1

It is written: "You shall not make with Me gods of silver."1 Our Rabbis, of blessed memory, received by tradition2 that this verse is a command not to draw pictures of objects of the heavens above or the spheres below. You shall not make anything resembling My "attendants" that minister before Me. Therefore, it is forbidden to draw a picture of the "four faces" on the Chariot,3 the images of the Seraphim,4 Ophanim,5 and the ministering angels. It is also forbidden to draw pictures of the sun, the moon, and the stars. Even if they are not in relief, it is forbidden to make them,6 even when made for a non-Jew. However, it is permissible to keep them in your house, if they are not in relief. You must not tell a non-Jew to make them, because telling a non-Jew (to do a prohibited act) is forbidden in regard to all prohibited acts, as it is pertaining to acts prohibited on Shabbos.

א

כְּתִיב, לֹא תַעֲשׂוּן אִתִּי אֱלֹהֵי כֶסֶף וְגוֹ', וְקִבְּלוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ זִכְרוֹנָם לִבְרָכָה, דְּזוֹהִי אַזְהָרָה שֶׁלֹּא לְצַיֵר צוּרוֹת שֶׁבַּמָּדוֹר הָעֶלְיוֹן וְשֶבַּמָּדוֹר הַתַּחְתּוֹן, וְהַיְנוּ, לֹא תַעֲשׂוּן כִּדְמוּת שַׁמָּשַי הַמְשַׁמְּשִׁין לְפָנָי. וְלָכֵן אָסוּר לְצַיֵר צוּרוֹת אַרְבָּעָה פָנִים שֶׁבַּמֶּרְכָּבָה וְצוּרוֹת שְׂרָפִים וְאוֹפַנִים וּמַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת, וְכֵן אָסוּר לְצַיֵר צוּרוֹת חַמָּה וּלְבָנָה וְכוֹכָבִים. וַאֲפִלּוּ אֵינָן בּוֹלְטוֹת, אָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹתָן, וַאֲפִלּוּ בִּשְׁבִיל גּוֹי. אֲבָל לְהַשְׁהוֹתָן בַּבַּיִת, אִם אֵינָן בּוֹלְטוֹת, מֻתָּר, רַק שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמַר לַגּוֹי לַעֲשׂוֹתָן. מִשּׁוּם דַאֲמִירָה לַגּוֹי, אֲסוּרָה בְּכָל הָאִסּוּרִין כְּמוֹ בְּאִסּוּרֵי שַׁבָּת.

2

It is also forbidden to sculpture the image of a person. It is prohibited to sculpture even the face of a person, and it is even forbidden to keep it in your house, unless you disfigure it to some extent. However, only a full face is forbidden,7 that is, when it has two eyes and a complete nose,8 but if it is only half a face, a profile, like some artists who form one side of the (picture) face, it is not forbidden.

ב

וְכֵן אָסוּר לְצַיֵר צוּרַת אָדָם. וַאֲפִלּוּ רַק פַּרְצוּף פְּנֵי אָדָם לְחוּד, נַמִּי אָסוּר. וַאֲפִלּוּ לְהַשְׁהוֹתָהּ, אָסוּר, עַד שֶׁיְקַלְקֵל אוֹתָה קְצָת. וְדַוְקָא בְּצוּרָה שְׁלֵמָה, דְּהַיְנוּ בִּשְׁתֵּי עֵינַיִם וְחֹטֶם שָׁלֵם. אֲבָל אִם אֵינָהּ רַק חֲצִי הַצוּרָה מִצַד אֶחָד, כְּדֶרֶךְ קְצָת הַמְצַיְרִים צַד אֶחָד שֶׁל הַצּוּרָה, זֶה אֵינוֹ אָסוּר.

3

If a ring has a seal on it, consisting of a person's image, and the image was made in relief, you are forbidden to keep it; but it is permissible to seal with it because then the signature becomes depressed. If the image on the ring is depressed, you may keep the ring, but you are forbidden to seal with it, because it comes out in relief.

ג

טַבַּעַת שֶׁיֵשׁ עָלֶיהָ חוֹתָם שֶׁהוּא צוּרַת אָדָם, אִם הָיְתָה הַצּוּרָה בּוֹלֶטֶת, אָסוּר לְהַשְׁהוֹתָה, וּמֻתָּר לַחְתֹּם בָּהּ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנַעֲשֵׂית שְׁקוּעָה. וְאִם הָיְתָה הַצּוּרָה שׁוֹקַעַת, מֻתָּר לְהַשְׁהוֹתָהּ, וְאָסוּרּ לַחְתֹּם בָּה, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנַעֲשֵׂית בּוֹלֶטֶת.

