I don't know if any of these are valid concerns or not, but here are some things that came to mind:

  • Watching a ceremony in a church
  • Hearing the church hymns
  • Watching the kissing of the cross

Besides for those, are there any other issues with watching the coronation?

  • 1
    I remember Rabbi Sacks didn't go to Princess Diana's funeral on Shabbos, but stood briefly by the procession in the street. Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis went to the coronation. That's not halachic proof of anything although I'm sure they had their reasons, but just for context.
    – Meir Luria
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 19:24
  • Besides the obvious that it was on Shabbos?
    – Damila
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 19:54
  • Why would watching privately be disallowed? Anti-missionary Orthodox rabbis study Christianity so they can better hone their arguments to Jews thinking of converting. You may say they have a purpose. But knowing what goes on in the world around you that's significant is also a purpose. Commented May 9, 2023 at 21:05
  • @Maurice if you can prove "knowing what goes on in the world" is a good enough reason (for everyone?) then you'd have an answer if the people are watching for that reason and not just for fun
    – Double AA
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 1:15
  • Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis took two Sabbath-related steps: he slept the night before at St James's Palace so he could walk to Westminster Abbey, and his statement of welcome with other faith leaders was unamplified.
    – Henry
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 9:07

3 Answers 3


The Gemara (Berachos 19b) says that it is considered a Mitzvah to see the glory of a king and that it may even override a Rabbinic prohibition (I’m not sure if this includes the prohibitions mentioned in the question)

  • 4
    This doesn't answer the question of what halachic issues there may be in watching
    – Double AA
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 19:41
  • 2
    @DoubleAA: Does "halachic issue" always mean "halachic reason not to do [blah]", or can it also mean "halachic reason to do [blah]"?
    – ruakh
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 7:50
  • 1
    @ruakh I don't know about always but it certainly seems to be what the OP was looking for here
    – Double AA
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 15:12

Halacha holds that entering a church is forbidden.

However, two Talmudic principles argue in favor of allowing Jews to enter churches, in order to maintain good relations with our neighbors. The first is mipnei darkhei shalom, literally: “Because of the ways of peace”. The second is mishum evah, “lest we cause hatred”.

Using these principles, British Orthodox rabbis have always attended state functions at Westminster Abbey.

  • 6
    Thank you, but that doesn't answer the question about whether there's an issue with watching it when those heterim don't apply (i.e. watching it online).
    – DavidM
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 19:28
  • 1
    This doesn't answer the question of what halachic issues there may be in watching (only on attending in person)
    – Double AA
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 19:42

Reb Moshe zt”l in YD 1:69 discusses looking at a stamp that has pictures of priests and a cross. The reasons he brings to permit it, wouldn’t apply to watching a ceremony that appoints the head of the church. This would create a problem to look at it as it is included in אל תפנו אל אלילים.

However, he then goes on to say that a cross itself isn’t a problem since it is just a reminder, and not the avodah zorah itself.

It would seem from this that if there’s any real avoda zora there then it might have a halachic issue of looking at it.

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