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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Avodah Zarah 27



(a) We just established Rebbi Yehudah as the one who permits a Kuti to circumcise a Jewish baby. This creates a problem however, from a Beraisa, where Rebbi Yehudah permits a Yisrael to circumcise a Kuti - but not a Kuti to circumcise a Yisrael, because he does so in the name of Har Gerizim (where his god is situated.

(b) Rebbi Yossi disagrees - because, he says, nowhere does the Torah require Milah to be li'Sh'mah (for the sake of Hashem).

(c) So we switch round the opinions of Rebbi Yehudah and Rebbi Meir (finally establishing Rebbi Yehudah as the one to permit the Nochri doctor to perform Milah), as we explained initially. And as for Rebbi Yehudah in the second Beraisa, who disqualifies a Nochri - we quote another Beraisa which cites the author of this opinion (not as Rebbi Yehudah b'Rebbi Ila'i, but) as Rebbi Yehudah ha'Nasi.

(d) Even though Rebbi Yehudah disqualifies a Kuti from performing the Milah, he permits a Nochri to do so - because a Nochri will have in mind whatever he is told by the Yisre'elim, whereas a Kuti will circumcise in of Har Gerizim, irrespective of what they tell him.

(a) Rav Chisda gives Rebbi Yehudah's source (for forbidding Kutim to circumcise) as the Pasuk (in connection with the Korban Pesach "la'Hashem. Yimol Lo Kol Zachar"). Rebbi Yossi disagrees, as we already explained - quoting the Pasuk "Himol Yimol' (with or without Kavanah) in support of his opinion.

(b) And the word "la'Hashem" according to him, refers to the Korban Pesach that precedes it (and not to the Mitzvah of Milah that comes after it).

(c) Rebbi Yehudah, on the other hand - explains the double Lashon "Himol Yimol" (as 'L'shon B'nei Adam', human vernacular that Hashem is using here).

(a) Daru bar Papa quoting Rav cites the source to disqualify Nochrim from performing the Milah (like Rebbi) as "va'Atah es B'risi Tishmor" (the Pasuk that Rebbi himself quotes). Rebbi Yochanan learns it from - "Himol Yimol" (implying that only someone who has been circumcised can perform the Milah).

(b) He learns it from there - by virtue of the fact that the word "Yimol" is otherwise redundant.

(c) Initially, we explain the ramifications of the Machlokes between Rav and Rebbi Yochanan - by an Arabi or a Givnoni who are circumcised (who are therefore included in the latter's Pasuk [seeing as they are circumcised], but excluded from the former's [since they are not Avraham's children]).

(d) This suggestion is wrong however, based on the Mishnah in Nedarim, which rules - that someone who forbids Hana'ah from an Areil may not derive benefit even from a Nochri, because the Tana considers him an Areil. Consequently, an Arabi or a Givnoni Mahul will be Pasul even according to Rebbi Yochanan.

(a) So we try to establish the basis of the Machlokes, (not by an Arabi Mahul, but) - by a Yisrael Areil (who was not circumcised because two brothers died on account of the Milah). He will be Kasher according to Rav, but Pasul according to Rebbi Yochanan (because he is considered an Areil).

(b) This suggestion too, is wrong, on the basis of the Mishnah there - which permits someone who forbids Hana'ah from an Areil to derive benefit from an uncircumcised Yisrael, because he is considered Mahul. Consequently, he will be Kasher even according to Rebbi Yochanan.

(c) We finally establish the basis of the Machlokes between Rav and Rebbi Yochanan - by a woman, who is Pasul according to Rav (since she is not a bas B'ris), but Kasher according to Rebbi Yochanan (since she is not considered an Areil, seeing as she is not commanded).

(d) According to Rav (who disqualifies a woman from performing the Milah), when the Pasuk writes "va'Tikach Tziporah Tzor ... Va'tichros es Orlas B'nah" - it either means that she called someone else to take the rock and perform the Milah, or that she began the Milah and Moshe came and completed it.

(a) Our Mishnah permits being cured by a Nochri Ripuy Mamon, but not Ripuy Nefashos (as will be explained in the Sugya). Rebbi Meir forbids going to a barber who is a Nochri, anywhere - the Chachamim permit it in a public place, but not somewhere where not many people pass (see Tosfos 29a DH 'Aval Lo').

