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Basically as the title says. The anime drawing wouldn't contain anything lewd or suggestive, but is simply a regular anime picture, but the character depicted in the drawing is of the opposite gender of the person using it. Would that be halachically permissible?

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    Is your concern that people will misidentify you? It's misleading? Or you're thinking of the prohibition of cross dressing (which I don't think applies here)?
    – robev
    Sep 11, 2023 at 6:51
  • @robev I think it was first one mostly (and possibly crossdressing, but I guess it wouldn't necessarily apply). Would it be fine if people somehow knew that that the person wasn't of the same gender as the anime character in the profile picture?
    – setszu
    Sep 11, 2023 at 11:50
  • The gematria of "weeb" is 24, which is the same as Baal. If you put anime characters in your profile picture, you are worshipping idols Sep 12, 2023 at 2:18
  • @ClintEastwood LMAOOOOOO
    – setszu
    Sep 12, 2023 at 2:31
  • @ClintEastwood There's like at least 10 logical jumps in that sentence, combined with pareidolia, logical fallacies where 24 is equated with only B*al, etc. and much more...
    – setszu
    Sep 12, 2023 at 2:32

2 Answers 2

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The Talmud, Avodah Zarah 20a-b (starting at 20a.10) relates the following:


(A motley translation of the William Davidson Talmud linked above and the Soncino, with some of my own exegesis.)


"And how would Rav explain the incident involving Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, who [supposedly] praised the beauty of a gentile? The Gemara answers: Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel was giving thanks to God for creating such beautiful people rather than praising the gentile herself. As the Master said: One who sees beautiful or otherwise outstanding creatures recites: Blessed be He, Who has created such in His world.

But is even merely gazing at women permitted? The following can surely be raised as an objection: Thou shalt keep thee from every evil thing implies that one should not look intently at a beautiful woman, even if she be unmarried, or at a married woman even if she be ugly. nor at a woman's gaudy garments [if he knows the woman to whom they belong to], nor at male and female donkeys, or a pig and a sow, or at fowls when they are mating, and even if one were full of eyes like the Angel of Death and saw from every direction, it is not permitted to look.[...][So what may have happened in the aforementioned case? The rabbi or the woman] turned round a corner. [so that the Rabbi saw the woman by complete surprise.]"


Daf Shevui to Avodah Zarah 20a:11 This baraita seems to say that one cannot look at anything that might be sexually enticing. This includes any woman and even at animals (and even ugly ones) when they are mating. One should guard oneself constantly against stirring up desire. This would obviously be a very hard rule to observe in the modern age. The angel of death evidently has eyes everywhere. Even if a human had this many eyes and could not help seeing everything, he still should make sure he does not look at anything improper.


Thank you for reading and I hope this helps, God be with you.

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    Another issue is that for many people the style of art you are discussing has become neurologically linked with פּריצות they may have been exposed to, and it could easily cause someone to relapse into illicit thoughts or go looking for other media. You should especially consider those who are browsing the internet and are trying to break longstanding addictions to immodest content. (cont.)
    – BID
    Sep 18, 2023 at 6:18
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    That is to say, (while I am attempting to keep this answer tzniuth), consider someone who has been heavily exposed to immodest content in this style, the mere sight of a woman in this style could cause a major issue for them. Even putting this aside, It seems to me from our texts, namely the one cited above, that this would be problematic anyways as it is against the tenor of the aforementioned gemara.
    – BID
    Sep 18, 2023 at 6:20
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For a same-gender image, if it's not inappropriate, then I don't see a problem.

Concerning posting an image of the opposite gender. In Shu"t igrot Moshe (אה"ע סי' נו) Rabbi Feinstein explains that the ban on gazing at women is due to the fear of lewd thoughts, as explained from the verse "And you shall guard yourself from every evil thing". By gazing, a person may come to hirhur. Therefore, if there is another way (i.e. you don't have to post a picture of an anime character), surely one must not trust oneself not to think lewdly, and the one who does so is considered evil. (As some rishonim posit, this issur applies to both men and women.)

Based off this, it doesn't seem right to have a picture of the opposite gender. You may convince yourself that it's an amusing image and poses no harm, but there might be something deeper to your desire for this picture. Ask yourself that.

I'll leave the decision on you.

I don't think there's an issue of geneivat daat. The internet is anonymous.

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  • But like I wrote above, if a) people know that the person using the anime character as their profile picture isn't of the same gender, and so no misrepresentation occurred and b) there is nothing lewd in the drawing of the anime character, its just like a standard portrait, etc. (or perhaps even a humorous picture or the like) then it should be fine right? I know that there is at least one user on MiYodeya who uses an anime avatar (albeit it seems of the same gender) and it doesn't seem to be an issue?
    – setszu
    Sep 11, 2023 at 16:59
  • @setszu Even though the picture may not be inherently inappropriate, you should ask yourself why you're posting something that may be wrong. Someone correct me if my reasoning is off
    – Shababnik
    Sep 11, 2023 at 17:25
  • I mean, when I go on YouTube and see frum Jewish men and women making videos where they show their faces and the like, and when people hang paintings of renown Rabbis and the like, I fail to see why having an anime profile picture would be problematic and leading people to err any more than simply showing one's face in public, but ok I will look into it a bit more
    – setszu
    Sep 11, 2023 at 17:43
  • This is the source for picture of rabbis: sefaria.org/Eruvin.13b.5. I'm not sure that youtube is approved of and "frum" doesn't necessarily equal correct. Regarding showing one's face, under the laws of zniut one should not make oneself public (up for interpretation). Finally, all I'm saying is that an anime picture might pose a problem to you concerning shmirat eynayim.
    – Shababnik
    Sep 11, 2023 at 18:00
  • Please look into it. Don't trust my opinion for I might just be overthinking this. My point is though that you should ask yourself why you would want a picture of the opposite gender.
    – Shababnik
    Sep 11, 2023 at 18:03

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