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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Avodah Zarah 32

AVODAH ZARAH 32 - dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Esther (bas Moshe) Farber of Riverdale, NY, who passed away on 13 Shevat 5763, in honor of the Hakamas Matzevah. A descendant of the Chasam Sofer, Esther was a courageous woman, clinging strongly to her heritage despite personal tragedies, who affected the lives of many students and friends.



(a) One of the Isurei Hana'ah listed in our Mishnah is Hadrianic earthenware. Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel explains - that this refers to the pieces of earthenware used by the soldiers of the Emperor Hadrian's army.

(b) When Rav Dimi arrived from Eretz Yisrael, he supplied the details. They would

1. ... till virgin soil and plant vines from which they would manufacture wine ...
2. ... which they would pour into new earthenware casks, where it would become absorbed.
(c) They would then - break the casks into pieces of clay, which the soldiers would take with them to war. Whenever they encamped, they would soak them in water and drink the wine that emerged from the clay.

(d) In praise of the quality of that wine, Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi - compared our 'first' wine to their third.

(a) We ask whether one is permitted to use those pieces of earthenware to support the legs of one's bed - seeing as one wants, not the wine, but the earthenware (though on the other hand, it might still be forbidden, since the earthenware will inevitably remain, too).

(b) We conclude that this is in fact, a Machlokes Amora'im - between Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Elazar.

(c) We ask on the one who permits the pieces of earthenware from a Beraisa, where, with regard to small earthenware jars and leather flasks that contain that belong to Nochrim, but which contain the wine of a Yisrael - the Tana forbids drinking the wine, but permits deriving benefit from it.

(d) Rebbi Shimon ben Guda testified before the son of Raban Gamliel - that in Acco, his father Raban Gamliel, once drunk the wine from such a flask, [though the Chachamim did not agree with him]).

(a) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel quoting Rebbi Yehoshua ben Kefusa'i - forbids adapting leather wine flasks to use as pack-saddles for one's donkey ...

(b) ... a Kashya on the one who permits using the pieces of clay as bed-supports (seeing as here too, it is the leather of the flasks that he wants to retain, and not the wine).

(c) We counter this with the accepted practice of purchasing clay jars from Nochrim (to use as water containers [Ritva]), and the reason that the Beraisa prohibits adapting leather flasks for use as pack-saddles is - because of a decree, based on the fear that one may come to use them to cover cracked wine-flasks.

(d) Whereas the Amora who forbids using the earthenware pieces as bed-supports, ascribes the Heter to purchase an earthenware jar from a Nochri - to the fact that the Isur there is considered non-existent.

4) Another version of Shimon ben Guda's testimony in front of Raban Gamliel's son, concludes with 've'Hodu Lo'. Besides suggesting that it was Raban Gamliel's son who conceded to his father and Raban Gamliel's colleagues who did not, we resolve the discrepancy between the two Beraisos by differentiating between the first Shimon ben Guda (which is spelt with an 'Alef'), and the second (which is spelt with an 'Ayin').


(a) Our Mishnah includes Oros Levuvin among the Isurei Hana'ah. Besides a tear in the flesh next to the heart and a round hole in the skin that covered it, the Beraisa also requires some dry blood, otherwise not ...

(b) ... because the absence of blood indicates that the heart was cut out after the flaying.

(c) Rav Huna declares the skin Asur anyway - if the skin had been salted (which would account for the absence of blood).




(a) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel requires the hole to be round, as we learned in our Mishnah. When Rav Yosef Amar Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel ruled like Raban Shimon ben Gamliel, Abaye objected - on the grounds that nobody argued with him anyway.

(b) When Rav Yosef then asked him what difference it made whether the Rabbanan argued or not, he replied - Gemara is a teaching, not an empty song (and that something that makes no different, does not need to be mentioned).

(a) Rebbi Chiya bar Aba Amar Rebbi Yochanan establishes our Mishnah, which permits flesh that enters the domain of Avodas-Kochavim (before it has actually been sacrificed) not like Rebbi Eliezer - according to whom even that would be forbidden, because when a Nochri slaughters an animal, he has in mind to worship his god with that act (and it is therefore already forbidden from that moment on).

(b) On the other hand, even our Tana forbids flesh that leaves the domain of Avodas Kochavim, because he considers it 'Zivchei Meisim' - implying that it is even Metamei be'Ohel.

(c) We therefore establish the author as Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseira in a Beraisa, who learns from the Pasuk "Va'yitzamdu Yisrael le'Ba'al Pe'or Va'yochlu Zivchei Meisim" - that sacrifices of Avodah-Zarah are Metamei be'Ohel.

(a) Our Mishnah forbids doing business with someone who is about to leave for 'Tarfus', but permits it upon his return. Shmuel, who establishes this by a Nochri ...
1. ... permits doing business with a Yisrael who is about to leave for 'Tarfus', because of the likelihood that he will retract, but ...
2. ... forbids doing business with him upon his return, because he will probably go back.
(b) To reconcile Shmuel's ruling with the Beraisa forbidding business even with a Yisrael who is about to leave - Rav Ashi establishes the Beraisa by a Mumar (an apostate Jew, who is unlikely to retract).

(c) Resh Lakish qualifies the Seifa of the Mishnah permitting doing business with a Nochri who returns from 'Tarfus', by establishing it when the Nochri returned alone, but forbidding it where he returned with a group of people, because we would then suspect that he may return.

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