(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

Previous daf

Avodah Zarah 8



(a) We just cited a Machlokes between Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua on the one hand, and the Chachamim on the other, as to whether one may request one's personal needs during the Amidah. The Halachah is - like the Chachamim (that one may).

(b) Alternatively, says Rav Yehudah B'rei de'Rav Shmuel bar Shilas in the name of Rav - one may Daven for one's needs at the end of each of the middle B'rachos (for example, to ask for Divine Assistance to remember one's learning at the end of 'Chonen ha'Da'as' and at the end of 'Hashiveinu', if one is a Ba'al Teshuvah. (c) And Rebbi ...

1. ... Chiya bar Ashi Amar Rav permits someone who has a sick person in his house - to Daven for him in the B'rachah of 'Refa'einu', and for Parnasah - in the B'rachah of 'Barech Aleinu'.
2. ... Yehoshua ben Levi - permits Davenning at the end of the Amidah (before taking three steps backwards) for whatever one wants.
(a) We already discussed the Din of Kalanda, Satrunya and Kartesim. Our Mishnah adds 'Yom Genusya shel Malcheihem' - meaning coronation day.

(b) Rebbi Meir adds - the king's birthday and the day of his death.

(c) According to the Chachamim, the day of the king's death is only considered a festival - if they burned the king's vessels and utensils when he died (as was customary in those days); otherwise not.

(d) With regard to the day that the king shaves his beard and his 'B'luris' (long hair that is left at the back of the head after the head has been shaved, and that is cut from year to year), the day that he returns from a trip at sea and the day that he is set free from prison, the Tana rules - that it is only considered a festival on that specific day and for that specific person exclusively.

(a) The Tana describes Adam ha'Rishon's mood from the time of his creation. The reason that he was depressed for the three-month period until mid-winter (Tekufas Teives) is - because he saw the days getting shorter and the nights longer, so he thought that this was the punishment of death that had been decreed upon him, as a result of his sin.

(b) So he fasted and Davened for the eight days preceding the Tekufah.

(c) His mood changed however - when he saw the situation reverse from the day of the Tekufah, when the days started getting longer and the nights shorter. Realizing that this was the way of the world, he celebrated for eight days. The following year he fixed both eight-day periods as festivals.

(d) The opinion that Adam was created in Nisan explains, that despite the fact that he had already experienced the days getting shorter (from Tekufas Tamuz) - the phenomenon of short winter nights was new to him.

(e) Later - the nations of the world adopted these festivals and called them 'Kalanda' and 'Satrunya'; only whereas Adam celebrated them for the sake of Hashem, they applied them to their gods.

(a) Another Beraisa describes Adam's mood the first Motza'ei Shabbos after his creation. His depression was due to the fact - that the sun set (for the first time since his creation) and darkness set in. Here too, he thought that the world had become dark due to his sin.

(b) So he and Chavah - wept and fasted ...

(c) ... until the morning, when they saw the dawn beak and realized that this was the way of the world.

(d) As a result, he sacrificed a bull to Hashem.

(a) With regard to the bull that Adam sacrificed, the Tana quotes the Pasuk in Tehilim ... "Ve'seitiv la'Hashem mi'Shor Par Makrin Mafris". The significance of ...
1. ... the order of the words "Makrin Mafris" - is that the horns of the bull (the first Korban ever to be sacrificed) were created before the hoofs (in other words, the bull was created fully mature [even though the horns of a newborn calf only grow at a later stage]).
2. ... the spelling of the word "Makrin" (Rav Yehudah Amar Rav) is - that the bull had only one horn on its forehead.
(b) The gist of David's Tefilah inherent in this Pasuk is - a request that his Tefilos should succeed even more than the bull of Adam ha'Rishon.
(a) Rav Masna asked whether, bearing in mind that it was the Romans who celebrated Kalanda, the prohibition of engaging in business with the adherents of Avodah-Zarah extended to the surrounding states who did not worship that Avodah-Zarah. It might nevertheless be forbidden, since they had to pay taxes to the Romans, part of which would inevitably be used for the sacrifices that the latter brought to their gods.

(b) Rebbi Yehoshua takes the strict view. Rebbi Yochanan - restricts the prohibition to the adherents only.

(c) Even those Poskim who tend to rule like Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi on principle, concede here that the Halachah is like Rebbi Yochanan - because he has a Beraisa to support his opinion.

(d) The Beraisa rules that ...

1. ... the day before Saturnalya, Kartesim and the day of the coronation is forbidden, but not the day after.
2. ... only the actual day on which a Nochri made a party to celebrate the birth of his son is forbidden, but not the day after and not even the day before.
(a) Rav Ashi proves from our Mishnah 'Yom Tiglachas B'no ... ve'Yom she'Yatza mi'Beis ha'Asurim Ein Asur Ela Oso ha'Yom Bil'vad *ve'Oso ha'Ish*' - that it is only the people who actually worship the idol with whom one is forbidden to do business, but not people who are subservient to them (like Rebbi Yochanan).

(b) When Rebbi Yishmael says in a Beraisa 'Yisrael she'be'Chutzah la'Aretz Ovdei Avodas Kochavim be'Taharah Hein', he means - that although he does not realize it, a Yisrael who participates in a party arranged by a Nochri to celebrate the birth of his son, is guilty of Avodah-Zarah ...

(c) ... even if he ...

