Question:

Dear Rabbi, I noticed in this week’s parsha (Acharei Mot) that when the Torah says we should not follow the Chukim of the Goyim, Rashi over there says this is referring to going to their Theatres and Stadiums. So according to Rashi there seems to be an issur from the Torah to go to the theatre? Is this the Halacha today according to the Poskim? Some want to say that the issur is only because of Avodah Zara, but I found that answer difficult because in both Roman and Medieval times the theatres were not places of religious idolatrous worship, but rather a place for entertainment like we have today. Thank you for your help.

Answer:

While the activity they were engaged in was entertainment, Chazal indicate [see Avodah Zara 18b] that it was in a culture of Avoda Zara, they were praising idols and also engaging in worship on these places. In fact the Talmud [ibid.] dictates that there are other problems with “theaters and stadiums”, issues of Bitul Torah, Moshav Leitzim [gatherings of frivolity and unethical behavior]. This is aside from the issues of immodesty which exist in many of these venues today.

 

Sources:

see here.

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