(b) When the Tana permits 'Ripuy Mamon' and 'Ripuy Nefashos' he cannot mean ...

1. ... for payment and free of charge, respectively - because then he should have said 'Misrap'in Meihen bi'S'char Aval Lo be'Chinam.
2. ... a cure that involves life danger and one that does not - because we see from Rav Yehudah, who declared that he would not even allow Nochrim to cure the wound made by a Jewish bloodletter, that even a cure that does not involve life-danger is forbidden.
(c) So we define ...
1. ... 'Ripuy Mamon' - as a cure regarding one's animals, and...
2. ... 'Ripuy Nefashos' - as a cure regarding himself.
(d) According to Rav Chisda Amar Mar Ukva, if the Nochri tells a Yisrael which cures to take and which to avoid, he may listen to him - because the Nochri will suspect that, since he (the Yisrael) refuses to be cured directly by him, he does not trust him implicitly, in which case, he probably asked him for his advice to test his integrity, and will later check with somebody else to see whether his cure is reliable or not.



(a) When Rabah (or Rav Chisda) Amar Rebbi Yochanan says 'Safek Chai Safek Meis, Ein Misrap'in Meihen', he means - that if there is a chance that one will not die from one's illness, then the prohibition of being cured by a Nochri applies.

(b) He continues 'Vaday Meis, Misrap'in Meihen' - because what does he stand to lose?

(c) When we ask 'ha'Ika Chayei Sha'ah', we mean - to ask why do we not take into account the short time that he might have lived, and which the Nochri will now deprive him of.

(d) And we answer - that since he will die anyway, we do not contend with Chayei Sha'ah (see Tosfos DH 'le'Chayei Sha'ah').

(a) We prove from the story regarding the four Metzora'im - who decided to surrender themselves to the Syrian army, since they were anyway going to die of starvation (in spite of the Chayei Sha'ah which they would still have lived and which the Syrians were likely to deprive them of.

(b) When ben Dama the nephew of Rebbi Yishmael was bitten by a snake, Ya'akov Ish K'far S'chanya - a Miyn (as we learned in the previous Perek) came to cure him.

(c) Rebbi Yishmael ...

1. ... ruled - that he was forbidden to go ahead with the cure.
2. ... proclaimed, when ben Dama died - 'Ashrecha ben Dama, she'Gufcha Tahor, Ve'yatzasah Nishmascha be'Taharah, ve'Lo Avarta al Divrei Chaverecha she'Hayu Omrim "u'Poretz Geder Yishchenu Nachash" (Koheles)?
(a) The problem this creates with Rebbi Yochanan's previous ruling is - that it seems to take Chayei Sha'ah into account, whereas Rebbi Yochanan does not (as we explained a little earlier).

(b) We reconcile the two rulings - by differentiating between a S'tam Nochri, whose cures Rebbi Yochanan permits, and Ya'akov Ish K'far S'chanya, who was a Miyn, and whose cures Rebbi Yishmael totally forbade, because of the danger of his attracting his patients to Avodah-Zarah.

(c) "Poretz Geder Yishchenu Nachash" means - that someone who contravenes the rulings of the Chachamim, will be bitten by a snake.

(d) Seeing as ben Dama died anyway, the advantage of his snake-bite over the one referred to by the Pasuk, Tosfos explains, is the fact that, at least now, he died an innocent man (as Rebbi Yishmael declared).

(a) Prior to his death, ben Dama claimed that he had proof from a Pasuk, that he was permitted to be cured by Ya'akov Ish K'far S'chanya. He was referring to the Pasuk in Acharei-Mos - "va'Chai Bahen".

(b) Rebbi Yishmael disagreed with him - with regard to doing so in public ('be'Farhesya').

(c) Rebbi Yishmael applies "va'Chai Bahen", 've'Lo she'Yamus Bahen", even with regard to Avodas-Kochavim. He precludes be'Farhesya from "va'Chai Bahen" - from the Pasuk in Emor "ve'Lo Sechalelu es Shem Kodshi".

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