SwissGear brand bags and back packs have the image of the Swiss flag (usually in color, red and white, and made out of a hard material) sewn into the material. Often the Swiss flag's image is put on other area's of the bag as well.

My question is: Does the Swiss flag's white (equilateral) cross present a problem for a Jew to buy Swiss Gear and wear it?

  • 6
    Do you not do addition? :)
    – user6591
    Sep 9, 2014 at 12:29
  • 4
    @user6591 Israelis write their + signs without the lower half, like an inverted T, to avoid writing a cross.
    – Scimonster
    Sep 9, 2014 at 12:58
  • 1
    I happen to be both christian and swiss citizen. I can not tell the implications for jewish believers, but here are my 2 cents: - The swiss flag's cross is indeed a reference to the original cross where it's believed that Jesus hung on. However, today, few swiss people outside christian religion do recognize that. - When worhshipping, we do not worship the cross, but Jesus, and the fact he died upon such (or a similar) cross. - The crosses used in worship always have a longer vertical bar. Thus, the cross is just a symbol, not an item that is actually woshipped or bowed to for itself.
    – user7010
    Sep 10, 2014 at 6:54

2 Answers 2


Per Rabbi David Sperling it is not problematic to own or use a Swiss gear bag.

The use of the cross - which is of course a Christian symbol - is widely discussed in halacha. When the cross is one that people bow to, or use in their worship, then there are serious halachic problems with owning such an item. However, when the cross is clearly not for worship, but only a symbol used to recall their religion, such as on the Swiss flag, or embossed onto the coins or emblems of certain countries, it is permitted. (See the Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, 141 - as well as Otzar Avodah Zarah, chapter 5 - Rav M. Peretz).

  • I can't access the seffer right now, but at first glance from the way you quote it I would say the Shach in the siman you mentioned, siff kattan 6 would disagree. While it's muttar bihanaah, it is assur to keep due to chashad.
    – user6591
    Sep 9, 2014 at 14:51
  • @user6591 Would the Shach still hold that there is chashad about a cross that is shaped differently than the ones which are worshiped?
    – Yitzchak
    Sep 9, 2014 at 14:57
  • He seems to bring shitos to be machmir, but for a worshipped type of cross he says everyone agrees it is assur to keep. But the assumption in this answer was that the plus sign we are dealing with is a real cross. On that hanacha, he would say not to keep it. I'm curious what that seffer which presumably deals with a regular cross does with that Shach. Was that a direct quote? How does he equate a symbolic cross to a worship type cross if the Shach outright diffrentiates.
    – user6591
    Sep 9, 2014 at 15:00
  • @Yitzchak That shape is worshiped I believe. Maybe not by the Christians you see in your parts of the world
    – Double AA
    Sep 10, 2014 at 5:13
  • @Double AA what is proper etiquette on this site. When I disagree with the answer quoted but nothing against the way it was quoted, does that garner a downvote?
    – user6591
    Sep 10, 2014 at 12:57

Rav Avigdor Nevenzahl Shlit"a told me that he forbids buying Swiss products which feature the cross symbol lechatchila, however once it was bought he requires that the cross to be either covered, scratched out or removed completely.

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