There is this food/drink product that has a Christian symbol and other associated things, and yet there is also a hechsher.

Assuming the hechsher is accepted to be reliable etc., may one consume (i.e benefit) from such an item in general (i.e one that has an idoltarous image?)

Note: This food item is seemingly no different in any other way (i.e not with an apparent designation for idolatrous practices etc.)

The image is on the package, not the food itself.

  • To get some clarity, does the food item itself have the image, or is it the packaging? If it's just the package, I can't see any problem assuming that the hechsher itself is reliable. WHat I mean by that, is that a reliable hechsher woule have probably accounted for any possible problems that might be caused by the image on the packaging and / or the food item itself.
    – DanF
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 16:00
  • Adding to @DanF, see the link below. If by any chance you're speaking of a crucifix shape, it seems that it would be allowed anyway, as it is not considered to be related to avoda zara. judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/67299/…
    – Cauthon
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 16:46
  • 1
    Please clarify: Are you talking about foods like Bragg Apple Cider Vingegar, where the label includes the Christian fish symbol and a verse from the New Testament? Or are you talking about foods like Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies, where crosses are baked into the cookies in bas-relief, but the product has no overt connection to Christianity aside from depicting chess pieces?...
    – Fred
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 20:05
  • 1
    @Fred the former (i.e promotion of an actual idol-worship/heretical ideology).
    – jj2
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 0:12
  • 2
    @jj2 Interesting. I suggest you edit this clarification into your post. To clarify further: Does the label imply that the product is for people who believe in religion X? Does the label not imply this, but still praise religion X? Or worse, is there reason to suspect the product is meant for 'avoda zara (e.g. communion wafers)? You may want to include an example for additional clarity.
    – Fred
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 1:04

1 Answer 1


I will try to briefly around the issue

Make it clear that I am not allowed to decide

1- You need to clarify if today a christian symbol as a cross is an idol,

There is a notion of association between idolatry and believing in g-d, there is a question about what is become of the christianity, there is a notion of an idol that was withdraw.

2- You need to clarify if the food itself has this form or the package only.

3- The object is an offering to an Idol or an Idol? An offering that has not been offered yet, and was manufactured by an idolatrous is prohibited. In the guemoro (masseches Avoda zara, and a litle in Rosh Hashana) some utensiles with drawings. if they are not honorific are not prohibited.

4- there is a difference if the form is in relief or not.

All this was an invitation to explain the case.

But if the food is labelled by a Kashruss, all the questions are probably resolved.

Following the comment, I understand that the case is as follows:

1- the problem is In package. The packing is certainly not a recipient of great value. Moreover the image is printed and certainly not embossed.

-->In Shulhan Aruch Yoreh Deah 141 sayf 3, If they are utensils with drawings of idols, and not honorary utensils (package is intended to be thrown in the trash and is certainly not designed to be used for worship.). The package can be used because the drawings are only decorative.

2 - the Symbol is a Christian Fish Symbol, with a verse of new Testament.

---> In Shulhan Aruch (YD 141-6), the permission is clearly mentioned, even for an embossed figurine.

--> This specific fish is not the object of worship, but relates a (supposed) miraculous event.

3 --> A verse of New Testament is not an Avoda Zara. It is not Holly following the halocho, but not an object of A.Z. There is a problem with sifrey akum, books of non Jews (Yoreh Deah 139). But it is almost certain that it is not relevant here. it is not forbidden for a bookbinder to work on such books

  • The food is empty of self problem.

    But I understand Your sense of unease.

Nevertheless I wish you good appetite.

------> It is perfectly kosher; is it tasty?

  • updated the question for #2. for #1, lets supposed it is. for #3 its printed, but I think it might be considered honorific since it is decidedly "religious"
    – jj2
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 6:01

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