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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Avodah Zarah 24



(a) When they asked Rebbi Eliezer how far the Mitzvah of Kibud Av va'Eim goes, he cited as an example - a Nochri by the name of Dama ben Nesinah, who lived in Ashkelon.

(b) The Chachamim offered him - six hundred thousand Dinrim for the onyx stones for the Eifod ...

(c) ... which he declined - because the key to the box which housed the stones lay under the pillow on which his father was sleeping.

(a) To answer the Kashya (from "Ve'yikchu Li Terumah"), we quote the Pasuk "Avnei Shoham" - which, by virtue of the fact that, unlike all the other materials ("va'Chesef, u'Nechoshes. u'Secheiles ... ") it is written without a 'Vav', implies that it is not connected with "Ve'yikchu", and can therefore be accepted from a Nochri.

(b) This answer is not acceptable however - bearing in mind the continuation of the Pasuk "ve'Avnei Milu'im" reinstating the stones in the previous group of materials (see also Rabeinu Chananel).

(c) Even assuming that it had been acceptable, however, we are still left with a Kashya - because in the following year, a Parah Adumah was born in Dama ben Nesinah's herd, which the Chachamim purchased from him.

(d) When the Chachamim approached him to sell them the Parah Adumah, Dama reacted - by stressing that, although he could ask any price he wished, he would only ask them for the six hundred thousand Dinrim that he lost the previous year.

(a) Shilo will reconcile this episode (where the Chachamim purchased the Parah Adumah from the Nochri) with the D'rashah "Ve'yikchu Eilecha Parah Adumah" - by establishing that Jewish agents actually purchased the stones from the Nochri, and it was they who handed them to the Chachamim.

(b) In another Beraisa, Rebbi Eliezer countered the Chachamim's proof from the above episode that the Nochri is not suspected of raping his cow - by establishing that they kept the cow under surveillance from the moment it was born.

(c) Shilo nevertheless needed to come on to the reason of 'Kichah' - because in his opinion, Rebbi Eliezer holds that either of the two Pesulim will disqualify the Parah Adumah.

(d) 'Remetz' referred to in this Beraisa is - merely an alternative name for Dama ben Nesinah.

(a) Rava rules that if a pregnant cow ...
1. ... gored a Yisrael and killed him - both the mother and the child are disqualified as Korbanos (because the fetus participated in the goring), and the same will apply if it ...
2. ... was raped by a human.
(b) In the first case, the cow is not sentenced to death - because Rava is speaking when there is only one witness, or where only the owner saw the incident.

(c) In any case, it would have been futile to guard the cow from the moment it was born, since it is possible that its mother was raped after it became pregnant with the current Parah Adumah. So we amend the previous statement to read - that they guarded the Parah from the moment that it was conceived.

(a) We learned in a Mishnah in Temurah 'Kol ha'Pesulin le'Gabi Mizbe'ach, V'ladoseihen Mutarin'. Rebbi Eliezer in a Beraisa - forbids them.

(b) We ask why we do not nevertheless suspect that perhaps the mother was raped when it was still Chulin. This is not a Kashya according to Rava Amar Rav Nachman - who establishes the Machlokes when the raping took place after the animal was declared Hekdesh (but before the animal is eligible, even according to Rebbi Eliezer).

(c) Rav Huna bar Chinena Amar Rav Nachman, who establishes the Machlokes when the mother was raped when it was still Chulin, will establish the case - when the mother was kept under surveillance from the moment *she* was conceived.

(d) We do not suspect that perhaps the mother's mother was raped too - because Chazal did not want to carry the issue so far.

(a) In the case under discussion, we just learned that the cow had been under surveillance from the moment it became pregnant. They knew that it might give birth to a potential Parah Adumah, Rav Kahana explains - because they passed a red cup in front of its eyes whilst it was mating (emulating the example set by Ya'akov Avinu).

(b) In spite of this strategy, a Parah Adumah was extremely expensive - due to the Halachah disqualifying a Parah Adumah that has as little as two hairs of any other color.

(c) They chose particularly that cow, rather than one belonging to a Yisrael, Rav Kahana explains - because it belonged to a family of cows that tended to produce red cows in this manner.

