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

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Business with Christians during their holiday periods

According to those who hold that Christianity is avodah zarah, may Jews do business with Christians within three days of Sunday (or if you want, within 3 days of Dec. 25 or Easter) in light of the ...
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1answer
222 views

Depiction of the Menorah, the *Shulchan* and *Kadosh HaKadoshim* on ancient coins?

On some rare ancient coins of Matityah Antigonus, there are depictions of what seem to be the Menorah and the Shulchan (one obverse die even seems to show the Lechem HaPanim). This coin has an ...
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2answers
428 views

Is the cat figurine thing a problem at kosher Chinese restaurants?

It seems like all kosher Chinese restaurants have this cat-statue thingy in the front: Is there any Halachic problem with that? I assume not, if they're all kosher-certified; but why not?
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1answer
209 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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275 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
535 views

Avodah Zarah in other religions

Picking up on some of the discussions recently, which religions are Avodah Zarah and why? How does that translate into our relationships with them?
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493 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 ...
6
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1answer
395 views

How does Judaism regard the different denominations of Christianity vis-a-vis Avoda Zara?

There's been lots of talk about whether Christianity is Avodah Zara. Are there any distinctions between denominations, say which ones have more statues?
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Are Tibetan Prayer Flags a form of Avodah Zara?

I recently received in the mail a set of prayer flags as part of a mailer, which got me thinking (and researching). Without a question, using the flags normally would be an act of darchei emorie or ...
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241 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 ...
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48 views

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
770 views

Can one pray in front of a mirror?

Can it be considered avodah zarah if one prays while looking at themselves in the mirror? I mean, if you're looking at yourself, is it wrong for someone to think that you're praying to that person? I'...
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450 views

Getting benefit from a church

I recently heard that one is forbidden to get any benefit from a church (or any other place of worship other then a shul). They went on to say that the prohibation included while giving directions "...
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3answers
1k 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?
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1answer
81 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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355 views

Greek Mythology in Jewish Day Schools

Is there any issue with the general studies department of a Jewish day school teaching Greek mythology to the students?
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1answer
148 views

How could Yaakov name his children Gad and Dan?

Shabbos 67b says Gad was the name of an idol of the Amorites, and Dan was an idol of Samaria. If we're not supposed to even say the name of idols, how could Yaakov name his sons after them? (or is it ...
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1answer
292 views

Buddha at Indian Restaurants

Is the Buddha statue (or Hindu statues) a problem at Kosher Indian restaurants? (This is different than the cat question since the cat is only a good-luck superstition and these are actual idols)
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1answer
236 views

Is it Asur to wear apparel with the Versace symbol on it?

The Versace symbol is a Medusa which stems from Greek mythology. Is there a problem with wearing their apparel with this symbol? Additionally since it Asur to learn Greek mythology (see Shulhan Aruch ...
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1answer
146 views

Are there any halachic problems with visiting a secular museum?

When visiting a secular museum with paintings and sculptures from Egypt, Europe and Asia (usually influenced by idol worshipping ideas and if not that then elements of immodesty), are there any tips ...
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3answers
89 views

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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126 views

Names with origins of avoda zara

I gave my daughter a second name after my father's, for which I came up with a female version. I saw that the name does exist, but I never bothered to see the origin for some reason. Now, after five ...
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1answer
137 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 here) if there is no clear, reasonable, non-idolatrous justification for ...
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118 views

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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1answer
104 views

Is Exodus 20:4 a command about icons or idols?

When The Lord says, "Do not make for yourself an image," does he mean an image for the purpose of worship, that is an idol, or any image whatsoever, such as the depiction of a narrative or a ...
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2answers
467 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 ...
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1answer
55 views

is idolatry one of the noachide laws? there is a discrepancy between websites

is idolatry one of the noachide laws? there is a discrepancy between websites. wikipedia says The seven Noahide laws as traditionally enumerated are: Do not deny God. Do not blaspheme God. Do not ...
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196 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 ...
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3answers
471 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
301 views

May one use the name of an avodah zara?

What is the source for not using the proper name of an avodah zara? How far does this halacha extend? For instance if thousands of years ago people worshipped an avodah zara named "XYZ" but no longer ...
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3answers
345 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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1answer
487 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 ...
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503 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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1answer
143 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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1answer
119 views

Asking a Human to Interecede with God

Rambam writes (Hil. Avoda Zara) that it is forbidden to utilize any entity as an intermediary between oneself and God (more accurately that one who does so is a heretic who loses his share in the ...
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134 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)? ...
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3answers
971 views

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
140 views

Is idolatrous belief forbidden for gentiles, or is it just practice?

Suppose a non-Jew believes that there are multiple gods, but he does not worship them in any way. Is this a violation of the prohibition against idolatry for gentiles?
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1answer
485 views

Historical account of Jewish worship via the graves of saints and Prophets

Are there any examples in the Jewish history of Jewish people falling into worshiping the dead saints and prophets in their tombs ? Also, does building Tomb and concrete structures over the graves ...
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1answer
118 views

How would anyone ever “worship idols out of love or fear”?

It says in the Gemara (Krisus 3a) that if one worships an idol without accepting it as a god, he isn't liable to even bring a chatas. This opinion seems to held according to everyone. Yet, the Gemara ...
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1answer
223 views

If a food product has a heretical/idol worship image on it, and a hechsher as well, may one partake of it?

There is this food/drink product that has a Christian symbol and other associated things, and yet there is also a hechsher. Assuming the hechsher is accepted to be reliable etc., may one consume (i....
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1answer
131 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 ...
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2answers
148 views

Why is hell termed Gehinnom?

Why is the place that that wicked are punished for their sins after death termed Gehinnom? Is there is an association with Gei ben Hinnom where idolatry was performed? If so why was this place singled ...
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What will happen to all other religions places of worship and scripture when moshiach comes

Does it say anywhere in Jewish scripture what will happen to the places of worship and religious scripture of all the other religions of the world when moshiach comes?
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1answer
57 views

נשים דעתן קלה versus נזמי הזהב אשר באזניהם

The Mishna, Kidushin chapter 4: A man cannot be alone with two women, but one woman can be alone with two men. The Bavli thereon, 80 amud 2: What's the reason? A Mishna-explainer of the ...
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143 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. ...
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1answer
150 views

Apostate Jew performing mitzvahs

It has been discussed many times on this site that a non-Jew may not observe Shabbat (in addition to various other mitzvot that are prohibited to non-Jews). We have also seen that a Jew who renounces ...
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1answer
459 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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164 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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190 views

What are the ways of the Amorites?

When we are told not to go in the ways of the Amorites (Shabbat 67a, Yerushalmi Shabbat 6:9), However the practices enumerated there do not seem to be specific to the Amorite people. Were there other ...