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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Avodah Zarah 13


(a) (R. Yochanan): It is forbidden to buy even from stores crowned with fruits;
1. Benefiting from idolatry is forbidden, all the more so benefiting it!
(b) Question (against Reish Lakish - Beraisa - R. Noson): On the day that the idolatry pardons taxes, they announce: 'Anyone who honors the idolatry by putting crowns on his head and his donkey's head, he is exempt; others are liable' - what should a Yisrael do?
1. If he dons a crown, he benefits from (the smell of) the idolatry!
2. If he does not don a crown, he benefits (by paying tax to) the idolatry!
3. Therefore: one who buys or sells in the fair of idolatry may not benefit from what he got:
i. If he bought an animal, we cut its legs below the knee; produce, clothing or vessels - we leave them to rot; metal vessels or (if he sold and received) money - we throw them in the Dead Sea.
4. Summation of question: The Beraisa forbids benefiting the idolatry!
(c) Answer (Rav Mesharshiya brei d'Rav Idi): Reish Lakish holds that Chachamim argue with R. Noson, he rules like Chachamim;
1. R. Yochanan holds that all agree with R. Noson.
(d) Question: But a Beraisa argues with R. Noson (and R. Yochanan knew the Beraisa)!
1. (Beraisa): One may go to a bazaar of Nochrim, and buy animals, slaves, houses, fields and vineyards;
2. He may go to their courts (to get deeds of ownership), lest he will lose the property;
3. A Kohen may go to Chutz la'Aretz, even though this makes him Tamei mid'Rabanan, to plead his case;
i. Similarly, he may become Tamei through a cemetery for this.
ii. Objection: That is Tum'ah mid'Oraisa, surely it is forbidden!
iii. Correction: Rather, he may become Tamei through a Beis ha'Pras (a field in which a corpse was plowed, we are concerned that the plow dragged bones), even though he becomes Tamei mid'Rabanan (lest he unknowingly step on a small bone).
4. He may become Tamei (mid'Rabanan) to learn Torah or marry a woman.
5. R. Yehudah says, if he can find a Rebbi here, he may not become Tamei to learn elsewhere.
6. R. Yosi permits this - perhaps he will learn better from the Rebbi there;
i. Yosef ha'Kohen followed his Rebbi to Tzidon (in Chutz la'Aretz) to learn.
7. (R. Yochanan): The Halachah follows R. Yosi.
(e) Answer: The Beraisa agrees with R. Noson; it is forbidden to buy from a merchant, for the idolatry collects taxes from them;
1. The Beraisa permits buying from a regular person, they do not collect taxes from him.
(a) Question: The previous Beraisa said that if one bought an animal, we cut its legs - but it is forbidden to cause (unnecessary) pain to animals!
(b) Answer (Abaye): "Es Suseihem Te'Aker" (this teaches that this is proper).
(c) (Beraisa): If he bought an animal, we cut its legs below the knee.
(d) Contradiction (Mishnah): (After the Churban) one should not make things Hekdesh or pledge Erchin (money to Hekdesh based on a person's age and gender) to Hekdesh;
1. If one made Hekdesh, we ensure that no one will benefit from it as follows: an animal - we are Me'aker it; produce, garments or vessels - we leave them (in a place where no one will take them) to rot; metal vessels or money - we throw them in the Dead Sea;

2. 'Ikur' means, we lock it up so it will starve to death.
(e) Answer #1 (Abaye): We do not cut the legs of Hekdesh, that would be disgraceful (the animal would survive a long time with cut legs).
1. Question: We should slaughter it!
2. Answer: Perhaps someone would come to eat it.
3. Question: We should cut it into two halves!
4. Answer (Abaye): "You should break their altars...Lo Sa'asun Ken la'Sh-m".
(f) Answer #2 (Rava): We do not cut its legs, that would *look like* blemishing Hekdesh.
(g) Question: That is truly blemishing Hekdesh!
(h) Answer: When the Mikdash stands, the animal is fitting to be offered, it is blemishing Hekdesh;
1. Today, the animal cannot be offered, it is permitted (mid'Oraisa, and forbidden mid'Rabanan because it looks like blemishing Hekdesh).
(i) Question: It should be forbidden mid'Oraisa, just as putting another blemish in a blemished sacrifice;
1. Even though the sacrifice cannot be offered, it is forbidden to blemish it further!
(j) Answer: A blemished sacrifice cannot be offered, but it is redeemed and we offer a replacement with the redemption money;
1. Today, we cannot offer the animal or its value (so mid'Oraisa one may blemish it).
(k) Question (R. Yonah): How do we prevent benefiting from slaves?
1. Surely, we do not harm Yisrael slaves; the question is about Nochri slaves.
(l) Answer (R. Ila'i - Beraisa): We do not cause Nochrim or shepherds of small animals (who constantly steal by grazing their animals in others' fields) to die, nor do we save them.
(a) Question (R. Yirmeyah): The Beraisa permits buying slaves - is this only Yisraelim, or even Nochrim?
(b) Answer #1 (R. Zeira): Presumably, only Yisraelim - why should we be lenient to allow buying Nochrim?
(c) Answer #2 (Ravin): We may even buy a Nochri, he will become an 'Eved Kana'ani', who keeps the Mitzvos incumbent on women!
(d) Objection (Rav Ashi): That does not explain why one may buy animals!
(e) Answer #3 (Rav Ashi): Rather, one may buy animals for this is detrimental to the Nochri - this also is why one may buy a Nochri slave.
(f) R. Yakov bought a sandal (at a Nochri bazaar); R. Yirmeyah bought bread. Each rebuked the other 'Your Rebbi would not do so'!
1. Each bought from a regular person, but thought that the other bought from a merchant.
2. (R. Aba brei d'R. Chiya bar Aba): It is forbidden to buy from a merchant, for the idolatry collects taxes from them;
i. It is permitted to buy from a regular person, they do not collect taxes from him.
(g) (R. Aba): Had R. Yochanan seen that here, the idolatry collects taxes from regular people, he would have forbidden that also!
(h) Question: If so, why did R. Yakov and R. Yirmeyah buy?
(i) Answer: The idolatry collects from regular people that always sell, they bought from regular people that do not normally sell.
(a) (Mishnah): It is forbidden to sell the following to Nochrim (they will be explained in the Gemara): Itzterobelin, Benos Shu'ach, Petoteros, frankincense, and white chickens;
(b) R. Yehudah permits selling a white chicken among many chickens;
1. If one sells only a white chicken, he must cut off its leg;
2. Nochrim do not offer to idolatry animals or birds missing a limb.
(c) All other things: unspecified is permitted, specified is forbidden (this will be explained).
(d) R. Meir forbids selling a good Dekel (date tree), Chatzav, and Niklas to a Nochri.
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