ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Avodah Zarah 20
(a) We just cited Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina's D'rashah from the Pasuk in
Va'eschanan "Lo Sechanem". We also learn from the same Pasuk "Lo Siten Lahem
Chein", which means - that one should not ascribe 'Chein' to a Nochri by
praising his looks.
(b) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina is able to Darshen the way he does, because
had the Torah meant to teach us only the latter D'rashah, it ought to have
read - "Lo Sechonem" (with a 'Vav' as the vowel).
(c) Our Tana reads the word "Lo Sechanem" - with a 'Patach' (instead of with
(d) The Torah could still have written "Lo Sechinem" (to incorporate these
two explanations). Since the Torah has written "Lo Sechanem", we add the
third explanation - that one may not give a Nochri a free gift.
(a) When the Torah writes (in connection with Neveilah) "*le'Ger* Asher
bi'She'arecha Titnenah ... O Machor le'Nochri" - it is referring to a Ger
Toshav, who observes his seven Mitzvos and is permitted to eat Neveilah. The
Torah gives him precedence, because it is a Mitzvah to sustain him (as the
Torah writes in Behar).
(b) Rebbi Meir learns from the juxtaposition of "Titnenah" to ...
1. ... "O Machor" - that one may also *sell* Neveilah to a Ger.
(c) Had the Torah meant precisely what it wrote - it ought to have inverted
the order of the words, and placed "la'Ger Asher bi'She'arecha Titnenah"
after "Titnenah ve'Achalah".
2. ... "va'Achalah" to "O Machor la'Nochri" - that one may also *give* it to
(a) According to Rebbi Yehudah - 'Devarim ki'Chesavan'.
(b) Had the Torah meant to include giving to a Nochri and selling to a Ger,
the way Rebbi Meir learns, it ought to written "Titnenah va'Achalah
*u*'Machor le'Nochri" (with a 'Vav', rather that "O").
(c) Rebbi Meir counters that - the Torah needs to write "O", to give
precedence to giving to a Ger before selling to a Nochri.
(d) Rebbi Yehudah find this unnecessary however - because, seeing as it is a
Mitzvah to sustain a Ger Toshav, it goes without saying that his needs take
precedence over those of a Nochri (even though it means a loss of pocket for
(a) When Raban Shimon ben Gamliel once saw a beautiful woman whilst standing
on one of the steps of the Har ha'Bayis, he declared - "Mah Rabu Ma'asechah,
(b) When Rebbi Akiva saw the wife of Turnusrufus - he spat (because she was
formed from a putrid drop, a powerful means of negating any thoughts that
might have otherwise entered his mind), laughed (because he foresaw that he
he would later marry her) and cried (at the thought that such beauty would
eventually wither in the dust).
(a) Rav - forbade appraising the beauty of a Nochri woman (like we Darshened
earlier about Nochrim in general).
(b) We reconcile this with the two above episodes - by differentiating
between appraising their beauty per se (which is forbidden) and doing it in
order to praise the G-d who created them (which is an obligation).
(c) Upon seeing beautiful creatures - one should recite the B'rachah 'Baruch
she'Kachah Lo be'Olamo'.
(d) Based on the Pasuk in Ki Seitzei "Ve'nishmarta mi'Kol Davar Ra" (which
incorporates the prohibition of looking at beautiful women [and even ugly
women, if they are married]), the problem we have with the two above
episodes is - how the Tana'im could look at the women concerned in the first
(e) We answer - that the women appeared from around the corner, and they
came into view before the Ta'aim had a chance to turn away.
(a) Chazal also forbid looking at the colored clothes of a woman. Based on
the same Pasuk they also forbade watching animals breeding (even if one was
covered with eyes like the Mal'ach ha'Ma'ves [see Iyun Ya'akov])?
(b) When a person is on his deathbed, the Mal'ach ha'Ma'ves (who is full of
eyes) - is standing at the head of his bed, holding a drawn sword (with a
drop of poison on the tip).
(c) When the dying man sees him - he shudders and opens his mouth, upon
which he tosses in the poison.
(d) The Mal'ach ha'Ma'ves' poison has the triple effect - of killing the
person, causing his body to become putrid and his face to turn yellow.
(a) Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel - forbids looking at the colored clothes of a
woman even when they are hanging on the wall (or on the washing-line).
(b) Rava proves a ruling of Rav Papa from the Beraisa 've'Lo be'Bigdei Tzeva
shel Ishah' - implying that the prohibition only applies if one actually
knows the woman (and seeing her clothes is likely to arouse thoughts of
her); otherwise the Tana should have simply said 've'Lo be'Vigdei
(a) Rav Chisda also permits looking at new women's clothes that the owner
has not worn before - and this prohibition is confined to colored clothes
which are particularly pretty and less common, but does not pertain to
plain, white clothes.
