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Avodah Zarah 15



(a) A Nochri is permitted to allow his animal to work on Shabbos.

(b) Initially, we refute the suggestion that the prohibition of selling a large type animal is because one might come to lend a Nochri the animal or rent it to him - on the grounds that the Nochri acquires the animal for the duration of the loan or the rental just like he acquires it when he buys it, so that when the animal works on Shabbos, it is his own animal that is working, which is permitted.

(c) In that case, Rami b'rei de'Rav Yeiva concludes, the prohibition must be based on Nisyoni - which means that it might happen that the Nochri purchases the animal just as Shabbos is due to enter, and to proof the animal's worth, the owner calls it in the street, causing it walk with a load on its back, which involves Mechamer Achar Behemto on Shabbos.

(d) The punishment of 'Mechamer Achar Behemto' on Shabbos - is Chatas be'Shogeg (and Kareis be'Meizid [according to some opinions] see Tosfos DH 've'Sham'ah').

(a) We will learn in a Mishnah later that one is permitted to rent a house to a Nochri in Chutz la'Aretz, but not for residential purposes - because we are afraid that he may bring Avodah-Zarah into the house.

(b) Rav Shisha b'rei de'Rav Idi tries to prove from there that 'Sechirus Lo Kanya' (renting does not acquire).

(c) We reject this proof however - on the basis of the Pasuk in Va'eschanan "ve'Lo Savi So'eivah el Beisecha", a unique stringency which leaves open the possibility that the prohibition will apply even if Sechirus *is* Koneh.

(a) The Mishnah in Terumos rules that ...
1. ... a Yisrael who hires a cow from a Kohen - may feed it Terumah.
2. ... a Kohen who hires a cow from a Yisrael - may not ...
(b) ... a clear proof - that Sechirus is not Koneh (and the animal remains in the domain of the owner throughout).

(c) It is evident from the Sugya - that once we know the one, we also know the other. So if Sechirus is not Koneh, She'eilah is not Koneh either.

(d) The outcome of the Sugya is - that selling a large animal to a Nochri is forbidden - because of She'eilah, because of Sechirus and because of Nisyoni.

(a) Rav Ada permitted the sale of a donkey through an agent. He was not afraid of ...
1. ... Nisyoni - because the animal would hardly have recognized the agent's voice in the short time that he had it.
2. ... She'eilah or Sechirus - a. because the agent did not have a mandate to borrow or sell the animal, and b. because, since his contract was to sell the animal, he would avoid lending or hiring it out, so as to prevent its blemishes from becoming known.
(b) When Rav Chisda queried Rav Huna's sale of a cow to a Nochri - the latter replied that since the Nochri may well have purchased it as food (and not for work), we go le'Kula and permit the sale.

(c) Rav Huna explains the Mishnah's prohibition of selling a large animal - either in the case of a non-Kasher animal (which is basically designated for working and not for eating), or where the Nochri specifically mentioned that he did not intend to slaughter it.




(a) In a Mishnah in Shevi'is, Beis Shamai forbid selling a cow that is designated for plowing - to someone who is suspected of plowing in the Sh'mitah.

(b) Beis Hillel permit it - because one may rely on the possibility of the purchaser Shechting the cow to use as food.

(c) Rabah (or Rava) rejects the proof from there that we rely on a Tzad Heter to permit a sale which would otherwise be forbidden - on the grounds that Shevi'is is more lenient to begin with, inasmuch as there is no Isur of 'Shevisas Behemto' (a prohibition for one's animal to work) like there is on Shabbos.

(a) Abaye counters Rabah's Kashya with a Beraisa (regarding the sale of a field, which, unlike a cow, is subject to 'Shevisah' in the Sh'mitah). Beis Shamai forbid the sale of a plowed field in the Sh'mitah-year - because the purchaser is then likely to sow it.

(b) Beis Hillel permit it - because of the possibility that the purchaser will leave it fallow that year.

(c) Rav Ashi cites a Mishnah in She'vi'is, which lists a plow-share and all its accessories among the implements that one may not sell to someone who is suspected of breaking the laws of Sh'mitah - from which we see that we do not always rely on a Tzad Heter even where there is no Isur of 'Shevisah' (contrary to Rabah's S'vara).

(a) Rav Ashi therefore draws the conclusion - that whenever there are good grounds to rely on a Tzad Heter, the sale is permitted, and whenever there are not, it is forbidden (irrespective of whether there is an Isur Shevisah or not).

