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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Avodah Zarah 19


(a) (Rav Shmuel bar Nachmani): "Ashrei ha'Ish Asher Lo Halach ba'Atzas Resha'im" - this is Avraham, who did not follow the counsel of the generation of the dispersion;
1. They were wicked - "Hava Nivneh Lanu Ir".
(b) "Uv'Derech Chataim Lo Amad" - he did not stand among the sinners of Sedom;
1. "V'Anshei Sedom Ra'im v'Chata'im la'Sh-m Me'od";
(c) "Uv'Moshav Letzim Lo Yashav" - he did not sit among the Plishtim, for they are scoffers;
1. "Kir'u l'Shimshon vi'Sachek Lanu"
(d) Question: "Ashrei Ish Yarei Es Hash-m" - does this only apply to a man?!
(e) Answer #1 (Rav Amram): No, it teaches that happy is one who repents while he is still a man (with desire and ability to sin);
(f) Answer #2 (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): Happy is one overcomes his evil inclination like a (strong) man.
(g) (R. Elazar): "B'Mitzvosav Chafetz Me'od" - he desires the Mitzvos, not their reward.
1. (Mishnah - Antigenos): Do not serve Hash-m as servants who serve for the sake of reward, rather as servants who serve not for the sake of reward.
(a) (R. Elazar): "Ki Im b'Toras Hash-m Cheftzo" - a person only learns (well) what he desires to learn.
(b) Rebbi finished teaching a Sefer to his son Shimon and to Levi. Levi wanted to learn Mishlei next, and Shimon wanted to learn Tehilim; they forced Levi to agree.
1. As soon as Rebbi expounded "Ki Im b'Toras Hash-m Cheftzo" as above, Levi said 'You have given me permission to leave'.
(c) (Rav Avdimi bar Chama): "Ki Im b'Toras Hash-m Cheftzo" - anyone who engages in Torah, Hash-m does his desires.
(d) (Rava): "Ki Im b'Toras Hash-m Cheftzo" - a person should learn from the Rebbi from whom he desires to learn (Maharsha).
(e) (Rava): When a person starts learning, it is considered Hash-m's Torah - "B'Toras Hash-m Cheftzo";
1. After he toiled, it is called his - "Uv'Soraso Yehgeh Yomam va'Lailah".
(f) (Rava): First, a person should learn (from his Rebbi) the text (of the Mishnayos and teachings that explain it) - "B'Toras Hash-m";
1. Afterwards, he himself should delve deeper into it - "Uv'Soraso Yehgeh".
(g) (Rava): A person should learn the text, even if he forgets or does not understand it - "Garsah Nafshi l'Sa'avah" (a language of cutting kernels of grain, not grinding (which would represent a thorough understanding).
(h) Contradiction (Rava): One verse says, "(One should learn) Al Gapei (an unsteady place; alternatively, by himself)"; another says "Al Kisei (in a fixed place; or, to many others)".
(i) Answer (Rava): At first, one should learn Al Gapei; later, he should learn Al Kisei.
1. Contradiction: It says "B'Rosh Meromim" (hiddenly); it continues, "Alei Derech" (openly)!
2. Answer: At first, one should learn B'Rosh Meromim; later, he should learn Alei Derech.
(j) Contradiction (Ula): It says "Shesei Mayim mi'Borecha (a pit containing water)"; it continues "v'Nozelim mi'Toch Be'erecha (a well of running water)"!
(k) Answer: At first, one should learn from a Rebbi; later, he should learn and Mechadesh by himself (Gra).
(l) (Rava citing Rav Sechorah): "Hon me'Hevel Yim'at v'Kovetz Al Yad Yarbeh" - if a person learns large amounts at a time, without time to review properly, he will lose it; if he learns small amounts at a time, he will grow.
1. (Rava): Many Rabanan know this, yet transgress it (Maharsha - because they follow Rava's teaching above (g)).
(m) (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): I fulfilled the teaching and remembered my learning.
(n) Question (Rav Shizbi): What does it mean "Lo Yacharoch Remiyah Tzeido"?
(o) Answer #1 (Rav Shizbi): One who deceives (he projects himself to be a Chacham because he has memorized much text) will not (remember it nor) live a long time.
(p) Answer #2 (Rav Sheshes): One who learns small amounts at a time (and reviews it often) will surely have to eat (remember his learning)!
