(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

Previous daf

Avodah Zarah 39



(a) Our Mishnah forbids Chilak, as we explained. The Beraisa permits Sultanis (which, as Rav taught, is another name for Chilak) and Afitz - which both grow scales only after they are taken out of the water.

(b) The Beraisa permits Akunas, Afunas ... and Atunas - which are all born with scales, but shed them when they are removed from the water.

(a) Rebbi Avahu announced in Caesaria that the fat of fish and their eggs purchased from Nochrim were permitted - because all the fish sold in that area were brought from Palusa and Aspamya, where there no species of non-Kasher fish.

(b) Abaye said the same about the Chilak of the River Bav. We reject the suggestion that this was because Tamei fish, which have no ...

1. ... backbone, cannot exist in such torrential rivers - on the grounds that we know that they can, and the same goes for the suggestion that they have no ...
2. ... scales, and are therefore unable to exist in such salty water.
(c) Abaye's statement was based on the fact - that the River Bav was known to breed only Kasher species of fish.

(d) According to Ravina, this concession was later revoked - when they diverted the Rivers Guza and Gamda into it.

(a) The Si'man given by ...
1. ... Abaye by which to remember that the sea-donkey is Kasher, whereas the sea-ox is not is - 'Tamei Tahor, Tahor Tamei' (meaning that the species that is Tahor on land is Tamei in the sea and vice-versa).
2. ... Rav Ashi by which to remember that the Sh'far-fish is Kasher, whereas the Kodesh-fish is not is 'Kodesh la'Hashem' (since Kodshim are generally Asur).
(b) And we will remember that the Kever-fish is not Kasher - by remembering 'Kivrei Akum' (see also Tosfos DH 'H.G Rashi').


1. Rebbi Akiva discovered that the fish they brought him in Ginzak was Kasher (even though it resembled a non-Kasher species of fish and its scales were not discernible either) - by placing it in a basket, where it shed its almost invisible scales as it wriggled around.
2. ... Rav Ashi discovered that the black eel-like fish that they brought him in Tamdurya were Kasher - by covering it on both sides with white glazed bowls, through which its minute black scales became visible.
(a) When Rabah bar bar Chanah arrived in Akra de'Agma they brought him Chilak. He desisted from eating it when he heard someone refer to it as 'Bati' - because 'Bati' is the name of a non-Kasher fish.

(b) The next morning he discovered - that there were indeed Tamei fish mixed in together with the Chilak.

(c) He applied to himself the Pasuk in Mishlei - "Lo Ye'uneh la'Tzadik Kol Aven".

(a) Our Mishnah forbids a grain of Chiltis of Nochrim because presumably, it was cut with a non-Kasher knife. In spite of the assumption that Nochri vessels have not been used within twenty-four hours, we cannot permit it based on the principle 'Nosen Ta'am li'Fegam Mutar' - because the sharpness of the Chiltis transforms the bad taste into a sweet one.

(b) After Rebbi Levi's death, they asked Rebbi Yochanan whether they were permitted to continue purchasing grains of Chiltis, as they had done during the life-time of Rebbi Levi, to which he replied - that the Eved of a Chaver is considered like a Chaver (even after the Chaver's death).

(c) Rav Huna bar Minyumi purchased Techeiles (for Tzitzis) from the wife of Rav Amram Chasida. Based on the fact that Techeiles was very expensive, and some people tended to sell a substitute (Kala Ilan) in order to increase their profits, he asked Rav Yosef - whether he could rely on an Eved to sell the real article.

(d) Rav Yosef did not know the answer, neither did Rav Masna, when the question was put to him on another occasion. Rav Yehudah from Hagrunya however, quoting Shmuel ruled - 'Eishes Chaver Harei Hi ke'Chaver, Avdo shel Chaver Harei Hi ke'Chaver'.

(a) We corroborate these rulings with a Beraisa. Regarding ...
1. ... the wife, children and members of the household of a Chaver after his death - the Tana rules ' ... Harei Hein be'Chezkasan ad she'Yechashdu' (they retain their Chezkas Kashrus until we have reason to suspect them).
2. ... a Chatzer where T'cheiles is sold, he rules - likewise.
(b) Another Beraisa states - that the wife or the daughter of an Am ha'Aretz who marries a Chaver, or if his Eved is sold to a Chaver - must accept 'Chavrus' in order to be believed. This includes an undertaking to eat their food be'Taharah and Ma'aser all their fruit.

(c) This is not necessary however, in the reverse case, where the wife or the daughter of a Chaver marries an Am ha'Aretz or if his Eved is sold to one, according to Rebbi Meir, and they are believed anyway. According to Rebbi Yehudah however, they too, must accept Chavrus before they can be believed.

(d) Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar concurs with Rebbi Yehudah, and he relates the story about the Eishes Chaver who used to tie her husband's Tefilin on his arm - until he died and she married a tax-collector (who, like most tax-collectors of that time, was a thief), and ended up tying tax-exemption discs on to his arm.




(a) Rav lists four things that require two seals (when sending them through a Nochri Sheli'ach), and four things that require only one. 'Chavis' requires two seals. The 'Ches' and the 'Beis' of 'Chavis' stand for Chalav and Basar - the 'Yud' for Yayin and the 'Tav' for Techeiles.

