BACKGROUND TO THE DAILY DAF
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AVODAH ZARAH 74 (19 Cheshvan) - dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Chaim Mordechai ben Harav Yisrael Azriel (Feldman) of Milwaukee, by the members of the Feldman family.
[74a - 29 lines; 74b - 40 lines]
1) [line 2] OROS LEVUVIN - the hides of animals whose hearts were removed through a round hole cut near the heart, and were offered to Avodah Zarah
2) [line 2] SHOR HA'NISKAL (SHOR HA'NISKAL)
(a) The term Shor ha'Niskal refers to any animal or bird that is stoned to death by Beis Din. Such an animal is Asur b'Hana'ah after the death sentence is issued. One of the instances of Shor ha'Niskal is an animal that killed a person, as described in Shemos 21:28-31.
(b) In the event that an animal killed a person, only if two witnesses saw the act is the animal stoned by Beis Din and Asur b'Hana'ah. If only one witness saw it, or if there were no witnesses but the owner told Beis Din of the incident, the animal is not stoned and is Mutar b'Hana'ah. If it is an animal that is fit to be brought as a Korban, it is Mutar b'Hana'ah but is unfit to be brought as a Korban.
3) [line 3] EGLAH ARUFAH
(a) If a Jew is found murdered in a field (in Eretz Yisrael) and it is not known who the murderer is, the Torah requires that an Eglah Arufah be brought in order to atone for the blood that was spilled (Devarim 21:1). The procedure is as follows:
(b) Five elders (according to the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah, which is the Halachah) of the Beis Din of the Lishkas ha'Gazis (the Jewish Supreme Court) measure the distance between the dead body and the cities around it to determine which city is closest to it.
(c) The elders of the city that is closest to the corpse must bring a female calf that has never been worked (see Background to Bava Metzia 30:12:b) to a Nachal Eisan (a swiftly flowing stream - RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:2; a valley with tough soil - RASHI). They strike it on the back of its neck (Arifah) with a cleaver, severing its spinal column, gullet and windpipe. This calf is the "Eglah Arufah" and becomes Asur b'Hana'ah.
(d) The elders of the closest city then wash their hands there and say, "Our hands have not spilled this blood, and our eyes did not see [the murder]" (Devarim 21:7). This includes a proclamation that the dead man was not sent away from the city without the proper food for his journey or the proper accompaniment. The Kohanim that are present say, "Atone for Your people Yisrael whom You have redeemed, HaSh-m, and do not place [the guilt for] innocent blood in the midst of Your people, Yisrael" (ibid. 21:8). After this procedure, HaSh-m will grant atonement for the innocent blood that was spilled (RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:3).
4) [line 3] TZIPOREI METZORA
(a) THE PROCESS BY WHICH A METZORA BECOMES TAHOR - On the day that a Metzora is healed from his Tzara'as, he takes two kosher birds (*Tziporei Metzora*), a piece of cedar, some crimson wool and a hyssop branch. One of the birds is slaughtered over fresh spring water in a new clay bowl. A Kohen dips the other bird, along with the other articles, into the spring water that is mixed with the blood and sprinkles it seven times on the Metzora. The living bird is sent away towards the fields. Both birds are Asur b'Hana'ah, but the Isur is removed from the living bird after it is sent off to the fields.
(b) The Metzora next shaves with a razor all places on his body that have a collection of hair and that are exposed, and immerses in a Mikvah. He is now considered Tahor to the extent that he may enter a settlement, but marital relations are forbidden (Moed Katan 7b). He then counts seven days (Yemei Sefiro), and on the seventh day he once more shaves and immerses. He is then completely Tahor but is still a Mechusar Kaparah (see Background to Shevuos 11:7). (For a description of the Korbanos that a Metzora brings on the eighth day, see Background to Kidushin 35:24c-e.)
5) [line 3] SE'AR NAZIR (TIGLACHAS HA'TAHARAH - The shaving of a Nazir Tahor)
When a Nazir completes his period of Nezirus, he must offer three sacrifices: a male sheep as an Olah, a female sheep as a Chatas, and a ram as a Shelamim. Together with the Shelamim he brings 6 and 2/3 Esronos of Soles (fine flour), which are made into 20 loaves of Matzah, 10 Chalos (unleavened loaves of Matzah) and 10 Rekikin (flat Matzos). He then shaves off the hair of his head and burns it under the pot in which the Zero'a (the right foreleg) of the Shelamim is cooked (Bamidbar 6:18). His hair is Asur b'Hana'ah.
6) [line 4] PETER CHAMOR
(a) There is a Mitzvah to redeem each firstborn male donkey, as the verse states, "v'Hayah Ki Yevi'acha HaSh-m El Eretz ha'Kena'ani...v'Chol Peter Chamor Tifdeh v'Seh, v'Im Lo Sifdeh va'Arafto" - "And it shall come to pass that when HaSh-m brings you to the land of the Kena'ani... And every firstborn donkey must be redeemed with a sheep [that is given to a Kohen]. If it is not redeemed, you must decapitate it" (Shemos 13:11-13).
