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Avodah Zarah 11

AVODAH ZARAH 11 - dedicated by Reb Gedalya Weinberger of Brooklyn, N.Y. in memory of his father, Reb Chaim Tzvi ben Reb Shlomo Weinberger. Reb Chaim Tzvi, who miraculously survived the holocaust, raised his children with an intense dedication to the Torah and Gedolei Torah.


(a) Onkelus bar Kelonimus converted; the Caeser sent troops to return him. He expounded verses and persuaded them to convert.
1. Caeser sent more troops; he instructed them not to talk to Onkelus. As they were taking him, he said 'I will just say one thing: a deputy holds a lamp for an official, an official holds for a mayor, a mayor for a governor, a governor for a king. Does the king hold for anyone?
2. The troops: No.
3. Onkelus: Hash-m held a lamp for Yisrael - "Va'Sh-m Holech...b'Amud Esh Leha'ir Lahem".
4. The troops all converted.
5. Caeser sent more troops; he instructed them not to talk to Onkelus at all. As they were taking him, he saw a Mezuzah; he put his hand on it and asked them what it is.
6. The troops: You tell us.
7. Onkelus: A mortal king sits inside, his servants guard him from outside; Hash-m's servants are inside, and He guards them from the outside - "Hash-m Yishmor Tzeisecha u'Vo'echa".
8. The troops converted; Caeser did not send more troops.
(b) (Rav Yehudah): "Shnei Goyim b'Vitnech" - this is written "Geiyim" (exalted ones), alluding to Antoninus and Rebbi (who descend from Esav and Yakov), lettuce, gourds and radishes were always on their tables, in all seasons.
1. Radishes cut the food (in the stomach, to aid digestion), lettuce turns the food over, gourds expand the intestines (to help people eat more).
(c) Question: But Tana d'vei R. Yishmael taught, "Kishu'in" (gourds) are Kashe (harsh) to the body like a sword!
(d) Answer: Small gourds are helpful, large gourds are harmful.
(a) (Mishnah): The day (the king) was born, the day (the king's father) died...
(b) Inference: R. Meir does not distinguish whether or not they burned (the king's father's vessels when he died), he always forbids the day;
1. He must say that burning is not a Nochri statute;
2. Chachamim must say that it is a Nochri statute!
(c) Question (Beraisa): We burn after a king dies, this is not forbidden on account of 'ways of the Emori (Nochrim)';
1. If it is a Nochri statute, this should be forbidden - "Uv'Chukoseihem Lo Selechu"!
(d) Answer: Rather, all agree that it is not a Nochri statute, rather it shows honor to the king;
1. R. Meir holds that they serve idolatry whether or not they burned, Chachamim hold that they serve idolatry only if they burned, for then the death is meaningful to them.
(e) (Beraisa): We burn after a king dies, this is not forbidden on account of 'ways of the Emori' - "Uv'Misrefos Avosecha ha'Melachim...";
1. Just as we burn for a king, also for a Nasi.
2. We burn his bed and the vessels he used.
3. When R. Gamliel died, Onkelus burned 70 Manos of (silver coins of) Tzur.
4. Question: But we said that we (only) burn his bed and the vessels he used!
5. Correction: Rather, he burned vessels *worth* 70 Manos.
(f) Question: Is it really true that we do not destroy anything else?!
1. (Beraisa): We Oker (cut animals' legs) when the king dies, this is not forbidden on account of 'ways of the Emori'.
(g) Answer (Rav Papa): That refers to the horse he rode on (it is like a vessel he used).
(h) Question: But we also do this for Tahor animals (which people do not ride on)!
1. (Beraisa): *Ikur* which makes an animal Treifah is forbidden, if it does not make it Treifah, it is permitted. (Rashi - we only distinguish making it Treifah regarding Kosher animals; Tosfos - the Beraisa says when the animal is permitted to eat).
2. Ikur does not make an animal Treifah if done below the knee.

(i) Answer (Rav Papa): That refers to a calf used to pull a wagon.
(a) (Mishnah): The day he shaves his beard...
(b) Question: What does the Mishnah mean: the day he shaves his beard and (Rashi - the day he) cuts his hair but leaves his Beloris, or the day he shaves his beard and (Rashi - the day he) cuts his Beloris?
(c) Answer: Both are forbidden.
1. Version #1 - Rashi - (Beraisa #1): The day he shaves his beard and the day he leaves his Beloris.
2. (Beraisa #2): The day he shaves his beard and the day he cuts his Beloris.
3. Version #2 - Tosfos - Beraisa: The day he shaves his beard and leaves his Beloris, and the day he shaves his beard and cuts his Beloris.
(d) (Rav Yehudah): Romi has another festival: once in 70 years, they put a healthy man (to represent Esav) on top of a lame man (Yakov); 'Esav' wears the clothes of Adam ha'Rishon, has the skin of R. Yishmael over his face, and the weight of a Zuz of Paz (a very rare type of gold) hanging from his neck;
1. They cover the market with carbuncle, and announce in front of him: the prediction (of the redemption of Yisrael) of the master (Rashi - Yakov; Tosfos - Yitzchak) is false; the brother (Yakov) of our master (is) a swindler; one who missed seeing this will not see it (he is not likely to live another 70 years); the swindler did not gain by his swindle (taking the blessings); woe to this one (Esav), when this one (Yakov) will rise.
2. (Rav Ashi): They inadvertently said the truth!
i. They meant to say, a swindler is the brother of our master; the way they said implies, the brother of our master, the swindler.
(e) Question: Why did the Mishnah omit this festival?
(f) Answer: It only lists festivals that occur every year.
(g) Question: These are the festivals of Romi; what are the festivals of Peras?
(h) Answer: Mutradi, Turski, Muharanki, and Moharin.
1. The festivals of Bavel are Muharanki, Aknisei, Bechanuni, and the 10th of Adar.
(i) (R. Chanan bar Rav Chisda): There are five fixed idolatry houses: Beis Bel in Bavel, Beis Nevo in Kursi, Tarasa in Mefeg, Tzerifa in Ashkelon, and Nashra in Arabia.
(j) (Rav Dimi): Also Yarid in Ein Bechi and Nidvacha (some say Nisrava) in Ako.
(k) Question (R. Chanan bar Rav Chisda): What is the significance of saying that they are fixed?
(l) Answer (Rav Chisda): People sacrifice to them every day of the year.
(m) (Shmuel): In Chutz la'Aretz, only the day of the festival is forbidden (not three days before it).
(n) Question: Even the day of the festival is permitted!
1. On the merchants' festival, Rav Yehudah allowed Rav Berona to sell wine and Rav Gidal to sell wheat.
(o) Answer: The merchants' festival is different, for it is not a fixed annual festival.
(a) (Mishnah): When a city celebrates a festival, it is permitted to do business outside the city;
1. When the outskirts celebrate a festival, it is permitted to do business with the city.
(b) It is permitted to travel to the city only if the road also leads to another city (if not, people will suspect that he is going to sacrifice with them).
(c) (Gemara) Version #1 - Question: What is considered outside the city?
(d) Answer (Reish Lakish): Even the market of Azah is considered outside Azah (even though it is very close).
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