Making a form of the human body in drawing or sculpture:
It is forbidden to form a sculpture of the human body. It is forbidden to make it even for purposes of mere beauty and decoration.
The prohibited form-Sculpture and protruding engraving versus drawing and internal engraving of above items: The Human body is only forbidden to be formed in a protruding method, such as a sculpture or a protruding engraving. It is however permitted to form the above items internally [such as an internal engraving, or a drawing on a surface], as is done in embroidery of a garment, or as is drawn on a board using ink. [One may thus draw a human on a board. Other Poskim however rule that it is forbidden to form a human body in any manner, whether protruding as a sculpture or protruding engraving, or whether as an internal engraving. Practically, one is to be stringent in this matter. Some Poskim rule that even according to this stringent opinion, it is permitted to make a drawing of the above items. Other Poskim rule that according to this stringent opinion it is forbidden to make even a drawing. Practically, the custom of all Jewry today is to be lenient regarding drawings.]
It is forbidden to make a complete sculpture or protruding engraving of a human. One should be stringent not to make an internal engraving of a human. There is room to be stringent against drawing the complete form of a human, although the widespread custom is to be lenient.
May one take or develop pictures of a human from a camera?
This matter falls under the dispute mentioned in A regarding whether one may make a picture of a human that is not protruding. Practically, while in previous times there were people who were stringent even regarding pictures of Gedolei Yisrael, the widespread custom today is to be lenient regarding all pictures of people. It is certainly permitted to be done for education purposes. Seeing the picture of a Tzaddik is a great Segulah for many matters.
 Michaber Y.D. 141:4; Avodas Zara 43b
 The reason: This is learned from the verse “Lo Sasus Iti” which is read Osi, do not make Me. Now, since Hashem at times appears like a human before the prophets, therefore He prohibited making sculptures of the human body. [Shach 141:21; Taz 141:11; Avoda Zara 43b]
 Michaber 141:4; Rambam
 Michaber ibid and 141:5 regarding signature ring; Rosh; Tosafus; Avoda Zara ibid; Shach 141:25; Levush, brought in Shach ibid
 The reason: As the above items are seen in full, in a protruding method, and hence only when it is formed in a protruding method is it considered to be made “like above.” [Shach ibid]
 Ramban, brought in Tur 141; Ran in name of Rishonim that so is Ikkur and is implied from the Talmud, brought in Taz 141:12; Erech Lechem of Maharikash, brought in Darkei Teshuvah 141:34; Gr”a 141:21 and 24 in name of Rambam; Taz 141:12 concludes “It’s a wonderment that the Michaber omitted these opinions, and regarding Halacha, certainly one is not to be lenient against the Ramban, Tur and Ran”; Beir Heiytiv 141:19 in name of Taz; Darkei Teshuvah 141:34 in name of Erech Lechem [Maharikash], Vayakhel Shlomo, Chida and Zechor Leavraham, Rashi, Aruch; Radbaz; Sheilas Yaavetz 1:101, brought in Yad Efraim, refused to allow a picture to be made on a bill of currency, saying that it is forbidden; Yearos Devash 1:2, brought in Pischeiy teshuvah 141:7 severely warns against having even pictures of these forms, even though from the letter of the law it is permitted; Chochmas Adam; Misgeres Hashulchan on Kitzur SHU”A 168:1 concludes one is to be stringent; See Ran brought in Darkei Moshe 141:4 that by Madur Elyon both protruding and internal are forbidden while by Madur Tachton only protruding forms are forbidden; See Teshuvas Lechem Rav 15, brought in Gilyon Maharsha 141:4
 The reason: As any of the forms that the Torah prohibited due to “Lo Sasun Iti” of the supernal worlds [i.e. Madur Elyon] and lower worlds are forbidden to be made whether in a protruding or internal method, and only regarding the Rabbinically prohibited forms is there a difference between a protruding or internal method. [Ramban, brought in Taz ibid]
 Taz ibid; Chochmas Adam; Misgeres Hashulchan on Kitzur SHU”A 168:1
 Darkei Moshe 141:5 in name of Mordechai Bava Basra 549 and Avoda Zara 840 in name of Maharam; Taz 141:13 “Seemingly a drawing:painting is more lenient than even an internal engraving, [and is thus permitted]”; Kneses Yechezkal 13, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 141:6; Yad Efraim 141 “According to majority of Poskim making a drawing is permitted”; Kneses Hagedola 141:67, brought in Darkei Teshuvah 141:47
 The reason: As a mere drawing cannot be defined as a sculpture:Pesel in any way as was never included in the prohibition against making the forms of Madur Elyon or Madur Tachton. A Pesel is something that is engraved or a sculpture, and hence a mere drawing is not included in the prohibition of Shokas, which is an internal engraving. [Darkei Moshe ibid in name of Mordechaiy and Maharam]
 Shach 141 in Nekudos Hakesef on Taz 141:13 “it is completely incorrect to suggest a difference between a drawing and an internal engraving, as is implied from all the Poskim”; Divrei Yosef 8 in implication of Rambam, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 141:8; Sheilas Yaavetz 1:101, brought in Yad Efraim, refused to allow a picture to be made on a bill of currency, saying that it is forbidden; Vayakhel Shlomo, Lechem Rav 15, Divrei Malkiel 3:58 in name of Rashba and Ritva that a drawing is considered Boletes, brought in Darkei Teshuvah 141:34-35; Beis Shlomo Y.D. 1:36 brought in Darkei Teshuvah 141:36, that a painting on a vessel is considered Boletes; Chochmas Adam; Misgeres Hashulchan on Kitzur SHU”A 168:1 concludes one is to be stringent; Yearos Devash 1:2, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 141:7 severely warns against having even pictures of these forms, even though from the letter of the law it is permitted; Dvar Shmuel 247, brought in Darkei Teshuvah 141:29, protests against making pictures of angels due to sacrilege;
 The Yaavetz writes that his father the Chacham Tzevi refused the Amsterdam communities request to make a drawing of him, even though most Poskim rule it is permitted to do so with a mere drawing, and it is not a complete figure and rather just his face, he nevertheless refused. Nevertheless, the community did not relinquish from their desire and secretly made a perfect drawing of his father when he was not noticing, and this painting was later published in the multitudes. [Sheilas Yaavetz 1:101, brought in Yad Efraim 141:4] Divrei Malkiel 3:58, brought in Darkei Teshuvah 141:34, protested against making pictures of even Gedolei Yisrael due to the prohibition of making a human form, as well as that according to Kabalah, a spirit of impurity resides on pictures, and by having a picture of a Tzaddik one causes impurity to reside on it.
 See Sichas 1950:51, 67
 See Sichas 1950:51, 67; Igros Kodesh [Rayatz] 12:86 [send picture to a Chasid]; Igros Kodesh 3:81; 11:162 and 12:266 [against fears]; Heichal Menachem 3:242 [To place by chair of Mila]
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