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Destroy idols and their accessories? - greenjuice - 09-03-2008

mitzvah 185) To destroy all idols, their temples, and other idolatrous items

Application to gentiles: Required?

but it seems to be required to destroy a statue or a cross only if you own it, not if it's a property of another.

RE: destroy idols and their accessories? - Director Michael - 09-06-2008

Hello greenjuice,

Sorry to say that you have taken information from an unreliable web site. "Mitzvah 185" is a Jewish commandment, and the source verse actually reads (Deuteronomy 12:2): "You [the Jewish people] shall surely destroy all the places where the nations FROM WHOM YOU [the Jewish people] SHALL TAKE POSSESSION [in the Holy Land] worshiped their gods ..."

A Gentile is only obligated to destroy OR NULLIFY actual idols that come into his or her own possession. In other words, if the Gentile wants to use the physical object of the idol for some personal benefit (instead of destroying it), he or she has to first nullify the idol. This means damaging it in some way that makes in unfit to be worshiped by the idolators (e.g. breaking off the nose from a human statue).

Also, any Gentile (even a righteous Noahide) can nullify any idol for his own use or the use of any other Gentile. The rules are more restrictive as to who can nullify an idol to make it permissible for a Jew to benefit from it.

RE: destroy idols and their accessories? - Elizabeth78 - 08-05-2009


I have a question about destroying books related to idolatry. I have several books from my past (15 years ago) that relate to astrology and other false religious doctrines. Normally I donate my books, but now that I am a Noahide, I feel uncomfortable donating these types of items. I would be concerned that they could be used as an accessory to idol worship. What would be the best way for me to dispose of these books?

Thank you for your help!

RE: destroy idols and their accessories? - Director Michael - 08-07-2009

Does your community have a paper recycling program? By removing the covers (if hardback) and putting them in with your recycling paper, you'll be helping the environment, as well as accomplishing the disposal of the books. Since they are books that relate to false religious doctrines, there is no sanctity associated with any Divine Names that might be printed in such books in non-Hebrew translation or transliteration.

For more Q & A posts on this subject, see our forum thread titled "Names of G-d in idolatrous texts," at

RE: destroy idols and their accessories? - Joachim ben Noach - 10-05-2009


A righteous child must destroy or nullify idolatrous items inherited by idolatrous parents.
("The Divine Code" Part II 10:10)

What if idolatrous items are given him by parents/family who do not treat these as idols, but the items are dear to them the destruction or nullification would cause the family members anguish?

Should one rather not receive these items from the outset?

Thank you very much.

RE: destroy idols and their accessories? - Director Michael - 10-18-2009

Depending on what the items are and how they were used, it could be that there is no obligation to destroy or nullify the items. In that case, if you can avoid receiving them without causing the family members anguish, that would be best. But you could receive them for the sake of maintaining peace.

Although there is an obligation to destroy or nullify an actual idol that comes into your possession, note that in "The Divine Code," Volume 1, Part II 7:4, p. 201-202, it says: "Objects that are prepared to be used in serving an idol or to beautify it ... are not forbidden until they are actually used for these purposes."

RE: destroy idols and their accessories? - Hrvatski Noahid - 08-31-2010

Hello dear Rabbis and fellow Noahides, my name is Robert and I am new here. My question for You is this:

I have recently purchased a bottle of Croatian mineral spring water because of its health benefits. However, I noticed that there is a 2-D image of a figure on the label depicting an idolatrous deity. My first guess was that it represents a regular statue but their internet site specifically mentions that the figure is a pagan deity. I have cut out the figure on the cover with a pair of scissors in the attempt to nullify it. Is it now permissible to drink the bottled water?

Thank You for your time,
with blessings and greetings from Croatia, Europe.

RE: destroy idols and their accessories? - Director Michael - 09-02-2010

The 2D image of the Greek god on the label would not be worshiped, so it's not required nullify it. You may deface or remove the image, or not, as you wish.

Just the presence of the 2D pagan image on the label does not make the bottled water forbidden to drink. The only thing that would make it forbidden is if the water itself were somehow used as an offering to an idol, or as an accessory in a service to an idol, before it was bottled.

If you suspect that the owners of the mineral water company might be pagan worshipers of that Greek god (which is unlikely, I think), you could call them or write to them and ask about that.

Currency coin - Hrvatski Noahid - 02-10-2017


I wish to sell a silver currency coin. It is a special medallion with an image of an actual idol. This means it is prohibited (The Divine Code, p 187, Editor's Note).

The Divine Code says that a metal idol may be sold to someone who will definitely melt it down and utilize the metal for another use (p 201, topic 4).

P. 221, topic 16 implies that I need to sell the coin to a Jewish smelter.

If I cannot find a Jewish smelter, may I sell the coin to somebody else?

RE: Destroy idols and their accessories? - Rabbi Moshe Weiner - 02-12-2017

If you know for sure that the one you sell it to will melt it down, it is permitted to sell it to him.
If you can't find someone whom you know will melt it down, you can damage the image on the silver medallion coin (e.g. by hammering it), and then sell it to someone who deals in scrap precious metals.