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22

In Jewish law, the idea of the Trinity falls under the catchall term of "shittuf" - worshipping G-d along with some other being. Shittuf is prohibited for Jews. This means that a Jew would be prohibited to acknowledge the Christian savior as part of the G-dhead, or to participate in Christian worship, even at the cost of his or her life. There is a dispute ...


20

The Rambam in his אגרת השמד says outward acceptance of Islam is not ייהרג ואל יעבור. On the other hand, the Radvaz quotes the Ritva as saying that this is ייהרג ואל יעבור. According to the Rambam, outward acceptance of Islam is not ייהרג ואל יעבור because Islam is not עבודה זרה, and even though it is heretical because it denies the Torah, one does not have ...


18

Rav Moshe Feinstein, in a t'shuva about allowing children to say a generic prayer in public school (Orach Chayim II #24), refers to the Ramba"m's statement in Mishne Torah that Adam Harishon was given 6 commandments, including belief in God. No'ach and his descendants later got one more, adding up to 7. They both conclude that not only the negative aspect of ...


17

The Talmud, in discussing whether the practice of refraining from engaging in business with worshipers of Avoda Zara (lest they offer thanks to their Avoda Zara) three days prior to (and according to R Yishmael also: following) their holidays (cf. Mishna AZ 1:1) includes the day of the holiday itself in the count of three days, states (AZ 6a and 7b): אמר ...


17

In general, don't try to obtain your knowledge of Judaism from episodes of Arthur or from fiction stories. People make things up in the interest of the story. There are much better, and more accurate, sources for learning about Judaism. Yes, in general, it is considered not a good thing for a Jewish person to practice another religion. But in terms of the ...


15

Well, here's what comes to mind. Bowing is not reserved for G-d. There are many cases in the Bible when prominent Jews bowed to kings such as the prophet Natan bowing to David (Melachim 1:1:23) and Yosef’s brothers bowing to Yosef (Breishit 42:6). Even Avraham (Breishit 18:2) bowed to strangers whom he suspected of being idolaters (Rashi to verse 4). ...


14

Let's take a step back: the Hebrew calendar uses lunar months of either 29 or 30 days (for 354 days altogether). Now the Bible says that Passover should be in the spring, and if you keep having years of 354 days you'll keep sliding backwards until Passover won't be in the spring anymore, so every so often they'd add a leap month. Sure, other peoples may have ...


14

There is no sufficient evidence to prove this concept in one direction or another, and there never will be. I will try explain why. I am not sure where to begin, so I will just do an info dump of points which hopefully will be sufficient, because this is a complicated topic. Monolatrism is a made up word used to try to discredit Judaism and Christianity. ...


13

R' Chaim Dov Rabinowitz (author of Daas Sofrim), in his volume on Jewish history since the close of Tanach, in fact harshly criticizes the Jews of Babylonia for migrating from there to the Christian West during the Geonic era. He argues, for one thing, that they should have learned from the experience of the Jews under Byzantine domination (especially in the ...


13

The straightforward answer to this question is that whereas the Christians are discussing what Hashem is made up of, the Kabbalists are discussing the ways in which He chose to reveal Himself. Just like we can understand that ה' ממית ומחיה is not reminiscent of trinity, since it is simply a reflection of what Hashem will do about different circumstances, ...


13

Given the Rambam's statement: Anyone who accepts upon himself the fulfillment of these seven mitzvot and is precise in their observance is considered one of 'the pious among the gentiles' and will merit a share in the world to come. This applies only when he accepts them and fulfills them because the Holy One, blessed be He, commanded them in the ...


13

According to Volume 3 Issue 8 of "Halachicly Speaking" (page 3) it is permissible for two reasons: No one bows down to snowmen A snowman does not last for very long.


12

One: the Rema does not rule that goyim are permitted shituf, but merely rules that for them swearing in the the name of a shituf is not an act of avodah zarah (as only Jews are prohibitted from swearing in anything but HaShem's name). As explained in the Nodah Beyahudah, Yoreh Deah 148: "The intention of the Tosefos and the Rama is that combining the Name of ...


11

In the original version of the Rambam in Sefer Qedusha, Hilkhot Maakhalot Asurot 11:7 (compare the censored version and the uncensored version) he rules that xian are idol worshipers.