(q) Answer #3 (Rav Dimi): This is a parable: if a hunter breaks the wings of each bird he catches before hunting the next (Maharsha), he will keep all of them; if not, he will lose them.
(a) (R. Yanai): "V'Hayah k'Etz *Shasul* Al Palgei Mayim" - it was *replanted* there, not planted there - anyone who learns Torah from one Rebbi will never see a sign of success.
(b) Rav Chisda (to his Talmidim): I am afraid that you will leave me when you hear this!
1. He taught like R. Yanai; they went to learn from Rabah.
2. (Rabah): This only applies to reasoning, but it is best to learn the text from one Rebbi, in order that he will not be confused by different texts.

(c) (R. Tanchum bar Chanila'i): A person should divide his years into three: he should learn written Torah for one third, Mishnah for a third, and Talmud (resolving difficulties between Mishnayos) for a third.
(d) Question: A person does not know how long he will live!
(e) Answer: He meant, he should divide his days (Rashi - 2 days of each every week; Tosfos - he should learn some of each every day).
(f) (Rava): "Asher Piryo Yiten b'Ito" - If a person fulfills the Torah, "v'Alehu Lo Yibol" (his learning will endure).
1. If not, "Ha'Resha'im...Tidefenu Ru'ach", he and his Rebbi (who should not have taught such a Talmid) will be uprooted.
(g) (R. Aba): "Ki Rabim Chalalim Hipilah" - this is a Talmid who is not yet fitting to give rulings, but does so;
1. "Va'Atzumim Kol Harugeha" - this is a Talmid who is fitting to rule, but does not.
2. Question: When is one fitting to rule?
3. Answer: Not before he is 40 years old.
4. Question: But Rabah started to rule when he was 18!
5. Answer: There was no one in his city greater than him.
(h) (Rav Acha bar Ada): "V'Alehu Lo Yibol..." - one can learn from even the secular talk of a Chachamim (what is a proper way to speak).
(i) (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): We have verses from Torah, the prophets and Kesuvim (the Writings) teaching that one who engages in Torah, his property (Gra's text - ways) will succeed:
1. Torah - "U'Shmartem...Lema'an Taskilu Es Kol Asher Ta'asun";
2. The prophets - "V'Hagisa Bo Yomam va'Lailah...Tatzli'ach Es Derachcha";
3. The Kesuvim - "Uv'Soraso Yehgeh Yomam va'Lailah...v'Chol Asher Ya'aseh Yatzli'ach".
(j) R. Alexandri announced: 'Who wants life'? Everyone flocked to him. He explained: 'Ha'Chafetz Chayim...Netzor Leshonecha me'Ra..."
(k) Suggestion: If he avoids forbidden speech, perhaps he may he may indulge in sleep!
(l) Rejection: "Sur me'Ra va'Ase Tov";
1. "Tov" refers to Torah - "Lekach Tov Nasati Lachem Torasi..."
(a) (Mishnah): When he gets to the dome where they put the idolatry (it is forbidden to build).
(b) (R. Elazar): If he built it, the wages are permitted.
(c) Objection: This is obvious! The dome merely serves idolatry; R. Akiva and R. Yishmael agree that such things are not forbidden until they are used to serve idolatry!
(d) Answer (R. Yirmeyah): R. Elazar teaches that if he built idolatry itself, the wages are permitted.
(e) Question: We understand this according to R. Yishmael, who says that idolatry of a Yisrael (e.g. he made for himself, to sell) is forbidden immediately, and idolatry of a Nochri is not forbidden until he serves it; (the entire time the Yisrael is making it, it is permitted);
1. But R. Akiva says just the contrary, idolatry (of a Yisrael is not forbidden until he serves it,) of a Nochri is forbidden immediately, why are the wages permitted?
(f) Answer (Rabah bar Ula): It is only considered idolatry when it is completed, i.e. when the last hammer blow is done; the last blow is worth less than a Perutah.
1. He holds that wages accrue continuously from the beginning until the end (we do not say that all the wages are due on account of the last blow).
(a) (Mishnah): [(Tosfos deletes these first two clauses.) We may not make ornaments for idolatry: necklaces, nose-rings and rings;
(b) R. Eliezer permits the wages (if a Yisrael made them).]
(c) We may not sell anything attached (to the ground) to Nochrim; one must sell it after it is uprooted;
(d) R. Yehudah says, we may sell something attached on condition that the Nochri will uproot it.
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