Questions tagged [avodah-zarah]

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

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7
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1answer
137 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
32 views

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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1answer
91 views

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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125 views

Studying anthropology without violating Halachah

I have been studying anthropology in my past time since a very young age and I find it to be one of the most fascinating topics out there. But it occurred to me that there might be a problem doing ...
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2answers
44 views

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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1answer
59 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
67 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
112 views

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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0answers
105 views

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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2answers
145 views

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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0answers
70 views

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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0answers
84 views

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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0answers
63 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
156 views

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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2answers
158 views

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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1answer
96 views

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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0answers
105 views

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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3answers
234 views

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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0answers
72 views

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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1answer
156 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
102 views

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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1answer
135 views

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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2answers
189 views

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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2answers
133 views

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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3answers
162 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
77 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
144 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, ...
2
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1answer
110 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 ...
3
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0answers
28 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
121 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.?
3
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2answers
107 views

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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0answers
117 views

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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77 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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0answers
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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0answers
70 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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144 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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0answers
53 views

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, ...
2
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3answers
982 views

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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4answers
407 views

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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0answers
41 views

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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1answer
77 views

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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0answers
38 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
152 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 ...
1
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1answer
189 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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0answers
60 views

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 ...
8
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5answers
2k views

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, ...
7
votes
1answer
157 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 ...
2
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2answers
134 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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