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Magic Shows

 

Often different institutions and organizations seek ways for fundraising by enjoying various entertainers that would be acceptable to an Orthodox audience and seemingly not violate halachic standards.

With the recent upsurge of interest in magic and magicians, one should be aware of an important halachic consideration.

Rabbi Avraham Danzig, o.b.m., the author of the authoritative halachic work, “Chochmas Odom” rules that any type of slight of hand magic or illusion, such as pulling out a snake from a seemingly empty garment or throwing a ring into the air and pulling it out of someone’s mouth who is standing in front of him is prohibited by the law of the Torah.

This ruling is based on the statement of Rambam (Sefer Hamitzvos no.32).  Therefore he writes that those entertainers who do these tricks at weddings are transgressing Torah law and whoever tells them to do these actions is transgressing the principle of “Lifnei Iver.”

He adds that whoever can protest against this practice should do so and certainly it is prohibited to look upon it.  However if it is a non-Jew that does these actions, it is permissible to observe them.  (Chochmas Odom 89,6).  See also R. Ovadiah Yosef in Yechava Da’at III, 68 and Yabia Omer V, 14.

 

HaRav Gedalia Dov Schwartz, Shlit"a
Rosh Beth Din

HaRav Yona Reiss, Shlit"a
Av Beth Din

 

Rabbi Sholem Fishbane
Kashruth Administrator

Rabbi Levi Mostofsky
Executive Director

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