(b) The Kedushah of Bechor rests on every firstborn male of a bull, goat or sheep when it comes out of its mother's womb. Nevertheless, there is a Mitzvah for a person to sanctify it himself (Erchin 29a, based on Devarim 15:19). He must then give it to a Kohen; it may not be redeemed.
7) [line 4] BASAR B'CHALAV
(a) The verse, "Lo Sevashel Gedi ba'Chalev Imo" - "You shall not cook a young lamb in its mother's milk," is written in the Torah three times; in Shemos 23:19, in Shemos 34:26, and in Devarim 14:21.
(b) These three verses prohibit 1. cooking meat and milk together, 2. eating them after they have been cooked together, and 3. deriving any benefit from them after they have been cooked together. By Torah Law it is forbidden to consume milk and meat that was cooked together; the Chachamim instituted that it is forbidden to consume meat and milk together in any fashion.
(c) One reason given for this law is that meat represents death (the slaughter of the animal), while milk represents new life, and it is not proper to mix life and death (REKANATI, TZEROR HAMOR, ZOHAR 2:124b). Another reason given is that eating meat and milk together was an idolatrous practice, especially on festivals (MOREH NEVUCHIM 3:48; RALBAG). Alternately, mixing meat and milk is prohibited because it is causing a detrimental change in nature, just like the prohibitions of Kil'ayim (SEFER HA'CHINUCH #92, #113)
8) [line 4] SA'IR HA'MISHTALE'ACH - (lit. the goat that is sent away)
(a) On Yom ha'Kipurim, a Goral (lot) is performed by the Kohen Gadol to choose between two identical goats (Vayikra 16:7-10). One (the Sa'ir la'Sh-m) is offered as a Korban Chatas ha'Nisraf and its blood is sprinkled in the Kodesh ha'Kodashim (Vayikra 16:15); the other (the Sa'ir la'Azazel) is dispatched (Mishtale'ach) to Azazel (a hard rocky cliff), from which it is pushed off to its death (Vayikra 16:21-22).
(b) A strip of crimson wool was tied between the horns of the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach before it was led to Azazel. The person who takes the goat to Azazel becomes Tamei and is required to immerse his body and clothes in a Mikvah (Vayikra 16:26).
(c) The remains of the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach are Asur b'Hana'ah (see Hagahos ha'Gra here).
9) [line 5] CHULIN SHE'NISHCHETU BA'AZARAH
It is forbidden to slaughter animals in the Azarah other than animals sanctified to be Korbanos, as we learn from the verse, "If the place chosen by HaSh-m is far [from where you are], ...you may slaughter and eat meat to your heart's content..." (Devarim 12:21). Chazal learn from this verse that we may slaughter Chulin only outside of the Azarah of the Beis ha'Mikdash. If an unsanctified animal is slaughtered inside the Azarah, it becomes Asur b'Hana'ah.
10) [line 7] DAVAR SHEB'MINYAN
(a) When a forbidden object is mixed with a permitted object, and most of the mixture is permitted, the entire mixture is permitted to be eaten mid'Oraisa, and in many circumstances is not even prohibited to be eaten mid'Rabanan (see Background to Bava Metzia 53:6 and to Avodah Zarah 66:2 for details).
(b) These rules apply to normal Isurim. There are, however, Isurim for which Chazal decreed that they not be nullified by a majority or even by sixty parts of Heter. One of these is Davar Chashuv, or an item that is of substantial value. The Tana'im (Orlah 3:7) argue over what is considered "substantial value" in this regard. Chachamim and Rebbi Akiva rule that only six or seven specific types of objects are singular enough to be given the status of Davar Chashuv, while Rebbi Meir gives this status to a much broader category of objects, objects that are sold by count (Davar sheb'Minyan).
(c) The Amora'im (Beitzah 3b) argue as to what Rebbi Meir means by "Davar sheb'Minyan." Reish Lakish says it refers to the rather broad category of all objects that some people sell by count, while Rebbi Yochanan limits it to objects that are only sold by count, and not by estimate.
11) [line 8] 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).
12) [line 8] ISUREI HANA'AH
Isurei Hana'ah are items from which it is prohibited by the Torah to derive benefit. Such items are considered to be of no monetary value.
13) [line 11] EGOZEI PERECH - (a) nuts that grow in Perech (RASHI); (b) nuts with a thin, brittle shell (Nifrachin) (TOSFOS to Yevamos 81b)
14) [line 12] RIMONEI BADAN - pomegranates that grow in Badan, a place in Samaria known for its pomegranates
15) [line 13] HA'RA'UY L'ORLAH, ORLAH; HA'RA'UY L'CHIL'EI HA'KEREM, KIL'EI HA'KEREM - those that are subject to the Isur of Orlah are Asur because of Orlah; those that are subject to the Isur of Kil'ei ha'Kerem are Asur because of Kil'ei ha'Kerem. This is what the Mishnah in Orlah (3:7) says after listing the items that prohibit a mixture and that are not Batel b'Rov (see above, entry #10).
