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Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Avodah Zarah 45

AVODAH ZARAH 45 (25 Nisan) - dedicated by Sandy and Les Wiesel in memory of Les's father, Menachem Yehuda ben Avigdor Yosef Wiesel, who perished in the Holocaust.



(a) When the Tana Kama of our Mishnah extrapolates from the Pasuk "Lo Sachmod Kesef ve'Zahav Aleihem ... '
1. ... 'Hein Mutarin', he means - that not only may one derive benefit from the mountains as they are, but that one may even mine a piece of mountain and make use of it.
2. ... 'u'Mah she'Aleihen Asurin', he means that the silver and gold with which the Cana'anim would cap the mountain-tops is forbidden.
(b) In spite of the first D'rashah, someone who worships a mountain is Chayav - since his intention is to serve Avodah-Zarah.

(c) Rebbi Yossi Hagelili learns from the Pasuk "Eloheihem ... al he'Harim ... ve'al ha'Gevahos" - 've'Lo he'Harim ve'ha'Gevahos Eloheihem' (that the mountains themselves are permitted).

(d) Despite the fact that Asheiros are also attached to the ground, Rebbi Yossi Hagelili forbids them (in spite of the potential D'rashah "ve'Sachas Kol Eitz Ra'anan", 've'Lo Eitz Ra'anan Eloheihem') - because of the Pasuk in Re'ei "va'Ashereihen Tegade'un".

(a) In light of the Pasuk "va'Ashereihen Tegade'un", Rebbi Akiva Darshen "ve'Sachas Kol Eitz Ra'anan" - as an indication of where the idols of Cana'an were to be found (wherever there was a tall mountain or a high hill, with a leafy tree on it), to assist Yisrael in their obligation to search and destroy all the idols.

(b) The initial problem with the opinion of Rebbi Yossi Hagelili is - that seeing as he agrees that the mountains themselves are Mutar ba'Hana'ah, in which point does he argue with the Tana Kama?

(c) According to Rami bar Chama Amar Resh Lakish, they argue over 'Tzipuy Har', which Rebbi Yossi Hagelili permits - because it is Bateil to the mountain.

(d) And in his opinion, even though the word "Aleihem" (the Tana Kama's source to forbid 'Tzipuy Har') immediately follows "Pesilei Eloheihem", it pertains to "Pesilei Eloheihem" that is mentioned earlier in the Pasuk.




(a) According to Rav Sheishes however, even Rebbi Yossi Hagelili agrees that 'Tzipuy Har' is not considered part of the mountain and is therefore Asur - and their Machlokes is confined to a tree that was not planted as an Asheirah, but was worshipped after it grew, which the Tana Kama permits and Rebbi Yossi Hagelili forbids.

(b) And we deduce this from Rebbi Yossi Hagelili himself, who gives the reason for the Isur because 'man's hand is involved' (i.e. the tree did not grow by itself, but because someone planted it), which is why it does not have the Din of 'Mechubar'.

(c) Even the Rabbanan will concede that 'T'fisas Yedei Adam' will render the tree Asur - in the event that it was planted initially as an Asheirah.

(a) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah Darshens "Eloheihem al he'Harim" and "va'Ashereihem Tisrefun ba'Eish" like Rebbi Yossi Hagelili, and he Darshens "ve'Sachas Kol Eitz Ra'anan" - like Rebbi Akiva (as an indication where to find the Avodah-Zarah of the Cana'anim, as we explained earlier).

(b) And we know that he too, forbids a tree that was planted for one's private use and designated as Asheirah later - because if he permitted it, he would have learned it from "Tachas Kol Eitz Ra'anan", which he then have Darshened that accordingly).

(c) The Rabbanan learn from "va'Ashereihen Tisrefun ba'Eish" - that an Asheirah that was planted originally as an Asheirah, is forbidden.

(d) But surely, we ask, Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah also needs the Pasuk for that (rather than for 'Ilan she'Nat'o ve'li'Besof Avdo')? And we answer - that indeed, he does.

(a) In fact, we conclude, Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah learns that even 'Ilan she'Nat'o ve'li'Besof Avdo' is Asur, from the Pasuk "va'Ashereihem Tegade'un" - because "Tegade'un" implies cutting down what grew later, whilst leaving the original tree intact.

(b) And when he quoted the Pasuk "va'Ashereihem Tisrefun ba'Eish", he meant - that if the Torah had not written "va'Ashereihem Tisrefun ba'Eish" (to forbid a tree that was planted initially as an Asheirah), we would have learned it from "va'Ashereihem Tegade'un", implying that if one planted it originally for personal use and then dedicated it as an Asheirah, it would be permitted (like the Rabbanan).

(a) The Rabbanan, who permit a tree that is planted initially for personal use, explain "va'Ashereihem Tegade'un" like Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi, who learns from "va'Ashereihem Tegade'un" - that when Yisrael first entered Eretz Yisrael, they initially cut down the main part of the tree, without bothering to uproot it completely, until such time as they had completed the conquest of Cana'an.

(b) "ve'Nitatztem es Mizbechosam" means - to demolish the Mizbechos (to take the stones apart), "ve'Shibartem es Matzevosam" - to smash the stones to pieces.

(c) A Beraisa cited by Rav Yosef states ' "ve'Nitatztem es Mizbechosam" Ve'hanach, "ve'Shibartem es Matzevosam". We object to this text on the basis - of the obligation to burn Avodah-Zarah (so how can the Tana say 'Ve'hanach'?)

(d) To resolve the apparent contradition between the two Pesukim, Rav Huna interprets ve'Hanach' to mean temporary, and what the Pesukim are saying is 'first to demolish the Mizbechos, and then, after pursuing and defeating their enemies, to smash them completely.

(a) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah learns from the Pasuk in "Abeid Te'abdun" - what the Rabbanan just learned from 've'Ashereihem Tegade'un".

(b) The Rabbanan learn from there - that when destroying idols, one must destroy them completely (down to the roots).

(c) Whereas Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah learns - that from the Pasuk there "Ve'ibadtem es Sh'mam min ha'Makom ha'Hu"?

(d) The Rabbanan learn from there - the obligation to call Avodah-Zarah by a derogatry name.

(a) Rebbi Eliezer in a Beraisa learns the obligatation to totally destroy Avodah-Zarah from "Ve'ibadtem es Sh'mam", whereas Rebbi Akiva learns it from - "Abeid Te'abdun".

(b) Rebbi Akiva learns from ...

1. ... "Ve'ibadtem es Sh'mam min ha'Makom ha'Hu" - the obligation to call Avodah-Zarah by a derogatory name.
2. ... the Pasuk there "Shaketz Teshaktzenu Ve'Sa'eiv Tesa'avenu Ki Cheirem Hu" - that it is insufficient to just change its name, but that it must be a derogatry one, as we explained.
(c) They would change the name of an idol by the name of 'Beis Galya' which has connotations of a high place, to 'Beis Karya', which means - a lowly pit.

(d) They would call an idol by the name of 'Ein Kol' - 'Ein Kotz'.

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