429. Yuck: The prohibition against deriving benefit from idols

Do not bring an abomination into your house… (Deuteronomy 7:26)

Even holding on to something from an idol for future potential use is in and of itself prohibited. For example, wood from an asheira tree, which was worshipped as an idol, may not be stored for firewood. Burning it would be making use of it but even the mere act of stockpiling it inherently forbidden.

Again, the reason should speak for itself: the Torah tells us that such things are abominable and that we should not defile our houses with their presence. If a person does, and then he derives benefit from the object, he has violated two separate injunctions.

Also included in this mitzvah is not to have in our possessions anything that God would not want us to have, for example stolen property or money obtained by charging interest to another Jew. God doesn't want us to have such things and we will see no blessing from possessing them.

This mitzvah applies in all times and places. It is discussed in the Talmud in the tractates of Makkos (22a) and Pesachim (48a). It is codified in the Mishneh Torah in Hilchos Avodah Zarah chapter 8. This mitzvah is #25 of the 365 negative mitzvos in the Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvos and #18 of the 194 negative mitzvos that can be observed today as listed in the Chofetz Chaim’s Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar.