BACKGROUND TO THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Yerushalayim
[12a - 39 lines; 12b - 31 lines]
1) [line 1] SHAFSU - who rested [two pots on the stove, one belonging to the Yisrael and one belonging to the idolater]
2) [line 1] KEDEIROS - pots
3) [line 1] KIRAH - a stove that contains an open space for kindling wood or other fuel and two burners (i.e. holes in its upper section) on top to rest two pots
4) [line 3] BESAR NEVEILAH (ISUR ACHILAS NEVEILAH)
A Neveilah is a carcass of a Kosher animal that died without a Halachic slaughtering (or that was slaughtered improperly). The Torah states, "You shall not eat anything that dies by itself (Neveilah). You shall give it to the stranger who is in your gates, that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a Nochri, for you are a holy people to HaSh-m, your Elokim." (Devarim 14:21). A person who eats a k'Zayis of Neveilah is liable to Malkus (RAMBAM Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros 4:1) and a k'Zayis or more of a Neveilah makes a person or an object Tamei through Maga (contact). It is Metamei a Keli Cheres (an earthenware utensil) if it enters the utensil's interior and is Metamei a person with Tum'as Masa (by carrying it) to cause him, in turn, to be Metamei the clothes that he is wearing (RAMBAM Hilchos She'ar Avos ha'Tum'ah 1:1).
5) [line 8] BISHULEI OVDEI KOCHAVIM
(a) Chazal enacted a decree that foods that were cooked by Nochrim even in a Jew's house or in a Jew's pots are prohibited to eat. The decree was instituted to prevent intermarriage and to prevent the possibility that the Nochri might feed non-Kosher food to Jews.
(b) Only foods that must be cooked were included in the decree. If they are edible raw, the Nochri has not added to those foods a significant change to prohibit them. Furthermore, only foods that are important enough to be served to kings are prohibited if a Nochri cooked them. It is not customary to invite others to a banquet where less important foods are served. Therefore the sages did not worry that these foods would bring about a mingling of Jews and Nochrim.
6) [line 11] TZINORA - a small amount of liquid
7) [line 14] V'LO MI'TOCHAH L'IR ACHERES - and not [to pass] through it to another city
8) [line 17] KOTZ - a thorn
9) [line 18] YISHCHEH - bend down
10) [line 23] MA'AYAN HA'MOSHECH - a wellspring that flows
11) [line 26] PARTZUFOS HA'MEKALCHIN MAYIM - [fountains made out of] statues of faces that pour forth water [from their mouths]
12) [line 29] SILON - a pipe
13) [line 29] MIPNEI HA'SAKANAH - because of the danger of swallowing a leech (O.F. sansue)
14) [line 30] D'LO MISCHAZI - that he is not seen
15) [line 31] MAR'IS HA'AYIN - when something looks to the eye [like a prohibited action]
(a) Certain actions are prohibited mid'Rabanan because, to the outside observer, these actions are indistinguishable from others that are prohibited mid'Oraisa or mid'Rabanan. If these actions were permitted, onlookers might misinterpret the actions they see being done and learn to permit actions that are really prohibited as well. Chazal use the words "Mar'is ha'Ayin" to describe these prohibitions.
(b) The Tana'im argue (Shabbos 146b) whether it is only prohibited to perform such actions in public (where others might observe and misinterpret them), or even in private. Even according to those who prohibit the act in private, there are times when actions prohibited due to Mar'is ha'Ayin are permitted in private:
1. Some say that an act prohibited because it looks like an Isur mid'Rabanan is permitted to be done in private (Tosfos to Kesuvos 60a DH Mefarek).
2. Others write that if an act is prohibited because people might think that another act, which actually is prohibited, was done along with it, then it may not be done even in private. If an act is prohibited because people will mistakenly think that the very act that was done is not permitted, we allow him to do it in private. (See Insights to Kesuvos 60:2.)
(c) For example, the Gemara (Bava Metzia 90a) brings a Beraisa that teaches that one should not let an animal that is threshing Terumah or Ma'aser work without allowing it to eat. Although the prohibition of muzzling an animal that is threshing ("Lo Sachsom") does not apply to produce of Terumah or Ma'aser, nevertheless, observers might not realize that the produce being threshed is Terumah or Ma'aser, and might think that it is permitted to muzzle an animal threshing ordinary produce. We therefore require the owner of the produce to hang a sack of fodder (of the same type as the produce being threshed) before the animal's mouth, so that it will not eat from the Terumah or Ma'aser, yet, at the same time, it will not be muzzled.
16) [line 3] ALUKAH - (O.F. sansue) a leech, bloodsucker
17a) [line 4] NEHAROS - rivers
b) [line 4] AGAMIM - ponds
18) [line 8] NIMA SHEL MAYIM - (O.F. sansue) a leech, bloodsucker
19) [line 9] CHAMIN - hot water
20) [line 11] AD'HACHI V'HACHI - in the meanwhile (while they are waiting for the water to boil)
21) [line 12] LIGMA CHALA - he should gulp swallow vinegar
22) [line 13] ZIBURA - a hornet or bee
23) [line 14] REVI'ASA D'CHALA SHAMGAZ - a Revi'is (a quarter of a Log, approximately 75, 86.4 or 150 cc, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions) of strong vinegar (O.F. aigre)
24a) [line 14] EFSHAR D'CHAYEI PURSA - perhaps he will live a little bit longer
b) [line 15] AD D'MAFKID A'BEISEI - until he can give directions to the members of his household (his last will and testament)
25) [line 18] SHAVRIREI - blindness (also, the name of the demon that is appointed to administer blindness in certain circumstances)
26) [line 18] TZACHI - thirsty
27) [line 19] LISARYEI - wake him up
28) [line 20] NEKARKESH B'NICHTEMA A'CHATZBA - he should bang the lid on the pitcher
29) [line 23] KASEI CHIVREI - cups of water (see Girsa Section to Pesachim 112:3)
30) [line 24] ME'UTAROS - decorated
31) [line 25] BEIS SHE'AN - the Roman city of Beis She'an (see Shi'ur to Avodah Zarah 8: Highlights of a Roman City)
32a) [line 28] VERED - roses
b) [line 28] HADAS - myrtle
c) [line 29] PEIROS - fruits
33) [line 30] "LO YIDBAK B'YADCHA ME'UMAH MIN HA'CHEREM" - "[And] nothing of that which was devoted to Avodah Zarah shall remain in your hand; [that HaSh-m may turn from the fierceness of His anger, and show you mercy, and have compassion upon you, and multiply you, as He has sworn to your fathers.]" (Devarim 13:18)
Index to Background for Maseches Avodah Zarah