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 52
1) WHEN DOES IDOLATRY BECOME FORBIDDEN? (Cont.)
(a) Question (Beraisa): ("Abed Te'abedun...") - this refers
to vessels used to serve idolatry.
2) FIXING BROKEN IDOLATRY
1. The verse says "Es Kol *ha'Mekomos*" (it does not
refer to vessels)!
(b) Answer: We do not need it to teach about the places, they
do not become forbidden - "Eloheihem *Al* he'Harim (their
gods *on* the mountains)", the mountains are not their
1. We use this to teach about vessels; it teaches that
idolatry of a Nochri is not forbidden until it is
Ne'evad, idolatry of a Yisrael is forbidden
(c) Question: But we said that the verse teaches about
vessels, how do we learn about idolatry itself?
(d) Answer: The verse continues "Asher Atem Yoreshim Osam Es
Eloheihem" - this equates their gods to vessels;
1. Just as vessels are not forbidden until they are
Ne'evad, also their gods.
(e) Question: What is R. Yishmael's source that idolatry of a
Yisrael is forbidden immediately?
2. R. Akiva does not equate them, because "Es"
separates the vessels from the gods.
(f) Answer: He deduces - since idolatry of a Nochri is not
forbidden until it is Ne'evad, idolatry of a Yisrael is
(g) Suggestion: Perhaps idolatry of a Yisrael is never
(h) Rejection: We know that it must be buried, surely it is
(i) Suggestion: Perhaps it has the same law as idolatry of a
(j) Rejection: "V'Es Chataschem Asher Asisem Es ha'Egel" -
from the time of Asiyah (making it), there is Chet.
(k) Suggestion: Perhaps the one who made it sinned, but it is
not forbidden until it is Ne'evad!
(l) Rejection: "Arur ha'Ish Asher Ya'aseh Fesel u'Masechah"
from the time he made it, he is cursed.
(m) Suggestion: Perhaps he is cursed, but it is not forbidden
until it is Ne'evad!
(n) Rejection: It says "To'avas Hash-m".
1. R. Akiva explains, it (is not an abomination, it)
leads to an abomination.
(o) Question: What is R. Akiva's source that idolatry of a
Nochri is forbidden immediately?
(p) Answer (Ula): "Pesilei Eloheihem Tisrefun ba'Esh" - from
the time they were Nifsal (carved out), they are
(forbidden like) their gods (idols).
1. R. Yishmael uses this to teach Rav Yosef's law.
(q) Question: We explained how R. Akiva learned that idolatry
of a Nochri is forbidden immediately;
2. (Rav Yosef): A Nochri can nullify his idolatry -
"Pesilei Eloheihem Tisrefun ba'Esh" (their gods that
they were *Posel* (nullified)).
3. R. Akiva learns this as Shmuel does.
i. Contradiction (Shmuel): (The end of that verse
says) "Lo Sachmod Kesef v'Zahav Aleihem" (you
may not take them), and it says "V'Lakachta
ii. Resolution: If he Paslo (carved it) to make an
Eloha, Tisrefun ba'Esh (it is forbidden); if he
was Posel his Eloha, "V'Lakachta Lach".
1. What is his source that idolatry of a Yisrael is not
forbidden until it is Ne'evad?
(r) Answer (Rav Yehudah): "V'Sam ba'Saser" - until he does
with it things done ba'Seser (in seclusion, i.e.
1. R. Yishmael uses this to teach R. Yitzchak's law.
2. (R. Yitzchak): Idolatry of a Yisrael requires
Genizah (to be hidden away) - "V'Sam ba'Saser".
3. R. Akiva learns this as Rav Chisda does.
i. (Rav Chisda): Idolatry of a Yisrael requires
Genizah - "Lo Sita Lecha Asheirah Kol Etz Etzel
Mizbach" - just as the Mizbe'ach requires
Genizah, also idolatry of a Yisrael.
