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1

Tosfos points out all sorts of leniencies that we apply today, not strictly using the definitions of the mishnas in avoda zara. Among other considerations, in a religiously-integrated society, applying religious discrimination in business dealings would cause a great deal of dangerous animosity. (Your local rabbi might advise, all else being equal, that ...


0

I was taught (Conservative) that the Torah has several of the attributes of a person, and is only one step below God in authority. I tend to provide the same respect to the Torah as I would a flag officer.


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There are people who don't like saying "Christ", and therefore don't like saying "Christmas." If you don't have a strong secular education, you'd assume that "X" just means "fill-in-the-blank", so "X-mas" sounds like a more "kosher" way to refer to the holiday. (This is what my camp counselors did when I was a kid, and that was their explanation.) As Ze'ev ...


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The word Christ comes from the Greek Χριστός, and the initial letters, ΧΡ (chi rho), was a common abbreviation in handwritten manuscripts and a symbol for Christianity. The English Xmas as an abbreviation of Christmas is long-attested: Xres mæsse appears in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" (c.1100). At some point in English the r was dropped from the ...


0

R' Yosef Masas, in Mayim Chaim, amidst his rejection of Kabbalistic recitations, has the following to say: ואף כי עדין רגל על לשוני לומר קודם ברכת המוציא בשבתות. הנוסח למבצע על ריפתא. כאשר רגיל בפי כל ישראל אחד האיש ואחד האשה. אף שאין לי בה מובן? התם שאני. מפני שיש בה נגון. ואהבת הנגון מכסה מום חסרון ידיעה And even though I still say the formula of ...


2

As pointed out (in name of Ramban), they were not necessarily idols, so didn't have to be destroyed. This still leaves the question of why would she need them in her possession. Some sources(eg. 1) note that she might have been waiting for a better chance to get rid of them (throw into the dead sea), since burying them was not a good option (it might cause ...


1

There is a difference between respect and worship. Respect means that you are honoring something because it is important to you, and worship is when you perform a service to something that has power so that you will receive something in return.


7

As the Rambam codifies in Hilchos Avoda Zara 3:5, only four activities are "objectively" idolatry when done in honor of something other than G-d, and forbidden to do to any idol. 1) Prostration, 2) Animal Sacrifice, 3) Incense burning, 4) Libations. Outside of those four things, it is only idolatry if done as part of the normal service of the idol. So an ...


2

As far as I'm aware, just about every posek assumes that all nations are obligated to believe in God in some way or another. This is stated explicitly by Rav Shmuel ben Hofni Gaon (commentary to Beraishis 34:12), Rabbeinu Nissim Gaon (intro to Talmud), probably the opinion of the Sefer Hachinuch (commandment 417, and Minchas Chinuch there), Maharal (Gevuros ...



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