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

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Tattoo of an image of idolatry

According to this exhaustive article on the subject of tattooing in Halachah, there is an important opinion with many ramifications that states that one is only liable for the biblical prohibition of ...
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120 views

Selling land to Gentile to build Church

In YD Siman 151 it discusses the things that one is allowed and not allowed to sell to a gentile (for reasons that they might be used for Avodah Zara -- idol worship). I didn't see the following ...
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The “Sign of the Horns” and 'Avodah Zarah

Is the "Sign of the Horns" a manifestation or an act of 'Avodah Zarah? What if someone uses the gesture as a pop culture reference (eg., heavy metal), or just jokingly - or even mockingly about ...
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2answers
166 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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4answers
221 views

Is it idolatry to use the english word “God” to refer to Hashem?

Shabbos 67b says "Gad" (גד) was the name of an Amorite idol, and we shouldn't use it. Shouldn't this apply to the name "God" as well? eg. "God forbid"
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2answers
187 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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4answers
252 views

Are those who reject idolatry Yahudim (Jews)?

I found the following quote referencing Gemara from a book on converts in Judaism: The Gemara (Megillah 13•) states that we find the appellation “Yehudi” in Nach only three times: once for ...
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3answers
249 views

Is it true that there was a time when Jews believed in the existence of several Gods instead of just One?

Is it true that there was a time when Jews believed in the existence of several Gods instead of just One? Somebody told me that there was a time when they even worshiped different Gods - even after ...
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2answers
143 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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134 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 ...
2
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2answers
401 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 ...
2
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2answers
358 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
245 views

What are the issues with singing in a secular choir that includes some Christian music?

If one sings in a secular choir (consisting of both Jews and gentiles) that performs in secular locations and contexts (such as concert halls, public plazas, nursing homes, etc), what are the issues ...
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1answer
44 views

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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1answer
344 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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1answer
180 views

Is Unitarianism considered to be idolatry? [duplicate]

Many Jewish authorities consider Christianity to be idolatry due to their belief in a "Holy Trinity." Is that position universal for all Christians, or is it specific only to particular individuals or ...
2
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1answer
76 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
386 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 ...
2
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1answer
66 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 ...
2
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1answer
51 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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2answers
144 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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3answers
413 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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2answers
66 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 ...
2
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1answer
257 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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1answer
89 views

Why does the pasuk describing idols leave out “speaking?”

In Parshas Vaeschanan the Posuk says: עֲבַדְתֶּם שָׁם אֱ־לֹהִים מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵי אָדָם עֵץ וָאֶבֶן אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִרְאוּן וְלֹא יִשְׁמְעוּן וְלֹא יֹאכְלוּן וְלֹא יְרִיחֻן Translated as: And there ...
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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 ...
2
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1answer
59 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 ...
2
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0answers
22 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)?
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29 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 ...
2
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1answer
73 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. ...
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50 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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0answers
75 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. ...
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117 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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66 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 ...
2
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1answer
75 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 ...
2
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1answer
167 views

Buying products from store that sells avodah zarah?

What is the Halacha on buying products (not used for Avodah Zarah and not intended) from stores that sell things that can be used for Avodah Zarah? Assuming that buying such products is forbidden, ...
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2answers
126 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 ...
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4answers
150 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 ...
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3answers
164 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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3answers
208 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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1answer
132 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
155 views

Unkosher sheitel's / wigs?

Is it permissible for a married woman to wear a wig if the hair was sacrificed to an idol or foreign deity? There is a temple in India, dubbed the "Richest temple in the World" where pilgrims shave ...
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2answers
118 views

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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1answer
123 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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1answer
83 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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1answer
140 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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2answers
135 views

Kashrut--idol in restaraunt

A popular restaraunt here in Yerushalayim has a small idol on its cash register. Every paying customer will see it. The staff will answer your questions about it, and recommend reading. Its' ...
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1answer
299 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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2answers
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Idol as a reference point for location

לִפְנֵי פִּי הַחִירֹת בֵּין מִגְדֹּל וּבֵין הַיָּם לִפְנֵי בַּעַל צְפֹן There is a Halacha that says you may not say "let's meet by such and such an Idol" yet here the Torah does it Why?
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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, ...