It is a positive commandment to destroy, preferably by fire, false deities.

It is a positive commandment to destroy false deities, all their accessories, and everything that is made for their purposes, as [Deuteronomy 12:2] states: "You shall surely destroy all the places [where the gentiles... served their gods]" and, as [implied by Deuteronomy 7:5]: "Rather, what you should do to them is tear down their altars." Rambam, Hil. A"Z 7:1.

Most (all?) positive commandments have an accompanying blessing. I have not been able to locate a blessing for burning, say something like chick tract. Generally, I just burn them without a blessing. Is there a blessing for burning avodah zarah, and if not, why?


1 Answer 1


Maharsha (Brachot 57b), quoted by R Akiva Eiger OC 224, gives the following text for destroying Avoda Zara in Israel:

ברוך אתה ה אלוהינו מלך העולם אשר קידשנו במצוותיו וצוונו לעקור [ע"ז] מארצינו

(RAE doesn't explicitly limit this to Israel, and it's not clear to me if he thought this was obvious because the Mitzva isn't as strong in the Diaspora or if there's an assumed Nusach change to "Makom HaZeh" like in OC 224:2.)

(Maharsha just says it as obvious like we say brachos on all mitzvos. The Gemara doesn't mention many specific Berakhot on Mitzvot, but that didn't stop the Rishonim from saying them. Ex. candle lighting for Shabbat, building a Ma'akeh, Pidyon Revai.)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .