This is similar to a question I saw on here about working for a idolatrous organization. The difference here is, the person isn't working for the institution directly, but rather works for a company that makes a product that is built specifically for such an institution (i.e but not used in the act of idolatry itself, persay).

Although different from my exact situation, a similar example would be like can someone work for a law firm that can only has churches as clients,or a tax-firm that only represents churches etc. (point being not only do they specialize, but that it's ALL they can/will do)

  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/50750
    – msh210
    Apr 20, 2016 at 15:35
  • 2
    As a reminder, this site makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly rabbinic) advice. Treat information from this site like it came from a crowd of your friends, and use it in a conversation with your rabbi, whom you should consult for practical guidance.
    – msh210
    Apr 20, 2016 at 15:38

1 Answer 1


Jews have been selling religious articles in Rome for centuries without problems. There are a number of references which refer to the old tradition of doing this. It would seem that the case that you refer to would be no worse than this. One of the stories that I found said that the chief rabbi of Rome had been involved in trying to keep the licenses.

As an example:

This story on 15 January 2008 said

Of the existing 113 licenses that allow souvenir selling in Rome, 112 belong to Jewish vendors.

The profession dates back dates to the pontificate of Paul IV (1555-1559).

While confining the Jews to the Rome ghetto, the pontiff allowed them to exercise minor street trades.

When Italy unified in 1870 at the expenses of the Pope’s temporal power on Rome, Jews turned into souvenir sellers after obtaining ad hoc licenses from the Italian civil authorities, while some were granted such right directly from the Vatican authorities.

The "urtisti" – literally those who bump into the tourists -, deal in small plaster statues, crucifixes, rosaries and pictures of saints and Popes still nowadays.

Another story from October 16, 2015 mentioned that the chief rabbi had been involved in trying to keep the licenses active.

“Marino had promised the chief rabbi he would not do this,” Mr Perugia said.

This summer, the rabbi joined vendors in a noisy protest outside the town hall, and Marino vowed to reverse his decision, but with the mayor resigning this week, the vendors now face continued uncertainty.

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    it's close but a bit different. It's not as if they are selling these exclusively to a church. Since i'd assume it's forbidden to sell an actual object of idolatry, they are probably getting by assuming it's for decoration etc. My question is more where it's not for idolatry but to benefit a church and the like
    – jj2
    Apr 20, 2016 at 16:35
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    Does a church have a din of idolatry in halacha?
    – Nachmen
    Apr 21, 2016 at 7:31
  • @Nachmen - Depends on who you ask. It's a difficult question in halacha.
    – ezra
    May 15, 2017 at 23:40

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