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Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Avodah Zarah 41

AVODAH ZARAH 41 - dedicated by Rabbi Kornfeld's father in memory of his aunt, Malka Gitel bas Reb Yakov Mordechai (Malvina Marmorstein), who took him into her home and raised him like her own child after the Holocaust. Her Yahrzeit is 20 Nisan.



(a) Rebbi Yitzchak bar Yosef Amar Rebbi Yochanan explains the Machlokes by stating that factually, it was the practice of the Nochri residents of Rebbi Meir's town to worship even idols that were holding nothing, once a year, and the basis of the Machlokes between Rebbi Meir and the Chachamim is - whether we contend with the minority or not ...

(b) ... Rebbi Meir forbids the empty-handed images of all other places because of those of his town (even though the latter constituted the minority), whereas the Chachamim do not.

(c) It is not *any* image that they would worship and which Rebbi Meir therefore forbids, Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel explained - only the commemorative busts of the king (which they would make following his death).

(d) According to Rabah bar bar Chanah, they are placed - at the entrance of the city.

(a) Initially, Rabah establishes the Machlokes by busts that are set up at the entrance to villages - but even Rebbi Meir will permit those that are set up at the entrance to towns - since their role is purely ornamental.

(b) We refute Rabah's statement however, on the grounds - that the busts that are set up outside, are most certainly not meant as ornaments.

(c) So we amend it to read - that those outside the villages are forbidden even according to the Chachamim, and the Machlokes between Rebbi Meir and the Chachamim refers to those outside the towns.

(a) The significance of ...
1. ... the stick (in the hands of the image) is - that it symbolizes rulership.
2. ... the bird is - that the entire world was at his command like a bird, and the same applies to ...
3. ... the ball.
(b) Besides a sword and a crown - they added a ring.

(c) These three symbolize - the power to kill, of rulership and to sentence to death.

(d) Our Mishnah did not insert them in its list - because the Tana initially took them to signify a robber, a crown-maker and the king's emissary.

(a) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel forbids the image as long as it holding something in its hand, even a clod of earth or a splinter of wood. We are unsure however, whether he incorporates a piece of dung - which might mean that all his subjects were before him as insignificant as dung, but it might also mean that he is how they see him (because he is only one individual before the entire community).

(b) The outcome of the She'eilah is - 'Teiku'.

(a) Our Mishnah rules that ...
1. ... broken pieces of image that one finds - are Mutar be'Hana'ah.
2. ... the hand or the foot of an idol - are Asur be'Hana'ah, because they are sometimes worshipped.
(b) A Tzelem (an image) is - a potential idol (which we do not know has been worshipped), whereas an Avodas-Kochavim (an idol) we know, has.

(c) According to Shmuel, the Reisha speaks even about broken pieces of Avodas-Kochavim, and the Tana mentions 'Shivrei Tzelamim' - because of the Seifa.

(d) Had the Tana mentioned 'Avodas-Kochavim' in the Reisha, we would have thought - that even the *hand or foot* of a Tzelem is permitted.

6) We reconcile the Seifa, forbidding the hand or foot of a Tzelem with the Reisha, which permits broken pieces of Tzelem - by establishing the former when they are placed on their base (a sure sign that they were worshipped).




(a) According to Rebbi Yochanan, an Avodah-Zarah that simply broke remains Asur be'Hana'ah - because the owner did not nullify it.

(b) Resh Lakish - permits it, because we assume that when he discovered what happened to it, he nullified it. If his god was not even capable of saving itself, he will have figured, how could it possibly save him?

(c) Rebbi Yochanan queries Resh Lakish from the Pasuk in Shmuel - which describes how even after the priests of Dagon (of the P'lishtim) found Dagon lying on the threshold of his temple with his hands and feet cut off - they no longer stepped on that spot.

(d) Resh Lakish will explain however - that the divine powers of Dagon had been transferred to the threshold of the temple had taken over.

(a) Rebbi Yochanan then asks on Resh Lakish from our Mishnah 'ha'Motze Shivrei Tzelamim Harei Eilu Mutarin' - implying that broken pieces of Avodah-Zarah would be forbidden (a Kashya on Resh Lakish).

(b) Resh Lakish will learn the implication differently. According to him, the Tana means - 'Ha Tzelamim Atzman, Asurim' (a S'tam Mishnah like Rebbi Meir).

(a) Based on the fact that, according to Rebbi Meir, 'Tzelamim Asurin, Ha Shivrei Tzelamim, Mutarin', we now ask on Rebbi Yochanan - why, by the same token, we do not say according to the Rabbanan ' ... Ha Shivrei Avodas-Kochavim Mutarin'?

(b) Rebbi Yochanan will answer - that whereas Shivrei Tzelamim according to Rebbi Meir is a case of 'S'fek S'feika' (maybe the idol was never worshipped, and even if it was, maybe the owner nullified it), in the case of Shivrei Avodas-Kochavim (which were definitely worshipped) there is only one Safek, in which case we will apply the principle 'Ein Safek (that perhaps the Nochri nullified the god) Motzi mi'Yedei Vaday (that it was a real Avodah-Zarah)'.

(c) We do not ask on the Rabbanan from the Rabbanan themselves, who concede that Shivrei Tzelamim (even if they are wielding a stick) are permitted (as we explained in the Mishnah) - since this is not written explicitly in the Mishnah.

(a) The Beraisa rules that, in a case where a 'Chaver' died, leaving behind a store full of crops (even assuming that they were only ready to be Ma'asered on that day) - the crops are assumed to be Ma'asered.

(b) To answer why do we not apply there too, the principle 'Ein Safek (the assumption that the Chaver Ma'asered it before he died) Motzi mi'Yedei Vaday' (that the fruit was definitely Tevel when he picked it), we quote Rebbi Chanina Chuza'ah, who says - that a Chaver has a Chazakah to Ma'aser his crops on the day that they become ready for Ma'asros. Consequently, it is really a case of 'Vaday Motzi mi'Yedei Vaday'.

(c) Alternatively, the Tana is speaking about a case of 'Safek ve'Safek', like Rebbi Oshaya - who permits a person to bring his crops into his courtyard 'still with the chaff' in order to feed his animals without having to Ma'aser them.

(d) When Rebbi Oshaya says 'be'Motz she'Lah', he means - that he has not yet winnowed the crops, because if he has, then the moment he brings them into his courtyard, he is forbidden to feed even his animals before having Ma'asered them.

(a) When Rebbi Oshaya permits animals to eat from the crops - he is referring to feeding them fixed meals. the owner himself would also be permitted to eat from the crops in the form of snacks (because the 'K'va' regarding animals has the same Din as the 'Arai' regarding people).

(b) The Tana nevertheless permits the fruit of a Chaver who died, without any restrictions - because of the Chazakah that the Chaver Ma'asered the fruit before he died (added to the fact that the prohibition to eat a fixed meal from the crops is only mi'de'Rabbanan).

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