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When visiting a secular museum with paintings and sculptures from Egypt, Europe and Asia (usually influenced by idol worshipping ideas and if not that then elements of immodesty), are there any tips to having a fun and kosher trip to the museum?

Should such museums be avoided altogether or can one simple visit the "kosher" areas?

  • What's a "kosher area"? What problems do you think might exist with going to a secular museum? If you can't name any, why would you suspect any exist? (Answer these points by editing to improve your post.) – Double AA Dec 6 '15 at 18:02
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    @doubleaa, already answered in the parentheses. – Ani Yodea Dec 6 '15 at 18:06
  • Answered what ? Are you asking if it's ok to go look at immodest pictures just bc it's in a museum? Are you asking for how to tell in advance where the immodest pictures are so one can avoid them? – Double AA Dec 6 '15 at 18:10
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    @DoubleAA I think the question is as clear as might be desired. There are problems with visiting a museum, some of which are known to the asker and delineated in the question, which then asks how to visit a museum without any problems. – msh210 Dec 6 '15 at 22:01
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    @Epicentre Hmm ... Based on that, I guess a Cohen can't visit muttermuseum.org - in person, I don't mean visiting the web site :-) – DanF Dec 7 '15 at 16:02
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I think that this article answers your question as well as a bit more. Summary of main points:

  • Art museum - It depends on the nature of the museum, and one must be certain that he will not stumble at all .
  • "Body works museum" (where dead bodies are) - No, as it shames the deceased.
  • Can Cohanim enter a meseum that has a mummy - Based on a leniency in Shulchan Aruch stating that Gentile dead bodies do not spread tum'ah, it is OK.
  • Islamic Museum in Jerusalem - No, as "Islam is heresy since it claims that the Torah has been nullified. We do not strengthen those who are transgressing"
  • Wax museum - No, in Israel since these are made by Jews. Outside of Israel, it is OK.
  • Natural History Museum which has exhibitions about the Big Bang, Evolution, dinosaurs, etc.? - OK, "These are not issues of faith but of science. The Maharal says that the purpose of science is to describe reality, while the Torah describes what reality should be."

See the article for details

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    Why does it matter that the figures in the wax museum are made by Jews? – Daniel Dec 8 '15 at 15:40
  • @Daniel Did you read the article? It's explained there. – DanF Dec 8 '15 at 15:47
  • No I didn't. Could you add that piece? You have explained the reasoning for all of the other points so it would be nice to have the explanation for this point as well for consistency's sake. – Daniel Dec 8 '15 at 15:49
  • That is an absolutely disgusting misrepresentation of Shulchan Arukh. (Not your fault so I'm not downvoting.) The ShA says קִבְרֵי עוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים, נָכוֹן לִזָּהֵר הַכֹּהֵן מִלֵּילֵךְ עֲלֵיהֶם; אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ מְקִלִּין . וְנָכוֹן לְהַחְמִיר. It is correct that a Kohein avoid going on gentile graves [because of Tumah spreading in a tent] even though there are some who are lenient. And it is correct to be stringent. (my translation) – Double AA Dec 8 '15 at 16:28
  • @Daniel, they could chas veshalom be used as terafim? – Noach MiFrankfurt Jan 7 '16 at 16:35

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