(b) We refute Rav Chisda's proof from a tailor who fixes women's dresses
(and who is bound to look at the article of clothing that he is repairing) -
on the grounds that a tailor is different, because he is too immersed in his
work to be concerned with other thoughts.
(c) We prove this from a statement of Rav Yehudah - who permits an animal
farmer to positively assist two animals to breed, even though he needs to
watch what he is doing, precisely because he is involved in his work, and is
too busy to become involved in forbidden thoughts.
(a) The Mal'ach ha'Ma'ves told Shmuel's father - that were it not for the
aspect of human dignity, he would slit the dying person's throat like that
(b) We reconcile this statement with what we just learned (that it is the
Mal'ach ha'Ma'ves poison that kills a person - by attributing what he told
Shmuel's father he would do to the drop of poison on his sword (and not to
the sword itself).
(c) The Beraisa which attributes the putrid smell of a corpse to the drop of
poison from the Mal'ach ha'Ma'ves' sword, supports a statement by Rebbi
Chanina bar Kahana, who advises someone who wants to prevent his dead
relative's corpse from smelling - to turn him face downwards after his death
(so that the poison should run from his mouth).
(d) The Beraisa learns from the Pasuk "Ve'nishmarta mi'Kol Davar Ra" (that
we quoted earlier) and that of "Ki Yih'yeh B'cha Ish Asher Lo Yih'yeh Tahor
Mikreh Laylah" - that to avoid becoming Tamei by night, one should not think
unclean thoughts by day.
(a) Rebbi Pinchas ben Ya'ir in a Beraisa learns from here the chain of Midos
that serves as the basis of the Seifer 'Mesilas Yesharim'. Torah he says,
leads to Zehirus, which in turn, leads to Zerizus. 'Torah' means - both
Torah-study per se, and a deeper understanding of the Mitzvos.
(b) Zehirus is the ability to overcome the urge to sin when the temptation
arises - whereas Zerizus refers to the ability to foresee the impending
temptation and to avoid it by avoiding the circumstances that lead up to it.
(c) Zerizus leads to Neki'us ... Perishus ... Taharah. Neki'us means clean
of sin ...
1. ... Perishus - going 'Lifnim mi'Shuras ha'Din' (beyond the letter of the
law), and ...
(d) Taharah leads to Kedushah - which leads to Anavah (humility), and Anavah
to Yir'as Chet (fear of sin).
2. ... Taharah' - a more refined level of 'Lifnim mi'Shuras ha'Din'.
(a) Yir'as Chet leads to 'Chasidus (piety).
(b) Chasidus leads to Ru'ach ha'Kodesh, and Ru'ach ha'Kodesh, to - Techi'as
ha'Meisim (the ability to revive the dead).
(c) Rebbi Pinchas ben Ya'ir learns from the Pasuk "Az Dibarta be'Chazon
la'Chasidecha" - that the highest level of attainment (that leads to Ru'ach
ha'Kodesh) is Chasidus, as he explained.
(d) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi disagrees. In his opinion, the Pasuk "Ru'ach
Hashem Elokim Alai, Ya'an Mashach Hashem Osi le'Basar Anavim" - teaches us
that the highest level of attainment (that leads to Ru'ach ha'Kodesh) is -
(a) Rebbi Yehudah permits selling to a Nochri a tree, Shachas (fodder or
unripe crops) and standing corn, provided that he undertakes to cut them
down. Rebbi Meir - forbids it.
(b) Having presented the Machlokes in the case of ...
1. ... a tree, why does the Tana nevertheless finds it necessary to repeat
it in the case of ripe standing corn - which the purchaser is unlikely to
leave in the ground for long, because, unlike a tree, it tends to
deteriorate if left in the ground for too long.
(c) We ask whether Rebbi Yehudah's leniency extends to selling the Nochri an
animal on condition that he agrees to Shecht it, or perhaps not - because,
as opposed to the crops which are growing in somebody else's ground, the
animal belongs entirely to him, and there is good reason to suspect that he
will not abide by his condition.
2. ... a tree and standing corn, he still needs to repeat it in the case of
Shachas, where we might have thought that Rebbi Yehudah will agree with
Rebbi Meir - because, unlike the other two (whose improvement is
non-existent in the one case [as we explained] or not distinctly visible, in
the other), visibly improves if it is left in the ground.
3. ... Shachas, he needs to repeat it in the case of the other two -
because, by reverse logic, we might otherwise have thought that Rebbi Meir
will agree with Rebbi Yehudah there.
(d) We resolve the She'eilah from a Beraisa - where Rebbi Yehudah
specifically permits selling a Nochri an animal on condition that he Shechts