(b) Meat and Techeiles each require two seals due to their value, and milk will be discussed later. The reason for wine is - because the Nochrim are eager to pour it out for Avodah-Zarah.

(c) 'Champag' require only one seal. The 'Ches' stands for Chiltis and the 'Mem' for Muryas - the 'Pey' for Pas and the 'Gimel' for Gevinah.

(a) Rav Kahana takes out milk from Rav's second list and replaces it with (a piece of) fish (which has no specific shape) - because if cheese only requires one seal (because there is insufficient reason for the Nochri to exert himself to break it, reseal and forge it afterwards), why would we even think that milk would require two?

(b) Having already listed meat, he nevertheless adds fish - because 'there are two kinds of meat' (i.e. this kind of mean, has its own sub-title).

(c) Shmuel lists only three items in each group. He omits milk from the first list ...

(d) ... and bread from the second - because it is obvious (since, on the one hand ,if he exchanged fresh bread for stale bread, or wheat bread for barley bread, it would be easily noticed, and on the other, to simply exchange one loaf for another slightly superior one, would not be worth the trouble.

(a) The Beraisa forbids the purchase of 'Yemach Mecheg' in Syria (from Jewish stores) unless one buys from a 'Mumcheh' (someone whose standard of Kashrus is exemplary). One 'Mem' stands for Muryas, the other - for Melach Salkundis (or Salkundris, as we now call it).

(b) The reason for this Chumra is - because the Syrian Jewish merchants were suspected of purchasing these objects from Nochrim.

(c) The prohibition falls away if one eats as a guest of the storekeeper - since although they was not particular about the La'av of "Lifnei Iver" (causing others to sin), they were particular with regard to their own standards of Kashrus.

(d) This latter ruling supports a statement by Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi - who permits eating a portion of food that one is sent by a Balabos (because he presumably sends from the same stock as what he himself eats).

(a) Melach Salkundris bears this title - because all the bakers (which is what 'Salkundris' means) of Rome used to eat it ...

(b) ... broken up into large pieces mixed with fish-juice, which explains why the Chachamim forbade it.

(c) According to Rebbi Meir, it is the black kind of Melach Salkundris which is forbidden, and the white kind which is permitted. Rebbi Yehudah says the opposite - whilst Rebbi Chanina ben Gamliel forbids both.

(d) Rabah bar bar Chanah ascribes this triple Machlokes to - whether they would mix in black fish-juice into black Melach Salkundris, white fish-juice into white Melach Salkundris, or both.

(a) According to Rebbi Avahu quoting Rebbi Chanina ben Gamliel, one old man - used to smear Salkundris salt with pig fat, rendering it Asur irrespective.

(b) The Mishnah concludes 'Harei Eilu Asurin'. When we explain that according to Chizkiyah, this comes to preclude a case of 'Yadu'a' - we are referring to cooked foods which are known to contain vinegar or wine, and which Chizkiyah forbids even be'Hana'ah (as we learned earlier).

(c) According to Rebbi Yochanan (who argues with Chizkiyah in this point), it comes to preclude Muryas and cheese from Beis Unaiki - a S'tam Mishnah like Rebbi Meir, who forbids them even be'Hana'ah.

(a) Our Mishnah - permits partaking of milk that was milked by a Nochri but supervised by a Yisrael, honey and a bunch of grapes ...

(b) ... even if juice is dripping from the grapes (because it is not considered a liquid [e.g. as regards Machshir Le'kabel Tum'ah, as we shall see in the Sugya]).

(c) The list continues with cooked dishes of vegetables into which one does not tend to add wine or vinegar, T'ris that has not been mashed, fish-juice (with Kilchis floating inside it, a whole leaf of Chiltis and 'Zeisei G'luska'os ha'Megulgali' - olives that have been placed in a large round container for oil making, where they become hot and pressed into cakes.

(d) Finally, the Tana forbids locusts that are sold from a basket, but permits those that are taken from the storehouse - because the salesmen tend to sprinkle wine on the former (shortly before selling them), but not on the latter.

(a) We learned in a Beraisa that as long as a Yisrael is sitting beside the Nochri's herd he may drink the milk that the Nochri brings him. This cannot be speaking when there there are no non-Kasher species of animals in the herd - because then the milk would be permitted even without the Yisrael.

(b) On the other hand, even if there are, the milk is permitted (and we are not afraid that the Nochri will bring him milk from the non-Kasher species) - because he is afraid that the Yisrael will spot him in the process.

(c) The significance of the fact that the Yisrael is 'sitting' and not standing is - that, even though he cannot see the Nochri from that position, it is nevertheless permitted, because the Nochri is afraid that the Yisrael will stand up and see him at any given moment.

(d) The honey of Nochrim is permitted, because - 1. adding non-Kasher meat will cause it to go off; 2. it can be eaten as it is (so even if it were cooked it would be permitted), and 3. it is 'Nosen Ta'am li'Fegam' (as we learned with regard to oil), so even if it was cooked in T'reifah pot, it is permitted.

(a) Shamai rules in a Beraisa that grapes that are picked for wine making - are considered a liquid (and are therefore 'Machshir [food] Le'kabel Tum'ah').

(b) Hillel initially disagreed - but later conceded to Beis Shamai.

(c) We reconcile this with our Mishnah, which does not consider the juice that drips from the grapes a liquid in this regard - by pointing out that (as opposed to the case of the Beraisa), the juice goes to waste.

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,