1. The gemara addresses whether a collateralization or pledge of an avoda zarah (with a later seizure) indicates that a nullification by the gentile borrower has taken place; can a Jewish lender take such a pledge l'chatchila, or would it be treated as receipt of a benefit from the avoda zarah?
2. Is the principal of ayn shliach lidvar aveirah relevant to the discussion of the gentile worshiping the Jew's designated avodah zarah?
Elia Fischer, Atlanta, USA
1. The Gemara is discussing a case in which the idolater is dealing with someone who clearly does not worship Avodah Zarah, such as Jewish silversmith. In such case, there is a Bitul if the idolater sells it. The reason that the pledge of the Avodah Zarah is not a Bitul is that the idolater does not believe that it will actually be siezed and expropriated. If using it as collateral would be a Bitul, then Bitul would take place at the time of the transaction of the loan and the Jew would not be receiving any benefit from the Avodah Zarah.
2. The principle of Ein Shali'ach l'Dvar Aveirah involves attributing to the Meshale'ach the act that was performed by the Shali'ach. That is, in order to administer a punishment to the Meshale'ach for the act, the Shali'ach's act would need to be ascribed to the Meshale'ach. Here, in contrast, the Gemara is using the principle of Shelichus only insofar as the consent of the Jew is needed to make the Isur take effect. Hence, the fact that the Jew sent the idolater to do the act demonstrates the Jew's willful consent to the act of worship, and thus the Isur on the object certainly takes effect.