AVODAH ZARAH 49 (18 Adar) - Dedicated by Harav Shlomo Weinberger of Brooklyn, NY, in memory of his father, Reb Chaim Tzvi ben Reb Shlomo Weinberger, whose Yahrzeit is 18 Adar. Reb Chaim Tzvi, a Holocaust survivor who raised his family in a new country, bequeathed his children a steadfast commitment to Torah and its study.

1)

PASSING BY AN IDOL (Yerushalmi Halachah 11 Daf 24b)

רבי אבין בשם רבנן דתמן זאת אומרת שאין טומאת המתים מחוורת דלא כן אילו קבר שהוא גזל את הרבים ועבר תחתיו טהור.

(a)

(R. Avin citing the Rabbanan of Bavel): From the teaching of the Mishnah (above daf 48-3(b) that if the Asheirah hangs over a public path and he passed underneath it, he remains Tahor), we learn that the comparison of idolatry to the tumah of a corpse (as found in the pasuk in Tehillim 106:28), "They became attached to Baal Pe'or and ate sacrifices of the dead) is not clearly considered to be from the Torah and is Rabbinic; as if we say that it is from the Torah, would we say that if a grave was positioned in a public place, one who passes over would be Tahor?!

גמליאל זוגא היה מיסתמיך ברשב"ל מטון בהו תבניתא א"ל מהו מעבור קומוי א"ל עבור קומוי וסמי עיניה.

(b)

R. Shimon ben Lakish was leaning on Gamliel Zuga. They reached a place where there was an idol called Tuvnisa and they had no other way to go other than by taking a very big detour. Gamliel Zuga asked R. Shimon ben Lakish if it was permitted to pass by the idol. R. Shimon ben Lakish told him that it is permitted, as it is as if you are blinding it (i.e. showing it disrespect) by passing by it as a shortcut.

רבי יצחק בר מתני הוה מסיתמך ברבי יוחנן מטון צלמא דבולי א"ל מהו ניעבור קומוי א"ל עבור קומוי וסמי עיניה רבי יעקב בר אידי הוה מיסתמיך ברבי יהושע בן לוי מטון לאדורי צלמא אמר ליה נחום איש קדש קדשים עבר ואת לית את עבר עבור קומי וסמי עיניה.

(c)

R. Yochanan was leaning on R. Yitzchak bar Masni. They reached an idol called Buli and they had no other way to go. R. Yitzchak asked R. Yochanan if it was permitted to pass by the idol. R. Yochanan permitted it (as R. Shimon ben Lakish had done). R. Yehoshua ben Levi was leaning on R. Yaakov bar Idi. When they reached the idol called Aduri, R. Yaakov did not want to pass by it. R Yehoshua ben Levi told him that even Nochum the Holy of Holies passed by there, and you will not disrespect it in this way?

לית הדא פליגי על ר' יוחנן דרבי יוחנן אמר עבודה זרה שנשתברה אסורה לא כן סברנן מימר אם בשאינו עתיד להחזירן לכליין דברי הכל מותר

(d)

This ruling of R. Yosi in the Mishnah (above daf 48-3(d)) that vegetables may not be planted in the rainy season because the tree's leaves fall upon them and fertilize them) does not contradict R. Yochanan, who said that a broken idol is prohibited. But R. Yochanan has the prohibition only when they intend to rebuild it, otherwise it is permitted; here also, since the falling foliage will not been returned to the tree, it should be permitted, so why would R. Yosi prohibit it?

תיפתר בעבודה זרה של ישראל.

1.

(Answer for R. Yochanan): R. Yosi is referring to the idolatry of a Jew (that is not annulled even if physically broken).

לית הדא פליגא על רב דרב אמר צורכה היא אסורה ושפוייה מותרין

(e)

R. Yosi's ruling also does not contradict Rav who says (below in 4 (c)) that when a person filed an idol to improve it, even if he did not annul it, the filings are permitted (so why R. Yosi say that the falling leaves are prohibited?)

עוד היא תיפתר בע"ז של ישראל.

1.

(Answer for Rav): R. Yosi is referring to the idolatry of a Jew (that cannot be annulled; Rav was referring to the idolatry of a gentile).

מפני מה הכל פורשין הימינה

(f)

Question: Why does everyone distance themselves from the idolatry of a Jew?

מפני שניבולה רע:

(g)

Answer: Because it is so disgraceful that a Jew would want to anger Hash-m.

2)

TAKING WOOD FROM AN ASHEIRAH (Yerushalmi Halachah 12 Daf 24b)

משנה נטל ממנה עצים אסורין בהנייה

(a)

(Mishnah): If one took wood from it, one may not derive benefit from them.

הסיק בהן את התנור אם חדש יותץ ואם ישן יוצן

(b)

If he fired his oven with them, if the oven is new, he must smash it; if it is old, he must leave it to cool off.

