6

In the front of a Chinese restaurant they have a small shrine - a succah less than a foot tall. Placed before it is a bowl of rice with vertical chopsticks and a plate of oranges. There is no idol inside it, rather there is an inscribed tablet. This is a method of sending provisions to an ancestor rather than paying homage to a god.

Do the items have the same prohibitions of a equivalent items snatched from an altar to Baal Peor?

  • I remember the same question in m.y. – kouty Dec 18 '18 at 13:26
  • Cf. judaism.stackexchange.com/q/44719/170 – msh210 Dec 18 '18 at 14:08
  • Sending provisions - is it to somewhat 'nourish' their ancestor, or more like a gift/homage/worship ? This could make a big difference. – yO_ Dec 19 '18 at 8:34
4

R. Ethan Tucker discusses a very similar issue -- whether one can "salute the ancestors" at a karate class -- in the below podcast. He concludes that much depends on the intent of the person who put up the photo/shrine, and whether the salute is understood as a form of real worship or a customary mark of respect.

http://jpmedia.co/can-i-bow-down-during-karate-class/

  • Avi K, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks very much for sharing this source! You could make this answer even more valuable by editing it to add a bit more out your summary of the relevant parts of the podcast and how they relate to the question at hand. I hope to see you around! – Isaac Moses Dec 18 '18 at 14:36

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