Questions tagged [avodah-zarah]

Worship of foreign deities, one of the three cardinal sins.

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Can a Messianic Jew (Christian) be counted in a minyan? [duplicate]

There are a group of people who claim to be "Messianic Jews." This is a group of people who are either natural born Jews who adopted Jesus as their messiah and other Christian practices or ...
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Is it permitted to have an American Flag on a flagpole with an Eagle on top in a Synagogue?

American Flag on pole, topped with an Eagle. Is this permitted in the Synagogue?
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Is the board game "Snakes and Ladders" kosher?

It appears to be a game based on the Hindu religion. Here is an excerpt from wikipedia: The game was popular in ancient India by the name Moksha Patam. It was also associated with traditional Hindu ...
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If I don't think that someone would leave Christianity, is it recommended to guide them to more monotheistic/non-Trinitarian Christianity? [closed]

Let's say as a hypothetical: I'm in an argument with a typical trinitarian Christian and they are absolutely stubborn. I can show them all the proofs of the incoherence of the topic of trinity and ...
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Living body becomes an Idol and avodah zarah

If a living person is worshipped like praying to him and the living person encourages his own worship, and the living person himself becomes object of worship then will that person become a living ...
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Working for a church

Is it muttar to work for a church? Does it matter if you are an employee or a contractor? The example I'm thinking of is an accountant hired to do a churches taxes. I saw someone asked a similar ...
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Idol worship temples by Hindus in Israel allowed?

I read the current State of Israel allows idol worship in Israel by Hindus from India. What is the justification for same by State of Israel? And are Jews allowed to help them?
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Idolatrous calendar names [duplicate]

In Ezekiel we find that tammuz is a god of heat. My question being not how we can name our months after idolatrous Babylonian gods, but what is the difference between Babylonian and Roman gods? That ...
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Midrash - Avraham Avinu and the idol worshipper

A came across a Dvar Torah here which states the following: The souls that they made in Charan (12:5) – Rav Ovadiah Yosef ztl. cited a midrash which described how far Avraham went in order to be ...
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Is encouraging Islam amongst the gentiles considered a positive act or a negative act? [closed]

Islam is considered a pure monotheism according to Judaism. It's famously the only religion a Jew can convert to in the name of their survival because it doesn't require idolatry to do so. Contrast ...
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Halachically speaking, are painted Egyptian sunk-reliefs that are carved into walls (the outline of a 2D painting) considered to be 2D or 3D (See Ex.)

According to this answer on Judaism StackExchange regarding different rules for what kind of art is allowed, it states that: There are differences between representation in relief (3 dimensions) and ...
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Mirror in Shul?

Is a mirror allowed in shul if it is hanging on a wall that no one faces when they daven? It feels wrong to me, but I cannot find a source stating that it is explicitly forbidden since no one is ...
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Can a Jew visit the main attractions in Rome

Can a Jew visit the main attractions in Rome? Including the Vatican, the Vatican museums, the Pantheon, St Peter's Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel. It's a two-part question, first of all, are these ...
shlomoBMG's user avatar
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Was Pinchas related to Yithro? How?

Rashi states that there were suspicions of an avoda zara worshiper in Pinchas lineage. Was he related to Yithro?
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Responding politely to "I will cross my fingers for you" in a way that rejects avodah zara

If a well-meaning person were to say he'd cross his fingers for you, what would be the correct response to be both halachically and socially correct? Would a non-response be sufficient (i.e. not ...
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Listening to traditional Jewish song/prayer sung by Christian [duplicate]

Is there a prohibition against listening to a song (יה שמע אביוניך) sung by a Christian (who is Jewish by birth)? The lyrics are the original as written by Rav Yehuda Halevi. Is there a risk of avodah ...
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Would either of these scenarios make it acceptable to gift a mezuzah to a non-Jewish friend?

Non-Jews aren't meant to have mezuzot. You are forbidden from gifting one to a non-Jewish friend for this reason. My question is regarding two scenarios and whether either of these scenarios would ...
Michael's user avatar
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Is mixing features of an animal and a human in art forbidden in Judaism (e.g., is making a sculpture or a drawing of a sphinx or similar forbidden)?

