ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Avodah Zarah 42
(a) After the Shifchah of a certain Meitzik (tough guy) in Rimon threw her
miscarriage into a pit - a Kohen (who was also a Posek) came and peeped in
the pit to ascertain whether the baby was a boy or a girl - to know how many
days Tum'ah and Taharah she had to keep.
(b) The Chachamim declared the Kohen, Tahor - on the basis of the Chazakah
that there are weasels and martens there, and that one of them probably
dragged it into it into its burrow.
(c) The problem this creates with our Sugya, which holds 'Ein Safek Motzi
mi'Yedei Vaday' - is why this too, is not a case of 'Safek Motzi mi'Yedei
(d) We therefore amend the statement ...
1. ... 'she'Hitilah Nefel le'Bor' - by adding the word 'Safek' before
'Nefel', turning it into a case of 'Safek ve'Safek'.
(e) Alternatively we might answer the Kashya, without amending the Beraisa
at all - by establishing that it is not a Safek that a weasel ... might
have dragged the Nefel into its burrow, but a Vaday (and is therefore a case
of 'Vaday u'Vaday'.
2. ... 'Leida Im Zachar Im Nekeivah' - by adding the words 'Im Ru'ach
Hipilah Im Nefel Hipilah' to the Safek.
(a) Resh Lakish (who permits an Avodas-Kochavim that broke by itself) will
explain our Mishnah 'Matza Tavnis Yad ... Harei Eilu Asurin' - like Shmuel,
who establishes it when the hand or the foot was found on its base (as we
explained on the previous Daf).
(b) The Beraisa rules that the Avodah-Zarah of a Nochri that is nullified by
1. ... another Nochri - is permitted.
(c) Abaye reconciles Resh Lakish with this latter statement by establishing
the Beraisa by Pachsah (with a 'Samech'), meaning - that they did not break
up the image into pieces, but smashed it with a mallet until it lost its
shape (which is why, in the case of a Yisrael, it remains forbidden).
2. ... a Yisrael - remains forbidden
(d) And when the Mishnah later states 'Pachsah af-al-Pi she'Lo Chasrah,
Batlah', Abaye explains - that is when it is performed by a Nochri (by whom
there is no difference between 'Pachsah' and 'Shavrah').
(a) According to Rava, Pachsah is considered Bitul min ha'Torah, even at the
hands of a Yisrael, and the Beraisa which does not acknowledge the Bitul of
a Yisrael - speaks mi'de'Rabbanan, who decreed ...
(b) ... for fear that the Yisrael might acquire the Avodah-Zarah, in which
case Bitul will not be effective min ha'Torah.
(c) 'Mar-Kulis' is - the name of an idol whose form of worship was to throw
a stone on to the accumulating pile.
(d) The Beraisa rules that if a Nochri brings stones from Mar-Kulis and used
them to pave roads or theaters - a Yisrael is permitted to derive benefit.
(a) The Beraisa forbids the same case if the stones are brought by a
Yisrael - because of the decree cited earlier by Rava.
(b) The basis of the decree in this case is - that the Yisrael might lift up
the entire pile of stones, before removing those that he intends to use for
(c) If a Nochri were to nullify the Avodah-Zarah of a Yisrael - it would
remain Asur be'Hana'ah.
(a) If an Avodah-Zarah is filed down ...
1. ... by a Nochri for the shavings - the Beraisa permits both the idol and
(b) Rebbi Yossi in a Beraisa permits an Avodah-Zarah made of metal that a
Yisrael grinds and scatters in the wind or casts in the sea. Based on the
Pasuk, "ve'Lo Yidbak be'Yadcha Me'umah min ha'Cherem" (forbidding every
vestige of Hana'ah), the Chachamim forbid it because the particles will
manure the fields.
2. ... by a Nochri to enhance the appearance of the Avodah-Zarah - then the
Tana forbids the idol but permits the filings.
3. ... by a Yisrael - then either way, the Tana forbids both.
(c) Rebbi Yossi ben Yasian rules that if someone finds an imageof Darkon (in
the shape of a dragon) with its head cut off, assuming ...
1. ... it is a Safek whether a Yisrael did it or a Nochri - then it is Mutar
be'Hana'ah (because it is a S'fek S'feika [maybe it was never worshipped,
and even if it was, maybe it was a Nochri who nullified it]).
(d) According to Resh Lakish, the Avodah-Zarah is Asur in all of these
cases - because of the decree cited earlier by Rava.
2. ... we know for sure that a Yisrael did it - it is Asur be'Hana'ah.
(a) The Tana Kama in a Mishnah later will permit planting vegetables
underneath an Asheirah (a tree that is worshipped) in the winter, when the
shade of the tree is bad for the growing vegetables. Rebbi Yossi disagrees -
on the basis of the falling leaves, which serve as manure for the
(b) What reason do we initially give to explain why the fallen leaves do
not fall under the category of an Avodah-Zarah that broke by itself, in
which case, according to Resh Lakish, Rebbi Yossi ought not to have
forbidden the vegetables?
