Monday, June 07, 2004

Disposing of hanaat avodah zarah continued

To elaborate on one of the the points I made earlier, about the burning of the (alleged) takrovet avodah zarah wigs.

I mentioned that if one gave them to Jews, one would be causing those Jews to benefit from that which was prohibited to benefit, and there would seem to be a problem of Lifnei Iver, putting a stumbling block before the blind.

I would add that this may extend to the giving of the wigs to non-Jews, for perhaps the non-Jews you give the wigs to may later give them to Jews. Why would I think this was a concern? Consider the following mishna and gemara, in the yerushalmi:

נטל ממנה כרכר אסור בהנאה ארג בו את הבגד הבגד אסור בהנאה נתערב באחרים כולן אסורין בהנאה רבי אלעזר אומר יוליך הנייה לים המלך אמרו לו אין פדיון לעבודה זרה

Translation from here.
"The same is the case with a loom made of this wood and with the garment wrought therewith. If such a garment was mixed up with other garments and these again with others the benefit of them all is forbidden. R. Eliezar, however, said: Cast their worth into the salt lake, and he was answered: There is no redemption from idol-worship."

The gemara:

אמר רבי חגיי כד נחתית מן אילפא אשכחית רבי יעקב בר אחא יתיב מקשי נטל הימינה כרכר אסור בהנייה ארג בו את הבגד אסור בהנייה ותנינן ימכר כולו לנכרי חוץ מדמי יין נסך שבו אמר ר' יעקב בר אחא חגיי קשיתא חגיי קיימה מאי כדון תמן אין דרך בני אדם ליקח מן הנכרי ברם הכא דרך בני אדם ליקח בגד מן הנכרי

My translation:
Rabbi Chaggai said: when I went down from learning I found Rabbi Yaakov bar Acha sitting. I asked, (the Misha states) if you took from it a loom it is forbidden in benefit; if you weaved with it a garment it is forbidden in benefit. (And it continues, if the garment was mixed with others they all are forbidden in benefit.) Yet we learned in a Mishna (about if some wine libations to idolatry fell into a pit of wine) that you should sell it all (the entire contents of the pit) to a gentile minus the cost of the wine libations within it. (Thus, one would not derive benefit from it. So too here, why not say sell all of the garments except for the cost of the forbidden garment within it?!)

Rabbi Yaakov Bar Acha said, Chaggai asked, let Chaggai establish it (the answer).

(Rabbi Chaggai): How so? There (by the wine libations), it is not way of (Jewish) people to purchase wine from a gentile (because of stam yeynam, or yayin nesech), whereas here is is the way of people to purchase clothing from gentiles.

So there is a concern with selling to a gentile things prohibited in benefit to Jews, because Jews might eventually purchase it and come to use it. I would say wigs are more similar to clothing than to wine. (Note however that here we are dealing with a large amount of wine, and clothing. Donating to a non-Jewish charity? A similar concern. Watching to make sure only non-Jews receive them? Perhaps, but maybe the general principle that Chazal established even if in the specific instance one can make sure it does not come to pass (along the lines of Lo plug rabanan). Also, will the non-Jewish child, when he is done with the wig, sell it, or gift it? Perhaps it is only in cases of bulk items, but alternatively there is a problem putting it out into the world where a Jew may eventually come to make use of it.)


Deborah Shaya said...

REMOVAL OF SOURCES OF TUMAH, and AVODAH ZARAH (spiritual ‘uncleanliness’, which is extremely damaging) FROM YOUR HOME/LIFE:


We are specifically commanded against idolatry, in the Second Commandment:

‘Do not have any other gods before Me.’

‘Lo yiheyeh lecha elohim acherim al Panai.’

And: ‘Do not represent (such gods) by any carved statue or picture of anything in the heaven above, or the earth below, or in the water below the land. Do not bow down to (such gods) or worship them. I am G-d your Lord, a jealous G-d, who demands exclusive worship. Where My enemies are concerned, I keep in mind the sin of the fathers for (their) descendants, to the third and fourth (generation). But for those who love Me and keep My commandments, I show love for thousands (of generations.)

