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Forming 3D Human Image

There is a new technology which allows to print 3D photographs. That is to say the printer creates an object which looks exactly like a person (small size). The question is whether one is allowed to print such an object and whether a Jewish person can invest in such a business (primarily for non Jewish public)? Thank you!


It will not be permitted for a Jewish person to actually use this technology and to make a 3D image of a person. This will be a violation of the prohibition of making a human likeness.

However, there will not be any prohibition on investing in a business that prints images, because according to many a non-Jew’s doing so does not involve a prohibition (see Iggros Moshe, Yoreh De’ah 2:54, who writes that the prohibition of forming  images for non-idolatrous purposes does not apply to non-Jews: “But non-Jews are not forbidden to create an image for decoration or for a monument.”

Although a number of authorities are unsure as to whether the prohibition applies even to non-Jews, and leave the matter unresolved (see Or Same’ach, Melachim 9:2; ChutShani, Pesach p. 225). However, for matters of investing, one can be lenient (although Rav Moshe, Yoreh De’ah 2:54, wrote that a Jew should preferably not be part of a committee whose task was to form a statue of Kennedy, this involves taking more of an active part in forming the statue, and not merely investing).

Best wishes.

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  1. Thanks for the answer! Should one be choshesh that a Jewish person will use this service?

    1. If most people in the town are not Jewish, one does not have to be concerned for this.

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