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Idolatry by Child in Home


If my child is choosing idolatry and living in my home, what are my obligations?


It is not clear what exactly your child is doing. Is he/she bringing idols into the home and worshipping them? In a public or private way? Is it effecting other children or may it in the future?

This is a very delicate question, but generally if the child is not harming others by his practices, keeping them at home and providing love, support and encouragement is usually the best and sometimes only chance of bringing them back to Judaism. Not to make your home “hefker” [a free for all] but to give the room needed to let them get past this difficult stage.

If the child is harming or potentially could harm other children with his actions, this is a different question. You need to consult with a Rav who knows you and your family dynamic well, and who can consult with a Gadol BaTorah to determine the best course of action.

Much Hatzlacha with this difficult nisayon.


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  1. The idolatry is christianity, The only thing she has in the house in her room is the New Testament which I was reluctantly allowed since she is 18 and was searching for the truth. She now claims to be a christian and that was my concern,so I think all that you have stated still applies :) All of my other children are old enough and strong enough not to be swayed. You definitely helped because my main concern was me feeling guilty of it appearing hefker (free for all) in my home. She definitely knows I have taught her it is wrong, and I told her it is her sin now, not mine. Thank you very much for your quick response, as this is very difficult.

    1. sure, have you tried to set her up a meeting with a local rav who can speak with her.
      there are people whose expertise is this kind of issue, who may be willing to meet with her or at least speak over the phone, would she be open to that?

  2. No, she refuses any direction from us at all! she said she has chosen christianity and that is her final decision and that she is a much better person now. I tried to explain that she is deceived, because idolatry does not make anyone a better person. Her rebellion is so strong and that is why it is so hard to have her in the home. That is why I have struggled with supporting her and even loving her, but thank you for everything.

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