(c) We refute this answer however, based on the Beraisa that we learned a
little earlier, permitting the Avodah-Zarah from which the Nochri filed
shavings for himself (even though the Avodah-Zarah retained its basic
(d) So Rav Huna b'rei de'Rav Yehoshua reconciles Resh Lakish with Rebbi
Yossi in the Beraisa - with the new principle that an Avodas-Kochavim cannot
become Bateil if the Bitul comes about through a natural process (such as
leaves falling off a tree).
(a) The Beraisa rules with regard to a bird's nest that is perched on top of
a tree of Hekdesh 'Lo Nehenin ve'Lo Mo'alin'. The reason that there is no
Me'ilah if one did is - because the prohibition is only mi'de'Rabbanan.
(b) The Tana suggests that if there is a nest that is perched on top of an
Asheirah-tree and that one needs as firewood - one tips it off with a stick.
(c) One cannot simply climb the tree and take it down - since that would
constitute deriving benefit from the Asheirah-tree.
(a) Assuming that the bird made the nest with twigs from the tree itself,
Resh Lakish asks on Rebbi Yochanan from this Beraisa - which permits the
nest to be used (when according to Rebbi Yochanan it ought to be Asur).
(b) We answer that the nest was made of twigs that the bird brought from
elsewhere, and prove this from the Reisha - which exempts the one who
benefits from the Hekdesh-tree from Me'ilah d'Oraysa.
(c) This seems to prove Rebbi Yochanan right. Resh Lakish however, abides by
his explanation (that the wood came from the Hekdesh-tree) attributing the
fact that there is no Me'ilah - to the fact that the twigs used by the bird
for its nest, grew only after the tree was declared Hekdesh, and the Tana
holds 'Ein Me'ilah be'Gidulin' (what grows after the initial declaration of
Hekdesh, is not subject to Hekdesh).
(a) Rebbi Avahu Amar Rebbi Yochanan explains the Seifa 'Yatiz be'Efrochim' -
meaning that it is not the nest that he tips off the tree, but the
fledglings (which are definitely not Asur be'Hana'ah). In this way ...
(b) ... he avoids having to learn like the first answer (that the bird made
the nest out of wood that came from elsewhere) - which is a Dochek (a pushed
(c) He establishes the Reisha - when the nest is made from twigs from the
Hekdesh-tree but which grew only after the declaration of Hekdesh .... like
Resh Lakish explains.
(a) According to Rebbi Yochanan, the Seifa switches to the case of the
fledglings, since the Din (of 'Lo Nehenin') of the nest regarding Asheirah
is obvious - because if the nest of Hekdesh is Asur mi'de'Rabbanan, then the
nest of an Asheirah-tree (whose twigs will always be Asur) is even Asur min
(b) The Tana did not insert the nest of the Asheirah-tree together with that
of a Hekdesh-tree - because the Din of 'Lo Mo'alin' is not applicable to it.
(c) The Chidush in the Seifa, seeing as the nest is indisputably Mutar
be'Hana'ah, is - that we do not decree on using a stick to tip the
fledglings out, because he might then climb the tree to fetch them.
(a) Someone who finds vessels with a picture of the Mazel of the sun, the
moon or Darkon painted on them (see Maharam) - should throw them into the
(b) The author (who draws a distinction between some things and others) must
be the Chachamim in the previous Mishnah - who consider some things that
image is holding to be more important than others, and not Rebbi Meir who
doesn't (see Maharam).
(c) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel differentiates between pictures on important
vessels and pictures on plain ones (as will be explained in the Sugya).
(a) If someone Shechts an animal in the name of seas, rivers, mountains,
hills, deserts, the sun, the moon, or the Mazalos, says the Beraisa - it is
as if he Shechted 'Zivchei Meisim' (an analogy describing idol-worship).
(b) The Tana also includes - Micha'el the Great Angel and a little worm.
(c) Abaye explains - that whereas on the one hand all the things listed in
the Beraisa are worshipped, it is only those that are listed in our Mishnah
that the people consider important enough to paint on vessels and worship.
Other pictures are intended to be purely ornamental.
(a) When we say 'Rav Sheishes Mankit Chumri Masniyasa', we mean - that he
collected difficult Mishnahs (or Beraisos) to try and explain them.
(b) One such Beraisa permits all Mazalos except for those of the sun or
moon. The Tana states there that all ...
1. ... (images of) faces - are permitted except for human ones.
2. ... all images - are permitted except for that of Darkon.
(a) We initially think that the above Beraisa cannot be referring to
somebody who makes one of the images listed there - because bearing in mind
the Pasuk "Lo Sa'asun Iti", which prohibits making an image of the servants
that serve before Hashem, why does the Beraisa then not include these in the
(b) The four images incorporated by the Pasuk are - the ox, the eagle, the
lion and man (which is already listed anyway).
(c) If, on the other hand, we establish the Beraisa by when he *find* the
image, the problem will be - why the Tana then forbids the face of a man,
when our Mishnah restricts the prohibition to the image of Darkon.
(d) So we re-establish the Beraisa by someone who *makes* the image, and the
Drashah of "Lo Sa'asun Iti" goes like Rav Huna b'rei de'Rav Yehoshua (see
Sugya 42b) - who restricts the four images to one image incorporating all
four, whereas the Beraisa is talking about individual images.