(a) Rebbi Ami and Rebbi Yitzchak Nafcha were sitting in the latter's porch. When one of them cited Rebbi Eliezer, who disqualified animals that had been raped from being brought as any Korban, the other one asked him what the Chachamim had to say about that. He answered with the Pasuk in Yeshayah that we quoted earlier - "Kol Tzon Keidar Yikavtzu Lach" (clearly permitting them).

(b) To counter their proof, Rebbi Eliezer (based on the Pasuk "Ki Az Ahafoch el Amim Safah Berurah ... " cited by Rav Yosef) - confined the Pasuk to a time when all the Nochrim will convert to Judaism (albeit unofficially). Consequently, they will no longer rape their animals.

(c) Rav Yosef added the Pasuk there "Le'avdo Sh'chem Echad" to his explanation - insinuating that they will serve Hashem just like Yisrael, in which case we will know for sure that their sheep will indeed be fit to be brought as Korbanos.

(d) Rav Yosef needed to add this Pasuk - because otherwise, we may have thought that the Nochrim of that time will repent on the Avodah-Zarah that they had been serving up to then, but not from their other sins (and that the sheep were therefore unacceptable).

(a) The above is Rav Papa's version of the above episode. According to Rav Z'vid, both Rebbi Ami and Rebbi Yitzchak Nafcha cited the initial dialogue between Rebbi Eliezer and the Chachamim. The one to ask the final question ('ve'Dilma me'Avodas-Kochavim Hu de'Hadri Behu'?) - was Rav Yosef, and ...

(b) ... the one who answered ("Le'avdo Sh'chem Echad K'siv") - was Abaye.

(c) According to Rebbi Eliezer, Moshe was not afraid that the animals that he demanded from Paroh and those that Yisro later brought had been raped - because before Matan Torah, this would not have disqualified them, even if they had.

(d) According to those who learn that Yisro came after Matan Torah - he must have purchased the animals that he brought, from a Yisrael.




(a) Rebbi Eliezer will interpret the "Meitav ha'Tzon" that Shaul allowed the people who had captured from the Amalekim, to sacrifice - to mean the value of the prize sheep (after they had sold them).

(b) Nevertheless, they specifically brought back "Meitav" - in order to be able to sell them easily.

(c) David was able to sacrifice the animals that Aravnah donated, says Rav Nachman - because Aravnah was a Ger Toshav (who would not have therefore indulged in bestiality, which is forbidden to the B'nei No'ach).

(d) He used the wooden accessories that Aravnah added to the donation - as firewood for the Korbanos.

(a) Ula describes the "Morigin" among the accessories donated by as 'Mitah shel Turbil', which is synonymous with 'Iza de'Kurkesa de'Dayshan'. This refers to - large threshing-boards, with many large grooves closely inter-spaced, to enable the grain to be well ground when the animals threshed them.

(b) Rav Yosef proves from the Pasuk "Hinei Samtich le'Morag ... Tadush Harim ve'Taduk, u'Geva'os ka'Motz Tasim" - that 'Morigin' are used for threshing.

(c) The cows that the men of Beis-Shemesh sacrificed on the Bamah - were the nursing cows that the P'lishtim sent to return the Aron to Eretz Yisrael without guidance, miraculously ignoring their babies.

(d) According to Rebbi Eliezer, the men of Beis-Shemesh were permitted to sacrifice the cows under any circumstances - because in honor of the tremendous miracle that had occurred, the Beis-Din issued a 'Hora'as Sha'ah' (a momentary ruling) permitting it.

(a) We try to corroborate this answer with the fact that they brought them as Olos (burnt-offerings) - which normally comprise specifically male animals.

(b) We reject this proof however, with a statement by Rav Ada bar Ahavah - who permits female animals to be brought as Olos on a Bamas Yachid. Note, presumably, Rebbi Eliezer will in any case, be forced to accept the original answer, but the Rabbanan will not.

(c) And he cites Shmuel ha'Navi, in connection with whom the Pasuk writes "Va'yikach Shmuel T'le Chalav Echad Va'ya'alehu le'Olah". He knows that it was a female lamb that Shmuel sacrificed - because ''T'le Chalav'' implies a nursing sheep.

(d) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak explains - that the word "Va'ya'alehu", which suggests that it was a male, is missing a 'Vav', in which case it can also be read 'Va'ya'alah' (with reference to a female sheep).

