AVODAH ZARAH 8 - Two weeks of study material have been dedicated by Mrs. Estanne Abraham Fawer to honor the Yahrzeit of her father, Rav Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Rabbi Morton Weiner) Z'L, who passed away on 18 Teves 5760. May the merit of supporting and advancing Dafyomi study -- which was so important to him -- during the weeks of his Yahrzeit serve as an Iluy for his Neshamah.


THE NAMES OF THE FESTIVALS (Yerushalmi Halachah 2 Daf 2b)

משנה אילו הן אידיהן של עכו"ם קלנדס וסטרנלייא וקרטסי' ויום גינוסיא של מלכים ויום הלידה ויום המיתה דברי ר"מ


(Mishnah) - (R. Meir): The following are the festivals ['eideihem'] of the idolaters - Kalandas, Saturnalia, Kartusim, the coronation day, the birthday and the day of death of kings.

וחכמים אומרים כל מיתה שיש בה שריפה יש בה ע"ז ושאין בה שריפה אין בה ע"ז:


(Chachamim): Any death of such an important person that involves burning his clothes and possessions is considered a festival of idolatry. If it does not involve that, it is not idolatry.

רב אמר עידיהן


(Gemara) - (Rav): The text should read Eideihem (starting with the letter Ayin).

ושמואל אמר אידיהן


(Shmuel): The text should read Eideihem (starting with the letter Alef).

מאן דאמר עידיהן ועידיהם המה


Rav brings proof from the pasuk (Yeshayahu 44:9), "and they (the idols) are their witnesses" (spelled with the letter Ayin).

מאן דאמר אידיהן כי קרוב יום אידם


Shmuel brings proof from the pasuk (Devarim 32:35), "For the appointed day of their reckoning is near" (spelled with the letter Alef).

רב אמר מאברים ושמואל אמר מעברין


Rav said the text (that discusses extending the techum of a city) should read "Me'averin - they extend" (with the letter Ayin) and Shmuel said "Me'averin - they extend" (with the letter Alef).

מאן דאמר מאברין מוסיפין לה אבר


Rav says that the root is the word 'Ever' - limb, as they 'add a limb' to the city.

מאן דאמר מעברין כאשה מעוברה


Shmuel says that the root is the word 'Uber' - foetus, as they extend the city like a pregnant woman.

רב אמר יאותו ושמואל אמר יעותו


Rav said that (in the Mishnah in the 8th chapter of Berachos, it says that one may not make a blessing on the flame after Shabbos until "She'ya'usu l'oro" - spelled with the letter Alef, meaning until they benefit from its light. Shmuel said that the word "She'ya'usu" is spelled with the letter Ayin.

מאן דאמר יאותו אך בזאת נאות לכם


Rav brings proof to this from the pasuk (Bereishis 34:15), "Only on this condition will we agree (Ne'os) with you" (so that we can benefit from you).

מאן דאמר יעותו לדעת לעות את יעף דבר.


Shmuel brings proof to this from the pasuk (Yeshayahu 50:4), "to understand the need of the times (La'us) in giving over matters to those who thirst".


THE STORIES BEHIND THE FESTIVALS (Yerushalmi Halachah 2 Daf 2b)

רב אמר קלנדס אדם הראשון התקינו כיון דחמא לילייא אריך אמר אי לי שמא שכתוב בו הוא ישופך ראש ואתה תשופנו עקב שמא יבוא לנשכיני ואומר אך חושך ישופני


(Rav): Kalandas was originally established by Adam HaRishon. When he saw that the nights were getting longer and the days shorter (in the fall and winter days), he said to himself, "Woe is to me, as perhaps the one about which it is written (Bereishis 3:15), 'He will pound your head and you will bite his heel' (the snake) might come and bite me!" and he said the verse (Tehilim 139:11), "I said, 'Darkness will darken me'".

[דף ג עמוד א] כיון דחמא איממא ארך אמר קלנדס קלון דיאו.


When the days began to become longer again, he said, "This freedom (Kalandas) is from Hash-m".

