Rules Governing Prohibitions against Idolatry

Defining "Idolatry"

Requiring a physical action for full violation: Shabbat 153b, 154a; Keritot 3a

The Matter of Intent

Accidental Idolatry: Shabbat 137a; Keritot 3a-b

Culpability for a person who thinks that Idolatry is permitted: Shabbat 72b; Keritot 3b

Culpability for a child who was raised among idolators and was never exposed to the idea that idolatry is prohibited: Keritot 3b

Bowing to an idol, thinking that the idol is something else: Shabbat 72b; Keritot 3a

Bowing to an idol that is not of silver and gold, thinking that the prohibition is specific to silver and gold: Keritot 3b

Bowing to a statue, accepting it as a god: Shabbat 72b; Keritot 3a

Bowing to a statue, without accepting it as a god: Shabbat 72b; Keritot 3a

Bowing to a statue, out of fear or love of the person depicted, but not for idolatry: Shabbat 72b; Keritot 3a


Where the punishment of sekilah takes place: Ketuvot 45b

Whether the prohibitions apply outside of Israel: Kiddushin 37a

Application of Kareit - Divine Excommunication for worshipping idols: Keritot 2a

Bringing a Korban Chatat [sin offering] to atone for worshipping idols: Keritot 2a

Considering someone an intentional violator of the whole Torah [Mumar] if he worships idols: Eruvin 69a-b

Whether a person who makes wine libations for idolatry is allowed to bring Temple offerings: Eruvin 69b

Two separate violations, during one period of ignorance of the law: Shabbat 72b; Keritot 3a-b

Liability for idolatry that does not involve a deed: Keritot 3b

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