Questions tagged [avodah-zarah]

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

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1answer
47 views

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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1answer
68 views

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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1answer
67 views

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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2answers
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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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48 views

English translation of She'eilas Yaavetz 1:41 about shituf for Gentiles

I would need to read an English translation of the passage in She'eilas Yaavetz 1:41 where Rav Emden analyzes the different cases of shituf in relation to the Gentiles. Could please someone get it ...
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19 views

Does traditional Judaism forbid the ownership or creation of animal statues/figurines? If not, why does this not count as idolatry? [duplicate]

"You shall not make yourself a carved image nor any likeness of that which is in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the water beneath the earth" Would this merely forbid creating ...
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66 views

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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84 views

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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3answers
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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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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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Can a car used to transport people to an idolatrous temple be used to transport people to a synagogue?

Could a bus or car be repurposed like that? Does it matter?
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1answer
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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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1answer
142 views

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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1answer
155 views

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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Are there any rabbinical opinions that understand Avodah Zara to be more as it translates(foreign service), rather than just “idol worship”

Are there any rabbinical opinions that understand Avodah Zara to be more as it translates(foreign service), rather than just "idol worship". i.e. Does Avodah Zara really just refer to ...
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5answers
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Does the fact that “Elohim” is plural indicate that parts of the Tanakh hearken from a pre-Jewish polytheistic culture?

(disclaimer, I am a gentile and don't know how to type in square script) My question applies to the whole Tanakh, but I'm specifically curious about Genesis. Translating strictly literally (ie, ...
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1answer
149 views

Which ancient cults would cut out the hearts of live animals and offer them as sacrifices?

Which ancient cults would cut out the hearts of live animals and offer them as sacrifices? The Mishnah (Avodah Zarah 2:3) mentions a concept called עורות לבובין which Maimonides and other commentators ...
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2answers
129 views

Would it be forbidden to own images of angels?

Okay, I'll try be a little bit more specific. Say someone was in possession of an angelic figure(s), they did not create the figure, they ascribe no power to the figure, and they certainly don't ...
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May one tour the Acropolis in Athens, Greece? [duplicate]

The Acropolis with its Parthenon is Greece's #1 tourist attraction. Are there any halachic issues with touring the ruins of pagan temples?
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1answer
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Why did Jethro want Moses' son to be an idolater?

The Midrash tells a strange story: When Moses said to Jethro, "Give me your daughter Tzipporah as a wife", Jethro answered, "If you do what I ask of you, I will give her to you as a ...
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How these malachim became involved with the origins of idolatry?

Parsha Shelach 13:33 says the following: And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. The ...
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Is “taking a knee” prohibited

Is it prohibited to perform "taking a knee" for Black Lives Matter? The question is about the action of taking the knee itself, not to support or rejection of the movement or its ideas. ...
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2answers
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Returning found item to house of idolatry

If one finds an item which belongs to a house of idolatry, should or could they return it to the institution? Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat 266 and commentaries discuss the idolators and returning ...
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2answers
301 views

Owning a Buddha statue

Is owning a Buddha statue, having it displayed in a Jewish home, considered a transgression of idolatry, technically speaking?
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What does Judaism think of Unitarianism? [duplicate]

There is a Christian sect called Unitarianism. Unitarians believe in one G-d, rejecting the Trinity. They stress the oneness and unity of G-d. Famous Unitarian Chrsitsian are, for example, Sir Isaac ...
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1answer
161 views

Can Catholics be considered pious/G-d-fearing in the context that they believe their church to be their version of Rabbinical authority? [closed]

This question relates to people who are good in nature but mislead in practice and the situation they are raised within. Obviously, Judaism has issues with Catholicism in the sense it contradicts ...
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Movie on the history of the sages

I've always loved studying about our history and sages. In particular, I am quite a fan of Rabbi Akiva's life and adventures. With the quarantine, I have found myself with some extra time and was ...
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2answers
113 views

What rationale do the Rabbis use when differentiating amulets from recognized forms of idolatry?

