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Definition of an idol
#11
It's unlikely that your children's little doll babies, barbies, GI Joes, etc. are really so accurately "life-like" that there is a concern about this. Since removing an ear is one of the methods of nullifying a life-like forbidden image, you can check to see if the figure even has an ear that is accurately life-like, which could be removed. Also, if we are specifically talking about young children's commercial toys - things that an adult will not attach any special significance or intrinsic value to - it is not an issue to be overly concerned about.
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#12
Hello,

On one question posted, a man asks if he can go into an oriental restaurant where there is an idol. Director Michael said that if the idol is for decoration and not worship, then one may eat there. But is it implied that if there is an idol in family's house, no matter if it is for decoration or worship, one may not enter that house?

G-d bless
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#13
If the main purpose of the house is for a residence to live in, then the presence of idols in the house is a secondary matter, and it is permitted for a Noahide to go into the house - even if the resident actually worships the idols.

If the main purpose of the house is for the sake of the idols inside, so that the house is secondary to the idols, then it is forbidden for a Noahide to go into the house (unless there is some extenuating need) - for example, if the main purpose of the house is to protect the idols from the elements, or to serve as a place for people to gather for worshipping or honoring the idols.
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#14
If there is an IDOL in your house that YOU created, that means it is something that you deified by imagining it to have or represent an independent power, and through this you worshipped it, prayed to it, or performed some ritual service for it (or for the independent power which you imagined it represented).

Not only are such idols forbidden for a person to own, but also the accessories to such idols, and the things that were offered to them or with which they were ritually served.

Independent of this, some images are forbidden regardless of whether or not they are associated with idolatry. Those are anatomically accurate 3-dimensional solid forms of full-body humans or angels that are used for decoration or aesthetic viewing.

An object that was worshipped as an idol, or which served as an idol's furnishing, or which is a forbidden image, can be nullified and then used beneficially by Gentiles if a Gentile makes some damage on it to the extent that an idol worshipper would not be deem it to be acceptable for him to worship, or to use as a representation of his deity, or to use as an idol's accessory.

Items offered to idols can't be nullified, and are forbidden to derive benefit from.

This is all a brief overview. For the full details of what is an idol, what is a forbidden image, how those things can be effectively nullified or destroyed, and what is an offering to an idol, see our book "The Divine Code," Volume I, by Rabbi Moshe Weiner:

https://asknoah.org/books/the-divine-code

There may be other things in your house which are not idols, but which are not proper or healthy to own. For example: idolatrous books, idolatrous recordings, idolatrous images which are not strictly forbidden (such as 2-dimensional paintings of idols), and pornography. You also need to safely correct or manage things that are potential health hazards. You might also benefit by removing things that could lead you or your family members astray, or become a waste of time, or become addictive (such as the TV).
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#15
Director Michael Wrote:From the situation you described, I don't see that there are any issues for you. Please also refer back to Post #13 above. You may indeed live in your parents' house without such worry. Of course you should take care regarding interaction with those idolatrous forms.

If one is in that kind of situation where he/she is in a residence that has forbidden images but are not worshipped or deified in any way, is one allowed to actually touch and move such an image in order to move it away so that it won't be a distraction or for some other similar purpose?
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#16
Yes, for Gentiles that is permitted.
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#17
B"H

Sh'lom dear friends!

Is a Noahide allowed to believe in the validity of economic philosophies such as laissez-faire capitalism, or is such a belief forbidden as a conceptual idolatry?

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#18
That would not fall into the category of idolatry, as it does not involve worship or deification of something other than G-d.
Note that if a person does not recognize and believe in G-d, he falls into the category of a "deviant believer".
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#19
Sh-lom!

I know that idol is not always something physical.
Might perceiving of joy, happiness, pleasure etc. be considered as idol following?
Why fear of G-d and love to G-d as feelings one should derive on a constant level are not idolatrous?

Toda!
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#20
B"H
Thank you for this question:
> Might perceiving of joy, happiness, pleasure etc. be considered as idol following?

It is necessary to categorize the different levels in which a person can be involved in idolatry, and what the consequences are.

1) Within the 7 Noahide Commandments, the transgression that can be a capital sin is to physically do some action that is a way of worshiping or serving an entity that is not the One G-d Himself. and the person deifies that entity (by imagining or assigning it to have a god-like power, or a god-like standing), whether it is physical or spiritual, and whether it is something that is real or imagined. That is the sin of "serving an idol."

2) It may be that in his thoughts and beliefs, a person will deify some entity that is not G-d Himself, and imagine or assign it to have a god-like power or a god-like standing. but he does not do anything to worship or serve that entity. Then it remains at the level of an idolatrous belief. Even if he communicates his belief to others, and even if he goes so far to pray to it in his mind only, he still has not done any act of physical worship (such as praying to it by physically moving his lips), so he has not transgressed a capital sin. However, he is classed as an idolater, and unrighteous, for which his soul may be liable to punishment, and he is forfeiting the opportunity to have a part in the future World to Come.

In regard to the examples you asked about, it is clear that joy, happiness, and pleasure, as they are perceived or experienced by human beings, are creations of G-d.
So if a person imagines, for example, that there exists a separate power in the universe or in the Heavens, called "the Power of Joy," which he believes to have its own ability to willfully influence and exert effects on the creation, that is an idolatrous belief.
If he goes farther and physically prays or bows down to this imagined "Power of Joy," or if he undertakes specific actions by which he intends to serve and connect with it, that is the transgression of "serving an idol." For example, if he gets joy from eating ice cream, he might invent a ritual in which he regularly serves and worships the "Power of Joy" by eating ice cream, in honor of his deity.

But if a person just indulges his own personal desires, for the sake of his own enjoyment of the pleasure he gets from it, that person may have personal issues, but it does not fall within the definition of the sin of idolatry.

> Why fear of G-d and love to G-d as feelings one should derive on a constant level are not idolatrous?

Because (a) they are righteous feelings that are directed to G-d Himself, and (b) they are feelings that G-d Himself wants and instructs us to have on a constant basis, as much as the person is able (and even more). We can learn this from the fact that fear of G-d, and love of G-d, are two of the 613 commandments for Jews in the Torah, and according to human intellect (based on knowledge and understanding of the One True G-d), it is logical that every person should develop those emotions within himself.
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