'd appreciate hearing that?
3
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1answer
200 views

Plants vs Zombies Avoda Zara

In the digital game Plants vs. Zombies, there are graveyard tombs in the shapes of crosses. Does this constitute avoda zara? Is it therefore assur to play this game?
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37 views

Why didn't people worship Baal and God in Ⅱ Kings 10 as in Ⅰ Kings 18?

It seems that a large number of Jews in the time of the book of M'lachim served both the Baal and God. Most famously, perhaps, is Ⅰ M'lachim 18:21: עַד מָתַי אַתֶּם פֹּסְחִים עַל שְׁתֵּי ...
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3answers
163 views

Is one permitted to study other religions?

Is one allowed to study other religions? If not, how is one supposed to know that Judaism is correct? If yes, is such study encouraged?
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0answers
50 views

Is property belonging to a human god considered tashmishei avoda zara?

If a non-Jew who is worshipped as a god wants to bring a korban, can we accept it? Normally non-Jews can bring any sacrifices to our God which they want and are not limited to the Temple Mount while ...
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2answers
302 views

Is it allowed to make paintings of living creatures?

Among the Ten Commandments is: Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the ...
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1answer
52 views

Why did the bull demand Eliyahu hand it over?

In the Yalkut Shim'oni on Ⅰ M'lachim 18 (remez 214), we see a bit more of the story found in that chapter of Navi: Eliyahu's bull continued following him. But the bull that was designated for ...
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0answers
37 views

God issuing prophecy in the name of idols

I once read somewhere in the Gemara that a Rabbi asked how come idolaters claim that, as they walked by an idol, the god made a prediction (or gave advice) that came true. The answer was that God ...
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2answers
250 views

Did all of Bnei Israel worship the golden calf?

When Prophet Moses went up to the mountain, did all the people end up worshiping the cow, or were there some who remained aloof? What happened to such people who did not become idolaters? Were they ...
4
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1answer
63 views

Kibud Av Veim if parent(s) is an idolater

Suppose someone has a parent(or both) who, chas vshalom, became an idolater. Do their kids still have the obligation of Kibud Av Veim towards them?
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2answers
176 views

Is it spiritually dangerous to practice Christianity?

In Sarah Littman's book, Confessions of a Closet Catholic, Littman (a Reform Jewish woman) writes a tale of a Jewish girl who decides to give up Judaism for Lent and practice Catholicism. She takes ...
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0answers
154 views

Is it wrong to wear a necklace of a magen david?

Is it wrong to wear a necklace of a magen david (star of David)? Would that be idolatry? And what if I kiss it? Will it then be idolatry?
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3answers
135 views

Issachar's Banner in Halacha

Inspired by this answer. Bamidbar Rabbah 2:7 describes the symbol on Issachar's banner as the sun and the moon. I have researched the topic of what it is permitted to draw, and it seems that ...
3
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3answers
374 views

What can a Jew draw? [duplicate]

The Torah prohibits making certain images, (Deuteronomy 4:15-19). It includes males and females, animals, planets, and stars. It seems from these verses that a person's options when drawing the world ...
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1answer
124 views

Is Zoroastrianism Avodah Zarah?

Are there sources that discuss whether Zoroastrianism is considered to be Avodah Zarah? (Note: I am mainly interested in seeing Jewish sources that discuss Zoroastrianism. Answers that just discuss ...
4
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2answers
245 views

Halachic status of Sikhism as Avoda Zara

Are there any sources that explicitly discuss the halachic status of Sikhism regarding to what extent it follows the Noahide laws, and if it is considered avoda zara or shittuf?
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2answers
60 views

Meis Mitzva and Idolatry

A Cohen finds a dead body in India Should he bury it himself and become taamei OR Should he inform the nearby village who will then dispose of the body with idolatrous rituals. The roots of the ...
3
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1answer
320 views

Would it be permissible to believe that Jesus is the messiah if that belief otherwise entails no rejection of halakha or Jewish tradition?

"Messianic Judaism" is generally speaking Christianity repackaged in a Jewish veneer, so they have the same beliefs on the Torah and the divinity of Jesus/Trinity as mainstream Christianity. But ...
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0answers
61 views

Praying with pictures or money on the table

It has been established that one may not pray facing a picture. May one pray by a table where pictures or money bills lie? How about engraved images like coins? If prohibited, how can the practice ...
4
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1answer
114 views

Halachic basis for opposing erection of a giant statute of Jesus in Israel

According to JewishIsrael.com an Arab Christian group plans to build a giant statute of Jesus on Har Kedumin (Mt. Precipice) near Nazareth on Jewish National Fund land. The Minister of Tourism, Uzi ...
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2answers
214 views

No yetzer hora of idolatry, so no nevuah?

I remember learning in a shiur (sorry, can't think of the reference) that Chazal was able to essentially destroy the yetzer hora of avodah zora but with the side effect that there wouldn't be nevuah ...
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2answers
153 views

Poti-phera's Title/Job Description

Genesis 41:45 JPS And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt. ...
5
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1answer
629 views

Why isn't the Kabbalistic doctrine of Sefirot considered Shittuf if the Christian Trinity is?

From the answers to this question it seems that most if not all Jewish sources treat Trinitarian Christianity (in particular, their doctrine of the Trinity) as either Shittuf or outright Avoda Zara, ...
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0answers
117 views

Are gold (or silver) jewelry charms considered avodah zarah?