The use of amulets for healing and protection has a long history in Judaism. I know that we are warned against idolatry when it comes to foreign worship practices around objects. (Prayer beads, Pagan ...
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Is there an analogy between the concept of “sefirot” and that of Hindu “devataas”? [closed]

I am an Italian noahide. I recently discovered that relevant rabbinic authorities have changed the traditional orientation of the Jewish position towards the Hindu faith, considered in the past to ...
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2answers
192 views

Who were the Sabians?

In the Guide, Maimonides talks about the religion of the Sabians (first idolators). He tells us that he has spent much time learning about the Sabian religion (he was sort of an anthropologist). After ...
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2answers
99 views

Lo Yiyheh is the first of the Ten Commandments?

The Ten Commandments, or more accurately the Ten Statements (עשרת הדברות), are pretty well known. The first is (I believe universally) understood as the statement אנכי השם אלקים, I am the Hashem your ...
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78 views

Bowing when davening outside

If one is davening outside, and one says aleinu* and wishes to bow, should one change how he bows? I have seen (h/t Harel13) it written that, when one says Birchat Hachama, one should bow to the ...
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111 views

9 year old Daughter Asked Me About god

My 9 year old learned in Sunday School about how we don't pray to idols but couldn't quite understand how god was any different. I wasn't sure how to approach the topic because I didn't know what they ...
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Are Messianics considered Avodah Zarah?

I know a similar question was asked about Christians, however I am talking about a case where a Jew that has become a Messianic and does not view Jesus as a God and still keeps Torah as well as ...
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1answer
49 views

Can Avodah Zarah acquire a state of Hekdesh?

What's the Halachic status of Avodah Zarah which someone somehow pronounced Hekdesh (even accidentally, like choosing the wrong jug of oil)? Does the Avodah Zarah accept Hekdesh? If it can become ...
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1answer
89 views

What exactly are the forbidden statues according to Yerushalmi- Avodah Zarah 3:1 18a?

We read in Yerushalmi- Avodah Zarah 3:1 18a (English translation by Rabbi Jacob Neusner): [A] All images are prohibited. [B] "Because they are worshipped once a year", the words of R. Meir ...
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3answers
334 views

Is it a sin to read a book arguing for the existence of G-d written by a Catholic? [closed]

So I bought this book written by a philosopher by the name of Edward Feser. His book is called "Five Proofs for the Existence of God". It can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Five-Proofs-...
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3answers
158 views

Rabbinical knowledge of idolatry

I heard once that the Sanhedrin had to know exactly what the different forms of idolatry were and how they worked in order to correctly judge cases of avodah zara brought before them. Does anyone know ...
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2answers
325 views

Hiring idolaters

Is one allowed to hire idolaters, if it is known that part of their salary is donated to idolatrous activities?
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120 views

Yirmiyahu and Zoroastrianism

In Yirmiyahu 6:25 and 20:3 he mentions the word magor. Is this related to the Zoroastrian deity magi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magi
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2answers
128 views

What is the exact position expressed by Rabbi Danzig's Chochmat Adam regarding three-dimensional human images?

I'm an Italian noahide. I read what Rambam says in Avodat Kochavim 3: 10-11 about the making of images by a Jew. I also read the following words in a Jewish forum: “The Torah says, "Don't make a ...
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0answers
67 views

What happened to Lovon's idols that were taken by Rochel?

In a comment on this question Did anyone (especially Yaakov) ever find out about the idols? Ezra says: In Genesis 35:1-4, Jacob requests his household to hand over "foreign deities", and he ...
2
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1answer
82 views

Bereishit 31:53 “chol”

In my Artscroll chumash, on Bereishit 31:53, there is an asterisk next to the two uses of "elohei" which refer to the "god" of Nachor and of "their fathers." It looks like this אֱלֹהֵ֨י אַבְרָהָ֜ם *...
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2answers
170 views

What is in greater violation of the prohibition of blasphemy: Atheism vs Avoda Zara?

In the eyes of halacha, who is in greater violation of the prohibition of blasphemy, an idolator or an atheist? Whichever is worse, is that the case by both Jew and Non-Jew?
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1answer
37 views

Does definition of Nichush cover Middos based behavior?

The Gemmorah (on Gen 24) considers Eliezer's approach to choosing a wife a [forbidden] Nichush. IIRC it was based on a girl's special [and seemingly rare] virtues and not blind chance. If I was truly ...

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