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Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Avodah Zarah 2

AVODAH ZARAH 2 - Marcia and Lee Weinblatt have dedicated this Daf towards the full recovery of Mrs. Gerti (Gitl bas Golda) Kornfeld, and in honor of the recent births of their grandchildren: Gabriela Esther (to Jodi & Jacob Mugrabi), Esther Rifka (to Tal & Aylon Brandwein), Mordechai (to Aliza & Kenny Weinblatt) and Meir Yaakov (to Roni & Yehuda Blinder). MAZEL TOV!


(a) (Mishnah): The following are forbidden three days before idolatrous festivals of idolators: to buy from or sell to them (Rashi; R. Tam - to sell to them things that are offered to idolatry), to lend to them or borrow from them objects or money, to pay up or collect loans;
(b) R. Yehudah permits collecting loans from them, for this pains them.
(c) Chachamim: Even though it pains them now, it gladdens them later.
(d) (Gemara - Rav or Shmuel): The word in the Mishnah denoting idolatrous festivals is Eideihen (with an Aleph);
(e) (The other of Rav and Shmuel): It is Edeihen (with an Ayin).
(f) Both texts are reasonable.
1. Eideihen (with an Aleph) is reasonable, as it says "Karov Yom Eidam";
2. Edeihen (with an Ayin) is reasonable, as it says "Yitenu Edeihem v'Yitzdaku".
(g) Question: Why does the first opinion favor Eideihen?
(h) Answer: That language is used to refer to their downfall.
(i) Question: Why does the second opinion favor Edeihen?
(j) Answer: Their downfall is on account of the Edus (testimony) they will give against themselves.
(k) Objection: "Yitenu Edeihem v'Yitzdaku" refers to Yisrael!
1. (R. Yehoshua ben Levi):"Yitenu Edeihem v'Yitzdaku" - Mitzvos that Yisrael do in this world testify for them in the world to come;
2. "Va'Yomeru Emes" - this refers to the idolators.
(l) (Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua): Rather, Edeihen is reasonable, as it says "Yotzerei Fesel...v'Edeihen Hemah".
(a) (R. Chanina bar Papa): In the future, Hash-m will hold a Sefer Torah and offer reward to all who engaged in Torah; all the Nochrim will come together; Hash-m will insist that one nation come at a time.

(b) Question: Hash-m can judge them all together!
(c) Answer: He wants that each nation should hear what He says to them.
(d) Romi will be the first to be judged, because it is most important;
1. (R. Yochanan): "V'Seichul Kol Ara u'Sdushinah v'Sadekinah" - this is Romi, whose fame (Rashi; Maharsha - coinage) spans the entire world.
(e) Question: How do we know that the most important is first to be judged?
(f) Answer: As Rav Chisda taught.
1. (Rav Chisda): The king enters for judgment before the nation - "La'asos Mishpat Avdo u'Mishpat Amo Yisrael".
2. Question: What is the reason?
3. Answer #1: It is improper for the king to wait outside until the nation is judged.
4. Answer #2: If the nation was judged first, perhaps Hash-m would be angry when he judges the king (and punish him for their sins).
(g) Hash-m: How did you engage in Torah?
(h) Romi: We established markets, built bathhouses, and made money plentiful, all in order that Yisrael can engage in Torah.
(i) Hash-m: Fools! (True, I helped you to do all that in order that Yisrael can engage in Torah, but) you intended for your own benefit (therefore, you get no reward for this);
1. You established markets for your own benefit, even to house harlots;
2. You built bathhouses to indulge yourselves;
3. The money is mine - "Li ha'Kesef v'Li ha'Zahav Ne'um Hash-m".
4. Can you say that you engaged in this (the Torah given through Moshe)?!
(j) Romi left dejected; Peras entered next, for they are second in importance.
1. (Rav Yosef): "Sinyanah Damyah l'Dov (the second creature in Nebuchadnetzar's dream was like a bear)" - this represents Peras, they are like bears in the following ways: their eating and drinking habits, their obesity, they are hairy, they are always moving.
(k) Hash-m: How did you engage in Torah?
(l) Peras: We built bridges, conquered great cities, and made many wars, all in order that Yisrael can engage in Torah.
(m) Hash-m: You intended for your own benefit!
1. You built bridges in order to collect taxes, you conquered cities to conscript people to serve the king;
2. I made the wars - "Hash-m Ish Milchamah"
3. Can you say that you engaged in Torah?!
(n) Peras left dejected.
1. Question: Having seen Hash-m's answer to Romi, why did they hope to get reward?
2. Answer: They thought that Romi gets no reward for they destroyed the (second) Mikdash, but Peras will be rewarded, for they helped built it (in the days of Koresh).
(o) Similarly, every nation enters hopeful of reward and is dejected by Hash-m's rebuttal.
1. Question: Having seen Hash-m's answers to the previous nations, why did they hope to get reward?
2. Answer: Each thinks that it did not subjugate Yisrael like the others.
(p) Question: Why did R. Chanina only mention Romi and Peras?
(q) Answer: The kingdoms of Romi and Peras will endure until Mashiach.
(a) The Nochrim: Will You say that You offered us the Torah and we refused it?!
(b) Objection: Indeed, He did!
1. "Hash-m mi'Sinai Ba v'Zarach mi'Se'ir Lamo"; it also says "Eloka mi'Teiman Yavo (v'Kadosh me'Har Paran)";
2. Question: Why was Hash-m in Se'ir (Esav's inheritance) and Paran (where Yishmaelim live)?
3. Answer (R. Yochanan): This teaches that Hash-m offered the Torah to every nation, but only Yisrael accepted it.
(c) Correction: Rather, the Nochrim ask, will You say that we accepted the Torah and did not fulfill it?!
(d) Objection: That is self-incriminating (for refusing the Torah)!
(e) Correction: Rather, they say 'Will You say that You held a mountain over us (as You did for Yisrael) and we refused it?!'
1. (Rav Dimi bar Chama): "Va'Yitzyatzvu b'Sachtis ha'Har" - Hash-m suspended the mountain over us like a barrel, and said that if we do not accept the Torah, we will be buried there.
(f) Hash-m: Because you did not observe the seven Mitzvos you already had, I did not force you to accept the rest.
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