The 185th mitzvah is that we are commanded to demolish all idols and their places of worship with all kinds of demolition and destruction — breaking, burning, dismantling, and cutting down. Each method is to be used where most effective, i.e. where it will achieve the most complete and speedy destruction. The goal [of this commandment] is that there should not remain any remnant of [idolatry].

The source of this commandment is G‑d's statement (exalted be He),1 "You must certainly destroy all the places [where the nations … worship their gods]." Scripture also states,2 "What you must do to them is tear down their altars [break their monuments, cut down their idolatrous trees, and burn their statues]." Scripture also states,3 "You must tear down their altars, break their monuments [burn their idolatrous trees, and break their idolatrous statues]."

In Tractate Sanhedrin,4 our Sages mention parenthetically a positive commandment relating to idolatry. They then seek to clarify the point by asking, "What positive commandment5 relating to idolatry is there? Rav Chisda explains, The commandment, 'You must tear down [their altars].'"

In the words of the Sifri, "What is the source for the law that if you cut down a tree which was worshipped as an idol, and it regrew [after you have cut it down even] ten times, that you are still required to cut it down? The Torah therefore says, 'a'beid t'ab'dun'."6 Our Sages also said there, "The verse,7 '[You must tear down their altars, break their monuments, burn their idolatrous trees, and break their idolatrous statues,] and you shall obliterate their names from that place,' teaches that only in Eretz Yisrael are you command to chase after them, but you are not commanded to chase after them outside Eretz Yisrael."