POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question on the daf
Previous daf Avodah Zarah 14
1) ITEMS UNIQUELY USED FOR IDOLATRY (cont.)
(a) (Gemara) Question: What are Itzterobelin?
2) WHEN DO WE SUSPECT THAT HE IS BUYING FOR IDOLATRY?
(b) Answer #1: Turnisa (Rashi - cedar trees; Tosfos - ivy).
(c) Objection (Beraisa): (At first, people did not apply the
laws of Shemitah to the following species; later)
Chachamim taught that Shemitah applies also to these:
Alchsin ((pistacio?) nuts), Itzterobelin, Muchsasin (a
type of figs) (and - Tosfos deletes this) Benos Shu'ach;
1. Shemitah does not apply to Turnisa!
(d) Answer #2 (Rav Safra): Rather, they are galllnuts.
2. (Beraisa): Shemitah applies to things that have
roots (Rashi - that endure the winter; Tosfos - in
the ground), and nothing else.
(e) (Mishnah): Benos Shu'ach.
(f) (Rabah bar bar Chanah): These are (a species of) white
(g) (Mishnah): And Petoteros.
(h) (Rabah bar bar Chanah): This (is not a species by itself,
rather this) says that Itzterobelin and Benos Shu'ach are
only forbidden when the stems are attac
(j) (R. Yitzchak): This refers to clear frankincense (a
specific kind of frankincense).
(k) (Beraisa): Regarding all of these, it is permitted to
sell a whole bundle.
1. Question: What is considered a bundle?
(l) Question: We should be concerned that the Nochri will
sell to others, and they will offer it to idolatry!
2. R. Yehudah ben Beseira says, a bundle is at least
three Manos (in weight).
(m) Answer (Abaye): We are commanded "Lifne Iver..." (do not
cause someone to sin), (Rosh - regarding Nochrim) not
'Lifne Lifne' (do not cause someone to cause someone
else to sin).
(a) (Mishnah): White chickens.
(b) (R. Yonah): If a Nochri is crying out 'Who has a chicken
(to sell)', it is permitted to sell him a white chicken;
1. If he asks 'Who has a white chicken', it is
(c) Question (Mishnah): R. Yehudah permits selling a white
chicken among many chickens.
1. Question: What is the case?
(d) Answer (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): No, he was asking for
a white chicken *and* chickens of other colors (Rashi;
Tosfos - he pointed at the chickens he wanted, and one
i. If the Nochri was asking 'Who has a white
chicken', it should be forbidden!
2. Answer: Rather, he was asking 'Who has a chicken',
and R. Yehudah only permits selling a white chicken
among other chickens;
i. This implies that the first Tana forbids even
selling a white chicken among other chickens!
(e) Support (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): It is only forbidden to
sell a white chicken if the Nochri specifically requested
1. If he wanted a white chicken and another chicken, it
(f) (Mishnah): All other things: unspecified is permitted,
specified is forbidden.
2. Even if he specifically requested a white chicken,
if he was making a banquet for his son or if someone
in his family was sick, it is permitted.
3. Question (Mishnah): If he was making a feast in
honor of his son's wedding, only that day and that
Nochri are forbidden. (On that day, even things that
are not special for idolatry are forbidden to sell
4. Answer (R. Yitzchak bar Rav Mesharshiya): The
Beraisa discusses a mere party, not a wedding feast.
(g) Question: What do 'unspecified' and 'specified' mean?
(h) Answer #1: 'Unspecified' is when he asks for white wheat,
'specified' is when he says 'for idolatry'.
(i) Objection: In both cases, the law is obvious!
3) OTHER FORBIDDEN ITEMS
(j) Answer #2: Rather, 'unspecified' is when he asks for
wheat, 'specified' is when he asks for white wheat.
(k) Inference: Regarding chickens, even unspecified (he asked
for chickens), it is forbidden to give white chickens!
(l) Rejection: Really, as we said above, 'unspecified' is
when he asks for white wheat, 'specified' is when he says
'for idolatry'; the Chidush is when he specifies;
1. One might have thought, he really doesn't need it
for idolatry (since it is normally not offered);
(m) Question (Rav Ashi): If he asks for a white chicken
missing a limb, may we sell him a complete white chicken!
2. The man is an avid idolater, he himself gives a
discount to anyone buying for idolatry, he assumes
that everyone does the same.
1. Since he asked for a defective chicken, he does not
intend for idolatry;
2. Or, perhaps he is scheming to make us think that he
does not want it for idolatry!
3. Question: If you will say that he is scheming - what
if he asked for a white chicken, but bought black
and red chickens (may we then sell a white chicken)?
i. Since we see that he does not want them for
idolatry, it is permitted;
4. This question is not resolved.
ii. Or, perhaps he is scheming to make us think
(a) (Mishnah): R. Meir forbids selling a good Dekel, Chatzav,
and Niklas to a Nochri.
4) SELLING ANIMALS TO NOCHRIM
(b) Rav Chisda: Avraham Avinu learned 400 Perakim in tractate
Avodah Zarah; we only have five, and we do not understand
all of them!
(c) Avimi: What don't you understand?
(d) Rav Chisda: R. Meir forbids selling a good Dekel -
implying that we may sell bad date trees;
1. Contradiction (Mishnah): We may not sell to them
anything attached to the ground.
(e) (Rav Huna): 'Good Dekel' refers to the fruits of a good
date tree; 'Chatzav' is a species of dates (Rashi; Aruch
- sugar cane).
2. Answer (Avimi): 'Good Dekel' refers to the fruits of
a good date tree.
(f) (Rav Dimi): 'Niklas' is Koraiti.
(g) Abaye: This does not help me - I didn't know what is
'Niklas', nor do I know what Koraiti is!
(h) Rav Dimi: When you get to Eretz Yisrael, people can show
you Koraiti (but they would not know what is Niklas).
(a) (Mishnah): In a place where the custom is to sell small
animals (i.e. that do not work, such as goats and sheep)
to Nochrim, we may sell; in a place where the custom is
not to sell, it is forbidden.
(b) In all places it is forbidden to sell large animals,
calves and foals, healthy or lame;
(c) R. Yehudah permits selling a lame animal;
(d) Ben Beseira permits selling a horse.
(e) (Gemara): Inference: Selling small animals goes according
to the local custom, it is not intrinsically forbidden.
(f) Contradiction (Mishnah): One may not leave an animal with
a Nochri innkeeper, for they are suspected of bestiality.
(g) Answer #1 (Rav): In a place where (Nochrim are not
suspected,) selling is permitted, it is also permitted to
leave animals by them; in a place where (Nochrim are
suspected) selling is forbidden, it is also forbidden to
leave animals by them.