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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Avodah Zarah 19



(a) According to Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni Amar Rebbi Yonasan, the Pasuk "Ashrei ha'Ish" (that we discussed earlier), refers to Avraham Avinu. "Atzas Resh'im" refers to the Dor Haflagah, whereas ...
1. ... "Derech Chata'im" refers to - S'dom, and ...
2. ... "Moshav Leitzim" to - the P'lishtim.
(b) We know that the men of P'lishtim were Letzanim (jesters/mockers) - from the Pasuk in Shoftim (in connection with Shimshon) "Va'yehi ke'Tov Libam, Va'yomru Kir'u le'Shimshon Vi'yesachek Lanu" (an invitation to the captured Shimshon to 'jest' for them).

(c) Rebbi Amram Amar Rav learns from the Pasuk in "Ashrei ha'Ish Yarei es Hashem" - that it is considered praiseworthy to do Teshuvah whilst one is still a man (meaning in one's prime), and not wait until one becomes old.

(a) According to Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi, "Ish" comes to teach us the praiseworthiness of the *one who overcomes his Yetzer-ha'Ra* when he is young. He extrapolates from the continuation of the Pasuk "be'Mitzvosav Chafetz Me'od" - that it is Mitzvos that one should want, and not their reward (which is forthcoming anyway) ...

(b) ... as we learned in the Mishnah in Pirkei Avos 'Do not be like servants who serve their master in order to receive reward. Be like servants who serve their master not in order to receive reward (but out of love for him)'.

(c) Rebbi (or a S'tam Beraisa) learns from the continuation of the earlier Pasuk "Ki Im be'Soras Hashem Cheftzo" - that one should learn whatever one fancies learning.

(a) Levi and Rebbi Shimon b'rei de'Rebbi had just fiinshed learning a Seifer with their Rebbe (Rebbi). Levi wanted to begin learning Mishlei - Rebbi Shimon preferred Tehilim.

(b) Rebbi Shimon manged to convince Levi, and they began learning Tehilim. The moment however, they arrived at the Pasuk "Ki Im be'Soras Hashem Cheftzo" - Rebbi taught them the explanation that we just cited, and Levi remarked that Rebbi had effectively given him permission to leave,

(a) Rava explained the Pasuk "Ki Im be'Soras Hashem Cheftzo" like Rebbi. Rav Avdimi bar Chama Darshened it to mean - that Hashem carries out the needs of those who study Torah.

(b) Rava Darshens from the change ...

1. ... of person, from "Soras Hashem" to "u've'Soraso Yehegeh ... " - that although initially, the Torah is Hashem's, once a person has studied it, it becomes his.
2. ... from "Soras Hashem" to "u've'Soraso Yehegeh ... " - that one should first learn the entire text with his Rebbe, and only then, should he begin to elaborate (because one's Rebbe will not always be available to answer all one's questions first time round, and one lacks the basic knowledge to deal with them oneself).
(c) And from ...
1. ... the Pasuk "Garsah Nafshi le'Sa'avah", he Darshens - that one should learn even if one does undertand fully what he is learning, like grain that is only partially ground (which is what "Garsah" means).
2. ... the change from one Pasuk "al Gapei Meromei Kares" to "al Kisei Meromei Kares" in another Pasuk, he learns - that Talmidim should learn, if need be, even if their understanding is unstable (like a bird's wings). Later, it will become more solid (like a chair). Alternatively, one should first learn alone (like "Im be'Gapo Yavo" [Mishpatim]), and later, one will acquire Talmidim.
(d) Similarly, the change from ...
1. ... "al Rosh Meromim" to "Alei Derech" we Darshen to mean - that one first learns in the alleyways (out of sight), and later, in public, where many Talmidim will learn from him.
2. ... "Sh'sei Mayim mi'Borcha" to "ve'Nozlim mi'Toch Be'ercha" Ula Darshens to mean - that initially, a Talmid will drink the limited supply of water from his pit. Later, he will merit to drink from a fountain (whose supply is limitless).
(a) Rava Amar Rav S'chorah Amar Rav Huna learns from the Pasuk "Hon me'Hevel Yim'at, ve'Kovetz al Yad Yirbeh" - that rather than learning vast quantities of Gemara without revision, one should learn little by little, and constantly revise it.

