April 4, 2012 12:56 am at 12:56 am #602788
I sometimes daven on Friday nights at a minyan at someone’s house. The room we daven in has a few pictures and paintings on the walls. In one of the paintings, there is an older man learning with a young child. I recently noticed that the older man has a small cross pinned to his jacket. That changes the entire meaning of the painting. It is difficult to spot at first glance, but it’s there. Now, I’m sure the family is unaware of the cross in the painting, or they probably wouldn’t have it on the wall. I’m just wondering if I should let them know about it. So far I haven’t, because I think it may embarrass them and it’s really none of my business anyway. But should they be informed?April 4, 2012 1:17 am at 1:17 am #868162
Of course they should be notified. They need to get rid of it.April 4, 2012 1:26 am at 1:26 am #868163
If they dont know about it why not inforim them.April 4, 2012 1:41 am at 1:41 am #868164
No. While a cross itself is Avodah Zarah, a painting of one which was never intended to be worshiped or actually worshiped is not.April 4, 2012 3:13 am at 3:13 am #868165
The reason I wouldn’t like to inform them is because I’m afraid they’d be embarrassed about it.
Sam2, regardless of the idol worshiping issue, I was curious if it would be prudent for them to be informed of it because I’d imagine a Jewish family wouldn’t want such a painting on their wall.
I’m trying to think of a way for them to realize it without anyone having to tell them outright.April 4, 2012 3:40 am at 3:40 am #868166ChachamParticipant
sam2 – the rambam in hilchos melachim perek 9 halacha 2 is clear that the issur applies even by a decaration.
I actually just saw yesterday that in the back of chut shani ( rav nissim karelitz ) on hilchos pesach there is a kuntress on this inyan/April 4, 2012 4:01 am at 4:01 am #868167LogicianParticipant
I once saw a bachur in a store walking around, not realizing that his pants had ripped and…. well, lets not go into details. We were both embarrassed when I told him, but the alternative….April 4, 2012 4:56 am at 4:56 am #868168
Chacham: That is if the Avodah Zarah itself is used as a decoration. This is just a picture of the Avodah Zarah which is not Avodah Zarah.April 4, 2012 8:04 am at 8:04 am #868169BYbychoiceMember
This might sound weird but just might work. Right a letter or on a sticky not what picture where it is and what is in it, then leave it somewhere they will find it. I would suggest upside down(so noone will read it) on a kitchen counter or the sort. This way they will be aware and not be emberresed that you told them! good luck, and you are doing the right thing, put yourself in their shoes, you would probably want to be told 🙂April 4, 2012 8:07 am at 8:07 am #868170
Chacham: Igros Moshe YD 1:69 regarding stamps with crosses on it.One can own them,sell them ,and look at them. Praiseworthy not to.If it is not worshiped but just for noi it seems muttar.April 4, 2012 8:10 am at 8:10 am #868171April 4, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm #868172ChachamParticipant
Why is a picture of a cross not avoda zara? They worship that also.April 4, 2012 2:10 pm at 2:10 pm #868173
Chacham: I just think that the Metzius is that that’s not true. And certainly when the cross isn’t the main point of the picture.April 4, 2012 3:40 pm at 3:40 pm #868174
do you mean a real unambiguous cross, or a fleur de lis (spelling),
or other emblem.
because if it is a real plain cross, why are you so sure they aren’t aware of it?April 4, 2012 3:47 pm at 3:47 pm #868175
Logician, perhaps you’re right, but I don’t think anyone else at the minyan has noticed it aside from me, so it’s not really a public thing.
yiddeshemeidle, good suggestion. Thanks.
nitpicker, it’s just a plain cross, pinned to the man’s jacket. I don’t think they’re aware of it because I don’t think this family would have the painting on the wall if they were aware of it.April 4, 2012 4:28 pm at 4:28 pm #868176WolfishMusingsParticipant
Why is a picture of a cross not avoda zara? They worship that also.
Christians do not worship the cross. The cross is a symbol that represents something for them, but they don’t actually worship the cross any more than we worship a sefer Torah.
The WolfApril 4, 2012 4:40 pm at 4:40 pm #868177
Nobody worships the cross. Some denominations might worship the guy nailed to the cross.April 4, 2012 5:00 pm at 5:00 pm #868178cherrybimParticipant
There were about 100,000 Jews serving in the German army during World War I; many of them received the Iron Cross as military honors. The Iron Cross associated with World War II is totally different and is anti-semitic. The old man in the painting may be wearing an Iron cross which he earned for bravery in battle.April 4, 2012 5:46 pm at 5:46 pm #868179
The iron cross is no better than any other cross.April 4, 2012 5:54 pm at 5:54 pm #868180
hard to believe that a family that has a minyan in their house
would want a picture with a cross as you describe.
also hard to believe that they could have missed it. they live with it.