1. ... eats his own food ...
2. ... and is served by his own waiter.
(d) He learns this from the Pasuk "ve'Kara Lecha ve'Achalta mi'Zivcho", in spite of the fact that the Torah did write "ve'Achalta ... " - because the "ve'Kara Lecha" implies that one transgresses from the moment that one accepts the invitation, even if he did not eat the Nochri's food.
(a) Assuming that the Nochri ..
1. ... did not mention the occasion in his invitation - Rav Papa prohibits doing business with the Nochri - for thirty days after the birth.
2. ... did mention it, Rav Papa quoting Rava, prohibits it - for twelve months. After that, it becomes permitted to participate, even if the Nochri specifically explained why he organized it.
(b) When Rav Yitzchak b'rei de'Rav Mesharshaya heard the Nochri praise his god when he participated in his party, even after twelve months had already elapsed - that was because Rav Yitzchak b'rei de'Rav Mesharshaya himself was am important dignitary, and his participation in his party gave him more pleasure than anybody else's would.



(a) 'Kartesim' commemorates the day that the Romans seized power from the Greeks, as Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel explains. Nevertheless, the Beraisa mentions them both ('Kartesim ve'Yom she'Tafsah Bo Romi Malchus'), Rav Yosef explains - because they seized power on two separate occasions, once, during the reign of Cleopatra, Queen of Alexandria, and once from the Greeks.

(b) According to Rav Dimi, they fought thirty-two battles against Greece before finally vanquishing them.

(c) Yisrael helped them to achieve final victory?

(d) The agreement into which the Romans entered with them was - that basically they would share power, inasmuch that when one of them provided a king, the other would provide a governor.

(a) The Romans finally overcame the Greeks, not through battle, but through litigation. The order of significance of a pearl, a precious stone and a carbuncle - is in the order that we have presented them, a pearl serves as a base for a precious stone, and a precious stone, for a carbuncle (or for an onyx-stone [see Agados Maharsha, who explains that these three represent the three nations that preceded Rome).

(b) Finally, the Romans asked the Greeks which serves as a base for which, when it comes to a carbuncle and a Sefer-Torah (referring Yisrael, who were their allies), to which they replied that the former would serve as a base for the latter. In that case, the Romans concluded, the Greeks (whom they compared to the carbuncle), must be subservient to them, in their capacity as Yisrael's allies).

(c) It took the Romans - twenty-six years to abrogate their treaty with Yisrael.

(d) Initially, they Darshened the Pasuk in Vayishlach 'Nis'ah Ve'neilechah ve'Eilchah le'Negdecha' - afterwards, they Darshened the Pasuk there "Ya'avor Na Avdo Lifnei Adoni" (giving Eisav the first rights to rule over the other [see Agados Maharsha]).

(a) Rav Kahana cites the episode where Rebbi Yishmael b'Rebbi Yossi fell ill, when Rebbi asked him - to repeat a few sayings that he had already told them in the name of his father (which he proceeded to do ... ).

(b) The Romans came to power - a hundred and eighty years before the destruction of the second Beis Hamikdash.

(c) Eighty years before the Churban, the Chachamim decreed Tum'ah on two things. One of them, was the lands of the Nochrim, the other, glass vessels (which are not subject to Tum'ah min ha'Torah).

(a) Forty years before the Churban - the Sanhedrin went into 'exile', moving from the Lishkas ha'Gazis to 'Chanus' (a location on the Har ha'Bayis).

(b) Rav Yitzchak bar Avdimi's suggests that the ramifications of this move were that they could no longer judge 'Diynei K'nasos' - which he derives from the Pasuk "Asher Yarshi'un Elohim" (written in connection with Diynei K'nasos), which teaches us that Diynei K'nasos require Dayanim Semuchim (which we currently think also incorporates sitting in the Lishkas ha'Gazis).

(c) We reject this suggestion however, because of an incident with Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava, whom Rav Yehudah Amar Rav praised, because, he said, if not for him, Diynei K'nasos would have been forgotten. We find it necessary to amend this statement - because, if that was the case, all Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava would have needed to have done, was to teach them Talmidim Diynei K'nasos.

(d) So we amend it to read - that if not for him, Diynei K'nasos would have ceased being judged.

(a) The Romans threatened - to kill anyone who received Semichah and anyone who gave it.

(b) Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava gave his Talmidim Semichah between two big mountains and between two Techumei Shabbos - because they also threatened to wipe out the city and the T'chum Shabbos of the area where the Semichah took place.

(c) The significance of 'between Shefaram and Usha' is - that is the location where he gave them Semichah.

(d) He gave Semichah to Rebbi Meir, Rebbi Yehudah, Rebbi Yossi - Rebbi Shimon and Rebbi Elazar (ben Shamu'a).

(e) Rav Ivya - includes Rebbi Nechemyah in the list.

1. When they saw the Romans approaching from a distance, Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava told the Talmidim - to run for it.
2. When the Talmidim asked him what would happen to *him*, he replied - that he was ready to die (al Kidush Hashem ['Hareini Mutal Lifneihem ke'Even she'Ein Lah Hofchin').
(b) In fact - the Romans riddled his body with three hundred arrows (as a result of which he became one of the ten martyrs).

(c) We prove from this episode that Diynei K'nasos did not cease after the Sanhedrin left the Lishkas ha'Gazis - since it took place long after the Churban Beis-Hamikdash (let alone the Sanhedrin's exile [yet Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava gave the Talmidim Semichah).

(a) So Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak explains the ramifications of the Sanhedrin's exile as - the fact that it resulted in the abolition of the death sentence.

(b) The Sanhedrin left the Lishkas ha'Gazis - precisely because there was a significant increase of murder cases, which was beyond the Sanhedrin's ability to handle.

(c) We learn from the Pasuk "Ve'asisa al-Pi ha'Davar Asher Yagidu Lecha min ha'Makom ha'Hu" (bearing in mind that it is referring to Diynei Nefashos), that the Sanhedrin may only judge Diynei Nefashos as long as the Sanhedrin ha'Gadol is sitting in the Lishkas ha'Gazis.

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,