HOW TO DESTROY IDOLS (cont.)
(Gemara - Beraisa - R. Yosi): "... Ha'Egel Lakachti va'Esrof Oso ba'Esh va'Ekos Oso Tachon... va'Ashlich Es Afaro El ha'Nachal." (Moshe ground up the golden calf and threw the dust to the river, even though it will be deposited on the banks!)
Chachamim: "Va'Yizer Al Penei ha'Mayim va'Yashk Es Bnei Yisrael" - he made Yisrael drink it, to test them like Sotos (it killed those who were guilty).
R. Yosi: "Va'Yichros Asa Es Miflatztah va'Yadek va'Yisrof b'Nachal Kidron" (Asa ground up the idol in a valley. He was not concerned lest dust fly off and fertilize the valley)!
Chachamim: He did so in Nachal Kidron, because nothing grows there.
Question (Beraisa): After blood was thrown against the Altar... it flows into the spring (that ran through the Mikdash) and flows into Nachal Kidron. Gardeners buy it. Me'ilah applies to it (Rashi - mid'Rabanan, if one uses it without paying Hekdesh; Rambam - mid'Oraisa).
Answer: Some places in Nachal Kidron can grow things. Other places cannot. (Asa threw the dust to a place where nothing grows.)
Question: What is "Miflatztah"?
Answer (Rav Yehudah): It was MaFLi LeiTZanuSAH (a wondrous mockery).
(Rav Yosef): Ma'achah made a male organ for it, and she would have relations with it every day.
R. Yosi: "V'Chitas Nachash ha'Nechoshes" (Chizkiyah ground up the snake-image of Moshe, even though people were worshipping it)!
Chachamim: "Aseh Lecha Saraf" - it belonged to Moshe. Others could not forbid benefit from it;
It was permitted to benefit from it. He ground it up because people were sinning through it.
R. Yosi: "Va'Ya'azvu Sham Es Atzabeihem va'Yisa'em (they strewed (the ground-up idols)) David va'Anashav"!
Question: What is the source that va'Yisa'em means 'they strewed'?
Answer: We learn from the Targum of "Tizrem v'Ru'ach Ti'sa'em."
Chachamim: It says "va'Yisarefu ba'Esh." It does not say 'va'Yisrafem va'Yisa'um.' We must say that they burned it, but they did not strew it;
Va'Yisa'em simply means that they carried it!
Question: The verses contradict each other!
Answer (Rav Huna): Before Iti ha'Giti (a Nochri friend of David) came, they could not be Mevatel the idol, so they were burning it. After Iti came, he was Mevatel it, and they carried it.
Question: It says "va'Yikach Es Ateres Malkam... u'Mishkalah Kikar Zahav... va'Tehi Al Rosh David." One may not benefit from idols!
Answer (Rav Nachman): Iti ha'Giti was Mevatel it.
Question: A Kikar of gold (about 25 kilos) is too heavy for David to wear!
Answer #1 (Rav Yehudah): The verse means, it was proper to be on David's head.
Answer #2 (R. Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina): A magnet helped support most of its weight.
Answer #3 (R. Elazar): It contained a precious stone worth a Kikar of gold (but it weighed much less).
Question: What does it mean "Zos Haysah Li Ki Pikudecha Notzarti"?
Answer: Because David guarded Hash-m's Mitzvos, he was rewarded with testimony.
Question: What was the testimony?
Answer (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): He donned the crown in the place of Tefilin, and it fit (miraculously - the crown was round, and the head is not round there)!
Question: He must wear Tefilin there!
Answer (Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzchak): There is space on the head for two Tefilin.
"Va'Yitenu Alav (on Yo'ash) Es ha'Nezer" is the crown;
(Rav Yehudah): "V'Es ha'Edus" is testimony to the house of David. The crown fits only one who is proper to be king.
"Adoniyahu... Misnasei Leimor Ani Emloch" (he said 'I will reign') - he tried on the crown, but it did not fit him.
