Questions tagged [avodah-zarah]

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

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Is trinitarian Christianity really Shituf? [duplicate]

Recently I have gotten involved in anti-missionary work after I came across a couple Jews tragically entrenched in Christianity. I was forced to study about Christian theology to help them return to ...
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Who reinvented idolatry after Noah? How did it re-emerge?

@Deuteronomy’s comment on this question made me wonder what caused the reemergence of idolatry after the flood. From Enosh to Noah, there were generations of idolaters. Noah believed in God, and ...
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Is doing a Haka dance potentially an issue of Avodah Zarah?

The Maori tribes have an interesting custom of performing a Hakah dance, (which you can find on YouTube) would doing one violate laws against Avodah Zarah?
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Belief-with worship only towards HaShem - in the real existence of intermediaries between the Almighty and the Gentile Nations

I am an Italian Noahide. There are several discussions in this forum about shituf, understood as associating other entities with HaShem. Unless I am mistaken, it is generally held that on the halachic ...
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Is Marvel considered idolatry?

Just wondering if watching a Marvel movie or TV show [besides for the prohibitions on watching secular TV and movies in general] is considered idolatry or not, being that it deals with many pagan &...
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Is celebrating the secular new year forbidden or problematic since it is based around a calendar relating to Jesus' birth?

The secular calendar in most countries is based around the BC/AD system. This calendar is derived from the Julian and Gregorian calendar traditions which mark the birth of Jesus as a focal point for ...
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Question about the religious life of beni Israel in Egypt before the Exodus?

How was the religious life of beni Israel in Egypt before the Exodus? It is well known that the ancient Egyptian viewed their kings as gods, because the divine power of kingship was incarnated in them,...
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Pronunciation of YHVH in the Pesel Micha story

The Minchas Shai on Shoftim 17:3 quotes the Gemara (Shevuos 35a) and Maseches Sofrim (4:6) regarding if the names יהוה and אלהים in the story of Micha's idol are holy or not. The Tanna Kama says that ...
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Permissible to enter "church" that is not really Christian? [duplicate]

I understand that the near-universal opinion among Orthodox rabbis is that it's forbidden to enter a church for virtually any reason (other than saving your own life or something like that.) My ...
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When did עבודה זרה start?

Rashi says on the posuk (בראשית,ד,כ) of: וַתֵּ֥לֶד עָדָ֖ה אֶת־יָבָ֑ל ה֣וּא הָיָ֔ה אֲבִ֕י יֹשֵׁ֥ב אֹ֖הֶל וּמִקְנֶֽה וּמִדְרַשׁ אַגָּדָה בּוֹנֶה בָתִּים לַעֲ"זָ, כְּמָה דְּאַתְּ אָמַר סֵמֶל ...
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Selling Christmas ornaments?

Long ago I met a Jewish couple whose business was selling secular Christmas ornaments and paraphernalia. Is there universal agreement on whether this is halachically allowed?
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In Golden Calf tragedy, who was hit with Heavenly plague?

Th the aftermath of the Golden Calf there were two rounds of executions: the massacre of 3000 fellow Jews and the Heavenly plague: "וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בְנֵי־לֵוִי כִּדְבַר מֹשֶׁה וַיִּפֹּל מִן־הָעָם ...
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How were the 3000 victims of the Golden Calf Massacre different from the rest?

In the Golden Calf massacre roughly 3000 people were killed: "וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בְנֵי־לֵוִי כִּדְבַר מֹשֶׁה וַיִּפֹּל מִן־הָעָם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא כִּשְׁלֹשֶׁת אַלְפֵי אִישׁ׃" "The Levites did ...
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Marketing as Christian products [closed]

I am selling posters with pasukim on them on Amazon. Many people are searching for "Christian Posters" if I put this keyword in the title of my listing, it helps with ranking for those ...
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How many Jews sinned with the Moabite girls and Ba'al Peor?

