AVODAH ZARAH 52 - Dedicated by Elliot and Lori Linzer in honor of the birthday of Mairav Linzer.

1) HEWN STONES AND ANNULLING IDOLS (Yerushalmi Halachah 4 Daf 26b)

רבי הילא בשם רשב"ל החוצב צלם לע"ז אע"ג דאת אמר אין קרקע נאסר מתרין בו על כל סיתות וסיתות לכשיתלש לוקה.

(a) (R. Hila citing R. Shimon ben Lakish): One who hews a stone from a mountain to produce an idol, even though you say that a field cannot become prohibited, we warn him (against making an idol) for each and every chiselling. And when it is detached from the mountain, he receives lashes for each act of chiselling.

אמר רבי יוסי את ש"מ העושה צלם לע"ז אע"ג דאת אמר אין דבר (שיש בו רוח חיים)[שלא נגמרה מלאכתו] נאסר מתרין בו על כל קורנס וקורנס לכשיגמר לוקה.

(b) (R. Yosi): Prove from here, that if one hews a stone from a mountain to make an idol, even though an item that is incomplete cannot become prohibited, we warn him for each and every hammer blow and when he completes it, he receives lashes for each warning. (Note: The wording was adjusted here according to the text of the Shaarei Toras Eretz Yisrael.)

ע"ז של נכרי אסורה מיד לפיכך יש לה ביטול ושל ישראל משתיעבד לפיכך אין לה ביטול

(c) An idol of an idolater is prohibited immediately; therefore, it can be annulled. An idol of a Jew is only prohibited when it is worshipped; therefore, it cannot be annulled.

אמר רבי זעירא לית כאן לפיכך אלא אין לה ביטול ויש לה ביטול.

(d) There is no idea of 'therefore' here (as annulling does not depend on when the prohibition takes effect).

ע"ז של נכרי אסורה מיד דכתיב אבד תאבדון מיד ושל ישראל עד שתיעבד דכתיב ארור האיש אשר יעשה פסל ומסכה וגומר לכשישים.

(e) An idol of an idolater is prohibited immediately, as the pasuk states (Devarim 12:2), "You shall utterly destroy" - meaning immediately. A Jew's idol is only prohibited from when it is worshipped, as it states (Devarim 27:15), ""Cursed is the man who makes any graven or molten image...and sets it up in secret" - meaning, when it is worshipped in secret.

ואית דמחלפין ליה ע"ז של ישראל אסור מיד דכתיב ארור האיש ושל נכרי עד שתיעבד דכתיב אבד תאבדון את כל המקומות אשר עבדו שם הגוים.

(f) There is a Tanna who disagrees with our Mishnah - a Jew's idol is prohibited immediately, as it states, "Cursed is the man (who makes any graven or molten image)" - meaning that when he makes them, he becomes cursed, as it is already considered a functioning idol. An idolater's idol is only prohibited when he actually worships it, as the pasuk states, "You shall utterly destroy all of the places where the nations worshipped".

רבי יצחק בר נחמן בשם שמואל שמע לה מן הדא אם ירשתו כשהוא אלוה באש תשרפו ואם לאו אשר אתם יורשים אותם את אלהיהם.

(g) (R. Yitzchak bar Nachman citing Shmuel): (The source of the first opinion that an idolater's idol is only prohibited when it was actually worshipped) is from here - (Devarim 12:2-3)("You shall utterly destroy from all the places where the nations, that you shall possess, worshipped their gods....burn their Asheiros with fire") - if you shall possess them after they are worshipped, you must burn them (as it is prohibited to gain benefit); if they were not yet worshipped, "that you shall possess...their gods" - (you may gain benefit from them).

רבי יוחנן בשם רבי ינאי שמע לה מן הדא לא תחמוד כסף וזהב עליהם את אין את חומד ולוקח אחרים חומדים ואת לוקח.

(h) (R. Yochanan citing R. Yannai): Learn (that an idolater can annul his idol), from the following (Devarim 7:25), "you may not covet the silver or gold that is upon them (and take it for yourself, lest you be ensnared by it, as it is an abomination to Hash-m, your God) - you may not covet and take it (from upon the idol) but others (idolaters) may covet (the silver and gold and annul the idol) and you can then take it.

רבי יוחנן אמר לבר דרוסיי חות ותכר כל אילין צלמייא דנו דימוסין ונחת ותבר כולהון פרא חד

(i) (R. Yochanan to Bar Drusai): Go down and break all of the idols that are in the bathhouses of Tiveria except for one, that you should leave.

