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Idol images for decoration?
#1
Shalom Rabbi-
In my house, we have quite a large and expensive collection of American Indian pottery. I noticed that some of the pottery pieces have designs and paintings on them that, I would assume, are ancient Native American gods. Some of them look like kachina dolls, and some of the designs look like the sun with a face on it, etc. Is it OK for me to have these things in the house for decoration? I don't know if the Native Americans worship these things anymore.
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#2
Since they are sold from the outset as decorations, and the figures are merely painted on the pottery, as opposed to three-dimensional figures, there should not be a problem even with regard to "images."
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#3
Shalom!

Ten years ago, long before I became a Noahide I bought a statue made of stone on a trip to India. It is not 3D as the back is flat. But... I asked (two times) when I bought it if it was a god and the answer was that it was a "half-god". I think it might have been manufactured for religious use (prayers) even if it is not 3D.

I have never had any religious thoughts about it and I will never pray to that object. To me it is art, but I have put it in a box where nobody see it as I do not wan't anyone to think I am a idolator and I do not want to inspire anyone to idoltry.
Should I get rid of that beautifull statue?

/Niklas
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#4
If the front-half is 3D and the back-half is flat, it still qualifies as an idol and/or a forbidden statue. If you don't want to destroy it or make sure that is has been completely gotten rid of, you can keep it if you "nullify it." An idol can be nullified by permanently damaging it in a way that demonstrates that it will not be used for idol worship, since it has been degraded. For example, you can break off an ear or a hand.
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#5
Hi! Here in sweden, milk and things like that are not in bottles but in boxes, Om the boxes, it use to be a text about something. Right now, on some boxes, it is pictures of idols. Is it wrong eating milk etc from theese boxes with idolatrous pictures?
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#6
Since the pictures are 2-dimensional, they are not forbidden images if they aren't used for idol worship or decorations. It would be better if you could transfer the milk or food into a different container, and throw away the original boxes that have those pictures.

That assumes that the food inside was not ever used as a service or an offering to an idol. If someone offered the food to an idol before it was packed in the box, you should not buy it, and certainly not eat it.
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#7
Dear Rabbis,

My question is regarding the prohibition to form images of the sun, moon, stars or constellations and angels. Is the prohibition is against forming 2D images/drawings?

I would like to understand what this entails, as I work as a media designer and currently have a few art projects where i'm required to create videos of 1) a lunar cycle and 2) space (stars, etc.).

Does it also mean that any form of drawing out the sun, moon or stars (ie. children's drawings on paper) is prohibited? Do photographs and digital images formed using photographs and other techniques fall under the same category?

Thank you, and I look forward to your response.
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#8
There has been some confusion about what type of images of "the sun, moon, stars or constellations" could actually be considered as prohibited. This is clarified in "The Divine Code," Vol. 1, Part II, topic 5:10 (p. 189) by Rabbi Moshe Weiner, which states [with text in brackets added here for clarifications]:

"It is likewise permitted to engrave [or draw, paint, etc.] an image of the [actual] sun, moon, stars or constellations, even if one only intends for these to be decorations [and certainly it is permitted for a practical purpose, such as science education].*

*Footnote: Rambam, 'Laws of the Worship of Stars [and Idols]' 3:10-11, writes that from the Torah, the prohibition of making a form for decoration only applies to the form of a human or angel (as explained in topic 5:3). This accords with the opinions of Sefer Ha'Chinuch Commandment 39 and Sefer Mitzvot Gadol, Negative Commandment 22. These opinions all hold that the prohibition [Exodus 20:20], “You shall not make with Me, [gods of silver and gold]," [i.e. You shall not make images of those who are 'with Me,' in that they are created in an image of G-d, namely humans and angels] applies only to the form of a human or angel, but not to forms and images of the [actual] sun and moon (which are not prohibited by the Torah). Especially according to Rambam's reason for prohibiting [3-D] forms of humans or angels (because others might come to worship them), images of the sun and moon are not forbidden, since it is not customary for people to worship images of the actual sun and moon themselves, but rather statues of the [pagan] gods which represent them. [I.e. a forbidden "image of the sun" would be an image of a human-like pagan god of the sun.] - end footnote.

[Continued from *] But if one makes a form [any form] for the purpose of idol worship ... it is forbidden because of the prohibition against making a statue or an image of an idol."
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#9
Hi, a long time ago a friend of mine gave me some Japanese dolls as a gift. The dolls are not anatomically correct; they're used in Japan in connection with a holiday called "Girl's Day". There are some Japanese religious connections with this holiday, but in all of my research I can't find any evidence that these dolls are prayed to or worshiped. Is it OK to keep them for decoration?
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#10
B"H

This web page has a concise description of how the dolls are used, and the associated customs and superstitious practices:
http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/explore/cal...tsuri.html

Here is an image of a "Girls Day" doll:
https://www.beloit.edu/reason/images/372927.jpg

It is forbidden to keep them unless the face is deformed a bit [example: an ear is cut off, etc.]
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