Hello, this is another question regarding avoda zarah listed within a separate email. The question arises in regard to the rule that one may not derive benefit from that which is created using a forbidden item of idol worship. As an example, if one were to travel to Japan as a vacation one would see many shrines, temples, sacred statues and the like even without actually going within any of them. In witnessing this would one not be creating images or memories in their mind of these forbidden items? If so would one be able to enjoy or make use of these mental images to write a journal entry, a blog, a poem, or story? It may seem like a stretch, but if one creates mental images from idols and that related to them and then makes use of these memories of even takes pleasure in relating back to them would it not be the same as benefiting from that which is created using idols?
Aside from not worshipping an avoda zara, we are also to distance ourselves for them, and not derive any benefit from them. Therefore we don’t should not be looking at an avoda zara and deriving pleasure from its beauty. A Jew has no business in such places… to us all of this is disgusting. Additionally we are forbidden from entering their shrines etc. and in fact we don’t even want to want next to their shrines, see, because we are to distance ourselves from all of this.
Regarding the mental image that was created by a person that already looked at the avoda zara, I don’t think that this is considered an “image”, however even if it was done, it would not be correct to review the prohibited experience in our mind etc. Additionally we should not write a poem etc. because we are also not allowed to praise or otherwise show reverence to avoda zara.
See Y:D 142-13, Y:D 150, Deuteronomy 7-27, Tractate Avoda Zara 45b-46a, Meiri Ibid.