ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler of Kollel Iyun Hadaf
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
SHABBOS 83 - Dedicated in memory of Max (Meir Menachem ben Shlomo ha'Levi) Turkel, by his children Eddie and Lawrence and his wife Jean Turkel/Rafalowicz. Max was a warm and loving husband and father and is missed dearly by his family and friends. His Yahrzeit is 5 Teves.
(a) Rabah will explain the Beraisa, which records the Rabbanan as saying 'Avodah Zarah ke'Sheretz', implying 'but not be'Masa' - just as he did our Mishnah, by precluding not Masa, but E'ven Mesama.
(b) The Beraisa 'Nochri ve'Nochris, Avodah Zarah u'Meshamshehah, Hein ve'Lo Heseitan, Rebbi Akiva Omer, Hein ve'Heseitan' appears to support for Rebbi Elazar's opinion - since 'Heseitan', we think, means Masa.
(c) We conclude that it does not - since the expression 'Nochri ve'Nochris Hein ve'Lo Heseitan', anyway needs to be amended, on the grounds that the Tana ought not to have declared a gentile as not being Metamei be'Masa', when Chazal have decreed that gentiles are like Zavin, implying Tum'as Masa as well (otherwise why did they say 'like Zavin' and not like 'Teme'ei Mes'?). And since we anyway have to amend it, we can amend it either like Rebbi Elazar, or like Rabah.
(d) Both Rabah and Rebbi Elazar agree that the Reisha reads 'Nochri ve'Nochris, Hein, ve'Heseitan ve'E'ven Mesama Shelahen.' And they argue in the Seifa - whether the Tana Kama says Avodah Zarah, 'Hi ve'Heseitah, ve'Lo E'ven Mesama she'Lah' to which Rebbi Akiva adds 'E'ven Mesama' (Rabah); or whether the Tana Kama says 'Hi, ve'Lo Heseitah' and Rebbi Akiva adds just 've'Heseitah'.
(a) The problem Rav Ashi has with this explanation is that if Heset is synonymous with Masa - why does the Beraisa need to insert 'Hein'? Surely that is obvious, because if they were not Tamei, how could the Tana'im argue over whether they are Metamei be'Masa?
(b) Rav Ashi therefore amends the Beraisa to read 'Nochri ve'Nochris Bein Hein she'Hisitu Acherim, Bein Acherim she'Hisitu Osan Teme'in'. When he says ...
1. ... 'Hein she'Hisitu Acherim', he is referring to Tum'as Heset.
2. ... 'Acherim she'Hisitu Osan' - to Tum'as Masa.
(c) The Tana concludes that in both cases, Meshamshehah is Tahor. Based on what we just said, he rules - that Avodah-Zarah is not Metamei be'Heset, but is Metamei Masa.
(d) Rebbi Akiva agrees that Meshamshehah is Metamei neither be'Masa nor be'Heset, and when he says 'Hein ve'Heseitan' - he is coming to declare that Avodah-Zarah (like Nochri ve'Nochris) is subject to Tum'as Heset as well as Masa.
(a) Seeing as Avodah-Zarah is compared to Nidah, Rebbi Akiva will hold that Heset incorporates E'ven Mesama.
(b) Rav Ashi explains the Beraisa like this - according to Rabah.
(c) It is possible for Avodah Zarah to be Meisit others (since Meisit incorporates moving, not just bearing its weight) - there where the Avodah Zarah weighs down on one end of a see-saw, and the Tahor object on the other side, rises (like we learned in the Mishnah in Zavin).
(a) We learn from Pesukim that the Heset of a Zav is Metamei vessels, Adam, food and drink. The Toras Kohanim explains that the Pasuk "u'Kli Cheres Asher Yiga Bo ha'Zav" cannot be talking about becoming Tamei by being touched from the outside, but from the inside. We do not however, need a Pasuk to inform us that an earthenware vessel becomes Tamei via its inside, because we know this already. It must therefore be coming to tell us that there is a way of touching it on the outside, which is considered as if he had touched the whole vessel, inside - and that is Heset.
(b) We reconcile the Beraisa, which declares that there is no Masa by Zav, with the Pasuk by Zav, which includes Masa - by establishing the former with regard to vessels and food, and the latter, with regard to Adam.
(c) Although Tum'as Masa does not apply to vessels or to foods - Tum'as Mishkav or Moshav, regarding any object which is designated to sit or lie on, does.
(d) The Beraisa precludes everything from Tum'as Heset, except for a Zav. This does not mean that the author of this Beraisa cannot be Rebbi Akiva, who compares Avodah Zarah to a Zav in this regard - because when the Beraisa says that Tum'as Heset is confined to a Zav, it includes anything that is similar to a Zav, such as Avodah Zarah, which the Torah compares to one.
(a) Rav Chama bar Guri'a asks whether 'Avodah Zarah Yeshnah le'Evarim O Einah le'Evarim?' According to the first version of the She'eilah, the She'eilah is confined to a case where an untrained person is unable to fix the piece that has come apart - but if he is, it is obvious that it is considered joined to the body of the Avodah Zarah - in which case, it will be Metamei.