(b) The reason that Beis Hillel permitted selling a plowed field to a suspect in the Sh'mitah is - because a field is good investment, and a person is quite likely to purchase one that becomes available, even though he cannot make use of it until the following year.

(c) The only case out of the above, which is forbidden because there is nothing on which to rely is - that of the plowing implements in the Sh'mitah.

(a) When Abaye ...
1. ... queried Rabah about his sale of a donkey to someone who was suspected of selling it to Nochrim, he relied - that he had after all, sold it to a Yisrael.
2. ... asked him why he was not concerned that the Yisrael would sell it to a Nochri, he replied - that he might equally sell it to a Yisrael.
(b) Abaye then cited a Beraisa. The Tana there ...
1. ... forbids leaving animals with Nochrim in their inns or handing them to their shepherds, irrespective of whether one leaves a male animal with a woman and a female animal with a man, or vice-versa, but ...
2. ... permits it regarding Kutim in *their* inns and with their shepherds.
(c) The reason for the difference is - that whereas Nochrim are suspect on bestiality, Kutim are not.

(d) Another Beraisa permits selling a small type of animal to a Kuti, subject to Minhag - implying that one may not sell him a large animal.

(a) The Beraisa forbids ...
1. ... being alone with a Nochri - because he is suspected of murder.
2. ... giving one's children to him for schooling or to teach them a trade - a. for the same reason, and b. because they are also suspected of homosexuality.
(b) All of the above - are permitted in the case of Kutim.
(a) The Tana forbids ...
1. ... selling to a Nochri weapons and their handles ...
2. ... sharpening his weapons, or selling him ...
3. ... stocks, fetters and chains.
(b) ... because he is suspected of murdering Jews or trying to do them bodily harm.

(c) The Beraisa lists Kutim together with Nochrim in connection with the above prohibitions. In spite of the fact that Kutim are not suspect on murder (as we learned above) - they are suspected of selling these things to Nochrim.

(d) Rabah has proved from this Beraisa - that once a person is suspected of selling, we contend with the possibility that he will sell to a Nochri, and do not rely on the fifty per cent chance that he will sell to a Yisrael (like Rabah maintained).

(a) We attempt to refute Abaye's Kashya on Rabah however, by differentiating between Kutim and Yisre'elim who are suspect, suggesting - that the above only pertains to Kutim, who will not do Teshuvah, but not to Yisre'elim who are suspect, who will.

(b) We repudiate this distinction however, with a statement of Rav Nachman Amar Rabah bar Avuhah - who places a Yisrael who is suspect on a par with a Nochri, as regards selling to him things that are forbidden.

(c) So Rabah was not justified in selling his donkey to the suspect Yisrael after all.

(d) Rabah reacted to this - by running three Parsah (twelve Mil [some say one Parsah in the sand]) after the Yisrael who had purchased his donkey (to persuade him to sell it back to him) ...

(e) ... but he did not succeed in catching him.

(a) Rav Dimi bar Aba - compared selling to a Jewish robber, to selling to a Nochri.

(b) The problem with this ruling is - that 'Mah Nafshach', if he is suspected of killing (meaning that he has killed before), then it is obvious; and if not, then why should one not sell to him?

(c) So we establish it - by the latter case, only we are talking about a grab and run robber, who sometimes has to defend himself against his pursuers (and the distinct possibility that he will kill, is forever present).

(d) The Tana Kama in a Beraisa forbids selling a Nochri, shutters - because he may use them to defend himself (when fighting a Yisrael).

(e) It is nevertheless permitted to sell them wheat and barley (despite the fact that it too, keeps him alive) - because refusing to sell them such basic commodities is bound to lead to enmity (and revenge).

(a) 'Yesh Omrim' - permits selling them shutters.

(b) The reason the second Lashon gives for the prohibition is - because should their conventional store of weapons run out in the course of battle, they will use the shutters.

(c) According to the Yesh Omrim however, once their store of weapons runs out, they flee from the battlefield.

(d) Rav Nachman Amar Rabah bar Avuhah - rules like the Yesh Omrim.

(a) Rav Ada bar Ahavah forbids selling them thick lumps of iron - for fear that they melt them down and shape them into weapons.

(b) Rav Z'vid then explained the fact that one is permitted to sell them gardening implements, such as hoes and adzes - by confining the prohibition to Indian iron, which was only used to manufacture weapons.

(c) They permitted selling all of the above to the Persians - because they would only use them to protect the town (including the jewish inhabitants) from the enemy.

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