Many years ago, I started to buy small gold charms specifically with Jewish symbols for my mother who added them to a necklace, much like gold charm bracelets circa 50 years ago. Among them were tiny ...
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0answers
112 views

Can photographs be considered idols?

Can photographs of people be considered idols? Is it the kavanot that the viewer ascribes that is important or is it inherent in a 2D image of a face?
7
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1answer
260 views

Are there any ill-effects for mis-directed prayers?

Inspired by the end of this answer: Just remember that all non-Jews don't follow the Sheva Mitzvot and could [even] be in Avodah Zarah and then would...a blessing [of theirs] matter? It might even ...
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0answers
98 views

How did names of foreign gods find their way into the Torah and Hebrew language?

After having found one explanation that the origin of the Hebrew word "Shachar" שחר which is used in the context of "Alos HaShachar" is the name of a foreign god. As well that "Shemesh" שמש which we ...
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0answers
44 views

saying the word “Jesus” [duplicate]

The standard practice seems to be avoiding saying the word "Jesus" due to the halacha of שם רשעים ירקב, but some people seem to be willing to say it. Is there a heter for this? (Also, would this heter ...
6
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3answers
485 views

Is there sufficient evidence to support the theory that ancient Israel practiced monolatry?

I just came across this Wikipedia article on monolatrism that says some people believe ancient Israel practiced monolatry. The highest claim to be made for Moses is that he was, rather than a ...
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1answer
75 views

If God doesn't have a body, how come Moses speak face to face with God? [duplicate]

Whatever Moses see is just God's creation right given that God cannot be seen and does not have forms or body (or does He?). Did Moshe Rabbeinu See God? Well did Moses really see God or did he just ...
3
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1answer
101 views

Is Sabellianism avodah zarah (idolatry)?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabellianism They do not believe that God is three in one. They believes that God, being omnipotent, can appear to humans in many forms, including becoming human like ...
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3answers
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What is the red string all about?

Where did the concept of wearing a red string come from? I have heard different opinions ranging from "you should definitely wear it" to "its forbidden like idol worship" - who is right?
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1answer
247 views

Singing or listening to non-Jewish religious music

Is it permissible to listen or sing non-Jewish religious music so long as praise and worship is only expressed to Hashem and this is clear and/or your intention is only to praise G-d and no one else?
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0answers
62 views

For the Noahide laws, what should Noahides, who are unaware of the biblical God, do? [duplicate]

Being a Noahide Gentile seems to be harder than it looks. Noahides must follow the seven commandments. I wonder what happens to those innocent peoples who practice polytheistic, traditional folk ...
3
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2answers
298 views

Is believing that God, Israel, and Torah are one Avodah Zarah?

The Zohar said that God, Israel, and Torah are one. I thought Judaism is strictly monotheistic. When Jesus said, "I and the father is one", he was being a heretic. So how come the Zohar includes even ...
2
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1answer
201 views

May I play a computer game which includes Greek mythological creatures?

I sometimes play a computer role-playing game (RPG) in which my character fights creatures and retrieves treasure. But some of the creatures are derived from Greek mythology. Is it still permissible ...
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3answers
698 views

While playing a computer game, may I “worship” one of the game's “gods” to help me win?

I sometimes play a certain computer role-playing game (RPG). In this game, my character (whom I might name after myself but who does not otherwise resemble me) fights mythological creatures and ...
2
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1answer
64 views

Mevushal wine used for avoda zara?

Suppose that while you are away, your non-Jewish housekeeper borrows your mevushal bottle of wine and pours some off for avoda zara (apparently, despite the fact that it's mevushal, it's "good enough" ...
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3answers
209 views

Demolishing Idolatry sneakily?

As an extension to this question which makes it obligatory to demolish idols, is it equally virtuous to demolish places of idolatry sneakily as we see examples from the story of Abraham? As people ...
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Does demolishing idolatry require specific authority?

Is a command from legal authorities required to demolish idols? Moreover, what counts as a legal authority in such a case? e.g: You may find many Idols of Jesus in churches in the biblical Israel , ...
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3answers
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Why did Moshe and Aaron need to use a staff in initiating the plagues?

Why did Moshe and Aaron need to use a staff in initiating the plagues? Such as in שמות פרק ז פסוק יט: יט. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל משֶׁה אֱמֹר אֶל אַהֲרֹן קַח מַטְּךָ וּנְטֵה יָדְךָ עַל מֵימֵי ...
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1answer
609 views

Why do people say that Abraham and his family were idolaters at first?

A common idea these days, is that Abraham, his father and their families were supposed to have worshipped idols, until the true Creator, the LORD, called him from Ur of the Chaldees to give unto him ...
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8answers
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If Christianity is avodah zarah and Islam is not, why has the Christian world triumphed over the non-Christian, and why do Jews prefer to live among Christians and not Muslims?

The Rambam quite clearly considered Christianity to be avodah zarah. He did not feel the same way about Islam, however, going so far as to condone praying within a mosque, and many Orthodox Jewish ...
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2answers
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Conversion to Islam

Although Islam is considered monotheistic I would imagine that in a case of 'oness' (coercion) one would still not be allowed to convert. Is conversion to Islam considered to be a case of יהרג ואל ...