Question: "Va'Ya'as... va'Chamishim Ish Ratzim Lefanav" - what did Adoniyahu do to the people who ran in front of him?
Answer (Beraisa): He removed their spleens and the skin of the bottom of their feet (so thorns would not hurt them, and they could run faster).
(Mishnah): Fruklus (a Nochri Min) saw Raban Gamliel bathing in the bathhouse of Afroditi (an idol).
Fruklus: This is forbidden to you - "Lo Yidbak b'Yadcha Me'umah Min ha'Cherem"!
Raban Gamliel: We do not answer (matters of Torah) in a bathhouse.
After he left, he told him: I did not come to Afroditi's domain. She came to my domain!
People do not say 'let us build a bathhouse to glorify Afroditi', rather, 'let us put a statue of Afroditi in the bathhouse for decoration.'
Also, if I would give to you a fortune, would you go to your idol naked, Tamei from seminal emissions, and urinate in front of it?
She is by the trough, and everyone urinates by her!
We are forbidden to benefit only from "Eloheihem", i.e. what they treat like gods.
Question: How could Raban Gamliel say this there? ('We do not answer... ' is (a Halachah of) Torah!)
(Rabah bar bar Chanah): One may think about Torah anywhere except for a bathhouse or bathroom.
Suggestion: Perhaps he did not say it in Lashon ha'Kodesh (and therefore it is permitted).
Rejection: Abaye taught that profane matters may be said (in a bathhouse or bathroom) even in Lashon ha'Kodesh. Torah may not be said there even in other languages!
Answer (Beraisa): After he left (Ri - the inner room of the bathhouse, where one may not even greet someone with 'Shalom'), he said 'we do not answer in a bathhouse.'
(Rav Chama bar Yosef citing R. Oshaya): Raban Gamliel did not give to him a proper answer;
Rav Chama: I myself say that it was a proper answer.
Question: Why was it improper (according to R. Oshaya)?
Answer #1 (Rav Chama): He said 'she is by the trough, and everyone urinates by her!'
(Rava): People excrete in front of Pe'or (and the Torah forbids it)!
Rav Chama: I say that it was a proper answer. That is the way to serve Pe'or, but for Afroditi, this is disgraceful!
Answer #2 (Abaye): R. Oshaya considered it improper because he said 'I did not come to her domain. She came to my domain!'
Even had he come to her domain, it would be permitted (as long as he does not show gratitude)!
(Mishnah): If there is a bathhouse or garden of idolatry, one may benefit from it only if he does not show gratitude to it.
Abaye: I say that it was a proper answer. Raban Gamliel was a great man. His benefit from it gives prestige to the idol. (It would be forbidden had he gone to her domain.)
Answer #3 (Rav Simi bar Chiya): He considered it improper because he said 'she is by the trough, and everyone urinates by her!'
(Mishnah): If an idolater spat or urinated on his idol, or dragged it in mud or excrement, it is not Batel.
Rav Chama bar Yosef: I say that it was a proper answer. In the Mishnah, he was angry at the moment, so urinating on it does not Mevatel it, for later he will appease it.
Here, because they always urinate by it, it is not considered idolatry.
Answer #4 (Rabah bar Ula): He considered it improper because he said 'people do not say 'let us build a bathhouse to glorify Afroditi'; rather, 'let us put Afroditi in the bathhouse for decoration'';
Even if they would say 'let us build a bathhouse to glorify Afroditi', one may bathe there!
(Beraisa): If one says 'this house (or cup) should be for the idol,' nothing takes effect. There is no concept of 'Hekdesh' to idolatry.
Rabah bar Ula: I say that it was a proper answer. Granted, one may benefit from the bathhouse, but if bathing there glorified the idol, it would be forbidden (Rashi; Tosfos - mid'Oraisa, one may benefit from the bathhouse, for there is no Hekdesh to idols. However, if it was built to glorify the idol, it would be forbidden mid'Rabanan).