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Questions tagged [avodah-zarah]

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

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Avodah Zarah and non-Jewish houseworkers

Does a Jewish homeowner need to be concerned that non-Jewish maids might perform idol worship with his possessions? Would this make any of the things in his house forbidden, or no? What precautions is ...
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Praying on a reflective floor

It's forbidden to pray in front of a mirror, as it can appear like you're praying to your own reflection. What about standing on a mirrored floor (or some other reflective surface), where it can look ...
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Are gentile shrunken heads assur to own

According to Halacha, is it assur to own a gentile Shrunken head? The reason I ask is because my understanding is Halacha prohibits Jews from owning things made like the human form, even if not actual ...
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What kinds of statues does the Rambam mean we shouldn't put our mouths on?

B"H In hilchos avodas kochavim chapter 3 halacha 8 the Rambam says: 8 A person should not place his mouth over the mouths of statues which serve as fountains that are located before false ...
Awtsmoos--עצמות's user avatar
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Can Noachide apostasy lead to delaying of the Moshiach

Can an individual who committed to being a Noachide, not before any rabbi but to himself and to G-D delay the coming of the Messiah by giving up the Noachide laws and renouncing G-D? What if the ...
NoachideCandala's user avatar
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Would Torah consider kundalini awakening as Avoda Zara or is there a kosher equivilant that can be found in Jewish mysticism also?

BH Is kundalini awakening considered Avoda Zara or is there a kosher equivalent that can be found in Jewish mysticism also?
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Is a dead person forbidden from communicating with a live person?

A live person is forbidden from using necromancy to communicate with a dead person. But is the reverse true? Is the dead person permitted to initiate the contact? If the live person contacted the dead ...
Clint Eastwood's user avatar
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Medium Consultation For Gentiles

Are gentiles allowed to consult mediums or talk to spirits? The prohibition of witchcraft and the like is not explicitly mentioned in the Noahide laws as far as I'm aware, but I could see it going ...
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Yemeni manuscripts about the Hebrew expression - in Mishneh Torah Hilchot Avodah Zarah 9:4 - translated as "idolaters"

I am an Italian Noahide. in Mishneh Torah Hilchot-Avodah Zarah 9:4-, Rambam states that Christians are idolaters. Now, in various editions of the work, including the one available on the Chabad ...
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Who is an idolater?

In Chullin 13b, we read: Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Gentiles outside of Eretz Yisrael are not idol worshippers. Rather, they are just following the customs of their ancestors that were transmitted to them......
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
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Is calling someone a god Avodah zarah

In slang nowadays, it’s very common to call someone a god, such as “he’s such a god at this game” or “I’m such a god at baseball.” Is this considered Avodah zarah and/or assur, or is it permitted ...
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Can you volunteer at a library, even if you must shelve books about idol worship?

Large university libraries probably hold books about religions which contain idol worship. (They might also hold books about sexual immorality and murder.) Libraries make books available to the ...
unforgettableidSupportsMonica's user avatar
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Thanking Christian for his prayers

Taking into account that Christianity is Avoda Zara I would like to ask the following question. I met a missionary last night who started off the conversation saying that he prays for Israel and then ...
Moz's user avatar
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Plagues of Egypt mocking their gods

I've heard from a Christian that each of the plagues that Hashem brought upon Egypt corresponded to a different Egyptian god. That is to say, to mock that particular god. For example, heqet, the ...
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Permissibility of digital art of celestial bodies

According to Halacha, for Jews, there is a prohibition of portraying Celestial bodies in art, even if not for idolatry. (Generally, for noahides there is some concern, but the rules for what might be ...
Kirk's user avatar
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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 ...
Michael's user avatar
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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?
Ezra Hidary's user avatar
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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 ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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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 ...
Dov's user avatar
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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 ...
Michael's user avatar
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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 ...
setszu's user avatar
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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 ...
Koidesh 's user avatar
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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?
SarahLeah B's user avatar
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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 ...
Shaine Leah's user avatar
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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 ...
Avi Avraham's user avatar
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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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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]”?...
ANH's user avatar
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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 ...
Benyamin's user avatar
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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 ...
Mineder's user avatar
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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 ...
user9806's user avatar
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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 ...
AYAL TAAROG's user avatar
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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 ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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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?
AYAL TAAROG's user avatar
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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 ...
Shalom's user avatar
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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 ...
Eak2449's user avatar
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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 ...
Michael's user avatar
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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 ...
flips's user avatar
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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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184 views

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
1 vote
1 answer
380 views

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 ...
user avatar
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'...
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