‘Lo ta’aseh lecha pesel, vechol temunah asher bashamayim, mima’al va’asher ba’aretz, mitachat va’asher ba’mayim, mitachat la’aretz. Lo tishtachaveh lahem, ve’lo ta’avdem, ki Ani Hashem Elokecha, Kel Kanah, poked avon avot al banim, al shileshim, ve’al ribe’im, le’sonay. Ve’osseh chessed la’alafim, le’ohavai, u’leshomrei mitzvotai.’ (Parshat Yitro, Chapter 20, verses 3-6)


Do not go into any of the following, as they are all places of idolatry, and Avodah Zarah (literally ‘strange worship’). They deny the Sovereignty of Hashem, the One G-d, and Creator of the World.

- Churches
- Buddist temples
- Hindu temples
- Greek temples
- Temples/buildings of any other kind of foreign worship.

There is a lot of Tumah in them (spiritual ‘uncleanliness’ which can affect a person has veshalom, physically in different ways). Always walk to the opposite side of the road rather than walk directly past one of these buildings e.g. a church.


These are graven images. They should immediately be removed from your home and discarded, no matter how much they might have cost, or the sentimental value attached to them. They are a strong source of Tumah.

2a. Tefillah/Prayer – at home

When praying at home, a person should endeavour to pray in a room which does not contain any portraits of people or statues.

Deborah Shaya said...


These are a strong source of Tumah, and bring in a lot of negativity into the home. These books negatively affect those who live in that home.

Go through every book in your home very carefully, and check for the following. If it falls into one of these categories, or you have doubt about it – sort them out into a pile, and then dispose of these books as soon as possible from your home. Or at least take them out of your home and put them in a shed if you can.

It is a very great mitzvah to remove such sources of Tumah from your home. If some of these books were expensive – discard them anyway, and put aside how much they cost. They are a form of Avodah Zarah, and should be removed immediately.

• Instead, place your EMUNAH (faith) in Hashem, that He will bless all your endeavours, and new, good things, will now be able to come into your life. You might start to feel better in yourself.

The following are some examples:

(a) ‘New Age’ books – (e.g. Indian authors, ‘Shambhala’ publications)

(b) Philosophical books (e.g. by Indian writers such as Deepak Chopra etc etc)

(c) Yoga/Tai Chi books – these physical exercises are based upon Avodah Zarah, and come from a source of Tumah. Practicing yoga or tai chi is therefore harmful to a Jewish person – spiritually, and therefore physically. Have Emunah in Hashem to find another alternative form of exercise.

(d) Meditation books - by non-Jewish or unorthodox Jewish writers.

Buddism abounds with “meditation.”

Meditation is only for Prophets – it is not for the ordinary man or woman.

(e) Books that appear ok – but contain many idolatrous images and drawings e.g. mathematical or philosophical books interspersed with pictures of dragons; snakes; mandalas; crosses; ‘third eyes’; hindu gods; hindu goddesses; buddas; tibetan gods; egyptian gods; greek gods; stone/gold idols etc etc – these should all be removed immediately from your home.


If you have taken holiday photographs of e.g. Buddist temples, whether on the outside or inside, these are a source of Tumah, and should be discarded. Similarly for buddist celebrations. These places of Avodah Zarah completely deny the Sovereignty of Hashem, the One and Only G-d, and Creator of the World. They should not be in your home.

The same applies to photographs of:
- Churches
- Hindu temples
- Greek temples
- Temples/buildings of any other kind of foreign worship.

Sort through your photographs, and discard those that relate to Avodah Zarah.

However attached you may feel to these photographs, they should be discarded, as they completely deny the Sovereignty of Hashem.

• Instead, place your EMUNAH (faith) in Hashem, that He will bless all your endeavours, and new, good things, will now be able to come into your life. You might start to feel better in yourself.

5. Discard any other items related in any way to Avodah Zarah. No matter how small and insignificant, or however large e.g. bookmarks with pictures of churches; jewellery and accessories.


1. Do not go into any places of idolatry.

2. Discard and remove from your home all stone/wood sculptures e.g. sculptures of:
(a) the human form (“nudes.”)
(b) the human face
(c ) statues – of the human form in particular.

3. Books – discard and destroy all books relating to Avodah Zarah.

4. Photographs – discard and destroy all photographs of Avodah Zarah.

5. Discard any other items you have relating to Avodah Zarah e.g.jewellery.

Deborah Shaya said...