10

There's a rule that "you can't prohibit that which does not belong to you." A pagan can go deify my cow and bow down to it all he wants; he can even slaughter it to his idol; if it's my cow, he did nothing and you can derive benefit from the cow. So the first and major question is, who owned the food in this situation, and who consecrated it? Moreover, ...


10

In the Torah we see the word Elokim used for both Hashem and other nations Gods (Elohim Acheirim). That proves that a word can have two meanings, and you still may use it. In addition the name Gad does not sound like God at all.


10

The Shulchan Aruch (YD 157:1) discusses the issue of when one must (or may) martyr himself, know in Hebrew as קידוש השם - The [Ultimate] Sanctification of God's Name. If someone threatens your life if you won't break some rule: If you are alone (or in the presence of less than ten adult Jews): If he is doing so for his own personal benefit: If it is one ...


10

Throughout the Bible, many Jews keep veering into idolatry, such as the examples seen in Yaakov's answer. (Fascinatingly the whole idolatry thing comes to a screeching halt right around the Jews' return from Babylon to Israel around 2500 years ago. The Talmud says there was some "itch" that idol-worship seemed to "scratch" that dissipated then.) But the "...


10

No, one may not pray in front of a mirror. The Radbaz in a responsum (4:107) gives both of the reasons you mention as explanations. From DailyHalacha.com The question surrounding the permissibility of praying facing such a window arises from a discussion of the Radbaz (Rabbi David Ben Zimra, Egypt, 1480-1574) regarding praying in front of a mirror. It is ...


10

It is forbidden. I have included relevant snippets, but it's best if you read the whole thing. Rambam Avodah Kochavim Chapter 2 Halacha 3 The worship of false gods is not the only subject to which we are forbidden to pay attention; rather, we are warned not to consider any thought which will cause us to uproot one of the fundamentals of the Torah. We ...


9

To judge by Wikipedia, it looks like the basic meaning of it is "teacher" or something similar - the Hindu use of it is a specification of that general meaning. So I can't imagine that it would be any different, say, than our using "priest" as a translation of kohen.


9

I once heard Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky describing the life of a certain Rav in a little shtetel many years ago. The people of the village were unlearned, and the Rav, who was a big Talmid Chacham, had no one with whom to converse in Torah learning. What did he do? He would put his hat on the banister next to the Aron Hakodesh, and speak as if there was an ...


9

Rema, Orach Chaim 296:1: גם שופכים מן הכוס לאחר הבדלה ומכבין בו הנר ורוחצים בו עיניו משום חבוב מצוה "We also pour out [some of the wine] from the cup after havdalah, and extinguish the candle with it, and wash our eyes with it as an expression of love for the mitzvah." An earlier source is Tur, Orach Chaim 299, citing R. Amram Gaon. So it goes ...


9

It may be that Rambam would distinguish between whether the magician actually did some kind of action or not. Suppose, for example, you have someone who claims that he will use magic to harvest a field of cucumbers (the example given in the Mishnah, Sanhedrin 67a). There are, then, three possibilities: He performs some action (waving a wand, saying some ...


9

There are two concerns here: chanufa, which means telling a sinner that you approve of their sinful action; and mesayea / lifnei iver, being involved in (or enabling) someone else's sin. For a rabbi to officiate at a wedding prohibited by halacha would be an issue of chanufa, as he's declaring okay that which the Torah says is not. For the caterer, florist,...


8

For question 1: The blessing is addressed to Hashem ("Who created the heavens with His word... Blessed are You, G-d, Who renews the months"), not to the moon. Where's the avodah zarah there? It's no different than the blessings on other natural phenomena, such as rainbows, notable mountains, etc, where we look at the object while praising Hashem. [That said,...


8

Yes it seems funny; at the other extreme, anti-Semitism in India is considered virtually nonexistant historically, when Hinduism and Judaism have, shall I say, more or less mutually-exclusive theologies. Part of the answer seems to be that "good fences make good neighbors", or as one genealogist put it, "you fight with your cousins." A religion that has ...


8

I'm not authoritative on this, but my understanding is that ALL the traditional positions are forbidden. They are all essentially prayers to Surya (and others). See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surya_Namaskara for example. One would have to be an expert in the many many (and there are a lot of them) yoga based/containing religions to know which positions ...



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