Compiled by Rabbi Moishe Dovid Lebovits
Reviewed by Rabbi Benzion Schiffenbauer Shlita
All Piskei Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita are reviewed by Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita

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Halachos of Forbidden Images Part 9

Drawing the Sun, Moon, and Stars

One is forbidden to create an image of the sun, moon and stars even if it does not protrude.(63) According to some poskim one is only forbidden to keep a protruding image of the sun, moon or stars in his possession.(64) The issur applies to any one of these items and not only all three together.(65) Any image which is commonly used to represent the sun, moon, etc falls into this issur. Therefore, one may not sketch a circle with rays, even though the actual sun does not have rays protruding from it. Similarly, one should not draw a picture of a night sky while leaving some white spots, as these spots represent stars.(66)

A Half Moon/Sun

Some say that one may create an image of a half-sun.(67) However, the moon is forbidden to be drawn even if it is not full.(68) The reason is because the moon is seen when it is not full, and we only see a full sun. Others are lenient regarding a half-image of a moon.(69) It would be forbidden to draw a picture of a half-sun in the clouds as people often represent the sun in that manner.(70) Some poskim say one may draw a sun on the corner of a page (even with the rays coming out of it) because this is not the way the sun normally looks.(71) However, others forbid this practice.(72) One should not make a peroches which has pictures of the sun or moon on it.(73)

(63) Mesechtas Avoda Zara 43b, Tosfas v'hu," Rosh 3:5, Ran page 38, Rambam Hilchos Avodas Chochavim 3:11, Tur, Shulchan Aruch 141:4, Taz 13, Shach 25, Chuchmas Adom 85:5, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 168:1, Rivevos Ephraim 8:485:5. Refer to Tzitz Eliezer 9:44 about the image of the sun over the kever of Yehoshua Ben Nun. See Halichos Olom 7:page 287. The reason is why a sun and moon etc may not be made even flat is because they seem to us non-protruding in the sky (Tosfas Mesechtas Avoda Zara 43b "v'hu," Taz Y.D. 141:13). (64) Refer to Darchei Teshuva 141:34, Chuchmas Adom 85:5-6, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 168:1. Others do not permit this. Refer to footnote 62. (65) Shevet Ha'kehusi 6:302:1. (66) Am Hatorah 3:5:page 67 quoting the opinion of Horav Falk Shlita. One is allowed to keep a Snapple bottle in his house even with the picture of the sun on it, since it is not how the sun looks because it is picture of the sun with a smile on it. (67) Refer to Avnei Yushfei 1:151:1, Shevet Ha'Levi 7:134:7. This is even if the picture is not the exact color of the sun (Shulchan Aruch Hamikutzar 4:45:footnote 30, see Shevet Ha'kehusi 6:302:2 who is unsure about this. (68) Darchei Teshuva 38, Am Hatorah 3:5:page 62, Avodas Melech page 337:9 quoting the opinion of Horav Nissim Korelitz Shlita, Halichos Olom 7:page 287, Shulchan Aruch Hamikutzar 4:145:footnote 21, Lehoros Nosson 3:44. (69) Darchei Teshuva 46. (70) Am Hatorah 3:5:page 60, Avodas Melech page 337:8 quoting the opinion of Horav Nissim Korelitz Shlita. (71) Opinion of Horav Falk Shlita in Am Hatorah 3:5:page 62, V'ein Lumo Michshal 2:page 127:footnote 14, Opinion of Horav Azriel Aurbach Shlita in Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society ibid:page 112:footnote 10. (72) Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita. (73) Refer to Am Hatorah 3:7:page 95:1. See Bais Avi Y.D. 2:75 who says if it is for an educational reason it is permitted.

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Halachically Speaking is a bi-weekly publication compiled by Rabbi Moishe Dovid Lebovits, a former chaver kollel of Yeshiva Torah Voda'ath and a musmach of Horav Yisroel Belsky, shlit"a. Rabbi Lebovits currently works as a Rabbinical Administrator for Kof-K Kosher Superivison.

Each issue reviews a different area of contemporary halacha with an emphasis
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