(a) Rebbi Yochanan draws a distinction between a cow that is three years old - which will not be rendered barren through raped, and one that is less - which will.

(b) Consequently, he will establish ...

1. ... the Beraisa which permits purchasing an animal for a Korban that we have been discussing - specifically by a cow that is less that three years old (which the owner will not have raped, as we explained), and that is how he will establish ...
2. ... all the cases (regarding the animals of Paroh and Yisro ... ) that we just cited.
(a) Establishing the case of the cows that the men of Beis-Shemesh sacrificed by cows that were less than three years old however, will constitute solving one problem, but creating another. Because, based on the Mishnah in Bechoros, Rav Huna b'rei de'Rav Nasan points out - a cow that is less than three cannot give birth (and the cows in this case had mothered calves, as we explained earlier).

(b) The Tana says there that if a purchased cow or donkey gives birth to a male baby, assuming they are ...

1. ... three years old - the baby is definitely a Bechor, and must be given to the Kohen (or redeemed by a lamb in the case of a donkey).
2. ... more than three - the baby is a Safek (because it may have already given birth before).
(c) The Din of a 'Safek Bechor' of ...
1. ... a cow is - to let it graze in the field until it obtains a blemish, when one may keep it (since the Kedushah of a Bechor dissipates once it becomes blemished, leaving the Kohen with nothing more than a monetary claim [to which we apply the principle 'ha'Motzi me'Chavero, Alav ha'Re'ayah').
2. ... a donkey is - to redeem it with a lamb, which one may then keep, for the same reason (though even without waiting for it to obtain a blemish, seeing as the lamb has no Kedushah to begin with).
(d) Rebbi Yochanan will have to establish the case of the cows that the men of Beis-Shemesh sacrificed - by cows that were more than three years old, and it was a Hora'as Sha'ah (like we explained earlier [according to Rebbi Eliezer]).
(a) Rebbi Yochanan in the name of Rebbi Meir translates "Va'yisharnah ha'Paros" as 'And the cows sang'. Rav Zutra bar Tuvya Amar Rav agrees with him - adding that they turned to face the Aron on the wagon behind them as they sang.

(b) According to Rebbi Yochanan Amar Rebbi Meir, they sang "Az Yashir Moshe" - because Hashem demonstrated His superiority over both them and Dagon, their god (conforming with the words "Ashirah la'Hashem Ki Ga'oh Ga'ah").

(c) Rebbi Yochanan himself maintains that they sang the Pasuk "Va'amartem, ba'Yom ha'Hu Hodu la'Hashem Kir'u vi'Shemo ... ", whereas according to Resh Lakish, they sang the Parshah in Tehilim "Mizmor, Shiru la'Hashem Shir Chadash, Ki Nifla'os Asah Hoshi'ah Lo Yemino ... ", which he refers to as 'Mizmor Yasma' - because its author is unknown.

(a) Rebbi Elazar maintains that they sang the Parshah "Hashem Malach Yirgezu Amim", referring to the nations trembling - because of the plague of mice in their stomachs that they suffered at Hashem's Hands.

(b) According to Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni, they sang - "Hashem Malach Ge'us Lavesh".

(c) According to Rebbi Yitzchak Nafcha, they sang 'Roni Roni ha'Shitah (Sing to Hashem, sing to Hashem o Aron [made of acacia wood]), Hisnofefi be'Rov Hadrach (extol Him in your great glory)'.

1. "ha'Mechushekes be'Rikmei Zahav" means - bound (overlaid) with pure gold from within and from without.
2. ... ha'Mehulalah bi'Devir Armon" - praiseworthy with the Sefer-Torah in the palace.
3. ... u'Mefu'arah ba'Adi Adayim" - which is beautified with its ornaments (the Sefer-Torah that Moshe wrote).
(d) In the opinion of Rav Ashi, this is what was said when Moshe would announce "Kumah Hashem Ve'yafutzu Oyvecha" (whenever Yisrael were about to move camp) - to which the above was Yisrael's response.
16) Based on the Pasuk ...
1. ... "ve'Shem D'vir Lefanim Kiryas Sefer" - the Persians called Sefer, D'vir
2. ... Disht'na, based on the Pasuk "Ki Derech Nashim Li" - they called a Nidah 'Disht'na' (the acronym of 'Derech Nashim').
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