ואיתא כמאן דאמר בתשרי נברא העולם ברם כמאן דאמר בניסן נברא העולם ידע הוה.


Question: This statement of Rav follows the opinion that the world was created in Tishrei, but according to the opinion that it was created in Nisan, he would have already seen the pattern of the variable lengths of days.

א"ר יוסי בי רבי בון מאן סבר בראש השנה נברא העולם רב דתני בתקיעתא דבי רב זה היום תחילת מעשיך זכרון ליום ראשון וכו' הוי בראש השנה נברא העולם.


Answer (R. Yosi bei R. Bun): Rav is of the opinion that it was created on Rosh Hashana, as Rav included in the text of the Musaf prayer of Rosh Hashana, "This is the day of the beginning of Your actions, a remembrance of the first day..." - which shows that on Rosh Hashana, the world was created.

רבי יוחנן לא אמר כן אלא מלכות מצרים ומלכות רומי היו עושין מלחמה אילו עם אילו אמרו עד מתי אנו הורגין בפולמוס זה עם זה בואו ונתקין שכל מלכות שתאמר לשר צבא שלה פול על חרבך וישמע לה תתפוס המלכות תחילה דמצרים לא שמע לון.


R. Yochanan disagreed with Rav and said that the source of Kalandas is the Romans. Once, the kingdoms of Egypt and Rome were at war with each other. They said, "How much longer will we be killing each other's soldiers? Let's decide to each tell the head of our army to kill himself, and if either is prepared to do this, it shows that his kingdom is worthy of ruling. The head of the army of Egypt did not go through with it.

דרומי הוה תמן חד גבר סב והוה שמיה יינובריס והוו ליה תריסרי בני אמרו ליה שמע לן ואנו עושין בניך דוכוסין ואיפרכין ואיסטרטליטין ושמע לון בגין כן צווחין ליה קלנדס יינובריס. מן יומא דבתריה מתאבלין עליו מילני אימירא.


The head of the Roman army was an old man called Yinuvris and he had 12 sons. The governors told Yinuvris to kill himself and that if he does so, they would appoint his sons as ministers on various levels. He agreed and as a result, people cried out in joy, "Kalandas Yinuvris". After he died, they marked that day as a day of mourning over his death and it was called 'Milani Imira' - 'the black day'.

א"ר יודן ענתודרייא מאן דזרע טלופחין בההוא יומא לא מצלחין.


(R. Yudan Antudraya): People would say, "Whoever plants lentils on that day of mourning will not be successful".

רב אמר קלנדס אסורה לכל.


(Rav): On Kalandas, it is prohibited to do business with idolaters in all places that are under Roman rule.

רבי יוחנן אמר אין אסורה אלא לפלחין בה


(R. Yochanan): It is only prohibited with Romans who serve idols on that day; but with people who are merely under Roman rule, it is not prohibited.

סטרנלייה אסורה לכל


Saturnalia is prohibited to all.

רבי יוחנן אמר בין קלנדס בין סטרנלייה אינה אסורה אלא לפלחין בה.


(R. Yochanan): Both for Kalandas and Saturnalia, it is only prohibited to do business with those who actually serve on it.

חברייא בעי נשי דפלחין כפלחין.


The Chevraya wanted to say that the wives of the idolaters are also prohibited (to do business with) even if they personally do not serve the idol on that day (if they have a different custom that they followed in their fathers' houses).

רבי אבהו בעי והדא טקסיס דקיסרין מכיון דסוגייא שמריין כפלחין היא הדא טקסיס דדוקים צריכה.


R. Abahu wanted to say concerning the festival of idolatry that they celebrate in Kisarin, that since the Samaritans (people of the Shomron) stooped so far as to even serve other idols, they are considered to serve that idol and one may not do business with them on that day.

רבי ביבי שלחיה רבי זעירא דיזבון ליה עזיל קטן מן סטרנלייה דביישן אתא גבי ר' יוסי סבר דמורה ליה כהדא (דרבי יהושע בן לוי)[דר' יוחנן] שרי והורי ליה כהדא (דרבי יוחנן)[דרבי יהושע בן לוי] אסור.


