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 43
AVODAH ZARAH 43 (23 Nisan) - dedicated by Mr. Avy Reichman of Queens, NY,
l'Iluy Nishmas his father, Dovid ben Avraham, on the day of his Yahrzeit.
1) IMAGES THAT FORBID VESSELS (cont.)
(a) Question: But the third clause says 'all forms are
permitted, except for a Darkon' - it is permitted to make
2) NULLIFYING IDOLS
1. "Lo Sa'asun Iti Elohei Kesef..." - Hash-m's servants
above are forbidden, not the form of a Darkon!
(b) Answer: We must say, this clause discusses benefit from
images that one found.
1. (Mishnah): If one finds...Darkon, he should cast
them into the Dead Sea.
(c) Question: Do the first and last clauses discuss benefit
from found images, and the second clause discusses making
(d) Answer #1 (Abaye): Yes!
(e) Answer #2 (Rava): The entire Beraisa discusses benefit
from found images; the second clause is like R. Yehudah.
1. (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): Also the forms of a nursing
woman and the ruler who looked after the world (are
(f) (Beraisa - R. Shimon ben Elazar): What is the form of a
Darkon? Any (serpent) with fins (some say - hairs)
between the joints.
i. These represent Chavah, who (effectively)
nursed the entire world (by nursing her
children, from whom the whole world descends)
and Yosef, who fed the entire world (during the
years of famine).
ii. The form of a woman is forbidden only if she is
nursing, the form of a man is forbidden only if
he is giving food from a bucket.
(g) (Rav Asi): This refers to the joints of the neck.
(h) (R. Chama b'Rebbi Chanina): The Halachah follows R.
Shimon ben Elazar.
(a) (Rabah bar bar Chanah): Once, R. Elazar ha'Kapar found a
ring on the road with a form of a Darkon. A Nochri child
came by; R. Elazar did nothing. An adult Nochri came; R.
Elazar asked him to nullify it.
3) WHICH FORMS ARE PERMITTED?
1. The Nochri did not; R. Elazar slapped him, and the
Nochri nullified it.
(b) We learn three laws from this:
1. A Nochri can nullify his idolatry or that of another
(c) Question (R. Chanina): Does R. Elazar argue with the
2. He can only nullify if he is proficient in idolatry;
3. Nullification works even if the Nochri was coerced.
1. (Beraisa - R. Shimon ben Elazar): One may keep the
following: what he saves from a lion, bear, leopard,
polecat, what he finds deposited by the high tide,
at the bottom of the river, in a big encampment or
thoroughfare, or any place where many people pass;
(d) Answer (Abaye): Granted, the owner despairs of getting it
back, but he does not despair that it will be Ne'evad
(therefore, it is still forbidden);
2. This is because the owner despairs.
1. The owner reasons: if a Nochri found it, he will
worship it; if a Yisrael finds it, since it is
expensive, he will sell it to a Nochri, who will
(a) (Mishnah): R. Gamliel had forms of the moon on a tablet
on the wall; he would ask witnesses who saw the new moon
which forms resembled what they saw.
(b) Question: "Lo Sa'asun Iti" - do not make things in the
form of things that serve Me!
(c) Answer #1 (Abaye): The Torah only forbids replicas in the
1. (Beraisa): It is forbidden to build a house (whose
dimensions are) like those of the Heichal, an
Achsadra (a building open in (at least) one
direction) like the Ulam (the hall in front of the
Heichal), a courtyard like the Azarah, a table like
the table in the Heichal;
(d) Question: Is it really true that replicas that cannot be
in the same dimensions are permitted?!
2. It is permitted to make a Menorah of any number of
branches except for seven; seven is forbidden to
make from any metal;
3. R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah says, even wood is
forbidden, the Chashmona'im made a wooden Menorah
(after defeating the Yevanim, who had taken all the
vessels from the Mikdash).
4. Chachamim: No, it was of iron, and covered with tin;
when they got richer, they made it of silver; when
they got richer, they made it of gold.
1. (Beraisa): "Lo Sa'asun Iti" - do not make things in
the form of those who serve Me *above*!
(e) Answer (Abaye): This only forbids a form with the four
faces of a Chayah (a type of angel).
(f) Question: This implies that a human face is permitted!
4) DIGNIFIED AND DISGRACEFUL VESSELS
1. (Beraisa): All faces are permitted, except for a
(g) Answer (Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua): We read "Lo
Sa'asun Iti" like "Lo Sa'asun *Osi*" - do not make (a
human face, for man was made in) My image;
1. Other servants of Hash-m are permitted.
(h) Question (Beraisa): "Lo Sa'asun Iti" - do not make things
in the form of those who serve Me above, such as (various
levels of angels -) Ofanim, Serafim, Chayos ha'Kodesh, or
(i) Answer (Abaye): The Torah only forbids forms of those who
serve Hash-m above.
(j) Question: Hash-m's servants below (the sun and moon...)
are also forbidden!
1. (Beraisa): "Asher ba'Shamayim" - this includes the
sun, moon, stars and constellations; "mi'Ma'al" -
this includes ministering angels.
(k) Answer: That teaches that it is forbidden to worship them
(but one may make their forms).
(l) Question: It is forbidden to worship anything (except
Hash-m), even a worm!
(m) Answer: Correct! We learn from the end of the verse
"Asher ba'Aretz" - this includes seas, rivers and
mountains; "mi'Tachas" - even a small worm.
(n) Question: It is forbidden to make forms (of Hash-m's
servants, even if he will not worship them - how could R.
Gamliel make forms of the moon?)!
1. (Beraisa): "Lo Sa'asun Iti" - do not make forms of
those who serve Me above, such as the sun, moon,
stars and constellations.
(o) Answer #1: A Nochri made them for R. Gamliel.
1. Question: But a Nochri made Rav Yehudah's signet
ring, and Shmuel told him to damage its form!
(p) Answer #2: For the sake of learning, such images are
2. Answer: His ring had a protruding form, he told him
to blunt it to avoid suspicion.
i. (Beraisa): If a signet ring has a protruding
form, it is forbidden to wear it, it is
permitted to sign with it (for this makes a
3. Question: Are we really concerned that people will
suspect Yisraelim of idolatry?!
ii. If it has a recessed form, it is permitted to
wear it, it is forbidden to sign with it (for
this makes a protruding form).
i. A statue was placed in the synagogue of Shaf
v'Yasiv (some explain, its stones were taken
from Yerushalayim to Bavel); Levi and Shmuel's
father prayed in the synagogues, they were not
concerned for suspicion!
4. Answer: People will suspect an individual, but not a
5. Question: R. Gamliel was an individual, he should
have been concerned!
6. Answer #1: He was the Nasi, people constantly came
to him, he is considered like a congregation.
7. Answer #2: R. Gamliel's images came in parts, he
would only assemble them when needed (therefore,
there was no suspicion).
1. (Beraisa): "Lo Silmad La'asos (do not learn Kishuf
(magic))" - but you may learn in order to understand
and give Halachic rulings.
(a) (Mishnah - R. Shimon ben Gamliel): Images on dignified
(vessels) are forbidden, those on disgraceful (vessels)
(b) Question: What are considered dignified (vessels), what
are disgraceful (vessels)?
(c) Answer #1 (Rav): Above the level of water (that is held
in the vessel) is (the) dignified (*part of* a vessel),
below the water level is (the) disgraceful (part of a
(d) Objection (Shmuel): All parts of such vessels are
(e) Answer #2 (Shmuel): Dignified vessels are bracelets,
noserings and rings (ornaments); disgraceful vessels are
pots, kettles, sheets and cloths (R. Chananel's text -
coins) (they are used).