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

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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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239 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
154 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
178 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
181 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
150 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
154 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
93 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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137 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
344 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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91 views

Idol as a reference point for location

לִפְנֵי פִּי הַחִירֹת בֵּין מִגְדֹּל וּבֵין הַיָּם לִפְנֵי בַּעַל צְפֹן (Shmot 14:2) There is a Halacha that says you may not say "let's meet by such and such an Idol" yet here the Torah does ...
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34 views

Is it prohibited to say a bracha near an idol?

In the trades, some times home owners will have statues of Buddha or catholic stuff like saints and such. I've heard some rule idolatry today is not the same as before. Are there any prohibitions ...
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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, ...
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0answers
130 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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173 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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59 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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44 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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87 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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135 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
78 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
142 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
115 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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218 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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880 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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248 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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81 views

Destruction of Angel Worship Sites

PREFACE: THIS QUESTION IS MEANT PURELY THEORETICALLY AND NOT PRACTICALLY AT ALL!! According to Deuteronomy (12: 2) idolatrous sites are to be destroyed under certain circumstances. אַבֵּד ...
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91 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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85 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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165 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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107 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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176 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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158 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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2answers
65 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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1answer
73 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
94 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
225 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
107 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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29 views

“Hamalach hagoel” and idolatrous intent

In Genesis 48:15-16, Jacob blesses Joseph by (seemingly) requesting of G-d that His angel bless Joseph's children: וַיְבָ֥רֶךְ אֶת־יוֹסֵ֖ף וַיֹּאמַ֑ר הָֽאֱלֹקים אֲשֶׁר֩ הִתְהַלְּכ֨וּ אֲבֹתַ֤י ...
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24 views

Sources applicable to: “Is an observant Sikh observing the 7 Laws of Noah”? [duplicate]

What sources could you point me to regarding the halachic status of Sikhism? Thank you. DR Update: Thank you for the comment that the question has been asked before and already has an answer. ...
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30 views

How must we feel about the destruction of Syrian temples by Daesh? [duplicate]

It is a positive commandment to destroy false deities, all their accessories, and everything that is made for their purposes, as [Deuteronomy 12:2] states: "You shall surely destroy all the places ...
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65 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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57 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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222 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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238 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
196 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
79 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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2answers
200 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
283 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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1answer
107 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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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 ...