so I don’t know why you are so sure.April 4, 2012 5:56 pm at 5:56 pm #868181
“Nobody worships the cross”
how do you define worship? they don’t think of the cross itself as a deity, but as representing that deity. perhaps the word worship is not the right one. it is at least tachshite avoda zara or avak avodah zarah or whatever. how many crosses to you display in your home?April 4, 2012 5:59 pm at 5:59 pm #868182
The Shulchan Aruch Paskens that a cross is Avodah Zarah. So either he didn’t know Christian theology perfectly (a possibility, but highly unlikely), or we have to slightly expand our definition of what constitutes being worshiped in order to make it Avodah Zarah.April 4, 2012 6:02 pm at 6:02 pm #868183RSRHMember
My great great uncle won two Iron Crosses during WWI, his family displayed them proudly until they left Germany in 1938, at which time the medals were confiscated by border authorities.April 4, 2012 6:15 pm at 6:15 pm #868184
nitpicker, that is exactly why I think they haven’t noticed it, because they definitely would not have it up if they knew. It’s actually quite interesting: I think people who live in a house all the time don’t discern small details of their household items as well as guests do. I think guests are specifically taking in their surroundings and will notice more, whereas members of the household don’t really think twice.April 4, 2012 6:16 pm at 6:16 pm #868185
“how many crosses to you display in your home?”
So, now people worship things they have hanging in their home?April 4, 2012 6:18 pm at 6:18 pm #868186
Yup. The proudly showed the Third Reich their Iron Cross won in valor of Germany’s defense in the Great War.
A lot of good it did them.April 4, 2012 6:49 pm at 6:49 pm #868187cherrybimParticipant
So we dun l’cuf z’chus. Case closed.April 4, 2012 8:10 pm at 8:10 pm #868188
dun l’cuf zchus is not the issue here.
OP asked a question about what he should do. that is a practical question not what he should think.
you may be right.April 5, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am #868189giggle girlParticipant
Maybe ask a family member in a bataampte manner why he is wearing a cross. Perhaps there is some really good reason. I mean relatively good. There may just be a really meaningful story behind the picture. We won’t know until we ask. Ask a family member. You never know. We all might be quite surprised to find out. Please tell us what happens! I’m curious to know.
Hatzlocha Rabba U’Merubah!April 5, 2012 1:56 am at 1:56 am #868190
giggle girl, that’s a good suggestion, thank you. I don’t speak Yiddish well, but I assume “bataampte” means pleasant or respectful, yes?April 5, 2012 2:04 am at 2:04 am #868191
A cross is a religious symbol but itsef is not worshiped.April 5, 2012 6:19 am at 6:19 am #868192
Apushatayid: right on the mark. Except ofcourse a cross in a church or one worn by a priest.April 5, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm #868193i love coffeParticipant
“Igros Moshe YD 1:69 regarding stamps with crosses on it.One can own them,sell them ,and look at them. Praiseworthy not to.If it is not worshiped but just for noi it seems muttar. “
sam4321- Does it say anything about a cross on a flag that one might be proud to hang in their house? I’m curious to know, thanks.April 5, 2012 2:24 pm at 2:24 pm #868194
“Except ofcourse a cross in a church or one worn by a priest.”
Even in a church or worn by a priest. The cross is a religious symbol, it is not an icon. It is not worshipped.April 5, 2012 2:50 pm at 2:50 pm #868195zahavasdadParticipant
The Iron Cross looks different than the christian cross.
It looks more like the Red Cross where all sides are equal. The christian cross has a stem.
Banning the Iron Cross would be like banning the Plus SignApril 5, 2012 3:31 pm at 3:31 pm #868196
Did you read the tshuva?April 5, 2012 3:31 pm at 3:31 pm #868197
Did you read the tshuva?April 5, 2012 4:48 pm at 4:48 pm #868198i love coffeParticipant
I’m talking about the cross on the flags such as those from, “Australia – the Union Flag in the upper hoist quarter
Denmark – a Scandinavian cross
Dominican Republic – a centered white cross that extends to the edges and divides the flag into four rectangles
England – the St George’s Cross
Fiji – the Union Flag in the upper hoist quarter
Finland – a Scandinavian cross
Georgia – the “five-cross flag”; the central element of the flag is St. George’s Cross (used also in the national flag of England); there is one smaller cross within each of the four quadrants
Greece – a cross in the upper hoist corner
Iceland – a Scandinavian cross
Jamaica – a Saint Andrew’s Cross
Malta – a George Cross in the upper hoist corner (in the canton of the white stripe)
Moldova – in the coat of arms appearing in the center stripe, a stylized eagle is holding a cross in its beak
Montenegro – two crosses appear in the two crowns depicted in the coat of arms contained in the flag
New Zealand – the Union Flag in the upper hoist quarter
Norway – a Scandinavian cross
Portugal – Compound cross of five quinas, each one charged with five saltire-arranged bezants
San Marino – a cross appears in the crown depicted in the coat of arms contained in the flag
Scotland – the Saint Andrew’s Cross
Serbia – cross in crown and cross in inescutcheon, both in coat of arms appearing in flag
Slovakia – double cross on top of mountain, appearing in coat of arms contained in flag
Spain – one cross in each of three crowns, as well as a cross in the fourth quarter of the shield (for Navarre), all appearing in embedded coat of arms
Sweden – a Scandinavian cross
Switzerland – a bold, equilateral white cross in the center of the flag
Tonga – a red cross appearing as a canton of a red ensign
Tuvalu – the Union Flag in the upper hoist quarter
United Kingdom – the three crosses of the Union Flag: St. George’s Cross, St. Andrews Cross, and the Irish saltire
Vatican City – a cross on the top of the papal tiara in the coat of arms of the right side of the flag”
I googled it 😉
Would this be a problem if one lives in any of these places and wants to hang up the flag in their room for example?April 5, 2012 5:15 pm at 5:15 pm #868199zahavasdadParticipant
The Union Jack is very different than a christian cross.