HOW TO DO TESHUVAH FOR AVODAH ZARAH – once you have removed all sources of Tumah, and Avodah Zarah from your home/life.


1. Say the KETORET twice a week at least (Tefillah, prayer).

The Ketoret has great Kedushah, (holiness) and power to transform all negatives into positives. Say the full text of the Ketoret in the full “Sefarad” version.

If you can say it every day, including Shabbat, this is even better. You can say it as many times as you like during the day.

The Ketoret is said formally 3 times a day in total: twice in the Shacharit, and once during the Minchah prayer.

2. Decide on an amount to give to TZEDAKAH, (charity) in Israel, so that it ‘hurts you’ a little bit. Give to a proper registered charity, such as a hospital or emergency services.

3. MEZUZOT – (Positive Mitzvah, commandment in the Shema – affirming that G-d is One, and warning against idolatry.)

Check that:

(a) You have properly affixed a mezuzah on every doorway which needs a mezuzah. This includes archways, patio doors, folding doors, side doors to garden, garden doors.

(b) If any places in your home are lacking a mezuzah, purchase one as soon as possible from a qualilfied Sofer (Scribe), and put it up as soon as possible.

(c) Check that all your mezuzot are kosher, as soon as you can. These should be given to a qualified Sofer (scribe) for checking.

(d) Mezuzot should ideally be checked once a year.

4. Travel to the KOTEL in Israel. If you can travel with a group of people who are going for the purposes of Teshuvah, this is even better. The purpose will be to pray, (Tefila and Teshuva), and ask Hashem, Hakadosh Baruch Hu, for His forgiveness, for mechilah. If a group can be arranged, this will be a greater mitzvah for everyone who joins. If you can go individually to the Kotel, in the meantime, before the group travel, this is also very good.

5. When you have done 1-3 and/or 4 above, (summarised below as well), you should obtain the special BERACHA, (blessing) of someone who is known to be a TRUE KOHEN/COHEN. This will bring Hashem’s brachot of the material and spiritual blessings directly into your life.


1. Say the Ketoret – at least twice a week.
Say the full text of the Ketoret in the full “Sefarad” version.

2. Give Tzedakah to recognised charity in Israel

3. Mezuzot - Have you affixed a mezuzah on every doorway?
- Have you checked that all your mezuzot are kosher?

4. Kotel in Israel – in a group (and individually, if possible)

5. Bracha of a true Kohen/Cohen.

Deborah Shaya said...

1. A Jewish Person (whether of Sephardi or Eastern European origin) is not allowed to go into ANY church. Every church, is quite simply, a place of idolatry. A church is a place of Avodah Zarah.

If a person has gone into a church, he/she must do Teshuva to Hashem quickly.

A person must similarly do Teshuva to Hashem if he/she has been inside any other place of idolatry e.g. a Buddist temple/Hindu temple/Greek temple/buildings of any other kind of foreign worship. These are all places of Avodah Zarah.

If any Jew is a “Freemason,” this too is based upon Avodah Zarah. He/she must stop going to such a place, and associating with “freemasons.”

Hashem, our G-d, is a very “JEALOUS G-D” who demands “EXCLUSIVE WORSHIP.” (2ND Commandment of the Asseret Hadibrot.)

Teshuvah is very great and regarded very highly in Shamayim. A person should seize the opportunity to do Teshuva to Hashem right now, while "the Gates of Teshuva are open". By doing a true and sincere Teshuva to Hashem, the brachot (blessings) from Hashem will come into a person's life, and obstacles will begin to shift.

2.The Jewish People is a “Holy People.” “Am Kadosh.” We are so holy, that Hashem says to Moshe Rabeinu, in the Parsha of Yitro:

“Ve’atah im shamoa tishme’u bekoli, ushemartem et Beriti, viheyitem li segulah mikol ha’amim ki li kol ha’aretz. Ve’atem tiheyu li Mamlechet Kohanim ve’goi kadosh, eleh hadevarim asher tedaber el Benei Yisrael.” (Yitro, 19:5-6)

“Now, if you surely listen to Me (My Voice), and you keep My Covenant, you shall be to Me the most beloved TREASURE among all nations, for all the world is Mine. And you shall be to Me, a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, and a HOLY NATION.” These are the words that you must relate to the Children of Yisrael, Israel.”