ולמה כן אמר רבי יוסי בי רבי בון מפני שנחשד ישראל אחד להיות מקטיר עליו.

1. Why should it be left? R. Yosi bei R. Bun said - because a Jew is suspected of burning up incense to it and since a Jew's idol cannot be annulled, breaking it would not help.

2) A GENTILE ANNULLING OTHER IDOLS (Yerushalmi Halachah 4 Daf 27a)

רבי חיי' בר אשי בשם רב רבי הוה יתיב מתני לרבי שמעון בריה הנכרי מבטל ע"ז שלו ושל חבירו.

(a) (R. Chiyah bar Ashi citing Rav): Rebbi was sitting and teaching his son R. Shimon - a gentile can annul both his and his friend's idol.

א"ל עד דהוה חיילך עלך כן (את תניי תני)[אתניתני] הנכרי מבטל ע"ז שלו ושל ישראל

1. (R. Shimon to Rebbi): When you were young, you taught me that a gentile can annul his idol and a Jew's idol, as long as he has a partnership in it.

אמר לו לאו בני ע"ז שעבדה ישראל אין לה ביטול לעולם

2. (Rebbi to R. Shimon): It is not as I taught; rather, even if they have a partnership in it, a gentile can never annul the portion of the Jew.

ותני כן ר"ש בן מנסיא אומר ע"ז שעבדה ישראל אין לה ביטול לעולם.

3. Support (Beraisa - R. Shimon ben Menasia): If a Jew worshipped an idol, it can never be annulled.

רב מתני בשם טעמא דאהן תנייא ארור האיש אשר יעשה פסל ומסכה לעולם.

(b) Rav taught in the name of that Tanna - why can it never be annulled? As the pasuk states (Devarim 27:15), "Cursed is the man who makes any graven or molten image...and sets it up in secret!" - this is understood to mean that it will always be in secret, as it can never be annulled.

בר קפרא אשכח חד עיזקא צר חד טלי [ו]ארמאי הוה פדי בתריה הוה מחי ליה הוה מיקל ליה הוה א"ל רוק עלה והוא לא מקבל עלוי אשתין עלה והוא לא מקבל עלוי. הדא אמרה נכרי מבטל ע"ז שלו ושל חבירו על כרחו והוא שיודע טיב ע"ז שלו הדא אמרה עבודה זרה (שעבדה)[שאבדה] ישראל אין לה ביטול לעולם.

(c) Bar Kapara found a ring with an idolatrous image on it. He saw an Aramean child and another Aramean was running after him. Bar Kapara hit the adult Aramean and told him to spit on the image (in order to annul it). The Aramean refused. Bar Kapara told him to urinate on it, but the Aramean again refused. This proves that a gentile can annul both his and his friend's idol, and it is valid even if he was forced to do it. Also, this that Bar Kapara did not use the younger Aramean to annul it was because the gentile must understand the nature of idol worship to be able to annul it.

ותיעשה כע"ז שהניחוה עובדיה ותהא בטילה

(d) Question: Since it was lost by the original owner, it should be like an idol that was abandoned by its worshippers (during a time of peace) and it should already be annulled?

אמר רבי זעירא כל שאילו מאיליה היא בטילה ישראל מבטלה וכל שאילו מאיליה אינה בטילה אין ישראל מבטלה.

(e) Answer (R. Zeira): If the idolaters willingly abandoned it, a Jew is permitted to acquire it; but if the idolater merely lost it, when a Jew finds it, he cannot then annul it.

רב אמר בימוס לא בטיל הא (אם ביטלו בטל)[משמשין בטלו]

(f) (Rav): A platform (on which an idol is placed) cannot be annulled (as it is considered like the idol itself); however, items that serve the idol can be annulled.

מחלפת שיטתיה דרב תמן הוא אמר מזו המתיך כוס לע"ז נאסר מיד והכא את אמר הכין

(g) Question: The opinion of Rav seems to have switched - he said earlier that from the law that a platform is prohibited as soon as it is built (even before the idol was placed on it), it is learned that if a person manufactured a cup to serve an idol, it becomes prohibited immediately. This shows that Rav views a platform merely as an item that serves an idol. However, here he said that a platform cannot be annulled as it is considered like the idol itself?

כאן בשקיטר וכאן בשלא קיטר

(h) Answer: The platform is considered like the idol itself when he worshipped it together with the idol.

ואפילו תימר כאן וכאן (בשקיטר)[בשלא קיטר]

(i) Rebuttal: Both could be referring to when he did not worship it, but Rav is in fact coming to teach that items used to serve idols cannot be annulled.

רב כדעתי' דרב אמר מזו המתיך כוס לע"ז נאסר מיד.

