An idol used by an idolater is assur b'hanaah (roughly, forbidden for use) and only loses that status if an idolater physically annuls it's "consecrated" status, e.g. by damaging it. Similarly, anything offered to an idolatrous god is forbidden, though, in this case, it cannot lose that status and even money spent on it is likewise forbidden. What about decorations used in idolatrous holidays? For example, assuming a specific Christian's belief-system qualifies as idolatrous, can one repurpose his used Christmas decorations, that are themselves not explicitly idolatrous, as e.g. a child's plaything or even Sukkah decor?

  • Can you source your first two sentences?
    – Double AA
    Apr 15, 2015 at 15:11
  • 1
    נוי עבודה זרה is also a category, for which I believe there is bittul (and selling constitutes bittul)
    – wfb
    Apr 15, 2015 at 16:02
  • @wfb What if the original idolator might have assumed the buyer was a similar idolator?
    – Loewian
    Apr 15, 2015 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


Even if this would be considered נוי עבודה זרה, decoration of an idol, it would be permitted with bittul: שולחן ערוך יורה דעה סימן קלט סעיף ב: אליל של ישראל אין לה ביטול אבל של עובד כוכבים ותשמישיה ונויה יש להם ביטול ותקרובתה אין לה ביטול

The Shulchan Aruch records two opinions about whether selling constitutes bittul: סעיף יב: ואם מכרן העובד כוכבים או משכנן לישראל זהו ביטולם ויש אומרים שאין זה ביטולם


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