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JEWS and NON JEWS-----christianity

Danielson Posted - 19 November 2001 17:03

Is Christianity considered Avoda Zara, if they are serving J, is that considered A"Z?

MODERATOR Posted - 19 November 2001 20:49

Yes, it is avoda zara.

Captain Posted - 26 November 2001 20:21

Why? Explain, is it protestants Catholics or on the whole Christianity?

MODERATOR Posted - 26 November 2001 20:31


Because they worship a god who impregnates women, and other characteristics such as a trinity that constitutes idolatry as opposed to worshipping the real G-d.

Captain Posted - 27 November 2001 21:54

However, I was told that it is not really a"z it is schituf which is permissible for non - Jews.

MODERATOR Posted - 27 November 2001 22:09

Nah. Here's the story:

The Rambam (Machalos Asuros 11) writes that the Christians are plain idol worshippers.

The Noda B'Yehuda writes (YD 148) that it is a common mistake to think that Goyim are not commanded against schituf. The reality is they are. The error, he says, comes from a Rama that says you are allowed to cause a non-Jew to swear to his god, since he is not swearing to an idol but just adding his idol to Hashem, meaning schituf.

But the NB"Y points out that all this means is that the Goy does NOT declare the idol to be a deity in the oath, but the belief itself that a deity shares power with G-d is really idolatry. Only the oath is permitted, since it does not express his real belief.

Other poskim concur with the Noda Beyehuda.

And although there are some poskim who do hold that Goyim are not commanded against schituf, but it doesn’t make a difference anyway, because that only means that the Goyim are not sinning for being idol worshippers, which is between them and Hashem, but as far as we are concerned, we are commanded against schituf, and that makes them idol worshippers to us (Responsa Binyan Tzion I:63).

rasi. Posted - 28 November 2001 21:44

but according to this opinion aren’t we forbidden from doing business with them? i.e. buying anything from them?

That would make out lives a tad complicated, we would have to know who owned every store etc....

MODERATOR Posted - 28 November 2001 21:48

No. You are allowed to do business with idol worshippers.

You are probably referring to one of two Halachos - either the Halachah that we may not do business with them 3 days before their holidays since they will use our business to thank their idols - which does not apply nowadays since they don’t have such holidays today. Or two, that you cannot do business with them that will bring them to swear in the name of their idol. The Rama permits this. Please see above.

rasi. Posted - 29 November 2001 15:00

Ok so if we are learning in history about something that has to do with Christianity, would we write G-d? or god?

rasi. Posted - 29 November 2001 15:00

But doesn’t the Rambam consider Sunday to be one such holiday?

Also, would the reference to "God" in the declaration of independence and that sort of thing be considered Avodah zara, being that it was written bye a Christian?

Also how come we are allowed to say Christian? shouldn’t we be writing x-tian?

MODERATOR Posted - 29 November 2001 16:55

No. Sunday is not such a holiday. They used to offer sacrifices to their gods on such holidays.

When referring to the Creator of the world, you write G-d. When referring to anything else, it is god.

The Christians themselves don't really know which one they mean. Here's a story:

When Rav Elchonon Wasserman ZTL came to America, he refused to bring US currency into the bathroom, since it says "In God We Trust"!

When a Talmid of R. Elchonon, R. Tuvia Goldstein shlita, reported this to Rav Moshe Feinstein ZTL, R. Moshe disagreed. "God to them means Yoshka. When they refer to Hashem they use the word 'Lord'", he said.

So Rav Tuvia went to a priest and asked him who is right - R. Elchonon or R. Moshe - what does "god" mean to them and what does "lord" mean?

The priest had no idea. He said they don’t really think that much into it.

Ooookay. But as far as I understand, it would seem Rav Elchonon was correct here. They refer to Yoshka as the "son of G-d" - implying that G-d means the Creator, and they have "The Lord's Prayer", Lord in that context referring to Yoshka.

ApostatesGrandchild Posted - 04 December 2001 19:14

Why do you think G-d couldn't impregnate a woman? Isn't he omnipotent?

Also, why the story of a pregnant virgin is more insulting to the common sense and less convincing than stories about sticks turning into snakes, splitting seas etc. G-d in the Hebrew Bible does things even more unrealistic and childish than impregnating virgins.