The Passuk (Bamidbar 25:9) tells us that 24,000 Jews died in the plague following the sin of the Moabite girls and Ba'al Pe'or. Is that the total sum of Jews that sinned or were there more? I had ...
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Viewing idols in an art museum

If one goes to an art or history museum that has a room that showcases the idols of ancient people, may one view them? I heard quoted from Rabbi Moshe Stav (a rebbe in Eretz Yisrael) that you can go ...
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Rav ha Meiri's interpretation of the term "notzrim" in Talmud Bavli-Avodah Zarah 6a and 7b

According to the legal determination established in Talmud Bavli -Avodah Zarah 6a and 7b, the halachic status of christians (“notzrim”) appears to be that of idolaters: Avodah Zara 6a Avodah Zarah 7b ...
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Is the prohibition to praise idolators inclusive of all gentiles?

Let say someone has gentile students who are doing well, and they are not idolators. Is it permissible to praise and recognize their good deeds?
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Idols made by robots/machines

Maimonides says in Avodat Kochavim, Chapter Eight: It is permitted to derive benefit from anything that has not been manipulated by man or that was not made by man, even though it was worshiped [as a ...
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Is it forbidden to chant Om?

It is a common Hindu meditative practice to chant Om, which is the sound of the universe. Would doing so then transgress mitzvah 35 in Sefer Hamitzvot that prohibits chanting incantations which would ...
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When did idolatry begin, post-flood?

Related. Rambam famously describes how idolatry began in the days of Enosh (Hil. Avodah Zara 1:1-2) and finishes off by writing: "but the Rock of Ages, not a man was there to recognize Him or ...
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Rav Moshe Sternbuch's position on the belief in HaShem for Gentiles

Among the answers to the following question in this forum: Is it permitted for a Ben-Noach be an atheist? I read that, according to Rav Moshe Sternbuch, as he writes in Teshuvos Vehanhagos 3: 264 and ...
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Is the following Trinitarian conceptual understanding of the deity polytheistic according to Jewish theology? [closed]

My previous question on this topic was closed because it required knowledge of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. To avoid that problem, I am proposing a particular formal definition of the ...
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Why is the Trinity considered polytheistic in traditional Jewish thought? [closed]

I've read a couple questions on this site and other Jewish sources stating the traditional Jewish view is the Christian concept of the Trinity is polytheistic. However, I haven't found any questions ...
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May one listen to Mozart's The Magic Flute?

The Magic Flute is a famous opera by Mozart. Its lyrics can be found here. It seems to be completely secular to me. It includes lyrics that include characters talking to pagan gods, but Mozart himself ...
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What is the reasoning for not entering churches and other non-Jewish places of worship?

There are multiple questions about entering churches here, most of which are marked as duplicates and pointed to this one. What none of them address, however, is why in the halacha it is forbidden to ...
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Bowing at the royal coat of arms

In British Magistrate and Crown Courts the royal coat of arms is located behind the bench where the magistrates or judge sit. It is etiquette for solicitors/barristers and anyone giving evidence to ...
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Clothed brands that might be used for idol worship

Is wearing clothes that have a tag in the back or in the front considered idolatry if you don’t know if someone might idolize the brand? Should you rip off the tag if you don’t know if someone might ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Sources used by Maimonides in Mishneh Torah-Avodat Kochavim 1:1

In Mishneh Torah-Avodat Kochavim 1:1 Rambam states: "During the times of Enosh, mankind made a great mistake, and the wise men of that generation gave thoughtless counsel. Enosh himself was one ...
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Did the conversos who continued to live as crypto-Jews in Spain have any Halakhic justification?

Avoda Zara is 'ייהרג ואל יעבור', one of the few transgressions a Jew should give up their life for and be willing to die 'על קידוש השם'. In the medieval period, around the time of the Spanish ...
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If there is no longer any Avodah Zarah, why do we need to follow the relevant halachah?

If it is accepted that Avodah Zarah has effectively ceased to exist, as suggested elsewhere on this site, why do we need to follow any of the relevant halachah, that applies to social relationships ...
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Is Avodah Zarah still the great danger that it once was? [duplicate]

I have no direct sources, but I seem to recall that various Chassidic rabbis, maybe others too, have taught that idolatry no longer has any real, or effective power. I think this is limited to Jews, ...
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What, if anything, is different about Christianity compared to other forms of Avodah Zara?

