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

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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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36 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, ...
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0answers
34 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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0answers
126 views

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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0answers
159 views

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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0answers
57 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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0answers
42 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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0answers
72 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 ...
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0answers
128 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?
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1answer
62 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, ...
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1answer
101 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 ...
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1answer
110 views

Who is the author of “תוספות ”אילמלי on כתובות ל״ג עמ׳ ב׳?

תוספות on כתובות ל״ג עמ׳ ב׳‎ ("אלמלי") explains that the גמרא assumes that חנניה,‎ מישאל,‎ & עזריה were not forced to actually worship idolatry, but merely to bow down to a ...
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2answers
201 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 ...
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1answer
796 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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1answer
233 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
81 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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1answer
76 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 ...
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1answer
147 views

Is the expression “we do not rely on 'bar elahin'” a reference to Christianity?

The prayer Brich Shmeh from the Zohar Vayakhel 206a, which is recited during the Torah service, contains the statement ולא על בר אלהין סמיכנא. All the translations I've seen render "bar elahin" as ...
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1answer
100 views

What is special about Molech?

What is unique about the worship of Molech that distinguishes it from other avodah zara enough that it deserves discussion and specific prohibition in the Torah? We see it specifically discuessed ...
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1answer
174 views

Examples of Destruction of Idolatry in a Pagan Land

Idolatry is a great abomination which G-d wants abolished or nullified, hence I want to know whether the believing people of the past took an action against it even if they were in the minority. Are ...
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1answer
149 views

Difference between idol worship and Shrine worship

What is the Jewish doctrinal difference between an Idol housed in a temple and a grave housed in Mausoleum or Shrine with all or some of the following activities carried out by the visitors in both ...
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1answer
54 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 ...
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1answer
90 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
184 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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1answer
105 views

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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1answer
13 views

Shovavim and idolatry

The initials of parashat Shemot to Mishpatim form the word Shovavim, which connect this period to Teshuva based on the verse of Jeremia 3:14 where the word Shovavim occurs. I also read this is a ...
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1answer
18 views

Idolatry in Mitzrayim?

Within Ezekiel 20 there are a few verses that talk about idolatry and refer to Mitzrayim. That made me wonder if the Israelites in Egypt forgot the G-d of their parents or exchanged Him for the gods ...
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0answers
57 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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0answers
45 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 ...
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0answers
198 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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2answers
226 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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1answer
192 views

Do jews find it blasphemy to be judged by religious laws of the pagan country they live in

Does being judged by non judaic religious law in a non judaic , pagan country considered to fall into the category of Shituff (Associating partners with God) . As jews belive that only God has the ...
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1answer
78 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 ...
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1answer
93 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
80 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 ...
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2answers
188 views

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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1answer
258 views

How does Halacha view someone who converts to Islam? [duplicate]

What is the halachic status of the person who converts to Islam, does he remain a Jew in spite of conversion? I am specifically asking the Muslim case since they don't deny the Torah and believe it to ...
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3answers
220 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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1answer
151 views

Has an idol been clearly defined as to what is an Idol that makes it Avodah Zarah? [closed]

Has an idol been clearly defined as to what is an Idol and what is not?
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1answer
54 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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3answers
1k views

Did the Rambam say it's OK for a Jew to convert to Islam? [closed]

I read that the Rambam considered a Jew who converts to Islam NOT to be an Apikorus(אפיקורוס)\heretic or an ovdei avodah zarah, as opposed to a convert to Christianity who he considered to be heretic ...