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

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87 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. ...
20
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9answers
3k views

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 ...
3
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4answers
458 views

Hashem is here, Hashem is there…REALLY?

The song "Hashem is here, Hashem is there..." seems to pose many interesting theological problems. What concerns would you have with this song? How would you educate your child on the challenges this ...
7
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2answers
113 views

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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0answers
70 views

Is one allowed to read books written by Homer such as The Iliad or The Odyssey?

When I was in elementary yeshiva, I had to read both The Iliad and The Odyssey. Both these books focus on Greek mythology, specifically the Trojan War. Sefer HaChinukh 426:1 says: שלא לחן ולרחם ...
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1answer
81 views

How to understand Gd eating? [closed]

How does our tradition understand the mention in Devarim 4:28 of our Gd eating? In what respects does Gd "eat"? וַעֲבַדְתֶּם־שָׁ֣ם אֱלֹהִ֔ים מַעֲשֵׂ֖ה יְדֵ֣י אָדָ֑ם עֵ֣ץ וָאֶ֔בֶן אֲשֶׁ֤ר ...
4
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2answers
445 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 ...
0
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1answer
82 views

If the sages removed the desire for yetzer hora of avodah zora, what is left in terms of yetzer hara?

During the time of the second Beit HaMikdash, the 120 sages of the Great Assembly were granted the ability to rip out the desire for idolatry (yetzer hora of avodah zora) from the collective soul of ...
1
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4answers
183 views

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 ...
7
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3answers
932 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 ...
4
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2answers
194 views

What if a specific avoda zara looks just like avodas Hashem?

Let us assume there is at least one conventional way to serve any given false deity. Let us also assume that there is a prohibition against serving false deities in the manner that they are ...
10
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3answers
226 views

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 ...
3
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3answers
374 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)?
4
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4answers
128 views

What are we supposed to do with idolatry in Israel?

What is the halacha concerning what Jews should do with idolatry and idolaters in the land of Israel (considering that the Torah says in Deuteronomy 7:5 to cleanse the Holy Land from idolatry)? ...
1
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0answers
42 views

When someone is gifted a divination object [closed]

A very good friend of mine gave me a divination object for a present. She spent a few years in the Peace Corps in Mongolia, and brought me back a little hide box with sheep and horse ankle bones, ...
1
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1answer
84 views

Is Warhammer (and similar games) an issue of avoda zara?

Are tabletop wargames, such was Warhammer, Warhammer 40K, and Kings of War an issue of avoda zara? To play the game you first have to purchase miniature figures of different races. Some are human, ...
1
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0answers
68 views

Non-Jew using a Jew's stuff for idol worship

It is forbidden for Jews to benefit from anything used for avodah zarah (idol worship). (Rambam Hilchot Avodah Zarah 7:2) In halacha #4 there, he gives the rules for when something becomes classified ...
2
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0answers
33 views

intent on shema regarding idolatry

in the shema we recite "Take care lest your heart be lured away, and you turn astray and worship alien gods and bow down to them" what intent should one have while reading this given that the ...
5
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2answers
368 views

Providing services to a forbidden ceremony

If a secular society criminalizes discriminating against a ceremony (e.g., a wedding between arayot [forbidden sexual unions, e.g., incest, bestiality, or homosexuality] or an idolatrous ritual), is a ...
2
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1answer
104 views

Is it mutar to receive ordination from the Universal Life Church?

According to Wikipedia, the Universal Life Church is a religious organization that offers anyone semi-immediate ordination as a ULC minister free of charge. The organization states that ...
1
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1answer
164 views

Is Transcendental Meditation kosher?

Transcendental Meditation is a popular form of meditation that, many practitioners claim, relieves psychological stress. Although it was founded an Indian guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, it is not at all ...
2
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0answers
30 views

tevilat keilim - ger toshav and meshumad

Do keilim (eating utensils) bought from an artisan who is a ger toshav (observant non-Jew) require tevilah (ritual immersion)? Conversely, what if the artisan is a meshumad (Jewish idolator/heretic)?
4
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1answer
137 views

Status of Catholic saints in Judaism

Roman Catholics and other branches of Christianity have a concept of sainthood, where they bestow a status to someone based on posthumous miracles attributed to them. They also pray to them. ...
2
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0answers
37 views

Waving or otherwise recognizing the English flag and its variants

Related to this question and this question the English flag and many of its variants from former colonies have the cross of someone who is recognized as a saint by Catholics, George. This cross was ...
7
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0answers
103 views

Is it allright to use/wave the Argentinian flag?

The Sun of May in the flag is inspired by an ancient Inca god. It is used by the Argentinian flag and the Uruguayan flag. It is a representation used as a homage to the ancient empire, inspired by ...
8
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1answer
99 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

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, ...
2
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0answers
51 views

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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2answers
118 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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0answers
232 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
69 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 ...
7
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3answers
152 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
91 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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2answers
131 views

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 ...
1
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3answers
203 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
99 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
333 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 ...
12
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1answer
243 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
2
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2answers
184 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
216 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 ...
6
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2answers
478 views

Shituf and Avodah Zara

While the various opinions about shituf have been discussed already. Somewhat recently, however, I heard a Rav speak on the topic who seemed to take it for granted that shituf was only permitted when ...
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1answer
116 views

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
64 views

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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2answers
164 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?!
3
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2answers
152 views

Decorating of the Beitzah

Somebody told me in Israel some have the custom of decorating the egg for Pesach (like an Easter egg). Wouldn't that be considered chukas hagoyim or avoda zara?
4
votes
1answer
129 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
218 views

Christmas and Ex-mas

Why do some Jews refer to Christmas as Ex-mas? Is there anything wrong in Jews saying Christmas?
15
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3answers
642 views

Is it permitted for a Ben-Noach be an atheist?

Avoda zarah is one of the things prohibited by the Seven Noachide Laws. But what about atheism? I know that the 7 Laws are often taken to include a larger number of halachot from the Torah, so would ...
0
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1answer
255 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
185 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 ...