4. R. Yishmael expounds that verse as Reish Lakish
ii. (Reish Lakish): Appointing an unlearned judge
is like planting an Asheirah - it says
"Shofetim v'Shoterim Titen Lecha", followed by
"Lo Sita Lecha Asheirah Kol Etz".
iii. (Rav Ashi): Appointing an unlearned judge when
Chachamim are available is like planting an
Asheirah next to the Mizbe'ach - the verse
continues " ...Etzel Mizbach Hash-m"
(a) Question (Rav Hamnuna): If one fixed a broken vessel used
for idolatry, what is the law?
1. Question: Whose idolatry was it?
(b) Question (Rav Hamnuna): Does it return to its original
Tum'ah only regarding Tum'ah mid'Oraisa, but not
regarding Tum'ah mid'Rabanan;
i. If it was a Nochri's - all agree that
Meshamshim (things used to serve idolatry) of a
Nochri are not forbidden until they are used
2. Answer: It was a Yisrael's.
3. Question: According to whom does he ask?
i. If according to R. Akiva - he says that
idolatry of a Yisrael is not forbidden until it
is Ne'evad, all the more so Meshamshim!
4. Answer: He asks according to R. Yishmael, who says
that a Yisrael's idolatry is forbidden immediately.
5. Essence of the question: Do we learn Meshamshim (of
a Yisrael) from Meshamshim (of a Nochri), it is
permitted until it is used for Avodah;
i. Or, do we learn Meshamshim of a Yisrael from
idolatry of a Yisrael, it is forbidden
6. Question: Why did Rav Hamnuna ask about fixing a
vessel, he should have asked about making a vessel!
7. Answer: Rav Hamnuna asked about a vessel that
reverts to being Tamei after it is fixed.
i. (Mishnah): A metal vessel receives Tum'ah,
whether or not it holds anything;
ii. If it became Tamei, was broken (which is
Metaher it) and fixed, it returns to its
original Tum'ah (this is a Rabbinic enactment).
1. Or, does this apply even to a Tum'ah mid'Rabanan
(such as Meshamshim of idolatry)?
(c) This question is not resolved.
2. Question: Why did he ask about idolatry, and not a
different Tum'ah mid'Rabanan?
3. Answer: Even if he would find that other Tum'os
mid'Rabanan do not return, he still would not know
i. Perhaps because of the stringency of idolatry,
we treat its Tum'ah like mid'Oraisa, and it
(d) Question (R. Yochanan): If food was offered to idolatry,
and the idolatry was nullified, does this Metaher the
1. Question: Why didn't he ask about vessels (Rashi -
Meshamshim; Tosfos - Takroves)?
2. Answer: That was obvious - since they can become
Tahor through immersing, they also become Tahor
i. The question is only about food, which cannot
become Tahor through immersing.
3. Question: Why didn't he ask about idolatry itself?
4. Answer: That was obvious - since the prohibition (to
benefit from it) goes away through Bitul, also the
Tum'ah goes away;
3) MAY NULLIFIED IDOLATRY BE USED IN THE MIKDASH?
(e) This question is not resolved.
i. The question is only about Takroves, its
prohibition never goes away, as Rav Gidal
5. Essence of the question: do we say, since the
prohibition never goes away, also the Tum'ah never
i. Or, the prohibition never goes away because it
is mid'Oraisa, but the Tum'ah is only
mid'Rabanan, it goes away?
(a) Question (R. Yosi ben Sha'ul): Vessels that were used in
Beis Chonyo (a place of worship in Miztrayim, Tana'im
argue whether or not it was idolatrous), may they be used
in the Mikdash?
4) WHO CAN MEVATEL IDOLATRY?
1. He asks according to the opinion that Beis Chonyo
was not l'Shem idolatry.
(b) Answer (Rebbi): They are forbidden, but I cannot remember
the verse that teaches this!