4

It is forbidden to gaze at the image of a person, for it is called a pessel (idol), and this is in violation of the Scripture, "Do not turn to idols." However, with regard to the images on coins, since everyone is accustomed to them, it is permitted. A very pious person is even careful about this.9

ד

אָסוּר לְהִסְתַּכֵּל בְּצוּרַת אָדָם, שֶׁהֲרֵי נִקְרָא פֶסֶל, וְעוֹבֵר מִשּׁוּם, אַל תִּפְנוּ אֶל הָאֱלִילִים. אֲבָל בְּצוּרוֹת שֶׁעַל הַמַּטְבְּעוֹת, כֵּיוָן שֶׁרְגִילִין בָּהֶן, מֻתָּר. וְהֶחָסִיד נִזְהָר גַּם בָּזֶה

5

It is forbidden to make a house modeled after the sanctuary of the Bais HaMikdosh, having the same length, height, and width, or a vestibule modeled after the ulam in the Bais HaMikdosh or a court modeled after the azarah in the Bais HaMikdosh or a table modeled after the Table that was in the Bais HaMikdosh, nor a candelabra modeled after the menorah that was in the Bais HaMikdosh. But you may make one with five stems, or of six or eight (stems), but not of seven stems, even if it is made of metals other than gold,10 and even without cups, knobs, and flowers, and even if it is not eighteen tefachim high, because all these things were not essential even in the Bais HaMikdosh Menorah.

ה

אָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת בַּיִת תַּבְנִית הֵיכָל כְּשִׁעוּר אָרְכּוֹ וְגָּבְהוֹ וְרָחְבּוֹ, אַכְסַדְרָה תַּבְנִית אוּלָם, חָצֵר תַּבְנִית עֲזָרָה, שֻׁלְחָן תַּבְנִית הַשֻּׁלְחָן שֶׁהָיָה בְּבֵית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ, מְנוֹרָה תַּבְנִית הַמְּנוֹרָה שֶׁהָיְתָה בְּבֵית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ. אֲבָל עושֶׁה שֶׁל חֲמִשָּׁה קָנִים אוֹ שֶל שִׁשָּׁה אוֹ שֶׁל שְׁמוֹנָה. אֲבָל שֶׁל שִׁבְעָה לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה, אֲפִלּוּ מִשְׁאָר מִינֵי מַתָּכוֹת, וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּלֹא גְבִיעִים וְכַפְתּוֹרִים וּפְרָחִים, וַאֲפִלּוּ אֵינָהּ גְּבוֹהָה שְׁמוֹנָה עָשָׂר טְפָחִים, מִשּׁוּם דְּכָל אֵלּוּ הַדְּבָרִים, גַּם בַּמְּנוֹרָה שֶׁבַּמִּקְדָּש לֹא הָיוּ מְעַכְּבִין.

6

Some are accustomed to make a seven-branched candelabra by shaping six in a circle and one in the middle. But many Poskim forbid this, and the stricter opinion should be followed when there is doubt regarding a Scriptural prohibition.

ו

יֵשׁ נוֹהֲגִין לַעֲשׂוֹת מְנוֹרָה לְשִׁבְעָה נֵרוֹת, דְּהַיְנוּ שִׁשָׁה בְּעִגּוּל וְאֶחָד בָּאֶמְצַע. אֲבָל הַרְבֵּה פּוֹסְקִים אוֹסְרִים זֹאת. וְיֵשׁ לְהַחְמִיר בִּסְפֵק אִסּוּר דְאוֹרָיְתָא.

7

Anyone who prepares anointment oil with the same formula and weight as prescribed in the Torah, is liable to the penalty of excisement. If he did it unknowingly, he is liable for a sin-offering, providing he had prepared it with the intention to anoint himself with it. Anyone who prepares incense with the eleven ingredients prescribed in the Torah, and in the same proportion, even if he prepared only one-half, or one-third of that quantity, is liable to the penalty of karess (excisement). If he prepared it for the purpose of making a study of it, he is guiltless.

ז

הָעושֶׁה שֶׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה בְּמַעֲשֶׂה וּבְמִשְׁקָל הָאָמוּר בַּתּוֹרָה, חַיָב כָּרֵת. וּבְשׁוֹגֵג, חַיָּב חַטָּאת, וְהוּא שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה אוֹתוֹ כְּדֵי לְהִמָּשֵׁחַ. וְהָעוֹשֶׂה קְטֹרֶת מֵאַחַד עָשָׂר סַמְמָנִין שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה לְפִי הַמִּשְׁקָל, אֲפִלּוּ לֹא עָשָׂה אֶלָּא חֶצְיָהּ אוֹ שְׁלִיֹשִיתָהּ, חַיָּב כָּרֵת. עָשָׂה לְהִתְלַמֵּד בָּהּ, פָּטוּר.