ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Avodah Zarah 38
AVODAH ZARAH 38 (18 Nisan) - Dedicated by Kenny & Aliza Weinblatt in memory
of their grandfather, Sam (Shmuel Ben Baruch) Silverman Z"L, and in
gratitude to Giver of Life for the gift of their son Mordechai, may he be
blessed with long years filled with Torah and Avodas Hashem.
(a) According to the version learned in Sura, Rav Shmuel bar Yitzchak Amar
Rav precludes any food that can be eaten raw from the Din of Bishul Akum.
The Pumbedisian version of Rav's statement is - that he precluded from
Bishul Akum was food that was not fit to be served at a king's table.
(b) The ramifications of this Machlokes are small fish, mushrooms and
porridge - which cannot be eaten raw (and are therefore forbidden according
to the Surian version), but which are not generally served at the king's
table (and which are therefore permitted according to that of Pumbedisa).
(c) Rav Asi Amar Rav preludes small salted fish from Bishul Akum - because
they can be eaten as they are (and we do not consider salting like cooking
with regard to 'Bishul Akum').
(d) This does not mean that they cannot be used for Eruv Tavshilin (when
Yom-Tov falls on Friday) - because in that regard we apply the principle
'salting is like cooking'.
(a) 'Kasa de'Harsena' is - fish-hash fried with flour.
(b) Rav Yosef needs to inform us that if a Nochri prepared 'Kasa de'Harsena'
it is forbidden - because we might otherwise have thought that the hash
(which can be eaten as it is) is the key ingredient, and is therefore
permitted. So Rav Yosef teaches us that the major ingredient is the flour
(c) Rav B'runa Amar Rav - forbade the (cooked) locusts that they found in a
field which a Nochri set alight.
(d) Initially, we reject the suggestion that Rav's ruling was based on the
fact that the owner did not know which locusts were Kasher and which were
not - because then, it would not have been necessary to present the case of
a *Nochri* who set the field alight, since then the same ruling would have
applied if a Yisrael had done so.
(a) Rav Chanan bar Ami ... Amar Rebbi Yochanan permitted the ear of an
animal's head that a Nochri singed to remove the hair - since the latter had
not intended to cook it.
(b) Consequently, if, in the previous case, they knew which locusts were
Kasher - Rav would not have forbidden them, and we are forced to say that in
fact, Rav forbade the them because they did not know which locusts were
Kasher and which were not.
(c) And the reason that Rav issued his ruling specifically where a *Nochri*
set fire to the field is - because that was the case that came before him.
(a) Based on Rav Chanan bar Ami ... Amar Rebbi Yochanan's previous ruling
(permitting the ear of an animal's head which a Nochri singed to remove the
hair), Ravina ruled - that if a Yisrael placed a pumpkin in an oven in which
a Nochri had placed a piece of wood to dry, before the latter lit - the
pumpkin is permitted.
(b) Ravina needed to say this - to teach us that the Nochri's intention is
(not to cook the peg (in which case the pumpkin would have been forbidden,
but) to dry it.
(a) Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel rules that if a Yisrael places a piece of meat
on the stove to cook and a Nochri pokes it - the meat may be eaten.
(b) This ruling would be obvious if the meat would have cooked anyway. This
does not however mean that Shmuel is speaking when it would not otherwise
have cooked at all - but when it would otherwise have cooked in two hours,
and the Nochri's action caused it to cook in one.
(c) We can extrapolate from Rebbi Asi Amar Rebbi Yochanan, who ruled that
once meat reaches the stage of Ma'achal ben D'rusa'i, it is no longer
subject to Bishul Akum. ben D'rusa'i' was - a robber who used to eat his
meat partially [a third or a half] cooked.
(d) We reconcile this with Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel's ruling - by restricting
the latter to the Din of Bishul Akum (where the Chachamim made many
(e) We cite a Beraisa that corroborates Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel's ruling.
The Beraisa permits a man to place meat on the coals and to go off to Shul
whilst a Nochri turns it ove. And it presents a similar case - where a woman
places a pot on the stove, and goes off to the bathhouse whilst a Nochris
stirs the pot.
(a) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak ruled leniently regarding meat which a Nochri
began to roast and a Yisrael then turned it - based on a 'Kal va'Chomer'. If
the meat is permitted when a Nochri completes the process, he asserted, how
much more so when it finished by a Yisrael.
(b) This ruling is corroborated by a statement by Rabah bar bar Chanah (or
his brother Rav Acha) Amar Rebbi Yochanan, who said - that whether the
Nochri leaves the meat roasting and the Yisrael turns it over or vice-versa,
it is permitted, and that it is only forbidden if both are performed by the
(c) Ravina rules that whether the Nochri lit the oven and the Yisrael baked
the bread or vice-versa, the bread is permitted - and so it is if the Nochri
both lit the oven and baked the bread, if the Yisrael stoked the coal.
(a) Chizkiyah permits a fish that is salted by a Nochri, and bar Kapara an
egg that is boiled by him - because the food is absorbed inside the shell
and the Nochri has no direct contact with it,
(b) Rebbi Yochanan - forbids both.
(c) When Rav Dimi arrived from Eretz Yisrael, he too, cited Rebbi Yochanan
in the same way as we just did, only according to him - both Chizkiyah and
bar Kapara permitted both cases.
(d) When the Resh Galusa's men asked Rebbi Chiya Parva'ah about an egg
roasted by a Nochri - he cited Rav Dimi's version of the previous Machlokes,
concluding that an individual opinion (Rebbi Yochanan) falls away in face of
the a dual one (Chizkiyah and bar Kapara).