16) [line 15] KIKAROS - whole loaves of bread (which Rebbi Akiva considers to be a "Davar Chashuv")
17) [line 16] MAN SHAM'AS D'AMAR LEI - who is it that you heard says this
18) [line 23] HALACHAH K'RABAN SHIMON BEN GAMLIEL CHAVIS B'CHAVIS AVAL LO YAYIN B'YAYIN - the Halachah follows the view of Raban Shimon ben Gamliel in a case of a barrel [of forbidden wine] that becomes mixed with barrels [of permitted wine, where the wine itself is not mixed, but only the barrels], but not in the case of [prohibited] wine itself [that was poured] in [permitted] wine
19) [line 1] GAS - a pit dug into the ground that is next to the winepress, in which the wine is collected
20) [line 1] SHE'ZIPESAH - that [the Nochri] lined with tar (to prevent seepage of the wine into the cracks of the walls of the pit). It was common practice to add a small amount of wine to the tar in order to remove the bad smell.
21) [line 2] MENAGVAH - he must dry it (by washing it with water, and then with ashes, and then rinsing it and drying it)
22) [line 2] TEHORAH - it is kosher (and there is no concern that Yayin Nesech is absorbed in the walls of the pit)
23) [line 3] YIKLOF - he must peel off
24) [line 5] DARACH BAH - he pressed [grapes] in it
25) [line 7] URCHA D'MILSA KETANI - the Mishnah writes the normal manner (that is, it was the normal manner to line the wine pits with tar)
26) [line 14] D'DACHI LI MA'ATZARTAI - who will clean my winepress [that was purchased from a Nochri]
27) [line 15] V'CHAZI D'LO MATZVACHAS ALAI BEI MIDRASHA - and see to it that you do not cause him to yell at me in the study hall (that is, make sure that his winepress is absolutely clean so that he not suffer a loss because of any Yayin Nesech that might remain in it)
28) [line 16] D'HAVAH SHI'A TEFEI - that it was very smooth
29) [line 18] BAHADEI D'KA AZIL V'ASI - while he was leaving
30) [line 18] CHAZA PILA MI'TUSEI - he saw a crack underneath it (which was full of the Nochri's wine)
31) [line 20] CHAVIVI - (lit. my beloved one) Rebbi Chiya, Rav's uncle. Rav's father Aibo was Rebbi Chiya's paternal brother. Aibo and Rebbi Chiya did not have the same mother. Aibo married Rebbi Chiya's maternal sister, and as such, Rav was the son of Rebbi Chiya's paternal brother and maternal sister (Sanhedrin 5a)
32) [line 22] MACHATZ - a ladle (used for filling a barrel with wine from the wine pit)
33) [line 22] MASHPECH - (O.F. entonedoir) a funnel
34) [line 24] KANKANIM - earthenware jugs
35) [line 24] ASURIN - they (the earthenware jugs) are prohibited because of the Yayin Nesech absorbed in them. (The Gemara earlier (Daf 33a) describes the process for kashering such vessels, as cited by Rashi here.)
36) [line 25] MACHNISO (B)[L]'KIYUM - he brings it in [to his cellar] for keeping [the wine for an extended period of time]
37) [line 34] NA'AVAH ARTACHU - the pit of a winepress you shall boil with boiling water
38) [line 34] KI HAVAH MESHADER GULFEI L'HARPANYA - when he would send (with a Nochri courier) empty barrels to Harpanya (a rich industrial town in Bavel)
39) [line 35] SACHIF LEHU A'PUMAIHU - he would upturn them on their tops, upside-down
40) [line 36] V'CHASIM LEHU A'BIRTZAIHU - and he would seal them on their sacks (in which he placed the upside-down barrels)
41) [line 36] KOL DAVAR SHE'MACHNISO L'KIYUM AFILU LEFI SHA'AH GAZRU BEI RABANAN - the Rabanan decreed that anything that is normally used for keeping wine for a long period of time which is given to a Nochri even for a short time [requires a "seal within a seal"]; this decree was made so that one would not leave his barrels in the hands of a Nochri for a long period
42) [line 39] EFER - ashes (which have a scouring property)
43a) [line 39] B'MAYIM V'LO B'EFER?! - with water but not with ashes?! (Rinsing with water alone is certainly not an effective cleansing!)
b) [last line] B'EFER V'LO B'MAYIM?! - with ashes but not with water?! (Scrubbing with ashes alone is certainly not an effective cleansing!)
Index to Background for Maseches Avodah Zarah