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Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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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 a 'Kamatz').

(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.
2. ... "va'Achalah" to "O Machor la'Nochri" - that one may also *give* it to a Nochri.
(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".
(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 the owner).

(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, Hashem!"

(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 place.

(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 Tziv'onin'.

(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 of animal.

(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 ...
2. ... Taharah' - a more refined level of 'Lifnim mi'Shuras ha'Din'.
(d) Taharah leads to Kedushah - which leads to Anavah (humility), and Anavah to Yir'as Chet (fear of sin).
(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 - Anavah.

(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.
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.
(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.

(d) We resolve the She'eilah from a Beraisa - where Rebbi Yehudah specifically permits selling a Nochri an animal on condition that he Shechts it.

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