(e) When poor Rav Z'vid countered Rebbi Chiya Parva'ah's ruling with that of
Abaye, who ruled like Rebbi Yochanan - the Resh Galusa's men (not great
Ba'alei Midos) promptly fed him with a cup of vinegar, which killed him.
(a) The Beraisa - permits the flowers of a caper-bush, leek with heads, a
mixture called 'Metalya, boiling water and roast ears of corn of a Nochri.
(b)The first three are permitted because they can be eaten raw, the last
two - because they remain unchanged (though water ought to be permitted for
the first reason, too).
(c) Another Beraisa equates Metalya with P'shalya and with Shi'asa.
According to Rabah bar Chanah Amar Rebbi Yochanan, the recipe for Shi'asa
came from Egypt forty years earlier. Rabah bar bar Chanah himself said sixty
years earlier (only he was speaking twenty years later).
(d) It consists of a mixture of parsley, flax and fenugreek seeds - which
are initially soaked in warm water.
(a) Eventually, the mixture is placed in new barrels which one fills with
water into which one places the mixture which has been soaked in clay, until
it sprouts from the clay. One eats the shoots - after taking a bath.
(b) It turns the person who eats it cold from the hair of his head right
down to his toe-nails.
(c) We might have thought that it is forbidden because of Bishul Akum - in
the event that the Nochri soaked it in hot, instead of warm water.
(d) They claimed that the shoots will have grown from it by the time one
emerges from the bathhouse. In this connection Rav Ashi quoted a brief
comment by Rebbi Chanina. When he said ...
1. ... (according to the first version) 'Milin', he meant - that the last
statement was a lie.
2. ... (according to the second version) 'be'Milin', he meant - that it will
happen only if one chants a specific incantation.
(a) The Beraisa forbids Kuspan (the waste of dates that were used to make
beer, which one then places in boiling water) of Nochrim, which is prepared
in a large cauldron, but permits it if it is prepared in a small one -
because the walls can only exude T'reifus if the mouth of the vessel is
large enough for T'reifah foods to have been placed in it and cooked, as we
shall now see.
(b) We refute Rebbi Yanai's definition of a small cauldron as one whose neck
is too narrow to fit a small bird - because even if it is, why can the
Nochri not have cut up the bird, and cooked the pieces in it?
(c) So we amend Rebbi Yanai's definition to read - ' ... whose neck is too
narrow to fit the neck of a small bird' (since this is the smallest piece
that one would be likely to cook in the cauldron).
(d) We reconcile this Beraisa with another Beraisa which permits Kuspan even
if it was prepared in a cauldron with a wide neck - by establishing that
Beraisa like those who hold 'Nosen Ta'am li'F'gam Mutar' (which we generally
assume to be case twenty-four hours after the T'reifah foods were cooked in
it), whereas our Beraisa holds 'Nosen Ta'am li'F'gam Asur'.
(a) Rav Safra objected to Rav Sheishes' ruling forbidding cooked oil. He was
not worried ...
1. ... that they may have added non-Kasher ingredients - because they would
cause the oil to go bad?
(b) When they asked Rebbi Asi about cooked dates, the only problem he saw
was with dates that were neither sweet not bitter. Assuming they were ...
2. ... about Bishul Akum - because oil is fit to use as it is.
3. ... that the pot may have been used for T'reifus - because we hold 'Nosen
Ta'am li'Fegam, Mutar'.
1. ... sweet, he would have ruled - that they were permitted (since they
were fit to eat as they were).
(c) The problem was - with dates that were somewhere in between, and could
therefore be eaten as they were, but only 'be'Sha'as ha'Dechak' (at a
2. ... bitter, he would have ruled - that they were forbidden (because they
(d) In replying to those who posed the She'eilah - he quoted his Rebbe
(Levi) who forbade them.
(a) Rav argued with Shmuel's father and Levi regarding Shesisa'ah (a dish
made from flour of roasted grains of corn or from lentils) made by a Nochri.
Vinegar would be added to the mixture - if it was excessively sweet, which
sometimes happened when they were made with lentils.
(b) Rav permitted it, whereas Shmuel's father and Levi forbade it. According
to the first Lashon, they argue over a Shesisa'ah of lentils that is made
1. When it is made with vinegar - even Rav agrees that it is forbidden
(because it cannot be eaten without cooking).
(c) The second Lashon is more stringent than the first. According to that
2. Whereas when it consists of corn - even Shmuel's father and Levi agree
that it is permitted, since there is nothing to issue a decree on.
1. ... even lentil Shesia'ah is accepted as being forbidden (because it is
considered one decree).
(d) Among the things that Barzilai ha'Gil'adi sent David when he fled from
Yerushalayim, "Kali" is listed twice. Rav explain this - as referring to two
kind of Shesisa'ah that Barzilai sent David.
2. ... the point over which they are arguing is - whether the Chachamim
decreed Shesisa'ah made of corn on account of when it is made of lentils
(Shmuel's father and Levi) or not (Rav).
(a) Our Mishnah lists cooked dishes to which one sometimes adds wine among
the things that are forbidden to eat but Mutar be'Hana'ah. Dishes which are
known to contain wine, says Chizkiyah - are Asur be'Hana'ah, too.
(b) This is different than Muryas, which is included in the same list,
according to the Rabbanan, even though most people add wine (and it is as if
one knew for sure that wine had been added) - because (unlike Muryas where
the wine is added to remove the smell of fish), the wine is added to enhance
(c) Rebbi Yochanan permits the cooked dishes even if one knows for sure that
they contain wine. This is different than Muryas, which is Asur be'Hana'ah,
according to Rebbi Meir - because unlike Muryas, where the wine is actually
taken (as one dips one's food into it), here one tends to eat the cooked
vegetables, and leave the juice which contains the wine.