We are referred to as being Hashem’s special “Treasure.” We are a “Holy Nation,” and so holy, that we are to emulate the Cohanim, who are of a much higher stature than the rest of the Jewish People. One day, we will all be on the level of a “Kingdom of Priests.”

The Benei Yisrael must follow the example of the true Cohanim. We should emulate the Cohanim in our daily lives, to make this into a reality.

Deborah Shaya said...

1. There should be NO MEDIATOR between a person’s tefillot and Hashem.

Hashem likes to hear the prayers, tefillot, from our OWN mouths. Even if all we know is how to recite the first 3 letters of the Aleph Bet: Aleph, Bet, Gimmel...

Our very own tefillot TO HASHEM, are much more precious than anything else.

By going to the Bet HaChaim (cemetery - incorrectly referred to as “the Ohel” by Lubavitch), and lighting a candle, praying, making a request, and then going home – such a person is “leaving it all to the tzaddik” who is not physically alive. You can’t leave it all “to him!”. This is completely Assur and forbidden.

We too, can be tzaddikim – and be like the tzaddik. The tzaddik has already made all his tefillot to Hashem in his lifetime. And these are very precious to Hashem. The tzaddik has now passed on.

Hashem is now waiting for US – to make our OWN tefillot to Him.

We pray to Hashem – at all times. If a person is insisting on praying to one of the creations of Hashem, instead of directly to the King Himself, Hashem will say to us, "You are meant to pray to ME!"

Remember that Hashem, our G-d, is a very "JEALOUS G-D" who demands "EXCLUSIVE WORSHIP." (2nd Commandment of the Asseret Hadibrot.)

What is your logic in going there?

The Ashkenazi tradition has encouraged people to do this, and it is very wrong. Teshuvah to Hashem must be done quickly.

Deborah Shaya said...

The written requests listed below should all be destroyed - as part of removing items connected with Avodah Zarah:

However “nice” or “comforting” or “accurate” the “reply you received” was; or whatever “beracha you received;” or “whatever the date of the letter was;” –these writings should be destroyed. They are Avodah Zarah.

There should be NO MEDIATOR between a person’s tefillot (prayers) and Hashem.

If a person chooses to use intercession instead of praying directly to Hashem, this is completely Assur, and forbidden.

(a) Written “Requests” of the Igrot/Igros (letters of advice written to other people by Rabbi M. Schneerson tz”l during his lifetime);

(b) FAXES AND LETTERS “SENT TO” Rabbi M. Schneersohn tz”l after he passed away in 1994 – at the Bet HaChaim (incorrectly referred to as the, “Ohel” by Lubavitch)

(c ) Any other communications (written) with tzaddikim at the Bet HaChaim (cemetery), who are not physically alive.

Deborah Shaya said...

Many people today have been misled into avodah zarah (idolatry), of one kind or another. Some people have been misled unknowingly. The sting of avodah zarah can cause terrible harm c"v.

Nevertheless, there is always great hope. And that is the great light of Teshuva (returning to Hashem, our G-d.) Hashem is calling out to us every day, to return to Him properly, with a pure heart:

“……shuvu Eilai ve’Ashuva aleichem amar Hashem Tzevakot…..” (Malachi 3:7)

“……return to Me and I will return to you, says Hashem, Master of Legions…..”

Teshuvah is very great and is regarded very highly in Shamayim. A person should seize the opportunity to do Teshuva to Hashem right now, while “the Gates of Teshuva are open”.

Teshuva is one of the greatest Gifts that Hashem, Our G-d, has given to us. So swallow your pride.

By doing a true and sincere Teshuva to Hashem, the brachot (blessings) from Hashem will come into a person’s life, and obstacles will begin to shift.

1. I have listed above:
(a) what the sources of Tumah, and Avodah Zarah are. (‘Tumah’ is spiritual ‘uncleanliness’, which is extremely damaging to a person’s home and life). And

(b) what a person should do to remove the sources of tumah and Avodah Zara from her/his home/life.

2. I have also listed above a few mitzvot, and practical steps that a person can take, in order to do Teshuvah for any kind of involvement in avodah zara.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin