AVODAH ZARAH 2 - Two weeks of study material have been dedicated by Mrs. Estanne Abraham Fawer to honor the Yahrzeit of her father, Rav Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Rabbi Morton Weiner) Z'L, who passed away on 18 Teves 5760. May the merit of supporting and advancing Dafyomi study -- which was so important to him -- during the weeks of his Yahrzeit serve as an Iluy for his Neshamah.

[2a - 22 lines; 2b - 56 lines]

1a)[line 1]לפני אידיהןLIFNEI EIDEIHEN - before their festivals of idol worship

(a)It is prohibited for a Jew to cause an idol worshipper to give thanks to his idols. As such, our Mishnah lists certain dealings with idol worshippers that the Rabanan prohibited for this reason, from three days before their festivals. For example, one who lends money to an idol worshipper with a deed of debt may not collect the loan at the time of their festivals (i.e. from three days before the festival), because it will cause the idol worshipper to give thanks to his idols that he no longer has the obligation to pay the debt (since there is no way that he can deny the debt when the lender is holding a Shtar).

(b)One who lends money to an idol worshipper without a Shtar may collect the loan at the time of their festivals, because the idol worshipper does not experience great joy at no longer having to pay the debt, since he could have denied it (for there is no Shtar).

b)[line 2]אידיהןEIDEIHEN- (lit. their destruction) their festivals of idol worship

2)[line 3]לשאת ולתת עמהםLASEIS V'LASES IMAHEM- to do business with them

3a)[line 3]להשאילןL'HASH'ILAN- to lend them items that will be returned

b)[line 3]ולשאול מהןLISH'OL MEHEN- to borrow from them items that must be returned

4a)[line 4]להלוותןL'HALVOSAN- to lend them money (Halva'ah (a loan) is different from Hash'alah (lending an item) since the borrower need not return the specific coins that he borrowed)

b)[line 4]וללוות מהןLILVOS MEHEN- to borrow [money] from them

5a)[line 4]לפורעןL'FOR'AN- to pay them back

b)[line 4]ולפרוע מהןLIFRO'A MEHEN- to collect one's debts from them

c)[line 5]נפרען מהןNIFRA'IN MEHEN- it is permissible to collect one's debts from them

6)[line 6]שמיצר הוא לוMEITZER HU LO- it causes him anguish

7)[line 8]עידיהןEIDEIHEN- (with an Ayin) their testimonials

8)[line 9]לא משתשבשLO MISHTABESH- does not make a mistake, does not blunder

9)[line 10]"כי קָרוב יום אידָם""KI KAROV YOM EIDAM"- "for their day of destruction is near" (Devarim 32:35).

10)[line 11]"יתנו עידיהם ויצדקו""YITNU EIDEIHEM V'YITZDAKU?"- "shall they (the idols) give witness and they (the idols worshippers) will be vindicated?" (Yeshayah 43:9)

11)[line 12]תברא עדיףTAVRA ADIF- [referring to] their destruction is preferable

12)[line 16]יתנו עידיהם ויצדקו, אלו ישראלYITNU EIDEIHEM V'YITZDAKU, ELU YISRAEL- they (Yisrael) will give their evidence (the Mitzvos, that testify that Yisrael should be vindicated) and they (Yisrael) will be vindicated

13)[line 18]"יוצרי פסל כולם תוהו וַחמודיהם בל יועילו; ועדיהם המה, [בל יראו ובַל ידעו למַעַן יבשו]""YOTZREI FESEL KULAM TOHU, VA'CHAMUDEIHEM BAL YO'ILU; V'EDEIHEM HEMAH, [BAL YIR'U U'VAL YED'U, L'MA'AN YEVOSHU]"- "All who make a graven image are nothingness, and the things in which they delight do not help them; they (the idols) bear witness against them (the idol worshippers) [for they do not see, nor know; so that they should be ashamed]" (Yeshayah 44:9).

14)[line 20]בחיקוB'CHEIKO- next to His heart (kiv'Yachol)

15)[line 21]בערבוביאB'IRBUVYA- intermingled (not as individual nations)

16)[line 21]"כל הַגוים נקבצו יַחדו [ויאָספו לאומים, מי בָהם יַגיד זאת וראשונות יַשמיעונו; יתנו עידיהם ויצדקו וישמעו ויאמרו אמת]""KOL HA'GO'YIM NIKBETZU YACHDAV, [V'YE'ASFU LE'UMIM, MI VAHEM YAGID ZOS, V'RISHONOS YASHMI'UNU; YITNU EIDEIHEM V'YITZDAKU, V'YISHME'U V'YOMRU 'EMES']"- "Let all the nations be gathered together, [and let the people be assembled; who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified, or else let them hear them say, 'It is truth']" (Yeshayah 43:9).

2b----------------------------------------2b

17)[line 1]וסופריהSOFREHA- its wise men (RASHI)

18)[line 2]"[...שני גוים בבטנך ושני לאמים ממעַיך יפרדו;] ולאום מלאום יאמָץ [ורַב יַעבד צָעיר]""[SHNEI GOYIM B'VITNECH, U'SHNEI LE'UMIM MI'ME'AYICH YIPAREDU;] U'LE'OM MI'LE'OM YE'EMATZ, [V'RAV YA'AVOD TZA'IR]"- "[Two nations are in your womb, and two kingdoms shall be separated from your insides;] and one kingdom shall be stronger than the other [and the elder shall serve the younger]" (Bereishis 25:23).

19)[line 6]משום דחשיבאMISHUM D'CHASHIVA- because it is important

20)[line 7]"[כן אמַר, חיותָא רביעָיתָא מַלכו רביעָאָה תהוא באַרעָא די תשנא מן כל מַלכוָתָא;] ותאכֻל כל אַרעָא ותדושינה ותַדקינה""[KEN AMAR, 'CHEIVASA REVI'AYESA...] V'SEICHUL KOL AR'A U'SEDUSHINAH V'SADEKINAH'" - "[Thus he (the Angel) said, 'The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be different from all kingdoms;] and shall devour the whole earth, and shall trample it down, and break it into pieces'" (Daniel 7:23) (ROME IN DANIEL'S DREAM)

(a)Daniel dreamed of four strange beasts, depicting the four major powers (Bavel, Paras/Madai, Yavan, and Rome) that would subjugate Yisrael in the course of history. This verse refers to Rome, the "fourth kingdom," represented by the fourth beast in Daniel's vision.

(b)The ten horns that this fourth beast possessed represented the ten kings that would rule in Rome. They would be followed by an eleventh, the wicked Titus, who would be different - stronger and more cruel than all the others. He would destroy three mighty kingdoms, Yisrael, Greece, and Yishmael. He would attempt to change our calendar and Torah laws, and Yisrael would be under his (and his successors') jurisdiction. Daniel goes on to hint as to how long that would last ("two times and half a time"), but the meaning of this is obscure. Later, the angel informs Daniel that all we can do is hope that it will pass soon, and that Mashi'ach will come to redeem us from the clutches of Edom and Yishmael (see Metzudas David, verse 23).

21)[line 8]רומי חייבתROMI CHAYEVES- Rome, the wicked

22)[line 9]שטבעה יצא בכל העולםSHE'TIV'AH YATZA B'CHOL HA'OLAM- whose renown has gone out in the world, i.e. who is the current world power

23)[line 12]"[ויהיו דבָרַי אלה אשר התחַננתי לפני ה' קרבים אל ה' א-לקינו יומָם וָלָילָה;] לַעשות משפט עַבדו ומשפט עַמו ישרָאל [דבַר יום ביומו]""...LA'ASOS MISHPAT AVDO U'MISHPAT AMO YISRAEL [DEVAR YOM B'YOMO]"- "[And let these, my words, with which I have made supplication before HaSh-m, be near to HaSh-m, our G-d, day and night;] that He maintain the cause of His servant, and the cause of His people Yisrael [at all times, as each day may require]" (Melachim I 8:59) - The "servant" mentioned in this verse is Shlomo ha'Melech (who is also the speaker), indicating that the king comes before the people.

24)[line 13]לאו אורח ארעא למיתב מלכא מאבראיLAV ORACH AR'A L'MEISAV MALKA ME'AVRAI- it is not Derech Eretz (proper conduct) for the king to sit outside

25)[line 15]מקמי דליפוש חרון אףMEKAMEI D'LEIFUSH CHARON AF- before the anger of HaSh-m increases (if He judges the people first, His anger (kiva'Yachol) will be kindled against them for their innumerable sins and the king will bear the brunt of the punishment when he is judged

26a)[line 17]שווקיםSHEVAKIM- open-air markets

b)[line 17]מרחצאותMERCHATZA'OS- bathhouses

27)[line 18]וכולם לא עשינו אלא בשביל ישראל כדי שיתעסקו בתורהV'CHULAM LO ASINU ELA BISHVIL YISRAEL KEDEI SHE'YIS'ASKU BA'TORAH- since this Gemara describes the Romans (and Persians, etc.) at the time of the Final Judgement in the Olam ha'Emes, they realize that everything that they did was for the purpose of enabling Bnei Yisrael to learn Torah (CHIDUSHEI HA'GRIZ AL HA'TORAH, citing RAV CHAYIM MI'BRISK)

b)[line 20]שוטים שבעולם!SHOTIM SHEBA'OLAM!- You big fools! (HaSh-m does not call them "Shakranim" (liars) because they are speaking the truth; however, since they lost the opportunity to accomplish their acts with the correct intention, they are called "Shotim," for a fool is defined as someone who loses that which is given to him - Chagigah 3b, see Background to Bava Metzia 80:14a) (ibid.)

c)[line 21]כל מה שעשיתם, לצורך עצמכם עשיתםKOL MAH SHE'ASISEM, L'TZORECH ATZMECHEM ASISEM- You did not know during your lifetime that everything you did was in order to enable Bnei Yisrael to learn Torah; your intentions were only for your own benefit (ibid.)

28)[line 23]לעדן בהן עצמכםL'ADEN BAHEN ATZMECHEM- [in which] to refresh yourselves; to improve your complexions

29)[line 28]יצאו בפחי נפשYATZ'U B'FACHEI NEFESH- they went out devastated, dejected

30)[line 30]"וַארו חיוָה אָחרי תניָנָה דמיָה לדוב, [ולשטַר חַד הקמַת ותלָת עלעין בפֻמה בין שנה; וכן אָמרין לַה קומי אכֻלי בשַר שגיא]""VA'ARU CHEIVAH ACHORI SINYANAH DAMYAH L'DOV, [VELI'STAR CHAD HAKIMAS, U'SELAS IL'IN B'FUMAH BEIN SHINAH; V'CHEN AMRIN LAH, 'KUMI ACHULI BESAR SAGI!']" - "And behold another beast, a second one, resembling a bear, [standing to one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, 'Arise, devour much flesh!']" (Daniel 7:5) (PERSIA IN DANIEL'S DREAM)

(a)The second beast in Daniel's dream (see entry #20 above) represented Persia, which was compared to a bear (or a wolf). Thus, the verse concludes with the metaphor of eating a lot of meat.

(b)The bear stood beside the lion to represent the delay of a year, the time it took for Koresh, King of Persia, to assume the reins of power, which had been held by his father-in-law, Daryavesh, King of Medes. The three ribs represented the three kings who were destined to rule over Persia: Koresh, Achashverosh, and Daryavesh (under whose auspices the Beis ha'Mikdash was rebuilt). As for the large quantity of meat that the bear would eat, that referred either to the total annihilation of Bavel, as described by the Navi Yirmeyah (Perakim 50-51), or to the vast treasures which the kings of Persia discovered.

31)[line 32]ומסורבלין בשר כדובMESURBALIN BASAR K'DOV- cloaked with flesh like a bear

32)[line 34]הרבה כרכים כבשנוHARBEH KERACHIM KAVASHNU- we captured many large, walled cities

33)[line 37]אנגריאANAGARYA- the king's service, including forced labor of man and beast, army service, and tax collection

34)[line 43]מאי שנא הני דחשיבי,ומאי שנא הני דלא חשיבי להו?MAI SHENA HANEI D'CHASHIVEI, U'MAI SHENA HANEI D'LO CHASHIVEI LEHU?- Why were these [kingdoms of Daniel's dreams who subjugated Yisrael] mentioned (i.e. Rome and Persia) and why were those [kingdoms who subjugated Yisrael] not mentioned (i.e. Babylon and Greece)?

35)[line 44]משכי במלכותייהו עד דאתי משיחאMASHCHEI B'MALCHUSAIHU AD D'ASI MESHICHA- their kingdoms will last until the coming of Mashi'ach

36)[line 46]"וַיאמַר ה' מסינַי בא וזָרַח משעיר לָמו; [הופיעַ מהַר פארָן ואָתָה מרבבת קדש; מימינו אש דת לָמו]""VA'YOMAR, HASH-M MI'SINAI BA V'ZARACH MI'SE'IR LAMO, [HOFI'A ME'HAR PARAN V'ASA ME'RIVEVOS KODESH; MI'YEMINO ESH DAS LAMO]"- "And he (Moshe) said, HaSh-m came from Sinai and radiated from Se'ir to them (to the descendants of Esav). [He revealed Himself from the Mountain of Paran (to the descendants of Yishmael) and then approached with some of the myriad Angels of the Holy Sanctum; from His right hand He presented the fiery Torah to them]" (Devarim 33:2) - HaSh-m offered the Torah to all of the nations before he offered it to Bnei Yisrael.

37a)[line 46]"א-לוק מתימָן יָבוא [וקָדוש מהַר פארָן סלָה; כסה שמַים הודו, ותהלתו מָלאָה הָאָרץ]""E-LOKA MI'TEIMAN YAVO..."- "HaSh-m comes from Teiman, [and the Holy One from Mount Paran, Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise]" (Chabakuk 3:3).

b)[line 47]בשעירSE'IR- the mountains of Se'ir, home of the descendants of Esav (Bereishis 36:8)

c)[line 47]בפארןPARAN- the wilderness of Paran, home of the descendants of Yishmael (Bereishis 21:21)

38)[line 47]שהחזירהHECHEZIRAH- he circulated it (the Torah); he brought it to [the nations of the world]

39a)[line 47]אומהUMAH- kingdom

b)[line 48]ולשוןLASHON- people who speak the same language

40)[line 49]ועל דא תברתהון, אמאי לא קבלתוה?!V'AL DA TEVARTEHON, AMAI LO KIBALTUHA?!- But their ruin is due to this - why did you not accept it?!

41)[line 50]כלום כפית עלינו הר כגיגיתKELUM KAFISA ALEINU HAR K'GIGIS?- Did you ever hold over us a mountain like an upturned barrel (O.F. cuve) [as you did for Bnei Yisrael]?

42)[line 51]"... וַיתיַצבו בתַחתית הָהָר""... VA'YISYATZVU B'SACHTIS HA'HAR"- "... and they stood at the foot of the mountain" (Shemos 19:17) - Based upon the word "b'Sachtis," which has the connotation of "underneath," the Gemara renders this verse as, "... and they stood underneath the mountain."

43a)[line 53]הראשונות ישמיעונוHA'RISHONOS YASHMI'UNU- let us hear about the prior ones (i.e. the Mitzvos that were commanded before the Torah was given)

b)[line 54]"וראשונות יַשמיעונו""V'RISHONOS YASHMI'UNU"- see above, entry #16

c)[line 54]שבע מצותSHEVA MITZVOS (SHEVA MITZVOS BNEI NOACH)

(a)People other than Jews are often referred to as Bnei Noach (since all of mankind is descended from Noach). Mankind was commanded to keep seven Mitzvos from the time of Adam ha'Rishon and Noach, before the Jewish nation existed. Although the Mitzvos of the Torah superseded these Seven Mitzvos for the Jewish nation, these Mitzvos remain binding to Bnei Noach today.

(b)The seven Mitzvos are:

1.Avodah Zarah, not to worship idols.

2.Birkas (i.e. Kilelas) HaSh-m, not to curse HaSh-m.

3.Shefichus Damim, not to murder.

4.Giluy Arayos, not to engage in illicit or incestuous relationships. (Besides adultery, the Gemara (Sanhedrin 57b-58b) discusses which relatives a Ben Noach is prohibited to marry.)

5.Gezel, the prohibition of stealing.

6.Ever Min ha'Chai, not to eat a limb that is detached from an animal when it is alive (see Background to Sanhedrin 56:27).

7.Dinim, enacting courts and appointing judges to keep law and order.

(c)All of these are general commandments with many details. Transgressing any one of them is considered such a breach in the natural order that the offender incurs the death penalty. Chazal termed this as, "Ben Noach - Azharaso Zo Hi Misaso" - "Any act prohibited to a Ben Noach invokes the death sentence" (RAMBAM Hilchos Melachim 9:14).

(d)Besides these seven major Mitzvos, Chazal received a tradition that there are other Mitzvos and prohibitions that are incumbent upon Bnei Noach. The Beraisa (see Sanhedrin 56b) notes certain Tana'im who rule that other prohibitions are incumbent upon Bnei Noach. These prohibitions are:

1.Dam Min ha'Chai, not to eat blood that is taken from an animal when it is alive.

2.Sirus, not to perform castration.

3.Kishuf, witchcraft.

4.Harba'as Behemah, the prohibition of mating different species of animals.

5.Harkavas ha'Ilan, grafting different plant species.

(e)The Amora'im add two more prohibitions:

1.Keeping Shabbos, that is, they are prohibited to choose a day of the week on which to refrain from work (Sanhedrin 58b).

2.Learning Torah, other than the portions that deal with the seven major Mitzvos above (Sanhedrin 59a).

(f)The Rambam (ibid. 8:11) writes that all Bnei Noach who accept upon themselves the Seven Mitzvos and are careful to keep them are termed "Chasidei Umos ha'Olam" ("the Pious Ones of the Nations") and they merit a share in the World to Come. However, they must keep these Mitzvos specifically because HaSh-m commanded them in the Torah through Moshe Rabeinu. If they keep and perform these Mitzvos as logical guidelines for the survival of the world, they are not termed "Chasidei Umos ha'Olam." When a Ben Noach fulfills a Mitzvah of the Torah that is not prohibited to him, he receives the reward of an "Eino Metzuveh v'Oseh" - "one who performs a Mitzvah in which he was not commanded." This reward is less than the reward of one who performs Mitzvos in which he was commanded (Gemara Bava Kama 38a, Kidushin 31a).

44)[line 55]"עָמַד וַימודד ארץ, רָאָה וַיתר גוים [וַיתפצצו הַררי עַד שחו גבעות עולָם; הליכות עולָם לו""AMAD VA'YEMODED ERETZ, RA'AH VA'YATER GOYIM, [VA'YISPOTZETZU HAREREI AD, SHACHU GIV'OS OLAM; HALICHOS OLAM LO]"- "He stood, and shook the earth; He beheld, and caused the nations to tremble; [and the everlasting mountains are dashed in pieces, the everlasting hills bow; His ways are as of old]" (Chabakuk 3:6) - The Gemara renders the words "va'Yater Go'yim" as "and He rescinded [the prohibitions previously commanded to] the nations."

45)[last line]איתגורי איתגור?!ISGUREI ISGUR?!- Do they profit?!

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