AVODAH ZARAH 50 - Dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Reb Benzion ben Eliyahu and Chana Esther bas Nosson.

[50a - 38 lines; 50b - 47 lines]

1)[line 5]שלש, דדמיין למרקוליסSHALOSH, D'DAMYAN L'MARKULIS- three [stones], that are similar to Markulis (since it is originally built from three stones)

2)[line 16]בתפיסה לוBI'TEFISAH LO- within its "grasp," i.e. within its four Amos

3a)[line 18]בתפיסה אחתBI'TEFISAH ACHAS- in one domain, i.e. where there is no partition separating the stones and the Markulis Gadol

b)[line 18]בשתי תפיסותBI'SHTEI TEFISOS- in two domains, i.e. where there is a partition separating the stones and the Markulis Gadol

4)[line 19]דאיכא גובהה ביני וביניD'IKA GOVHAH BEINEI U'VEINEI- there is a mound (lit. height) that is between the stones and the Markulis Gadol

5)[line 20]אבני בית קוליסAVNEI BEIS KULIS- the stones of the Avodah Zarah Markulis, the Roman god Mercury, identified with the Norse god Wodin, worshipped by throwing stones at the Markulis Gadol or removing stones from in front of it (RAMBAM Hilchos Avodas Kochavim 3:2). The Markulis Gadol was a structure of three stones, two stones next to each other and one on top, resting on the two lower ones

6)[line 23]בי ינאי מלכא חרובBEI YANAI MALKA CHARUV- the palace of King Yanai was destroyed (for a brief history of King Yanai, see Background to Bava Kama 82:43b)

7)[line 24]אוקימו ביה מרקוליסUKIMU VEI MARKULIS- they set up a Markulis Gadol Avodah Zarah

8)[line 26]וחיפו בהןCHIFU VAHEN- they paved with them

9a)[line 26]דרכיםDERACHIM- roads

b)[line 26]וסטרטאותSETARTA'OS- streets

10)[line 27]דפרשיD'FARSHEI- who kept away (they meticulously avoided stepping on the stones, for fear that they were prohibited like Avodah Zarah)

11)[line 27]בנן של קדושיםBENAN SHEL KEDOSHIM- (a) "the son of holy people," i.e. his father and mother (TOSFOS DH Hachi Garsinan); (b) "the son of a holy person," i.e. his father (TOSFOS Pesachim 104a DH d'Lo)

12)[line 31]בצורתא דזוזאTZURSA D'ZUZA- the figure on a coin

13)[line 36]בעינא כעין פנים, וליכאBE'INA K'EIN PENIM, V'LEIKA- we need [(in order to prohibit as Tikroves Avodah Zarah) that an action] similar to [the Avodah] inside [of theBeis ha'Mikdash], and this (throwing stones) is not [similar]

14)[line 37]איקלע... לאתריןIKLA... L'ASRIN- visited our town

15)[last line](וטרטיאות) [סרטיאות / סטרטאות](TARTIYA'OS) SARTIYA'OS / SETARTA'OS- streets


16)[line 2]וסרטיאותSARTIYA'OS- streets

17)[line 2]ולית נגר ולא בר נגר דיפרקינהLEIS NAGAR V'LO VAR NAGAR D'YIFREKINAH- there is no Torah Scholar (lit. "carpenter" - based upon Melachim II 24:14, where the Torah Scholars are called "Charash" and "Masger." The Targum Onkelus (Shemos 35:35) of "Charash" is "Nagar") or student of the Torah Scholars who can resolve this [difficulty]

18a)[line 8]מתליעיןMASLI'IN- removing worms from trees

b)[line 8]ומזהמיןMEZAHAMIN- covering wounds on trees (where the bark has peeled off) with fertilizer and wrapping them up until they heal

19)[line 8]בשביעיתSHEVI'IS

(a)The Torah requires that farmers desist from working the land every seventh year, as described in Vayikra 25:1-7. The fruits that grow during the seventh (Shevi'is) year are holy to the extent that 1. they must be considered ownerless; anyone may come into any field and pick the fruit that he intends to eat. 2. The fruits may not be bought and sold in a normal fashion (see Insights to Sukah 39:2). 3. The Torah requires that the fruits of Shevi'is be used only for eating or drinking (in the normal manner of eating for that type of fruit) or for burning to provide light (in the case of oil). They may not be wasted or used for medicinal purposes or animal fodder, etc.

(b)One may not do any work with the land, or with trees growing from the land, that causes an improvement.

(c)The Shemitah year is meant to teach the Jewish people to rely on HaSh-m for their sustenance, a fact that is not always clear to them during the six years in which they work their own fields.

20)[line 9]במועדMO'ED

(a)It is prohibited to perform Melachos (creative acts) on Chol ha'Mo'ed, except in certain circumstances when the Chachamim were lenient. One of these circumstances is termed a Davar ha'Aved, when doing the Melachah will prevent a loss.

