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Idol in Store

A fruit shop here has an avoda zara (Buddha or similar)in the back of the store. Customers were told either that the idol is present to “bring blessing to the fruit or business or some other reason. Should we discourage shopping there or can it be considered נעשית לנוי? or at least be distant 4 Amos from idol?
ואולי היינו ע”ד מ”ש שו”ת בצל החכמה חלק ב סימן פד

המונע עצמו מלהכנס לשם בתור מחאה תבא עליו ברכה.

Thanks for answering previous shailo.


The idol can be assumed to be not a true idol – like other images today, there is no reason to assume that it was actually worshiped.

The presence of the idol is therefore no different to the presence of a horseshoe or other luck charm that people assume bring them luck, and it’s permitted to shop in the store.

However, somebody who shops in the store should tell the shopkeeper that he’s doing so because the shop is the cheapest/closest/most convenient, and not because of the idol at the back (and that if the idol wouldn’t be there he would buy even more!), so that the shopkeeper will not believe that the idol brings him custom (as we find in the Gemara in Avodah Zarah, that one should be careful of causing a non-Jew to thank his “god.”


See Rambam, Avodah Zarah 6:7, ruling that if an idol is made for show, and not for idolatry, it is permitted to derive benefit from it; Tur (Yoreh De’ah 141) writes that if in doubt, the idol/statue is forbidden, but Taz (141:2) writes that this is only true under circumstances of itchazek, meaning that there is concrete reason to suspect idolatry. Although Shach disputes this, today the vast majority of statues are made as works of art and not as idolatry, and unless one has concrete reason for suspecting otherwise, there would be no prohibition on keeping the statue. There is no apparent reason to believe that our case is different.

Also worthy of note is the general statement that today’s idolaters are not true idol-worshipers, but only continue the traditions of their ancestors, without meaning to truly worship idols (Chullin 6).

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