(b) Rava lamented the fact that the Rabbanan were aware of this Limud, yet they chose to ignore it - Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak claimed that he practiced it and succeeded in his learning.

(c) Rebbi Shizbi in the name of Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah explained the Pasuk "Lo Yachroch, Remiyah Tzeido". He interpretted ...

1. ... "Remiyah Tzeido" to mean - that he tricks people into thinking that he is a great Talmid-Chacham, by accumulating huge amounts of knowledge (by learning vast quantities of Gemara without revision) ...
2. ... and "Lo Yachroch" means - that he will not live long (the acronym of 'Yichyeh ve'Ya'arich'), due to the fact that he will forget his learning (and the Torah writes "Ki Hu Chayecha ve'Orech Yamecha" with regard to those who learn and revise).
(d) When Rav Dimi arrived from Eretz Yisrael, he Darshened the Pasuk in rhetoric form. According to him, the Pasuk means - that surely someone who is cunning and revises the little that he learns at one time, will remember what he learns ...

(e) ... just like a clever hunter scorches the wings of the birds that he catches so that they should not fly away, ending u with a large catch.

(a) The Pasuk in Tehilim (currently under discussion) continues "Ve'hayah ke'Eitz Shasul al Palgei Mayim". It uses the word "Shasul" and not "Natu'a" - because the former (as opposed to the latter) refers to a tree that is planted temporarily in one spot, which will later be transplanted to a better location. Likewise, one should learn from one Rebbe and then from another ... , and not learn everything from one Rebbe.

(b) de'Bei Rebbi Yanai says that someone who learns from one Rebbe - will not see a Si'man B'rachah in his learning.

(c) Rav Chisda told his Talmidim before teaching them the Meimra of de'Bei Rebbi Yanai - that he was afraid that what he was about to teach them would result in their leaving him to go and learn with another Rebbe ...

(d) ... which is precisely what they did.

(e) When Rav Chisda's Talmidim joined Rabah's Yeshivah, he qualified the Meimra of de'Bei Rebbi Yanai - by confining it to learning Iyun (S'vara, since it is advantageous to hear the S'varos of different Rebbes), but not to Beki'us (the learning of text, because a Talmid who hears different versions of the same text from diferent Rebbes will only become confused).




(a) Rebbi Tanchum bar Chanila'i learns from the continuation of the Pasuk "Ve'hayah ke'Eitz Shasul *al Palgei Mayim*" - that one should divide one's life's learning ('Shenosav') into three, a third, Chumash, a third, Mishnah and a third, Gemara.

(b) We object do this however - in that nobody really know when he is going to die.

(c) So we amend it from years into - days, meaning that one divide one's into three: two weekdays, Chumash; two, Mishnah and two, Gemara (see also Tosfos DH 'Yeshalesh Adam').

(a) Rava ...
1. ... explains the Pasuk "Asher Piryo Yiten be'Ito ve'Aleihu Lo Yibol" to mean - that one's learning will not flounder only if one fixes times to learn (and not just whenever one has time).
2. ... correlate this with the Pasuk "Lo Chein ha'Resha'im ki Im ka'Motz Asher Tidfenu Ru'ach" - by ascribing it to both a Rebbe and a Talmid who do not make their learning a fixture, as we explained.
(b) Alternatively, "Piryo Yiten be'Ito" might refer, not to learning without fixed times, but - to learning theory without putting it into practice. And this is the preferred explanation.

(c) According to Rebbi Aba Amar Rav Huna Amar Rav, the Pasuk "Ki Rabim Chalalim Hipilah" refers to a Talmid who Paskens (issues rulings) even though he is unqualified to do so - and "Va'atzumim Kol Harugehah" to someone who is qualified to Pasken, but doesn't.

