Section: Halacha   Category: Tshuvos
Rav Vosner: Riding A Taxi With A Cross Hanging From The Rearview Mirror
The Shulchan Aruch (YD 142:15) paskens that looking at the beauty of Avodah Zara is forbidden.  The Shach (33) says this is referring to Avodah Zara itself, and only forbids staring at the beauty.  Rav Vosner (Shevet HaLevi 8:47:2) says that according to this, if you go into a taxi that has a cross and an image displayed inside the taxi there shouldn't be a problem.  Firstly the cross is probably not worshipped and secondly there is no intrinsic beauty, nor are you looking at it for pleasure.

Although Tosfos and the Rosh (Shabbos 149a) hold that only staring for beauty is assur, the Chida brings opinions that even looking not for beauty is assur.  The Sefer Chasidim also holds that you may not look at all.  However says Rav Vosner, since when you go into a taxi you have no intention to look nor are you interested in the cross and you have no other solution, even in light of these opinions it would be mutar to ride in the taxi.

Important Note: We bring this tshuvah as a starting point for discussion and not to convey any halacha.  We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation.  Please understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.