Recently, I've heard someone claim that mixing human and animal features when creating an artistic feature constitutes an element of idolatrous cultures and can bring harmful spirits or something ...
setszu's user avatar
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How does halacha deal with idolatrous parents?

Query coming from some of the answers to this question: How should one prioritize honoring parents in comparison with other laws? 'Rabbi Eliezer was asked: “How far does the honor of parents [extend]”?...
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Is a Jew permitted to believe in gods other than Hashem, provided they are not worshipped and are subservient to Hashem?

Imagine that a Jew were to say the following: I believe in the Greek sun god Helios. I believe that he is real, is a god, and has power. However, I believe Helios was created by, and is subservient ...
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Proper definition for an idol/idol worshiping? [closed]

What is the proper definition for an idol/idol worshiping? I'm asking this because in Christianity, an idol can be any person or thing that consumes your thoughts, words, time, energy, or money other ...
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How could there be avodah zara in the era of revealed miracles? [duplicate]

Before the Babylonian exile, there was an era of publicly revealed open miracles such as the ones that occurred daily in the Temple, as well as widespread prophecy. How then can we explain the ...
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How are we to understand the Torah's focus on Idol Worship in the Diaspora?

There are multiple references in the Torah to the situation of Jewry in Diaspora, regarding the Curses God is to send upon us and otherwise. Those discussions put a lot of focus on our Serving Gods of ...
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Midrash Tanchuma. Shoftim 12: Colour, or host? What's the explanation?

דָּבָר אַחֵר, כִּי הַגּוֹיִם הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה יוֹרֵשׁ אוֹתָם אֶל מְעֹנֲנִים וְאֶל קֹסְמִים יִשְׁמָעוּ. אָמַר יִרְמְיָה הַנָּבִיא, כִּדְנָה תֵּימְרוּן לְהוֹם וְגוֹ' (ירמיה י, יא). אָמַר רַבִּי ...
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Why didn't Yisro die upon doing Tshuvah for Avodah Zarah?

This link quotes the Gemara as the source for my question: https://www.sefaria.org/Avodah_Zarah.17a.8?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=he So how is it that Yisro a World-Class-Idolator went on so long?
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May a Jewish actor playing a role swear "falsely"?

Avraham the Jew from New Jersey puts on a costume, takes off his head covering, walks onto a stage, or movie set ... action! And says "I, John Jacob Schmidt of Oklahoma, do solemnly swear that I ...
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How come the world was doing Avodah Zara, while Noach and Shem were still alive?

Noach and Shem were alive during the time of Avraham, and I know midrashim say he lived in their house for some time learning about Hashem, but how come the whole world was practicing polytheism, when ...
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Is the use of beads as a meditation tool acceptable if they aren't an item of idolatry?

Beads have a history of use in different religions. They also have a general use in human society as a whole detached from religion. One simple example of the nonreligious version is the Greek ...
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Modern application of avoiding Gentile idolatry

The children of Israel were commanded not to join with the Canaanites nor to learn their ways, lest they be led astray from the pure worship of Hashem into worshipping the idols of the nations. (...
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Confucianism - religion or philosophy?

Scholars debate whether Confucianism is a religion or "merely" a system of ethos. There are no gods, but Confucius is worshiped as a "spirit". There are temples, as well. Are there ...
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Is Deism avoda zara? [closed]

Is Deism avoda zara? It would seem that deists, like Muslims, fall into the category of righteous gentiles, Noahidism. Like Islam, Deism only accepts that there is but one God. Famous American ...
Shmuel's user avatar
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Is insincere idolatry permitted?

The Talmud reports the following view about Gentiles who live outside Israel: דאמר רבי חייא בר אבא אמר רבי יוחנן גוים שבחוצה לארץ לאו עובדי עבודה זרה הן אלא מנהג אבותיהן בידיהן These sages seem to ...
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Why is Rav Soloveitchik saying the names of these false gods? [duplicate]

In this Chanuka droshe, Rav Soloveitchik says "Ap-ollo" and "Jup-iter". Yet we are commanded not to say their names (Shmos 23:13). We even use "Oyse-Ish" to refer to a ...
Joshua Fox's user avatar
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Would wearing a yin/yang bracelet be avodah zarah?

