Statue of Liberty

Question

May one own a Statue of Liberty replica or a flag of New York? Both show the goddess of Liberty.

, 2 months

Answers

  1. The flag is without question not an issue, since it is two-dimensional and the prohibition against making or having an idol is only when the idol appears as we perceive it.

    This means that something that we see in two dimensions, such as the sun or moon, is problematic to draw in two dimensions – since that is how we see it.

    But a person, or something that represents a human figure, such as the Roman goddess of liberty that you mention, would only be forbidden if it would be in three dimensions – as we would view a person-like figure.

     

    Re the Statue of Liberty, there are a few reasons to permit having a replica. One is that it is not really an idol that is known or worshipped nowadays. Another reason to be lenient is that it is not a totally complete and whole three dimensional depiction of the goddess of liberty. For example, my children and many others I know were strict to break off a part of a doll (Barbie’s nose?) that represented a human body. But that is a strictness that is not truly needed, although I wouldn’t make fun of someone who wants to be strict out of sincere concern for following Jewish law carefully. But it is not really necessary, since even Barbie is not a true idol who is worshipped! And the Statue of liberty is not a total and complete figure, as I mentioned, and is therefore permitted. But, as with Barbie, if someone personally chooses to be strict and stay away from keeping this statue in their home – I would understand and be respectful.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team