What is the Halacha on buying products (not used for Avodah Zarah and not intended) from stores that sell things that can be used for Avodah Zarah?

Assuming that buying such products is forbidden, if something was bought, and there's no way to return it, what should a Jew do with it? Donating or giving it away would further the Avodah Zarah by suggesting its use.

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    I don't understand "what does a Jew do with it? Donating or giving it away would further the Avodah Zarah by suggesting its use". If Walmart sells idols meant to be served (which AFAIK it doesn't, but suppose it does) and I buy a garden hose there, how would giving away the garden hose further avoda zara? That said, welcome to the site. I hope you stick around and enjoy it. I suggest you register your account: that will give you access to more of the site's features.
    – msh210
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 3:06
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    "that sell things that can be used for Avodah Zarah": can't anything be used for Avoda Zara? Certainly wine can; are we not allowed to shop at any non-Jewish grocery stores?
    – Double AA
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 4:11
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    And even if you would say that it wasn't being sold for a'z, many grocery stores sell candles with images of minor deities on them for catholics.
    – yoel
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 7:22
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    @yoel. Catholicism in theory has no "minor deities". (Catholicism in practice may have.)
    – TRiG
    Commented Jun 23, 2012 at 21:39
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    @TRiG call them what you will...
    – yoel
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 6:39

1 Answer 1


Ideally it should be forbidden because by boycotting that shop at a collective level may help in creating a negative feeling against the avoda zarah and who knows they may even stop selling those items for the sake of a rich Jewish community?

The store could be even selling christian Idols, crosses etc and by purchasing from them you are benefiting a store which makes profits by selling idolatry.

Not just boycott it but make it vocal to please G-d

Items bought from such store should be buried away or discarded then the same value of money should be reserved to advertise against the shop selling those items.

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    A source would greatly improve the credibility of this answer. Commented Oct 19, 2014 at 6:45
  • Does a cross count as an idol? Especially when a lot of people use it as a decorational piece?
    – ezra
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 17:03

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