Anyone who looked at both of them would never confuse them. They look nothing like each other
While not going through all those, The Swiss Flag cross doesnt look a thing like a christian crossApril 5, 2012 7:25 pm at 7:25 pm #868200giggle girlParticipant
Yes. Bataampt means pleasant, respectful, and refined. Ask him in a way that shows you are really curious and not in a manner that may hint to disgust towards the picture.April 6, 2012 4:52 am at 4:52 am #868201haifagirlParticipant
It looks more like the Red Cross where all sides are equal. The christian cross has a stem.
What is a “christian cross”?
Is that the cross used by the Catholic and many protestant churches? The cross used by the Coptic church? The cross used by many of the Eastern Orthodox churches? They don’t all look the same, you know. Some of them have arms of equal length.April 6, 2012 6:19 pm at 6:19 pm #868202Chassedisher LitzvakMember
For all the uninformed.
All Thomas Kinkade paintings contain The Christian Fish Symbol (also called ‘The J. Fish’).
It actually predated Christianity and originally was a Pagan symbol. It represented a Pagan goddesses.
(ill leave the details out)April 9, 2012 2:21 am at 2:21 am #868203
CL: Sometimes that doesn’t matter. The Magen David (which predates Zionism as a religious Jewish symbol) is also originally a pagan symbol.April 9, 2012 4:51 am at 4:51 am #868204Right PathMember
Sam2: Yes. We know the Hexagram was used by the Pagons.
But were is your solid proof that its use in Judaism was only after its use in Paganism.
Have a look at the Sefer Raziel HaMalach. You will see that the Magen Dovid has Kabbalistic meaning (i’ll leave the interpretation for you)
Anyways its not relevant. Because the Fish Symbol has no Jewish meaning.
MiddlePath: Why dont you ask Das Torah.
From me you will only be getting Das “Turah”.
“Banning the Iron Cross would be like banning the Plus Sign”
What makes you so sure that a Plus Sign is allowed.
The Greek Cross has all arms of equal length.April 9, 2012 5:00 am at 5:00 am #868205ales mit cavunehParticipant
crosses are fine as long as they havent been worshiped actually since it is not an item that is worshiped these days you can even wear a cross on your shirt halachically if not protruding Just wondering why a halachic question is being asked on a forum why don’t you ask a rabbi ??is it bec you just want to hock but not serious about getting an answer lolApril 9, 2012 5:14 am at 5:14 am #868206yehudayonaParticipant
Chassedisher Litzvak: I was unaware of the pagan origins of the fish (though I’m not surprised; the Christians co-opted lots of pagan symbols). The Greek word for fish is ichthus (iota-chi-theta-upsilon-sigma). That’s also the roshei teivos for a phrase that makes G-d offspring claims about JC. My understanding is that that’s the reason for the Christian use of the fish symbol.April 9, 2012 5:55 am at 5:55 am #868207Right PathMember
Your right. One of the reasons is because of the Greek word for fish is ichthus.
There are others reasons.
One of them has to do with the fact that many of Mattis’s ym”sh Shluchem were fisherman. Till today their Pope wears the Ring of the Fisherman.
As for its Pagon orgins. Do a search on google. I dont think here is the place for their “Shtusem”.
I agree 100 percent with “ales mit cavuneh”
Why dont you ask a Rabbi and clear up this issue for us.
Why “hack” around just ask a Rov for the Truth.April 18, 2012 7:20 pm at 7:20 pm #868208haifagirlParticipant
because if it is a real plain cross, why are you so sure they aren’t aware of it?
Interestingly, one of my co-workers came to work yesterday wearing a cross. I asked her about it. She didn’t realize it was a cross. She thought it was just a design. It was a real, Eastern Orthodox cross.April 18, 2012 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #868209CsarMember
Follow the example of our zeida Avraham Avinu, in how he handled the situation with the avoda zora in his father Terach’s house.April 19, 2012 3:09 am at 3:09 am #868210
Csar: That would be an Issur D’oraisa of Nezek in this case. Unless you’re saying do what Avraham Avinu did with all of the things that weren’t A”Z (i.e. nothing).
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