Regarding the prohibition of graven images, does this apply to flat images of faces, or shapes, trees, etc. that can be used to enhance a text message? If someone adds a smile face to a text (whether from the pictures provided by the phone, or by using the key pad to make a letter/shape image of a happy face) does this transgress graven image prohibition? Thank you
The prohibition only applies to human faces or images of celestial bodies, i.e. the sun, moon, stars etc. Therefore, shapes or trees etc. are not an issue to make. Additionally, if the image is not a complete one, parts of the face are missing, such as when making a smiley, which is missing a nose and ears, it is also permitted. According to all opinions.
Rema Y:D 141-7, Chochmas Adom 85-4, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 168-2, Shevet Halevi 7-134=2, M:B 301-40.