SHAILAH OF THE WEEK: CAN I RENT SPACE TO A CHURCH?
Here’s a halachic question that crossed my desk this past week:
A frum real estate lawyer from Lakewood, NJ, called me with the following shailah. His client, a religious Jew, is about to close on a mixed-use property with a church occupying one of the commercial spaces. Now, the buyer has some doubts.
Is he permitted to receive rent from the church? Would this be considered ‘benefitting from Avodah Zorah’ which is prohibited according to halacha (and may this Jewish lawyer close for the client, or is he too indirectly benefitting from Idolatry)?
Additionally, the halacha states that a Jew cannot allow idols onto property he owns. Would this be another violation as well?
Is there a difference in the church denomination? If the tenant pays a non-Jewish management company directly, may the management company cuts checks to the landlord?
Join me tonight after kabbalas shabbos and before maariv to hear the answer!
If you cannot make services this evening, feel free to email me your own answer to email@example.com I would love to hear your thoughts!