R. Zeira sent R. Baybei to buy for him some small yarn from marketplace of the Saturnalia celebration of Baishan. (The people there only celebrated that festival because of the rule of the Romans, but not because they believed in it.) R. Baybei came in front of R. Yosi. He thought that R. Yosi would rule leniently like R. Yochanan (above (e)1.), but he ruled stringently like R. Yehoshua ben Levi.

רב אמר קלנדס לפני תקופה שמונה ימים סטרנלייא לאחר תקופה ח' ימים.


(Rav): Kalandus continues for eight days before the Tekufah (of Teves. Tekufas Teves - the winter solstice, occurs on the 6th/7th of January according to their counting) and Saturnalia continues for eight days after it.

א"ר יוחנן (פרוקטו)[טרופיקו] ראשה של תקופה.


(R. Yochanan): The day that Tekufas Teves begins is called Tropico (in Greek).

ר' בא בשם רב שלשה זמנים בבבל ושלשה זמנים במדיי שלשה זמנים


(R. Ba quoting Rav): These three festivals listed in our Mishnah are the festivals of the Romans, but in Bavel and Madai there are different festivals at different times...

בבבל מהורי וכנוני ובנוותה שלשה במדיי נוסרדי ותירייסקי ומהירקנה.


In Bavel there are Mahori, Kenuni and Banvasa; in Madai there are Nusardi, Tiraiski and Mahirkana,

ר' הונה בשם רב נחמן בר יעקב נרוס בב' באדר בפרס בעשרים באדר במדי


(Rav Huna citing Rav Nachman bar Yaakov): In Persia, the 2nd of Adar is their festival of New Year. In Madai, their New Year is on the 20th of Adar.

סטרנלייה שנאה טמונה שונא נוקם ונוטר היך מה דאת אמר וישטם עשו את יעקב.


Saturnalia, which is a day on which they worship the planet Saturn (believing that it is designated for revenge and bloodshed, expressing the hatred of Esav towards Yaakov). The Rabbis expounded the name... "Satur" - 'Sin'ah Temunah - hidden hatred' "nalia" - 'nokem ve'noter - takes vengeance and bears a grudge', as the pasuk states (Bereishis 27:41), "And Esav hated Yaakov" - that he kept hatred in his heart.

א"ר יצחק בי רבי לעזר ברומי צווחין ליה סנטורייה דעשו:


(R. Yitzchak bei R. Elazar): Until today, in Rome they call the festival Saturnalia, 'the hatred of Esav'.

וקרטוסים. יום שתפשה בו רומי מלכות.


The Mishnah above (1(a)) taught that one of the festivals was Kartusim. It is the day that the Romans took control.

ולא כבר תניתה


Question: Doesn't the Mishnah already teach the case of the coronation day?

א"ר יוסי בי רבי בון פעם שנייה.


Answer (R. Yosi bei R. Bun): This refers to when they regained their kingdom after it fell.

א"ר לוי יום שנתחתן שלמה (לפרעה נכה)[לבת פרעה] מלך מצרים ירד מיכאל ונעץ קנה בים והעלה שלעטוט ונעשה חורש גדול וזה הוא כרך גדול שברומי.


The day on which Shlomo married the daughter of Paroh, the king of Egypt, (the angel) Michael descended and inserted a cane into the sea, from which sediment came up and it became a forest upon which the great city of Rome was built.

יום שהעמיד ירבעם שני עגלי זהב באו רומס ורומילס ובנו שני צריפים ברומי.


On the day that Yeravam set up two golden calves, Romus and Romilus came and built two huts in Rome.

יום שנסתלק בו אליהו הועמד מלך ברומי ומלך אין באדום נצב מלך.


On the day that Eliyahu left this world, a king was crowned in Rome, as the pasuk states (Melachim I 23:48), "a king was appointed in Edom, as until then they did not have a king".