אפה בו את הפת הפת אסורה בהנייה נתערבה באחרות כולן אסורות בהנאה

(c)

If he baked bread with it, the bread is prohibited. If that loaf became mixed with other loaves, they all become prohibited.

רבי ליעזר אומר יוליך הנייה לים המלח

(d)

(R. Eliezer): He should throw its equivalent value into the Dead Sea.

אמרו לו אין פדיון לע"ז:

(e)

(Chachamim): There is no way to redeem idols.

גמרא אמר רב חסדאי בסתם חלוקין

(f)

(Gemara) (Rav Chisda): (The Mishnah taught that if he baked bread with it, the bread is prohibited. This implies that it is prohibited to everyone. This is actually a dispute between Rebbi and the Chachamim in a Baraisa.) This dispute was over a standard case...

מה נן קיימין אם להסיק דברי הכל (מותר)[אסור] אם לעשן דברי הכל (אסור)[מותר] אלא כן אנן קיימין בסתם:

1.

What is the case? If he baked the bread with the flame directly baking it, all agree that it is prohibited. If he dragged away the coals from the oven and baked with the heat that remained, all agree that the bread is permitted. Rather the dispute is in a case when he baked it in the standard way (after the wood became coals, which is the usual way of fuelling an oven - the Chachamim permit the bread and Rebbi prohibits it, because the prohibited wood improved the bread).

3)

MAKING A SHUTTLE FROM ITS WOOD (Yerushalmi Halachah 13 Daf 25a)

[דף כה עמוד א] משנה נטל ממנה כרכר אסור בהנאה ארג בו את הבגד הבגד אסור בהנאה נתערב באחרים כולן אסורין בהנאה

(a)

If he took from it (and used it to make) a shuttle (used for weaving), it is prohibited. If he used it to weave a garment, the garment is prohibited. If that garment became mixed with others, they are all prohibited.

רבי אלעזר אומר יוליך הנייה לים (המלך)[המלח]

(b)

(R. Eliezer): He should throw its equivalent value into the Dead Sea.

אמרו לו אין פדיון לעבודה זרה:

(c)

(Chachamim): There is no way to redeem idols.

גמרא אמר רבי חגיי כד נחתית מן אילפא אשכחית רבי יעקב בר אחא יתיב מקשי נטל הימינה כרכר אסור בהנייה ארג בו את הבגד אסור בהנייה ותנינן ימכר כולו לנכרי חוץ מדמי יין נסך שבו

(d)

(R. Chagai): When I descended from the boat, I found R. Yaakov bar Acha sitting and questioning the law of the Mishnah that if he took wood from an Asheirah (and used it to make) a shuttle (used for weaving), it is prohibited; and if he used it to weave a garment, the garment is prohibited. And we learn in a later Mishnah (Perek 5 Halachah 13 - see 74-2(a)(b)) that if Yayin Nesech fell into a vat, R. Shimon ben Gamliel says that he can sell the entire mixture to a gentile, except for the value of the Yayin Nesech. (Why don't we say the same thing here and permit him to sell the garment to a gentile except for the value of the prohibition in the garment?)

אמר ר' יעקב בר אחא חגיי קשיתא חגיי קיימה מאי כדון תמן אין דרך בני אדם ליקח מן הנכרי ברם הכא דרך בני אדם ליקח בגד מן הנכרי:

(e)

(R. Yaakov bar Acha): Chagai asked and Chagai answered that over there, Jews don't usually buy wine from a gentile, so there is no concern that he will sell it back to a Jew. But here, Jews do buy clothes from a gentile, so the Sages wanted to prevent a Jew from buying a prohibited item by preventing the original Jew from selling it to the gentile.

4)

ANNULING AN ASHEIRAH (Yerushalmi Halachah 14 Daf 25a)

משנה כיצד מבטלה קירסם זירד נטל ממנה מקל או שרביט אפילו עלה הרי זו ביטלה

(a)

(Mishnah): How does an idolater annul an Asheirah? If he pruned it, cut moist branches from it, took a stick from it or a twig or even a leaf, he has annulled it. (He has shown that it is no longer his idol by using it for his own benefit.)

שפאת לצורכה אסורה ושלא לצורכה מותרת:

(b)

If he filed it for its benefit, it is still prohibited; if he filed it not for its benefit, it is permitted.

גמרא רב אמר לצורכו בין היא בין שפייה מותרין לצורכה היא אסורה ושפייה מותרין

(c)

(Gemara) (Rav): If he filed it for his own need (that he needs the wood for himself), whether it is the wood or the filings, they are permitted. If he filed it for the need of the tree, the tree is prohibited, but its filings are permitted.

שמואל אמר לצורכה בין היא בין שפייה אסורין לצורכו היא אסורה ושפייה מותרין

(d)

(Shmuel): If he filed it for its need, both it and its filings are prohibited; if for his own need, it is prohibited and its filings are permitted.

רבי יוחנן אמר לצורכה היא אסורה ושפייה מותרין

(e)

(R. Yochanan): For its need, it is prohibited and its filings are permitted.

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