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  • Halacha
  • Idols and Idolatry

The so called cross and bible door


Rabbi David Sperling

Tishrei 7, 5780
Is it permitted ti have these doors at home or in Shul? Some say thats its specifically made for a cross...
Shalom, Thank you for your question. I am not certain exactly which type of door you are referring to (when I click on the link you sent I get a full page of many pictures of many doors). It seems you are referring to a pattern in the door that when looked at in a certain way seems to be a cross. In some of the images this cross is more noticeable, and in some it takes some imagination to see it (as it is just the negative image left behind between the paneling). In any event it is fairly certain that the cross on the door is not being worshiped. At the very most it is made to remind people of the Christian cross (however, in many of the doors pictured even this is doubtful, as it looks more just like a pattern that happens to show a cross when looked at in a certain way). According to halacha this is permitted (see the Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, 141 - as well as Otzar Avodah Zarah, chapter 5 - Rav M. Peretz). However, as we wrote in the previous responce, it is well known that many rabbis were particular not to have any crosses at all in their possession. I personally saw HaRav Mordechai Eliyahu zt"l examine patterned materials to determine if the pattern inadvertently included crosses. The founders of the city of Petach Tikvah went so far as to make sure that no two streets crossed each other in a way that would create a cross (this explains some of the unique traffic situations in that holy city!). All this is not the strict letter of the halachic law, which as I wrote allows these non-worshiped crosses, but an effort to distance oneself from any connection to other religions. This may be praiseworthy, but is certainly not an obligation. Therefore, if the symbol on the door is clearly not one that anyone would ever worship (and I have never heard of any worship of doors), it is permitted to have such a door pattern. If however you feel uncomfortable, or think it might look inappropriate for a Jew to use such a thing, especially in the synagogue, then it would be correct to buy a different door with no crosses on it at all. Blessings.
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