Shalom, I am a Kohen.

After Shabbat I went to visit a neighbor’s house for the first time. While I was there I noticed a cabinet with photos of a woman and a card with her name, photo and year of birth and death.

I walked right by it to the dining room.

At the time I thought absolutely nothing of it.

There were so many other things on my mind and it passed my innocent mind.

Later I overheard another friend of mine being told to stop bouncing a ball in the residence. He was told: “Oh you shouldn’t bounce balls nearby the altar!” It became clear to me that cabinet with the photos was turned into a type of altar and shrine to her.

This seems wrong to me. Especially as a Kohen. I have never had this happen to me and I had no clue what to do. I want to do the right thing and not lie to myself or turn a blind eye.

Rabbi, how should I view this situation?





  1. I empathize with the shock you must have felt at hearing what you did. However,  I am not sure that the family is doing anything prohibited by having made a quasi “shrine” in their home.  Therefore, I really do not think that there is anything to “lie” about about or to “turn a blind eye to”.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team