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Semichah in the Talmud and Today
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(This should not be relied upon for practical halacha. When a question arises a Rabbi should be consulted.) In Parshas Pinchas we are told of Moshe Rabbeinu giving semichah to his prized student, Yehoshua [He laid his hands upon him and commanded him, in accordance with what G-d had spoken to Moshe. (Pinchas 27:23)]. Many […]
162. Idols Under Trees, In Houses, On Stones
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Avodas Kochavim 8:4 Let’s say that an idol is placed under a tree. It is prohibited to derive benefit from the tree so long as the idol is under it. When the idol is removed, it becomes permitted to benefit from it again. This is because the tree was not itself the thing being worshipped. […]
161. Water, Rocks, and More
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Avodas Kochavim 8:2 If someone bowed down to water that was lifted up by a wave, he would not cause that water to become prohibited. If he picked some water up with his hands and bowed down to it, that water would be rendered prohibited. If rocks that slid off a mountain were worshipped where […]
160. When Nature is Worshipped Idolatrously
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Avodas Kochavim 7:19 One may derive benefit from animals slaughtered with a knife used for idolatry because doing so decreases the animal’s value. If the animal was likely to die, it is forbidden to derive benefit because slaughtering it enhanced its value; this would then constitute benefitting from an accessory of idolatry. Similarly, one may […]
159. Idols with Bathhouses; Bathhouses with Idols
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Avodas Kochavim 7:17 If an idol has a bathhouse or a garden, one may derive benefit from it so long as he does not express gratitude. If one must express gratitude for the service, it is prohibited. If the garden or bathhouse is owned jointly by the place of idolatrous worship and another party, one […]