Idolatry, defined as worshipping something or someone other than Hashem is forbidden to jews. This goes all the way back to Avraham and then is stated explicitly in the commandments received by Moshe ...
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What happened to the prophets of Asherah in 1 Melachim 18?

Shalom. In 1 Melachim 18:19, Eliyahu gives Achab an order to summon ‘All Israel... together with the four hundred and fifty prophets of Ba’al and the four hundred prophets of Asherah’. However, when ...
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Watching a virtual church service

The prohibition I have read about regarding churches centers around going "into" a church (see Q and A's here, for example). Is the underlying prohibition about being present in the church, ...
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Idol hidden in the Kaaba?

Which rabbi(s) wrote that there were idols hidden inside the Kaaba (Muslim direction of prayer), thus making Islam Avodah Zarah? (Whether the rabbi(s) were mistaken or not is besides the point) I ...
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Was the Jewish month of Tammuz named after the pagan god Tammuz of the Babylonian? [duplicate]

According to Wikipedia: "The name of the month was adopted from the Assyrian and Babylonian month Araḫ Dumuzu, named in honour of the Mesopotamian deity Dumuzid" If so what's the implication ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Is owning crystals idol worship?

Some people own certain “energy crystals” for specific “energies” they want, such as a motivation or self-love crystal. Is owning one of these considered avoda zara, witchcraft, etc.?
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Does asking a righteous deceased and/or an "angel" to intercede with HaShem in favor of a living person violate the Noahide Law or not?

Among Catholics and Orthodox Christians, the tradition of asking Mary (the mother of Jesus), "angels" and saints to intercede with HaShem in favor of one or more living people is very ...
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Does Shemot 23:13 literally mean Marvel & DC Comics are forbidden?

Does Shemot 23:13 literally mean Marvel & DC Comics are forbidden? "and the name of the gods of others you shall not mention; it shall not be heard through your mouth." ( וְשֵׁ֨ם ...
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Is it halachically problematic to call something "Karma"? [closed]

Is the idea behind karma avodah zarah amd therefore prohibited to be used?
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Is Brahmoism Avodah Zarah?

Sometime during the eighteenth century, Rammohun Roy, an educated revenue officer from West Bengal who was influenced by Christianity of the East India Company, founded the "anusthanic" ...
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Are Sikhs considered idolatry [duplicate]

According to Sikhism, Guru Nanak was the first Sikh prophet. He disappeared in a river for three days and returned to spread a message. After his death Sikhs built The Golden Temple at Amritsar, ...
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Roman gods in the talmud

I'm currently writing an essay on Roman gods which are mentioned in the Talmud but I'm having a tricky time finding them, does anyone know any sources? EDIT Avoda Zora 44b Aphrodite: מתני׳ שאל ...
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4 answers
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Is it possible to be a Noahide and a Christian at the same time?

Rambam states that for gentiles who wish to have a place in the world to come, they don't need to convert to Judaism. All they need to do is keep the 7 laws of Noah because they were mandated by ...
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Did the Ritva state that Islam is idolatry? [duplicate]

Is it the case that Ritva stated that Islam is idolatry? I have heard that while the RAMBAM viewed Islam as not idolatry, there have been many rabbis throughout the generations, before and some after, ...
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When it comes to the handling of (non-Mevushal) Kosher wine, what defines "handling" by a non-observant Jew in the prohibition? [closed]

We are warned that when handling a non-Mevushal Kosher wine that it must only be handled by shabbat observant Jews. My question relates to the halachic definition of "handling" and what that ...
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The name of Hashem in avodah zarah [duplicate]

I watched a video on YouTube of a gentile burning his Christian books, now that he has discovered the truth. I would love to do the same,but have a serious doubt. These books also have the name of ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Is it ok to steal to prevent avodah zarah

There is a law in the Gemara and brought in the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch. From Rambam end of Chapter 1 of Mishneh Torah Hilchos Rotzeach: 14 Whenever a person can save another person's life, but he ...
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1 vote
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Is it permitted to have zodiac symbols in a synagogue?

Many shuls in Eastern Europe have painted zodiac symbols (albeit in a rather symbolic manner) on the walls or ceiling. However, it is stated directly in the Mishneh Torah that one may not draw the ...
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