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  • Halacha
  • Idols and Idolatry

Houses of idol worship


Rabbi Chaim Tabasky

18 Elul 5764
Dear Rabbanim, I am in despair since Rav Azriel Rosenfeld z"l of reunited with the Creator last Shevat, not only because of the human loss, but also because it is ver hard for me to have teshuvot on ’avodah zarah. Could you help me? Is it correct to say that things attached with nails like for example cables and antennas, things (ex.: telephone and television sets, etc.) attached through a plug, and things attached but not intended to become a permanent part of the house (like a Teddy Bear attached to a wall through a suction cup) are not forbidden in any Orthodox minhag, if attached to an house containing an idol (I think they are not "house")? And is it OK to say that things permanently attached to the house containing idols, but which I would not call "structurally house", like a nail used to hang a picture (while I think a nail used to keep wooden pieces of a wooden wall attached would structurally be "house"), are permitted to Jews of every minhag? Hoping that you can help me I thank you with all my heart. May HaShem bless and reward you. Shalom uverakhah,
Davide, Shalom, Your feeligs of loss for the passing of a great Talmid Chacham are important. I pray you will find other Torah luminaries who can give you guidance. I will at least try to answer the question at hand. If we are dealing with a house that is not a house of worship, just one that has an idol in it, anything that is not permanently and structurally connected to the house may be used. If the idol is removed the house is permitted. In the case of a house of worship, even if the idols are removed the house remains forbidden.
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