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

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1answer
99 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
927 views

How to Resolve Kiddush Levana and Celestial Worship, (Avodas Kochavim)?

In general Kiddush Lavanah has always seemed to me to be akin to "Avodas Kochavim" - so does anyone know of a satisfying answer that works with Occam's razor? More specifically: We say Just as I can ...
4
votes
1answer
208 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 ...
19
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5answers
917 views

Did the Rambam believe in magic?

If you read through Chapter 11 of the Rambam's laws on Idol Worship, you'll see what seems to be the Rambam forbidding anything that even resembles magic, all while calling such practices foolish and ...
5
votes
1answer
98 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 ...
1
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0answers
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
63 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
112 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 ...
3
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1answer
55 views

Is one allowed to visit a temple or place of worship of a religion no longer in existence?

There seems to be an issue with visiting a house of worship or temple or possibly a cemetery of other religions. Where does that come from and what are the parameters of any interdiction? Assuming ...
32
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10answers
7k views

Is Christianity Avodah Zara?

It is commonly accepted that Islam is not Avodah Zarah (idolatry) since Islam has a clear monotheistic theology with a belief in Allah that parallels our view of "kail" or Hashem. It is even ...
9
votes
3answers
287 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 ...
2
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3answers
71 views

What method of reasoning did Abraham use to reach Enlightenment?

What method(s) of reasoning did Abraham use to discover HaShem's existence and that he is Adon Olam? I'm wondering about particular methods. [1] ...
0
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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 ...
0
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0answers
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 ...
3
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1answer
49 views

Can a Jew act in a play / movie where he / she has the role of an idol worshiper?

Can a Jew act in a play / movie where he / she has the role of an idol worshiper? He would perform the acts of idol worship without believing in the idols at all.
8
votes
2answers
322 views

Reading books about Avodah Zarah

Is it permissible to read books about Avodah Zarah? Is it permissible to read Greek mythology for informational purposes, seeing as it's not particularly tempting to anyone nowadays? Is it ...
1
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2answers
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

What is worse: not believing in G-d or believing in many G-ds? [duplicate]

I have been wondering - for no particular reason - what is worse between being an atheist and being an idolater? I thought that a logical place to look for an answer would be the Ten Commandments, ...
4
votes
3answers
437 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 ...
2
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0answers
61 views

Is a chess set with full figured human pieces permissible to own? [duplicate]

Link to a similar chess set Is a chess set with full figured human pieces permissible to own? My question is due to the second commandment.
3
votes
3answers
169 views

Is idolatrous belief forbidden for Jews, or just idolatrous practices?

Suppose a 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 Jews? We see from this answer that similar ...
10
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4answers
239 views

What happened to Avraham's students?

We read how Avraham was going around convincing people to believe in one G-d and of his many students. Yet we don't hear of those students (or their descendants) ever again. What happened to them ...
3
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0answers
65 views

Proof that calling upon deceased righteous people is polythiesm

My assumption is that in the Jewish faith, if someone were to call upon a righteous person who is not alive for help, that would be considered polytheism. Are there any explicit verses in the Torah ...
4
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2answers
397 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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0answers
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. ...
2
votes
1answer
78 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 ...
0
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1answer
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 ...
0
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0answers
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 ...
5
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0answers
116 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 ...
2
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1answer
84 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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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
444 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
votes
2answers
108 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 ...
0
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0answers
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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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
420 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
75 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
178 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
votes
3answers
844 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
189 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
216 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
votes
3answers
361 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
votes
4answers
115 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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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
vote
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, ...
0
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0answers
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 ...
16
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4answers
1k views

Why isn't the Kabbalistic doctrine of Sefirot considered Shittuf if the Christian Trinity is?

From the answers to this question it seems that most if not all Jewish sources treat Trinitarian Christianity (in particular, their doctrine of the Trinity) as either Shittuf or outright Avoda Zara, ...
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
votes
2answers
347 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
votes
1answer
93 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 ...