The first perek of Avoda Zara makes a strong pronouncment that it is forbidden to sell or buy from an idol worshiper close to his holidays, because by doing so, you help him celebrate that holiday. If this is the halacha, then how can Jewish-owned stores profit, as they do, from sales to Christians before December 25th?

  • This is a very good question. When I learned this Masechta w/ my rav, he exlained that most religious Americans are not considered "idol worshippers" even if they attend Church services regularly. They do not bow down to idols, and even for those opinions that claim that Christianity is Avodah Zarah as a religion (some debate on this), most Americans are not that devout religious observers. Again - from my understanding from my rav; not authoritative. An opinion.
    – DanF
    Aug 1 '14 at 14:44
  • Take a look at every Rishon on the first page of AZ. This was an issue for all Jews in Christian countries for the last 1000 years or so. (Of note is basically no one suggested what @DanF suggests, that Christianity is not AZ.)
    – Double AA
    Aug 1 '14 at 14:50
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    See somewhat related question <a href="judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/89/… Christianity Considered Avodah Zarah</a>
    – DanF
    Aug 1 '14 at 15:37
  • @DavF. When you're adding a comment, click the word help beside the textbox for some inline help on formatting and link markup.
    – TRiG
    Aug 3 '14 at 20:57