THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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Avodah Zarah, 65
1) WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A "KAR" AND A "KESES?"
OPINIONS: The Mishnah (62a) states that when a Jew rents his donkey to a
Nochri who places his container of Yayin Nesech on the donkey, the Jew may
benefit from the payment he receives from the rental. The Gemara suggests
that it is permitted because it is unusual for a person to place his wine on
a donkey, and thus the Jew did not expect to receive money for such a
service. The Gemara questions this from a Beraisa that states that when one
rents out his donkey, the person who rents it is entitled to place his
clothing ("Kesuso"), wine, and food for the trip on the donkey. This implies
that placing wine on a donkey *is* included in the normal usage of a donkey!
Abaye answers that although it is normal for a person to place wine on a
donkey, it is not that usage of the donkey for which a person pays when he
rents a donkey. This is evident the fact that one would not receive a lower
price if he brings no wine on the trip.
TOSFOS (DH Hachi Garsinan) quotes RABEINU TAM who questions the wording of
the Gemara as it appears in our text. Why does the Beraisa -- when it
teaches what items are acceptable to place on a rented donkey -- need to
list "Kesuso" ("his clothing")? It should be obvious that a person does not
need to remove his clothes when he rents a donkey! Even if the Beraisa is
referring to bringing along additional clothing, that, too, is obvious; if
he frequently wears the other garment, it is obvious that he may bring it
with him on the donkey. If it is referring to a garment that he does not
frequently wear, then the Gemara should clarify that the Beraisa permits
bringing even clothes that he does not normally wear. Rabeinu Tam therefore
maintains that the correct Girsa of the Gemara should be "Kisto" and not
"Kesuso." What exactly is "Kisto?"
(a) TOSFOS (ibid.) says that "Kisto" is commonly translated as a large,
mattress-like cushion upon which one rests. A "Kar," which is often
mentioned together with "Keses" ("Kisto"), is commonly translated as either
a small cushion used for sitting, or a small pillow used for resting the
(b) Tosfos states that this translation of Keses is erroneous. Rather, the
opposite is the correct way of translating the terms. A Keses is either a
small cushion or small pillow, and a Kar is a large, mattress-like cushion.
Tosfos cites a number of proofs for these definitions. For example, the
Mishnah in Kelim (28:5) discusses a case of one who made his Kar into a
sheet and his Keses into a cloth. This indicates that the Kar which one is
able to convert into a sheet is the larger of the two. In addition, the
Gemara in Eruvin (100b) discusses the specific curses which Chavah received
for her share in the sin of eating from the Etz ha'Da'as. One of these
curses is that she is made into a Kar for her husband. This Gemara indicates
that the woman is more than just a place for the husband to rest his head,
but rather she serves as a Kar that is large enough for the entire body.
Third, the Gemara in Gitin (47a) states that Rebbi Shimon ben Levi was
resting on his stomach, and he commented that his stomach is his Kar. How is
that to be understood if a Kar is a small pillow for the head?
Tosfos' explanation is also that of the ARUCH (Erech Kar) and RABEINU
YEHOSEF, quoted by the MELECHES SHLOMO, and to which the Meleches Shlomo
(c) The opinion that Tosfos quotes in the "name of the people" seems to be
the opinion of the RAMBAM (in Perush ha'Mishnayos to Shabbos 4:2. The Rambam
explicitly states that a Kar is a head pillow and a Keses is larger.
However, he does not specify the use of a Keses.
The TOSFOS YOM TOV (Mikva'os 10:2) explains that the Rambam holds that
*both* a Kar and a Keses are head pillows, and a Kar is merely a smaller one
that a Keses.
(The opinion of the BARTENURA is unclear. In Shabbos (ibid.) he explains
like the Rambam, while in Mikva'os (10:2) he translates these words like
Tosfos.) (Y. Montrose)
2) UNDERSTANDING ABAYE'S EXPLANATION
QUESTION: The Gemara relates that the father of Rav Acha brei d'Rav Ika used
to sell wine to Nochrim, which involved pouring the wine into the containers
of the Nochrim. In exchange for his service of pouring the wine and ensuring
that they could cross the river for free, the Nochri purchasers would let
him retain the barrel from which he poured the wine (when it was customary
to give the barrel together with the wine).
How was he allowed to pour the wine for them into their vessels and thereby
keep the barrel? This should be like working with Yayin Nesech which is
forbidden! Abaye answers that it was permitted because his work involved his
own, permitted merchandise.
How does Abaye's statement explain the practice of the father of Rav Acha?
What difference does it make if the barrel belonged to Rav Acha? At the
moment he poured the wine into the vessel of the Nochri, the wine became
(a) RASHI (DH b'Didei) explains that the wine does not become forbidden
until it reaches the bottom of the Nochri's vessel. Until that moment, it
was permitted for him to pour the wine in exchange for keeping the barrel.
What is the reason, according to Rashi, for why the wine becomes forbidden
when it reaches the bottom of the vessel?
1. The RITVA understands that Rashi maintains that whenever wine lands in a
container owned by a Nochri, it immediately becomes forbidden. He explains,
according to Rashi, that once the wine is in the air of the vessel, the
action of pouring is deemed completed. At the time the wine reaches the
bottom of the vessel, he was no longer doing any act of pouring of forbidden
wine. This also is the explanation given by the TUR (YD 137) in the name of
his father, the ROSH (Avodah Zarah 2:20). (See TERUMAS HA'DESHEN (1:201) who
questions how this explanation is consistent with the words of the Rosh, and
see BEIS YOSEF (YD ibid.) for a possible explanation).
(b) The Ritva says that there is no need for Rashi's explanation. This is
because we follow the opinion of the Chachamim (29b) who maintain that
Jewish wine in Nochri vessels is not forbidden from benefit. The Ritva
states that Abaye was simply explaining that since the father of Rav Acha
ensured that the Nochri customers could not touch the wine while he was
pouring it, he never encountered a problem of Yayin Nesech (see this opinion
as stated more explicitly in the ME'IRI). The Ritva notes that since this is
the correct explanation, the question regarding "Nitzok Chibur" is no longer
relevant. (Y. Montrose)
The Ritva, Tosfos (DH Ki Ka Tarach), and many others question this
explanation. Even if the wine becomes forbidden only when it reaches the
bottom, there is a principle called "Nitzok Chibur," which means that the
column of flowing liquid creates a connection (see 72b). According to Rashi,
the wine being poured should become forbidden before it reaches the bottom,
at the moment that it is being poured, because it is being poured into wine
which is already forbidden (at the bottom of the barrel)!
Tosfos answers that this is not a difficulty, because the Halachah follows
the view of Rebbi Shimon ben Gamliel who maintains that wine which mixes
with Yayin Nesech may be sold, and one may benefit from the proceeds except
for the value of the amount of Yayin Nesech that was in the mixture.
Alternatively, Tosfos answers that the Halachah, as Rabeinu Tam rules,
follows the view that Nitzok is *not* a Chibur. (See Ritva for additional
2. The MAHARAM explains that Rashi understands that the Gemara was concerned
with a different problem altogether. The Nochri purchasers would often have
leftover wine in the bottom of their containers. Abaye was not addressing
the problem of pouring the actual wine that was just purchased. Rather, the
problem was pouring the wine into the leftover Yayin Nesech in the
containers of the Nochrim. Abaye explained that the pouring itself is not
problematic, since the wine becomes forbidden only when it mingles with the
Yayin Nesech at the bottom of the container.