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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Avodah Zarah 35



(a) When Rav Dimi arrived from Eretz Yisrael, he explained the Pasul "Ki Tovim Dodecha mi'Ya'yin" (which we discussed in the Mishnah) to mean - that the words of the Chachamim ("Dodecha" [alias the oral Torah]) are preferred to those of Hashem Himself (Kevayachol, referring to Torah she'be'Al Peh').

(b) When Rebbi Yehosha cited this Pasuk to Rebbi Yishmael, Rebbi Shimon ben Pazi (or bar Ami) explains, he really had in mind the previous Pasuk "Yishakeini mi'Neshikos Piyhu" - which he interpreted to mean ...

1. ... 'Chashok Sifsosecha Zu be'Zu ... ' - 'Chashok Sifsosecha Zu be'Zu (Shut your lips tight)'.
2. ... 've'Al Tevahel Le'hashiv' - and 'don't be so quick to ask Kashyos'.
(c) In fact, says Rebbi Shimon ben Pazi Amar Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi, the reason that the Chachamim forbade the cheese of Beis Unaiki is because of Nikur - meaning that a snake may have drunk from it.

(d) Rebbi Yehoshua did not want to tell this to Rebbi Yishmael, based on a statement by Ula - who cited the Minhag in Eretz Yisrael not to spread the reasons for new Rabbinical decrees, because then based on people's comprehension of those reasons, they will come to discard the decreed from the outset.

(a) Rebbi Yirmiyah objected strongly against Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi's reason (due to the fear of snake-bite), on account of a statement by Rebbi Chanina, who said that uncovered wine or beer (that is forbidden because of possible snake venom) that dried or became old - is permitted, because the venom wuld have prevented either of them from occurring (yet we do not find that Chazal permitted either. of them).

(b) Rebbi Chanina (or Rebbi Yirmiyah) therefore explains the reason for the prohibition as 'L'fi sh'I Efshar Lah be'Lo Tzichtzuchei Chalav - by which he means that some drops of whey are bound to remain, and we are afraid that maybe the Nochri added non-Kasher milk which remained together with the whey.

(c) Shmuel himself attributes it to the fact that they used to place the milk in the skin of a Neveilah, which is worse than placing it in milk in the stomach (which our Mishnah permitted) - because the skin cannot be considered 'dung' * (like the milk is), and can therefore not be permitted..

(d) We extrapolate from this that milk in the stomach of a Neveilah itself - is permitted.

(a) The Mishnah in Chulin - forbids both the stomach of a Nochri's animal and of Neveilah.

(b) We ask why the former does not incorporate the latter. To answer this - Shmuel combines the Mishnah's two statements to read - 'Keivas Shechitas Oved'Kochavim Neveilah, Asurah'.

(c) We reconcile the two contradictory statements of Shmuel (both permitting [the milk in] the stomach and forbidding - by establishing the Mishnah in Chulin, before Rebbi Yehoshua retracted (whilst he still maintained that the milk in the stomach of a Neveilah is not 'Pirsha'), and our Mishnah, after he retracted, considering it to be Pirsha.

(d) Rebbi did not however, remove the Mishnah in Chulin from he text - due to a policy to leave a Mishnah learned, intact (so as not to confuse the Talmidim).




(a) According to Rav Malkiya in the name of Rav Ada bar Ahavah, the Chachamim decreed on cheese of a Nochri because they tended to smear them with pig fat, according to Rav Chisda, because they would stand them in (wine) vinegar, and according to Rav Nachman - because they would stand them in the sap of Orlah.

(b) We suggest that the author of our Mishnah must then be Rebbi Eliezer in the Mishnah in Orlah, who says there - that if someone stands food in the sap of Orlah, it is forbidden, because sap is considered a fruit.

(c) We conclude however, that our Mishnah could even go like Rebbi Yehoshua - by establishing it by sap of the fruit, which Rebbi Yehoshua concedes is Orlah.

(d) And we prove this from Rebbi Yehoshua's own words in the Mishnah in Orlah, where he testifies to having heard that if someone stands food in ...

1. ... the sap of the leaves or of the roots - it is permitted ...
2. ... the sap of unripe figs - it is forbidden.
(a) The problem with the last two explanations (Rav Nachman and Rav Chisda) is - that Nochri cheese ought then to be Asur be'Hana'ah as well ...

(b) ... a problem which remains unresolved.

