[Avodah] Shituf (was: seen on Facebook)

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Mon Jan 7 12:25:28 PST 2013

:> On 1/7/2013 10:15 AM, Meir Shinnar wrote:
:>> However, there is a major (? Dominant) strand of halachic thinking
:>> that does not view Christianity as avoda Zara for nonJews

: On Jan 7, 2013, at 1:33 PM, Lisa Liel <lisa at starways.net> wrote:
:> I don't think this is true. There's a common strand of thought among
:> people in general that says this, based on a complete misunderstanding
:> of what shituf means, but any halakhic sources that go along with that
:> are few and far between.

On Mon, Jan 07, 2013 at 02:19:48PM -0500, Meir Shinnar wrote:
: I don't have time to marshall sources, but the sources are quite
: numerous and major....

Coincidentally (if your beliefs about hashgachah allows room for that
idea), R' Neustadt, the Yosheiv Rosh of the Vaad haRabbanim of Detroit
just had a shiur on this posted to Torah.org.
<http://www.torah.org/advanced/weekly-halacha/5772/bo.html>. To quote
his description of this machloqes:
    Although the Rambam rules unequivocally that Christians are
    idol-worshipers[3], other Rishonim[4] are more tentative. Their
    view is based on the assumption that non-Jews are considered
    idol-worshipers only if they totally reject the existence of
    G-d. Christianity, however, combines the belief in G-d with other
    idolatrous and alien beliefs. Such a theology is called avodah zarah
    b'shituf (in combination). Some poskim rule that avodah zarah b'shituf
    is not considered full-fledged avodah zarah[5], while others maintain
    that it is[6].

    3. Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros 11:7. The line in the Rambam referring
    to Christians was censored. It appears in its entirety, however,
    in the Frankel edition of the Rambam. See also Rambam Hilchos Avodah
    Zarah 9:4, and Hilchos Teshuvah 3:8 for a similar ruling.

    4. Tosafos, Sanhedrin 63b in the name of Rabbeinu Tam; Meiri, Avodah
    Zarah 2a and 6b.

    5. Rama, O.C. 156 according to Pischei Teshuvah, Y.D. 147:2;
    Mor u'Ketziah 224; Sho'el u'Meishiv, Tanina 1:51; Seder Mishnah,
    Yesodei ha-Torah 1:7.

    6. Noda b'Yehudah, Tanina, Y.D. 148; Sha'ar Efrayim 24, quoting the
    Chelkas Mechokek; Peri Megadim, Y.D. 65:45; Teshuvos Chasam Sofer,
    O.C. 84. See Mishnah Berurah 304:4.

(If you go to the web page, you'll see he raises issues other than shituf
as well.)

Lemaaseh, an informal survey on 47th Street led me to conclude that most
of the Jews who sell necklace pendants in NY's Diamond Exchange rely on
Tosafos to sell crosses.

Notice though that shituf is not an alternative concept to AZ. Rather,
it's a type of AZ that is permissable to Benei Noach. For a Jew to
perform the rite to accomodate a Ben Noach would be assur, because for
the Jew AZ beshituf is still within the issurim of AZ.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             I always give much away,
micha at aishdas.org        and so gather happiness instead of pleasure.
http://www.aishdas.org           -  Rachel Levin Varnhagen
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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