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Ask the rabbi Halacha Idols and Idolatry

Yoreh deah 141:3-4

Rabbi Jonathan Blass22 Tevet 5763
807
Question
I was told that it is forbiden for one to have pictures of the sun or stars. I was told it is written so in Yore deah 141:3-4. I do not have the hebrew skills to understand it. please let me know what the ruling is.
Answer
The Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 141,4 forbids one from sculpting or keeping a raised or sunken image of the sun or moon or planets. There is a difference of halachic opinion as to whether a painted or other flat picture is forbidden as well. The kind of picture forbidden is one that would be clearly recognized as the sun or moon, not an abstract rendition. Photographs or pictures that could help in teaching astronomy or that have other educational value (that are more than merely decorative) are, however, permitted.
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