NICKNAMES FOR IDOLATRY
Suggestion: Perhaps we must create glorious nice nicknames for idolatry.
Objection: This cannot be!
Suggestion: Rather, perhaps we may create nicknames that are neither glorious nor derogatory.
Rejection: "Shaketz Teshaketzenu v'Sa'ev Tesa'avenu."
If they call it 'Beis Galya (the high place)', we call it 'Beis Karya (the pit)'. If they call it 'Ein Kol (the eye of all)', we call it 'Ein Kotz (the eye of the thorn).'
NATURAL OBJECTS THAT WERE WORSHIPPED
(A reciter of Beraisos): If Nochrim worship mountains and hills, they are permitted. The Nochrim are liable to die;
If they worship vegetation, it is forbidden, and the Nochrim are liable to die.
(Rav Sheshes): Your Beraisa is like R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah, who says that if a tree was planted, and later it was Ne'evad, it is forbidden.
Question: Why not say that it was initially planted to be Ne'evad, and the Beraisa is even like Chachamim?
Answer: Presumably, the case is similar to mountains (the Reisha). Just like mountains were not initially made to be Ne'evadim, also the vegetation.
(Bnei R. Chiya or R. Yochanan): If rocks of a mountain came loose (and they were Ne'evadim), they are permitted;
(The other of Bnei R. Chiya and R. Yochanan): They are forbidden.
The lenient opinion considers them like a mountain. Just like man had no part in making a mountain, and a mountain is permitted, also the rocks.
Question: We cannot learn from a mountain. It is attached!
Answer: An animal is not attached, and also it is permitted.
Question: We cannot learn from an animal. It is alive!
Answer: A mountain is not alive, and it is permitted.
Conclusion: Each has its own stringency. The Tzad ha'Shavah (common side) of them is that man had no part in making them, and they are permitted. Also anything that man had no part in making it is permitted.
Objection: We cannot learn from a mountain and an animal. Both are like they were created, but the rocks changed (became detached)!
Answer #1: We learn from the Tzad ha'Shavah of a blemished animal (it changed) and a mountain.
Answer #2: We learn from the Tzad ha'Shavah of an animal and a tree that dried up. (If it was not planted to be Ne'evad (according to Chachamim), or it was not planted by man (according to R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah), it is permitted.)
The stringent opinion learns from "Shaketz Teshaketzenu." We never expound to permit idolatry (unless the verse explicitly permits).
Suggestion: We learn from the following that Bnei R. Chiya permit the rocks.
Question (Chizkiyah (one of R. Chiya's sons)): If a Yisrael erected an egg in order to bow to it, what is the law?
(Assumption: The case is, he erected it and bowed to it. Chizkiyah was unsure whether erecting it is an action, and we consider that man had a part in it.)
Inference: Had he not erected it, it would be permitted!
Rejection: Really, Bnei R. Chiya forbid the rocks. If a Yisrael bowed to an egg, even if he did not erect it, it is forbidden;
The case is, he erected it and never bowed to it.
Question: According to whom was the question?
If it is like the opinion (R. Yishmael) that idolatry of a Yisrael is forbidden immediately (once it is designated, even before it is Ne'evad), surely it is forbidden!
If it is according to R. Akiva, idolatry of a Yisrael is not forbidden until it is Ne'evad!
Answer: He asked according to R. Akiva. The Yisrael erected it and never bowed to it, but a Nochri bowed to it;
(Rav Yehudah): If a Yisrael erected a brick and never bowed to it, but a Nochri bowed to it, it is forbidden.
Chizkiyah asked that perhaps this is only regarding a brick, for it is recognizable that it was erected (it is taller when it is erected), but not regarding an egg;
Or, perhaps the erection is considered an action even regarding an egg!
His question is not resolved.
USING IN THE 'MIKDASH' AN ITEM WORSHIPPED WHEN ATTACHED
Question (Rami bar Chama): If one bowed to a mountain, may its stones be used for the Altar?
If something attached is Ne'evad, may it be offered in the Mikdash?
If you will say that it may not be offered (for a Korban) in the Mikdash, is something needed for Korbanos (e.g. the Altar) like a Korban (in this respect)?
Answer (Rava): A Kal va'Chomer teaches this. A detached Esnan (wages of a harlot) is permitted to people (to benefit from it), and an attached Esnan may not be used in the Mikdash;
"Lo Savi Esnan... Beis Hash-m" - the verse does not distinguish whether it is attached;
Something detached that was Ne'evad is forbidden to people. All the more so something attached that was Ne'evad may not be used in the Mikdash!
Objection (Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua): One can learn oppositely!
Something detached that was Ne'evad is forbidden to people, but something attached that was Ne'evad may be used in the Mikdash;
"Eloheihem Al he'Harim" - the mountains are not considered idols. The verse does not distinguish. It permits them to people and for use in the Mikdash;
A detached Esnan is permitted to people. All the more so an attached Esnan may be used in the Mikdash!
"Beis Hash-m" teaches as follows.
(Beraisa - R. Eliezer): "Beis Hash-m" excludes the red heifer (it is not brought in the Mikdash, so an Esnan may be used for it);
Chachamim say, this comes to include gold plating for the Heichal. (An Esnan may not be used for it.)
Answer (Rava): Since one Kal va'Chomer teaches a stringency and another teaches a leniency, we learn the stringency.
Question (Rav Papa): Is it really true that we always learn the stringency?!
Regarding sprinkling (with water with ashes of the red heifer on Shabbos on (Rashi; Rambam - the day before) Erev Pesach to enable one to bring the Korban Pesach), R. Eliezer learns the stringency, (and permits sprinkling) and obligates the person to bring the Pesach. R. Akiva learns the leniency, (and forbids sprinkling) and exempts the person from bringing the Pesach! (The Halachah follows R. Akiva.)
(Mishnah - R. Akiva): Perhaps you should learn oppositely! Sprinkling (on Shabbos) is forbidden only mid'Rabanan, and it is not permitted for the sake of bringing the Pesach. All the more so we should not permit slaughtering on Shabbos, which is forbidden mid'Oraisa!
Answer: R. Akiva did not really learn a Kal va'Chomer. He was just trying to subtly remind his Rebbi what he (R. Eliezer) himself had taught him, that sprinkling is not permitted for the sake of the Pesach.
Support (Beraisa - R. Akiva): You yourself taught me that sprinkling on Shabbos is forbidden only mid'Rabanan, and it is not permitted for the sake of the Pesach.
Question (Rami bar Chama): If someone bowed to attached wheat, may it be used for a Minchah offering?
Does Shinuy (a change, i.e. cutting and processing the wheat to make flour) permit something Ne'evad?