(b)The completion of certain projects cannot be delayed for a week without incurring a loss. When such a project involves a Melachah, it is forbidden to begin the project immediately before Yom Tov, such that it will become necessary to finish it on Chol ha'Mo'ed in order to prevent a loss. One who does so has been "Mechaven Melachto Ba'Mo'ed," intentionally arranging for his Melachah to be done on Chol ha'Mo'ed, and it is prohibited for him to finish his project on Chol ha'Mo'ed.

21)[line 9]אין מגזמיןEIN MEGAZMIN- it is prohibited to prune

22)[line 10]וסכין שמן לְגָזוּםSACHIN SHEMEN L'GAZUM- it is permitted to apply oil to a place on a tree that was pruned [before Yom Tov]

23a)[line 19]אוקומי אילנאUKUMEI ILANA- preserving the tree (preventing it from dying)

b)[line 20]אברויי אילמאAVRUYEI ILANA- (a) making the tree grow better and healthier (RASHI, RASHI to Sukah 44b, 2nd explanation); (b) making holes to soften the ground above the roots of trees (RASHI to Sukah 44b, 1st explanation)

24)[line 23]הנטיעותNETI'OS- the saplings

25)[line 23]וכורכין אותןKORCHIN OSAN- we may wrap them

26)[line 23]וקוטמין אותןKOTMIN OSAN- we may apply ashes to them (to wounds on trees where the bark has peeled off)

27)[line 23]ועושין להם בתיםOSIN LAHEM BATIM- (a) we may build a one-Amah-high wall around them and fill it with earth (RASHI); (b) we may dig channels near their roots for water to collect (RABEINU CHANANEL)

28)[line 24]עד ראש השנהAD ROSH HA'SHANAH (EREV SHEVI'IS)

(a)The Torah requires that farmers desist from working the land every seventh year, as described in Vayikra 25:1-7. (See above, entry #19.)

(b)Chazal learn from the verse, "בֶּחָרִישׁ וּבַקָּצִיר תִּשְׁבֹּת" "be'Charish uva'Katzir Tishbos" (Shemos 34:21), that mid'Oraisa, the prohibition against plowing the land during Shemitah starts one month before the actual Shemitah year ("Tosefes Shevi'is"). This applies both to fields and to orchards with grown trees. The Rabanan added to this prohibition and prohibited plowing a field from the Pesach before Shemitah, and an orchard with grown trees from the Shavuos before Shemitah.

(c)The above applies at the time of the Beis ha'Mikdash. Nowadays, when Rebbi rules that Shemitah is mid'Rabanan, only one month is prohibited (TOSFOS DH u'Mashkin). In the case of saplings, the Rabanan were lenient and permitted these activities until the onset of Shemitah.

29)[line 27]קשקודיKISHKUSHEI- hoeing

30a)[line 27]חד לאברויי אילנאCHAD L'AVRUYEI ILANEI- one to make the tree grow better and healthier

b)[line 27]וחד לסתומי פיליV'CHAD LI'SETUMEI PILEI- and one to (a) fill up cracks in the ground to cover exposed roots of trees so that the trees will not dry up (RASHI); (b) fill up cracks in trees (RABEINU CHANANEL, RASHI to Moed Katan 3a)

31)[line 32]הפגיןPAGIN- unripe figs

32)[line 32]ומנקבין ומפטמין אותןMENAKVIN U'MEFATMIN OSAN- it is permitted to pierce [the unripe figs] and fill the holes with oil

33)[line 35]פטומי פיראPETUMEI PEIRA- fattening the fruits (which is prohibited)

34)[line 41]שעובדין אותה במקלSHE'OVDIN OSAH B'MAKEL- that is served using a stick

35)[line 44]דהוה ליה כעין זביחהHAVAH LEI K'EIN ZEVICHAH (AVODAH ZARAH: 4 AVODOS)

(a)Actions that are performed to Korbanos in the Beis ha'Mikdash are prohibited mid'Oraisa to perform for any Avodah Zarah, whether these actions are the specific service of that particular Avodah Zarah or not (Sanhedrin 60b). They are Zevichah (slaughtering and offering a sacrifice), Haktarah (burning incense), Nisuch (pouring a libation), and Hishtachava'ah (bowing down).

(b)A person who performs one of these services b'Mezid (intentionally) is liable to the Kares punishment. If he received the proper warning and witnesses saw his action, he is liable to Sekilah (stoning). A person who worships Avodah Zarah b'Shogeg (unintentionally) is liable to offer a Korban Chatas (RAMBAM Hilchos Avodas Kochavim 3:1).

36)[line 45]זריקה משתברתZERIKAH MISHTABERES- an action that is similar to casting blood is prohibited if the item has the quality of blood, in that it can break up (naturally) into droplets

37)[line 46]ספת לה צואהSAFAS LAH TZO'AH- (a) he fed it (the idol) excrement (RASHI); (b) he dirtied it with excrement (TOSFOS)

38)[last line]שנסך לפניה עביט של מימי רגליםNASACH LEFANEHA AVIT SHEL MEIMEI RAGLAYIM- he poured in front of it a chamber pot of urine