2. (Mishnah): Kohanim that served in Beis Chonyo may
not serve in the Mikdash, all the more so those who
3. Essence of the question: Perhaps we fine only the
Kohanim, because they chose to transgress, but we do
not forbid vessels;
i. Or, do we forbid even vessels?
(c) Question: "Ha'Kelim Asher Hizni'ach Melech
Achaz...Hechanu (we immersed them) v'Hikdashnu (we
re-anointed them with oil)" (even though they had been
used for idolatry)!
(d) Answer (Rebbi): You reminded me of the verse that teaches
the law (but you misunderstood it)!
1. "Hechanu" means, we put them in Genizah;
"v'Hikdashnu" means, we were Makdish new vessels in
place of them.
(e) Support (Mishnah): The Chashmona'im hid the stones of the
Mizbe'ach (that the Yevanim had desecrated) under the
chamber in the northeast corner of the Mikdash.
1. (Rav Sheshes): They desecrated them by using them
(f) Rejection (Rav Papa): No, a verse teaches that those
stones were forbidden even to people (but normally,
vessels used for idolatry can later be used in the
Mikdash) - "U'Va'u Vah Paritzim v'Chileluha".
1. Genizah was the only solution:
i. The stones could not be broken (to permit them
to be used to rebuild the Mizbe'ach) - "Avanim
Shelemos" are required!
2. Question: Why couldn't they break them and benefit
from them (for Chulin purposes)?
ii. They could not smooth them out later (with a
blade) - "Lo Sanif Aleihem Barzel"!
i. (R. Oshaya): Chachamim wanted to forbid all
gold and silver in the world on account of the
gold and silver from Yerushalayim (most of
which was Hekdesh).
3. Answer: The coins had not been used to serve Hash-m;
the Mizbe'ach had been, therefore it was not fitting
for people to benefit from it.
ii. Objection: Surely, the majority of gold and
silver in the world is not from Yerushalayim!
iii. Correction (Abaye): Rather, they wanted to
forbid all coins of Hadri'anus and Torainus
(Rashi - Roman emperors who ruled over
Yerushalayim; Tosfos - large, round coins)
whose forms were blunted (perhaps the coins
were from Yerushalayim (Tosfos - from the days
of David and Shlomo), most of which are
iv. They expounded that they are permitted -
"V'Chileluha" (they removed the Kedushah from
it and made it Chulin).
(a) (Mishnah): A Nochri can Mevatel his idolatry or that of
another Nochri; a Yisrael cannot Mevatel a Nochri's
(b) If one is Mevatel a Nochri's idolatry, the Meshamshim are
also Betelim; if one is Mevatel the Meshamshim, they are
permitted, the idolatry is forbidden.
(c) Version #1 - (Gemara - Rebbi): A Nochri can Mevatel his
idolatry or that of another Nochri.
(d) R. Shimon (his son): In your youth, you taught that a
Nochri can Mevatel his idolatry or that of a Yisrael!
1. Question: No one can Mevatel idolatry of a Yisrael -
(e) Question: What was Rebbi's reasoning in his youth, what
was his reasoning in his old age?
2. Answer (R. Hilel brei d'R. Vilas): The case is, the
Nochri is a partner in the idolatry (he can Mevatel
the Yisrael's share also).
(f) In his youth, he held that a Yisrael serves the joint
idolatry according to the Nochri's will - when the Nochri
is Mevatel it, also the Yisrael is Mevatel;
1. In his old age, he held that a Yisrael serves
according to his own will, he is not Mevatel when
the Nochri is Mevatel.
(g) Version #2 (Mishnah): A Yisrael cannot Mevatel a Nochri's
(h) Objection: This is obvious!
(i) Answer (R. Hilel brei d'R. Vilas): The case is, the
Yisrael is a partner in the idolatry;
1. (Indeed, it is obvious that the Yisrael cannot
Mevatel at all -) the Chidush is the inference, even
though the Nochri cannot Mevatel the Yisrael's
share, he can Mevatel his own share.