MODERATOR Posted - 04 December 2001 20:41

G-d could conceivably (pardon the pun) cause a woman to get pregnant, but that would not make G-d the father, any more than He was the father of Adam. For that, c"v to happen, G-d would have to perform a biological act to impregnate the woman, qualifying him as a father.

Although G-d is omnipotent, He cannot perform biological acts, since He is beyond all physicality. G-d cannot scratch His nose, pull His hair, or sneeze, and none of that diminishes His omnipotence.

Being all-powerful does not mean having the ability to weaken yourself.

Being unlimited does not include the ability to limit yourself.

All such physical acts would imply G-d being physical, which would mean He is not G-d.

So G-d COULD NOT, G-d forbid, come and impregnate a woman.

And never mind the immorality of such an act. Like, doesn’t the Bible say not to commit adultery?

Christianity believes that G-d c"v did just that!

Yiddishe_Shikse Posted - 06 February 2002 15:30

If Christianity is avoda zarah does it mean that no Christian will have a share in the world to come? and no Hindu, no Buddhist, no taoist will resurrect no matter how good human being he might have been?

How about a Christian who saved Jews during the holocaust risking or maybe even sacrificing his life? Is olam haba reserved for Jews only (as 99% of humanity doesn’t fall under category of noachides)?

How can a Hindu or Buddhist in India know that Hashem is the one and only true G-g?

Most of them never had any contact with Jews and their scriptures.

How can Hashem punish Buddhists and Hindus and others for being idol worshipers when he didn't even bothered to tell them that he is the one and only God? That doesn't make sense.

MODERATOR Posted - 07 February 2002 19:33

Someone who cannot know the truth will not be punished for his sins - like a Tinok shenishba - but neither can he be rewarded for what he did not do.

Not being resurrected is not a punishment. G-d doesn’t owe anyone resurrection. Resurrection is a reward, that must be earned.

Not every being is given an opportunity to get resurrected. Some beings are not given free-will - they are created as animals, sticks and stones, or even angels. But nobody complains that angels will not get Olam Habbah.

This is because we understand that, for whatever reason, Hashem decides to "offer" some people the opportunity to get Olam Habah and not others. There is no way to know why, but one thing we do know - whatever Hashem does is for the best. Maybe if Hashem gave certain angels Bechirah they would certainly misuse it, and so in Hashem's benevolence, He held it back from them. In fact, Chazal say that the angels were once given Bechirah by Hashem and they immediately started sinning.

So why Hashem made a horse a horse and not a human is an interesting question, but not something that would strike us an unfair.

Some beings' purpose in this world is to do Mitzvos and go to Olam Habah, other beings' purposes may be more peripheral, but if Hashem does not give them a chance to get Gan Eden, that means Gan Eden was not their tachlis.

The same thing applies to certain segments of "humanity". If Hashem did not put them in a position that it is possible for them to know the Truth, then that means, ultimately, that they were not given Bechirah to choose Torah, since they had no opportunity. If that is the case, then their purpose in the world is not to choose Torah, but rather some other, peripheral purpose, like the creations outside of humanity.

The fact that someone is part of "humanity" does not mean that you should assume they are automatically entitled to Olam Habbah.

Also important to note is that Goyim are not merely clones of Jews but with a different set of laws. Spiritually, they are two totally different species. This does not mean that Jews are "superior" as a race - this is not a racial distinction (Jews are Caucasians, they are not a different "race") but a spiritual one. A Jew can become an enemy of G-d, and a non-Jew can become a supporter of G-d. It all depends on how you deal with the job you are given.

april Posted - 12 February 2002 21:29

Hi. I am new to this board. I am a Christian (a born-again Christian/protestant, I am not Catholic) from the United States, and I just have some honest questions.

I am very interested in Israel, the Jewish people, and just increasing my knowledge of what you believe.

I have some general questions, and was wondering if you could answer them?

1. What is Avoda Zara?
2. What is Schituf?
3. I have never heard of sacrifices given to idols on Sunday's - is that a Catholic practice?
4. Why, when writing G-d do you eliminate the o?
5. What is olam haba?

Thank You!!