Just as the question says, I wonder if wearing a yin-yang bracelet would be assur
David Balleh's user avatar
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Why did Rachel steal her father's gods? [duplicate]

When the righteous have the opportunity to dispose of gods they do so. For example: Jacob buried alien gods under the terebinth in Shechem (Gen 35.4). Moses burned the golden calf, ground up its ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Can Gentiles practice idolatry if their lives are in danger?

Can Gentiles do idolatry in case they are compelled by someone or a law of the land? And if so, if he doesn't, would that be seen by God as suicide or a good thing for not surrendering to idolatry? I'...
Thales's user avatar
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Why can I pronounce the name of a false god when reading from a sefer Torah in shul?

In Exodus 23:13 we read the following prohibition against pronouncing the names of false gods: Concerning all that I have said to you you shall beware, and the name of the gods of others you shall ...
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Did Solomon worship pagan idols?

1 Kings 11:5-7 indicate that Solomon sought after the pagan gods. The Gemara states that these verses don't mean that Solomon himself worshipped idols, but rather that his wives did. Is there any ...
Bob's user avatar
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What is the היתר to have long bangs and hairdos nowadays?

I remember hearing that there were gentiles from years ago (not sure what time period) that used to leave a lot of hair on the front of their heads and would have the rest of their hair either shaved ...
Shlomo's user avatar
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1 answer
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Responsa regarding the tooth fairy or alternatives

I'm looking for halachic opinions regarding actively allowing children to believe in the tooth fairy through giving them prizes for putting teeth under their pillow etc. I would also like to know if ...
Yaakov Pinsky's user avatar
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Why are attempts to predict the future as abhorrent as Molech worship?

Devorim 18 (10, 11) lists in possukim 9 & 11 the following activities as תוֹעֲבֹ֖ת (abhorrent practices): consigns a son or daughter to the fire, or who is an augur, a soothsayer, a diviner, a ...
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Gentile Participation in Non-Jewish Wedding Ceremony

Concerning wedding ceremonies that may include idolatrous elements in which a gentile might be asked to participate due to family custom, Rabbi Moishe Wiener writes (in "The Divine Code"): ...
EricFossum's user avatar
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Chukkot leshem Avodah Zarah

I was reading the Rashi to Dev. 16:22, in which he says that setting up pillars is forbidden "now" since the Canaanites introduced them into their idolatrous worship. I was looking for the ...
Andres Bruck's user avatar
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Difference between the First and Second Commandments

In the Ten Commandments, the First Commandment prohibits having false gods. The Second Commandment prohibits making carved images. Is the problem with carved images that they can be worshiped? If so, ...
The Editor's user avatar
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Avoda Zara - Star & Crescent

Are there any sources on restrictions on objects adorned with the Islamic star and crescent like there are the Christian cross? I'm aware that whether Islam is Avoda Zara is debated, but I'm not ...
אופוסום's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
146 views

Bobblehead - Avoda Zara issue?

Would there be any issue (like Avoda Zara perhaps) with gifting someone a bobblehead of a family member?
Michael's user avatar
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1 answer
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Two commentaries on the ir ha-nidachat

The Chabad translation of Mishneh Torah includes an editor's note to Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 4 saying: There is a unique dimension to the laws of an עיר הנדחת that is not found in regard to any of ...
Zarka's user avatar
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Is listening to music composed for avodah zara assur in all contexts?

I read that R' Yisrael Moshe Hazan, the former chief Rabbi of Rome allowed for church tunes to be incorporated into nigunim for his community, and as a result many of the niggunim used ...
user29023's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
467 views

Hospital named after Idol

Is it allowed to go to a hospital named after an idol with an idol on display in the lobby? By giving them money, you support them to continue, and they are doing so called "good works" in ...
BID's user avatar
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2 votes
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Halachic status of Hindu greetings

I'm not intimately familiar with Hinduism as a religion, but I have a passing awareness of it as potentially an avodah zarah due to its paganism and polytheistic tendencies. My question is as follows. ...
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