(d) "Va'atzumim" - means that he keeps his mouth shut (like "Otzem Einav" in Yeshayah).

(a) When Rabah died, he was - forty years old.

(b) A Talmid is considered fit to Pasken - from the age of forty.

(c) Nonetheless, Rabah Paskened in his lifetime - because he was on a par with the greatest Talmidei-Chachamim of his time.

(a) Rav Acha bar Ada Amar Rav (or Rav Acha bar Aba ... Amar Rav) interprets the next phrase "ve'Aleihu Lo Yibol" to mean - that one can even learn from the Talmid-Chacham's 'idle chatter' (which is to his Torah as the leaves of a tree are to the fruit).

(b) The Pasuk concludes "ve'Chol Asher Ya'aseh Yatzli'ach". Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi explains - that this Pasuk from Kesuvim, together with the Pesukim "u'Shemartem es Divrei ha'B'ris ha'Zos ... Lema'an Taskilu es Kol Asher Ta'asun" (in Nitzavim [Torah]), and "Lo Yamush Seifer ha'Torah ha'Zeh mi'Picha ... Ki Az Tatzli'ach es Derachecha ve'Az Taskil" (in Yehoshua [Nevi'im]) - form a triumvirate which teach us that Hashem blesses a person who learns Torah, with material success.

(a) When Rebbi Alexandri arrived in town, he announced - 'Who wants life? Who wants life'?

(b) When the people came to discover the prescription - he simply quoted them the Pasuk "Mi ha'Ish he'Chafetz Chayim ... Netzor Leshoncha me'Ra", which is the true elixir of life.

(c) This cannot mean that a person can attain the greatest heights by going to bed and sleeping all day - because the Pasuk continues "Sur me'Ra va'Asei Tov ... ". In other words, after running away from evil, one remains obligated to do good (by which the Pasuk means to learn Torah).

(d) And we know that "Tov" refers to Torah - because of the Pasuk in Mishlei "Ki Lekach Tov Nasati Lachem Torasi Al Ta'azovu".

(a) We learned in our Mishnah that one must stop building upon reaching the archway of the bathhouse. We ask - why Rebbi Elazar Amar Rebbi Yochanan finds it necessary to allow the builder to receive payment for his work, in the event that he did build it, seeing as it is only Tashmishei Avodah-Zarah (an accessory of Avodah-Zarah, and not Avodah-Zarah itself).

(b) And this Kashya goes both according to Rebbi Akiva and Rebbi Yishmael, who argue over - when the Avodah-Zarah of a Nochri becomes Asur immediately (Rebbi Akiva) or only after he worships it (Rebbi Yishmael).

(c) Rebbi Yirmiyah therefore establishes the case with regard to the manufacture of the Avodah-Zarah itself, which is permitted - because it was made on behalf of a Nochri, but would be forbidden if it was made on behalf of a Yisrael.

(d) The problem with this explanation is that it follows the opinion of Rebbi Yishmael (but not that of Rebbi Akiva (who holds the opposite [and there is no indication that our Mishnah is subject to a Machlokes]).

(a) Rabah bar Ula finally establishes the case with regard to payment for the last hammer-blow, which is permitted - because it is not worth a P'rutah (see Tosfos DH 'Alma').

(b) And the Chidush is - that this Tana holds 'Yeshnah li'Sechirus mi'Techilah ve'Ad Sof' (that a worker acquires his wages as he works, and not only at the end [like other Tana'im who hold 'Einah li'Sechirus Ela li'be'Sof']).

(c) Our Mishnah forbids manufacturing various types of rings as ornaments for Avodah-Zarah. We erase the wording 'Rebbi Eliezer Omer bi'Shechar Mutar' - because nobody would permit such a thing.

(d) The Tana Kama forbids selling to Nochrim whatever is joined to the ground, but permits whatever has been detached.

(e) According to Rebbi Yehudah - it will sufice for the purchaser to undertake to detach what he buys from the ground.

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