(a) Rav Chisda Darshens from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "le'Rei'ach Shemanecha Tovim" - that Talmidei-Chachamim are compared to a bottle of fragrant oil ...
2. ... "Shemen Turak Shemecha" - whose value can only be appreciated when it is opened and emptied. Likewise, a Talmid-Chacham only acquire a good name when he teaches others what they have learned.
(b) And from the continuation of the Pasuk "Alamos Ahevucha" he Darshens - that when he does so, the aspects of Torah that were previously hidden from him become revealed (as if the Pasuk had written Alumos, with a 'Vav' [see also Tosfos DH 'Devarim')

(c) We can also understand "Alamos" by way of an acronym - by reading it 'Al Maves' (no death), because even the Angel of Death befriends him.

(d) And finally, we can also read "Alamos" as if it was written 'Olamos', to teach us that he inherits both worlds, Olam ha'Zeh and Olam ha'Ba.

(a) Our Mishnah - rules that milk which a Nochri milked without a Yisrael being present, Nochri bread and Nochri oil are all forbidden to eat, but Mutar be'Hana'ah.

(b) We erase the text that Rebbi later permitted Nochri oil from our Mishnah - because it was not Rebbi who permitted it, but his grandson Rebbi Yehudah Nesi'ah.

(c) The Tana includes cooked dishes and pickled foods in the above list - because the Nochrim tended to add wine and vinegar to them.

(a) T'ris (a type of small, salted Kasher fish) and Tzir (fish-juice) appear on the list too.
1. ... T'ris is forbidden - if it is mashed, because one cannot then recognize it and has to suspect that the Nochri may have added non-Kasher fish.
2. ... Tzir is permitted - if it contains 'Dagah Kilbis' (a small fish (possibly stickleback [or a certain type of Sheretz, Tif'eres Yisrael]) that grows inside it, provided the mixture does not contain any non-Kasher fish).
(b) The list of things that are forbidden to eat but Mutar be'Hana'ah ends with Chilak (a Kasher fish known as 'Sultanis', which does not initially grow fins and scales, and which generally catches similar looking non-Kasher fish), a grain of Chiltis (a kind of sharp fruit) and Salkundis salt (which will be discussed in the Sugya). The latter two are forbidden - because they were cut with a knife that was probably used for cutting meat and contained non-Kasher fat (and which had not been wiped off).
(a) The problem with the Isur of drinking non-Shomered milk is that we would ...
1. ... know immediately if the milk was from a non-Kasher animal - seeing as non-Kasher milk is yellow, as opposed to the white of Kasher milk.
2. ... soon discover if the Nochri had only added non-Kasher milk - because the latter cannot turn into cheese.
(b) We answer this Kashya, assuming the second suspicion to be the authentic one - by establishing the Isur by someone who intends to use the milk as a food, and not to make into cheese.

(c) We cannot test the milk ...

1. ... by taking a little and making cheese (which if it doesn't work, will prove that it is non-Kasher milk) - because maybe the little that he takes is whey, which, even of Kasher milk, doesn't produce milk either. Consequently, we suspect that maybe the Tamei milk was mixed together with the whey, and that is what was tested.
2. ... even if one intends to use it all for cheese - because the test will not prove that the milk is Tahor. Maybe there too, there is Tamei milk mixed with the whey in the holes in the cheese.
(a) Rav Kahana Amar Rebbi Yochanan declared - that Beis-Din did not permit bread baked by a Nochri?

(b) He found it necessary to say this because of an episode with Rebbi, related by Rav Dimi. A Nochri once brought him in the field a large Pas Purni (a loaf baked in a large oven with its opening at the side) of one Sa'ah.

(c) When he proclaimed 'Mah Ra'u Chachamim le'Osrah', he meant - that he did not understand why they forbade Nochri bread even in a field, where the problem of intermarriage barely exists.

(d) He cannot have meant literally what he said - because he must have known of the reason of intermarriage, so why did he ask?

(a) People erroneously concluded - that Rebbi actually permitted Pas Akum.

(b) Rav Yosef (or Rav Shmuel bar Yehudah) present a different version of the above episode. According to his version, when, arriving at a place and discovering insufficient bread for all the Talmidim, Rebbi asked whether there was no baker in the vicinity mean, he was referring to - a Jewish baker.

(c) They thought he meant - a Nochri baker.

(a) There are those however, who conclude that Rebbi actually meant a Nochri baker, like we thought at first. Rebbi Chelbo qualifies this by confining it to where there is no Jewish baker (even in town) - whereas according to Rebbi Yochanan - Rebbi was speaking exclusively about eating the bread of a Nochri in a field (where Chasnus is not really applicable, as we explained earlier).

(b) When Eivu used to walk through fields belonging to Egyptians - he would taste their bread.

(c) Rava (or Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak) therefore issued a declaration - forbidding anyone to say over Divrei Torah in his name (see Hagahos ha'Bach).

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