(j) Rav follows his reasoning, that if a person manufactured a cup to serve an idol, it becomes prohibited immediately.

רב אמר בימוס לא בטל הא (משמשין) בטלו [בטל]

(k) Another version: Rav said that if a platform became damaged, it is not automatically annulled. We can deduce from here though, that if it was actively annulled, the annulment is valid.

מחלפה שיטתיה דרב תמן אמר רב ששת בשם רב בשהילכו להם )המהלכים)]המלכים] בדרך אחרת והכא הוא אמר הכן

(l) Question: The opinion of Rav seems to have switched - in discussing the later Mishnah (daf 54-1(b)) that says, "Platforms of kings (upon which idols were placed) are permitted, because they are set up for when the kings pass by", Rav Sheshes said that Rav explained that it refers to when the king eventually travelled on a different route. This shows that even if it became annulled automatically, it is a valid annulment. However, here he said that if a platform became damaged, it is not annulled?

כאן בשקיטר וכאן בשלא קיטר

(m) Answer: It is not annulled when he worshipped the platform together with the idol; but when he did not worship it, it can become annulled automatically.

ואפילו תימר כאן וכאן (בשקיטר)[בשלא קיטר] רב כדעתיה דרב אמר מזו המתיך כוס של עבודה זרה נאסר מיד.

(n) Rebuttal: Both could be referring to when he did not worship it - Rav follows his reasoning that if a person manufactured a cup to serve an idol, it becomes prohibited immediately.

אמר רבי יוחנן מצבה כל שהוא יחידית מזבח כל שאבניו מרובות

(o) (R. Yochanan): When the Torah says (Devarim 12:3), "(Smash their) monuments", it refers to something made from a single stone. (ibid), "(And you shall break apart their) altars", refers to something made from multiple stones.

חזקיה אמר מצבה כיון שפגמה ביטלה מזבח צריך לפגם כל אבן ואבן

(p) (Chizkiyah): As soon as a monument is damaged, it is annulled; but as for an altar, each stone must be damaged.

מתניתא דחזקיה פליגא עלוי נתצת את המזבח הנח לו שברת את המצבה הנח לה.

(q) A Baraisa that Chizkiyah taught creates a difficulty for his statement here - (based on the pasuk (ibid), "And you shall break apart their altars and smash their monuments") - just as a single break in a monument is sufficient and the rest can remain intact, so a single break in an altar is sufficient (and it is not necessary to break each and every stone)?

רבי זעירא רבי יצחק בר נחמן בשם רבי הושעיה רבי חייה רבי בא רבי לעזר בשם רב הושעיה בשומר כל אבני מזבח כאבני גיר מנופצות רדוף אחריהם עד שתקעקע ביצתם מן העולם ברם הכא שברת המצבה הנח לה נתצת המצבה הנח לה.

(r) Answer (R. Zeira/ R. Yitzchak bar Nachman citing R. Hoshiyah/ R. Chiya/ R. Ba/ R. Elazar citing R. Hoshiyah): The pasuk states that the prophet Yeshayah rebuked the people that they must hunt for and completely destroy all of their idolatrous altars and scatter their dust (Yeshayah 27:9), "by making all the altar stones like crushed chalkstones". However, the pasuk in Devarim is referring to when they first entered the land, when a lesser form of smashing was sufficient.

כתיב לא תעשו לכם אלילים ופסל ומסכה לא תקימו לכם לא היא עשייה היא קימה

(s) Question: The pasuk states (Vayikra 26:1), "You shall not make idols for yourselves, nor shall you set up a statue or a monument for yourselves" - if 'make' means the same as 'set up', why does the pasuk change from one verb to another?

אמר רבי הילא עשייה בתחילה קימה כל שאילו תפל לא יקימינה

(t) (R. Hila): 'Make' refers to first constructing them; 'set up' refers to the prohibition of re-erecting them if they fell.

כתיב ונתצתם את מזבחותם ושברתם את מצבותם ומניין ליתן את האמור בזה לזה ואת האמור בזה לזה

(u) Question: The pasuk states (Devarim 12:3), "And you shall break their altars, smash their monuments, (burn their asheirim with fire, cut down the graven images of their gods)" - (the three terms used are breaking, smashing and cutting down.) From where do we know that these terms can be applied to each of these items?

אמר רבי בון בר חייה לצדדין איתאמרת או שיבור או גידוע או נתיצה לכל אחת ואחת:

(v) Answer (R. Bun bar Chiyah): The pasuk should be read as break or smash or cut down rather than as a requirement to perform all three actions with each item.

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