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Questions tagged [avodah-zarah]

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

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2 votes
1 answer
213 views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
144 views

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 ...
17 votes
7 answers
6k views

May a Jew be a Freemason?

According to what I've been told by several people who have inquired of "practicing" (is that the right word?) Freemasons, and supported by Wikipedia, "Freemasonry explicitly and openly states that it ...
4 votes
0 answers
230 views

Is one allowed to OWN a King James Bible, Koran, etc.?

Halachically speaking (as opposed to a mere Middos Chassidus), is one allowed to own a book or document of another religion? This question can be divided into sub-questions: 1. Would there be a ...
2 votes
1 answer
380 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?
0 votes
0 answers
40 views

Is one allowed to volunteer in a food pantry affiliated with a church?

We all know that going in a church is assur. But what about going into a building associated with a church? E.g. let's say a place like Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries, which appears to just offer ...
1 vote
0 answers
81 views

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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
104 views

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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
52 views

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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
254 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
113 views

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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
488 views

Reading foreign literature: perspectives and experiences

I'd like to hear how people make their decisions about reading, watching, and listening to materials that express non-Jewish ideas and imagery... both for study, and for entertainment. This question ...
1 vote
1 answer
100 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
406 views

Are Jews allowed to use the expression "fingers crossed"?

Not to worship idols is one of the 10 commandments; according to a quick Google search "finger crossed" originates from either the Christian cross or other superstitious beliefs. Does this mean that ...
7 votes
1 answer
205 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
66 views

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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
66 views

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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
434 views

Depiction of the Menorah, the *Shulchan* and *Kadosh HaKadoshim* on ancient coins?

On some rare ancient coins of Matityah Antigonus, there are depictions of what seem to be the Menorah and the Shulchan (one obverse die even seems to show the Lechem HaPanim). This coin has an ...
3 votes
0 answers
85 views

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?
4 votes
2 answers
307 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
197 views

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]”?...
1 vote
0 answers
64 views

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 ...
7 votes
4 answers
1k views

What exactly do Noahides do?

There is a modern "Noahide" movement(I believe propagated by the Lubavitcher Rebbe), where people join together to be b'nei noah and not part of another religion. From some googling, I've seen that ...
0 votes
1 answer
97 views

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......
5 votes
1 answer
610 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
110 views

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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
270 views

Is it Mutar to Listen to Music Recorded in a Church?

I read somewhere that listening to music recorded in a church is asur, because it essentially brings the church into one's home. This is common practice for classical music. Has anyone heard of or not ...
4 votes
2 answers
467 views

New Year Eve Fireworks

Is one allowed to go out watching the fireworks in the new year of the common era, is there any reason, why it could be forbidden?!
5 votes
0 answers
155 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
151 views

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 ...
9 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is Buddhism Avodah Zarah?

Is Buddhism Avodah Zarah, atheistic, or a philosophy not related to any specific brand of theism? If it is Avodah Zarah, then one would not be able to enter a Buddhist temple, benefit from items of ...
7 votes
1 answer
149 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
131 views

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?
4 votes
0 answers
97 views

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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
185 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
87 views

tevilat keilim - ger toshav and meshumad

Do keilim (eating utensils) bought from an artisan who is a ger toshav (observant non-Jew) require tevilah (ritual immersion)? Conversely, what if the artisan is a meshumad (Jewish idolator/heretic)?
2 votes
0 answers
64 views

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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
134 views

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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
298 views

Is Brahmoism Avodah Zarah?

Sometime during the eighteenth century, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, an educated revenue officer from West Bengal who was influenced by Christianity of the East India Company, founded the "anusthanic"...
2 votes
0 answers
135 views

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?
42 votes
5 answers
4k views

Ethics in video games: idol worship

Background I sometimes play a certain computer role-playing game (RPG). In this game, my character (whom I might name after myself but who does not otherwise resemble me) fights mythological creatures ...
3 votes
1 answer
591 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.?
8 votes
2 answers
995 views

Idolatrous origin of the name TAMMUZ

The Gemmorah in Jerusalem Rosh Hashana 6a explains the process of adopting the Babylonian names on Months instead of Biblical ones. דא"ר חנינה שמות חדשים עלו בידם מבבל R'Hanina said: the names ...
0 votes
0 answers
23 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
71 views

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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
108 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
335 views

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 ...
2 votes
7 answers
3k views

Is Islam Avodah Zara?

Is Islam avodah zarah? The reason why I ask is because in Mecca, at the Kaaba there is a black stone which the Muslims kiss and believe is holy. Is kissing the stone and believing it's holy a problem ...
2 votes
0 answers
64 views

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 ...
11 votes
2 answers
653 views

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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