Is a Jew permitted to sleep in a room/house where there are idolatrous images on the walls, such as JC, etc.? What about non-Jews?


2 Answers 2


dinonline (here and here) answer a very similar question

Before getting into the technical halachic aspect if it is permitted or not, it is surely not advisable to stay there when you are prone to looking at idolatrous images on a constant basis. These things can have an effect on us, and therefore it is best to try to correct the situation or find somewhere else to sleep. Having said that, it is not halachically forbidden to sleep in the room, however you should preferably not daven in that room, and if you have no choice at least it should not be facing the avoda zara. Additionally you should be careful not to bend down to pick something up in front of it, as it will look like you are bowing down to it.

Sources: Shulchan Aruch O:CH 94-8, M:B 29-30, Chayei Adam 23-5

  1. Images/statues of people are not A"Z by itself, no matter what. You can have pictures of Rabbis and Moses and your grandfathers in your house.

  2. What makes it A"Z is the fact that those are worshipped by different ways of worshipping an A"Z like in a church:

    • In a place where those pictures serve only as decoration, staying is permitted. Think about St. X hospital - lots of images that are not worshipped. My Grandma Z"l at 105 stayed in St. Louis hospital in Jerusalem for the last month of her life and it has a couple of statues inside.

    • In a place where those particular images are worshipped, it is forbidden to stay or visit (unless in a big need).

  3. There's always a consideration of מראית עין - in any way don't let people think you're enjoying your stay.

  • 1) I'm fairly certain your first sentence is wrong. Without a source that an image like a cross is 'not A"Z by itself, no matter what', your claim sounds dubious. 2) 'In a place where those particular images are worshipped, it is forbidden to stay or visit (unless in a big need).' A"Z is one of the three that is Yehareg V'al Ya'avor. If this is forbidden due to A"Z, what difference does 'big need' matter? Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 21:04
  • @Salmononius2 1. I said, people, not objects. 2. Worshipping is YVY, not seeing. Like visiting a church is not YVY, it's just a Maris Eyn.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 21:12
  • 1
    Bringing sources would definitely help Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 6:10
  • 3
    What makes you think images of saints and JC in Catholic hospitals aren’t worshipped? Hospital patients pray; in fact, some pray quite a lot. Do you think that if this patient room has been used by a person of that faith that they wouldn’t make some connection between their prayers and the image there? Even in a hallway, I saw people leave flowers to a statue of Mary. But if the room you are given has an idol in it, and you can’t have it removed, why are you not allowed to sleep there? Is this idol served by sleeping in its presence?
    – Ze'ev
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 14:38
  • @alberko I think it might be a machlokes whether or not entering a church is YVY. I think I’ve read a ShuT on whether or not one can enter a church to literally save their life.
    – Fei23
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 5:51

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