MODERATOR Posted - 12 February 2002 21:39

1. idol worship
2. where you worship G-d, but you believe that He shares dominion with some other entity
3. I did not mean that they bring sacrifices on Sunday. I said that in the olden days, idol worshippers used to bring sacrifices on their holidays. I said Christians do not do this.
4. because it is disrespectful for the Creator to have his name in a mundane place (as opposed to holy writings for instance)
5. the place souls go to after death to get reward for following G-d's instructions while alive

SmarterGirl Posted - 27 February 2002 18:52

If Christianity stems from Judaism, and is based on Judaism, then isn't their God our God? Just because they believe that God was Jesus’ father, does that mean that they think that God is someone different than the God that we refer to when we say God? Their religion came from a good source, from Judaism, they just messed it up and added in apikorsus. But that won't change the fact that it came from Judaism.

CGNC Posted - 24 May 2002 16:09

Answering as a Goyim myself (Non-Catholic Christian), I don't believe the Orthodox Christian would consider G_d to have had relations with Mary (Mormons and other cults excluded).

The terms Father and Son refer to the subject-object relationship and not that G-d had relations with any woman. We also believe that G-d is spirit (no human body) so having relations with anyone in that since would be Non-Sequitur.

MODERATOR Posted - 24 May 2002 16:32

If that is the case, then Jesus is no more G-d's "son" c"v than Adam was. They are both creations of G-d, without any physical assistance from a father.

The fact that Christians consider Jesus a "son" of G-d, whatever that means, as opposed to Adam, who also had no father, indicates something more than a mere subject-object relationship.

Of course this doesn’t mean physical relations, but the fact that G-d did, according to Christianity, cause a married woman to be pregnant with "His son" c"v as opposed to, say an Adam, flies in the face of her marriage, since part of being married means you are not going to get pregnant with anyone else's children but your husband's. (No better than artificial insemination - what does Christianity say about that??)

Parthi Posted - 10 June 2002 0:30

Hi I am a Christian. Not in any denominations. Can be called 'Bible Believers'.

I want to have Jew friends...

OK. Some questions.

Are Jews are waiting for coming of Messiah?

MODERATOR Posted - 10 June 2002 0:44

Yes, they are.

098765 Posted - 10 June 2002 5:10

What the Moderator meant was that Jews are waiting for the Messiah to come. NOT who you believe is the Messiah. he is not the one who we are waiting for.
Just to clarify.

aripeanuts Posted - 30 July 2004 8:58

Just to clarify-

Christians believe that the Son (Yeshua or Jesus) is "eternally begotten" from the Father. There is a functional relationship between them, but there is no difference in substance.

No, Christians do not believe that G-d (CHAS VECHALILAH) has sexual intercourse, and you are right moderator, that there is more to it than a subject-object relationship. There is more to it in that they are both of the same essence (G-d), which makes it very different than the relationship between HaShem and Adam.

They are both Lord, and they are both G-d, according to what Christians teach. In the joke, the priest's ambivalence to your question was because the mystery of the trinity of G-d is assumed to him such that he didn't understand your perspective of "which god is G-d?" He maybe also didn't know too much about Judaism.

The idea of a triune (three in one) G-d is pretty mysterious even to believers in it, but the best analogy would be a triangle: One figure, three different sides. The figure is unified and one, but yet each side is separate. As to whether its avoda zara this may not help, but does that make sense in and of itself?

MODERATOR Posted - 30 July 2004 10:22

The trinity idea is the avodah zorah of Christianity - Hashem cannot be quantified in that way. You cant say He has 3 aspects or 3 angles or 3 sides or whatever, it means 3 as opposed to 4 or 2.

And once you characterize Hashem Himself as being or having, or consisting of, any particular number of anything - be it aspects or characteristics or sides or angles, you've locked G-d into boundaries of quantity, which of course is only possible if Hashem would be a measurable, i.e. composite, i.e. physical, being c"v. And that's Avodah Zarah.

The whole thing makes no sense - you can't have One G-d Who is three, and He cant be three and One at the same time.

Twerpchicago Posted - 18 August 2004 11:47

But we say that god has 13 attributes, isn’t that somewhat similar to three attributes?

MODERATOR Posted - 18 August 2004 12:26

Chas v’sholom.

The 13 Midos of Hashem are NOT emotions of His or parts of Him or attributes at all. They are 13 ways that His behavior affects us. They are 13 different ways that we FEEL Hashem's actions.

But they do not represent any parts of Hashem. Please see the "G-d" forum where this is explained at length.

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