(b) In the second version of the She'eilah, if an untrained person is not able to fix the piece that has come apart, then the piece is definitely considered broken, and it will not be Metamei. The She'eilah is there where he is, whether we then say that, since even an untrained person is able fix it, it is as if it was already fixed, or perhaps as long as it is not fixed, it is considered broken, and is not Metamei.
(c) The outcome of Rav Chama bar Guri'a's She'eilah is - Teiku.
(a) Rav Achdevu'i bar Ami asks if an Avodah-Zarah that is smaller than a k'Zayis Metamei.
(b) The Beraisa comments on the Pasuk "va'Yasimu Lahem Ba'al B'ris l'Elohim" ' Zeh Z'vuv Ba'al Ekron' - meaning that it was the size of a fly, and the people Yisrael) would take it out of their pocket, hug and kiss it and return it to its place.
(c) Rav Yosef proves from there - that an Avodah Zarah does not lose its Chashivus due to its minute size. Consequently, all idols (irrespective of its minute size) is Asur be'Hana'ah.
(a) Rav Achdevu'i bar Ami must have therefore asked his She'eilah in connection with Tum'ah.
(b) The two sides of the She'eilah are - whether it is Metamei ...
1. ... even if it less than a k'Zayis (in spite of the fact that it compared to a Meis - because it is also compared to a Sheretz (whose Shi'ur Tum'ah is a k'Adashah [the size of a lentil).
2. ... only if it is a k'Zayis, based on the fact that Avodah-Zarah is also compared to a Sheretz.
(c) Rav Ivya (or Rabah bar Ula) now solves the She'eilah, based on the Pasuk "va'Yashlech es Afaro El Kever B'nei ha'Am" - in that the Navi compares Avodah Zarah to a grave (which contains a corpse) that in the same way as less than a k'Zayis of a corpse is not Metamei, so too is less than a k'Zayis of Avodah Zarah not Metamei, either.
(a) According to the Rabbanan of Rebbi Akiva (who maintain that Avodah-Zarah is not Metamei be'Masa), we learn from the Torah's comparison of Avodah Zarah to ...
1. ... Sheretz - that it is not Metamei be'Masa.
2. ... Tum'as Nidah - that it is not Metamei le'Evarim.
3. ... Tum'as Meis - that an Avodah Zarah which is only the size of a k'Adashah is not Metamei.
(b) They could have learned le'Chumra, from ...
1. ... Sheretz - that if it is the size of a k'Adashah it is Metamei.
2. ... Nidah - that it is Metamei be'Masa.
3. ... Meis - that it is Metamei le'Evarim.
(c) And the reason that they Darshened le'Kula (in spite of the principle 'le'Chumra u'le'Kula, le'Chumra Makshinan') is - because in reality, the Tum'ah of Avodah Zarah is only mi'de'Rabanan (since all the above D'rashos are only 'Asmachtos' (Rabbinical decrees which they supported with a Pasuk) ...
(d) ... even "Shaketz Teshaktzenu", which appears to be a genuine source, is not really one, because the words been to abominate it (and have nothing to do with Sheratzim).
(a) From the Pasuk "Derech Oni'ah be'Lev Yam", our Mishnah learns - that ships (like the sea), are not subject to Tum'ah otherwise, what is the Pasuk coming to teach us?
(b) This Pasuk does not preclude river-craft, - since rivers are no more subject to Tum'ah than the sea (as we will explain later).
(c) Chananyah in a Beraisa, makes the same D'rashah from the Pasuk written by Sak - which teaches us that a wooden ship, like any wooden vessel (which the Torah compares to a sack), which cannot be carried full or empty, is not subject to Tum'ah.
(d) One of the two differences between our Mishnah's D'rashah and that of Chananyah concerns an earthenware boat, which is precluded from the former but not from the latter; the other - concerns a small boat that is used in the Yarden, and which can be carried full or empty. and which therefore, is also precluded from the former D'rashah, but not from the latter.
(a) Rebbi Chanina ben Akavya (who holds like Chananyah) explains that the Mishnah in Kelim declares a wooden S'finas ha'Yarden, Tamei - because one tends to carry it on dry land to and from the river.
(b) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav to subsequently say that one should not absent oneself from the Beis-Hamedrash, even for one hour - because for many years, the reason for the Mishnah's ruling that a river-boat is Tamei remained a mystery; until Rebbi Chanina ben Akavya revealed it. Now imagine if he had been absent when that gem was revealed.
(c) Rebbi Yonasan learns from "Zos ha'Torah, Adam Ki Yamus be'Ohel" - that even someone on his death-bed, is obligated to study Torah.
(d) Whilst Resh Lakish learns from there that the words of Torah will only remain with someone who kills himself over them - in other words, who deprives himself in this world in order to study Torah (as we explained at the end of Berachos).
(a) Rava explains that although even a Sefinas ha'Yarden cannot possibly be carried, Chananyah declares it Tamei since 'it is carried on land' - because it is carried by an ox and cart, and Chananyah declares something that is carried by means of oxen to be in the category of 'Mitalteles', and is subject to Tum'ah (as we shall not see).