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Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Avodah Zarah 47



(a) Resh Lakish asked whether a Lulav picked from a date-palm in front of which someone prostrated himself, is permitted for the Mitzvah on Succos. There is no She'eilah in the case of a date-palm that was planted initially ...
1. ... for that purpose, even according to the Chachamim - because they concede to Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah that it is forbidden.
2. ... for personal use and later worshipped, according to Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah - because he certainly forbids it.
(b) Resh Lakish asks the She'eilah - in the latter case, according to the Rabbanan.

(c) The basis of the She'eilah is - whether, even though such a date-palm is Mutar be'Hana'ah, it might be forbidden on Succos - because it is repulsive in the eyes of Hashem (and cannot therefore be used for a Mitzvah).

(d) When Rav Dimi arrived from Eretz Yisrael, he established the She'eilah by a date-palm of Avodah-Zarah which a Nochri declared Bateil, and the question is - whether we say 'Yesh Dichuy Eitzel Mitzvos' (once an object of Mitzvah becomes Asur, it cannot become permitted).

(a) We try and resolve the She'eilah from a Mishnah in Chulin, which rules that the blood of a wild animal or a bird that was Shechted, which ...
1. ... one covered and which became uncovered again - does not require re-covering.
2. ... was initially covered by the wind - does.
(b) Rabah bar bar Chanah Amar Rebbi Yochanan qualifies the latter ruling - confining it to where it became uncovered again. Otherwise, he is Patur.

(c) Even if the wind did uncover the blood again, it is not exempt from Kisuy because of the principle 'Ho'il ve'Idchi, Idchi', Rav Papa explains - because we hold 'Ein Dichuy Eitzel Mitzvos.

(d) We cannot resolve Rav Dimi's She'eilah from Rav Papa's ruling - because we suspect that Rav Papa himself rules 'le'Chumra' because he has a Safek as to whether we say 'Ein Dichuy Eitzel Mitzvos' or not. Consequently, his ruling there will not apply here, seeing as 'Ein Dichuy Eitzel Mitzvos' would constitute a Kula concerning the Lulav-branch.

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

(a) Rav Papa asked whether the wool of a sheep which has been worshipped may be used for Techeiles, which can pertain either to the Bigdei Kehunah or to the Mitzvah of Tzitzis. The problem with learning the She'eilah in connection with ...
1. ... the Bigdei Kehunah is - that it duplicates the She'eilah already asked by Rami bar Chama earlier in the Sugya ('ha'Mishtachaveh le'Har, Avanav Mahu le'Mizbe'ach').
2. ... Tzitzis is - that it is synonymous with Resh Lakish's She'eilah ('ha'Mishtachaveh le'Dekel, Lulavo Mahu le'Mitzvah').
(b) We answer that indeed, Rav Papa did not need to ask this She'eilah, and he asked it because of another She'eilah that he asked together with it - i.e. whether the horns of the worshipped animal may be used to make trumpets, the calves to make flutes and the intestines to make strings for the harps (all for the Avodah in the Beis-Hamikdash).

(c) They might be ...

1. ... permitted, even assuming that the Techeiles for the Bigdei Kehunah is forbidden - according to the opinion that the main Mitzvah of Shirah is done with the mouth, and the instruments are only of secondary importance.
2. ... forbidden, even assuming that a Lulav from a worshipped date-palm is permitted - since their purpose is to enhance the Korbanos, it would be more loathsome to use something that had Avodah-Zarah connections.
(d) The outcome of the She'eilah is - 'Teiku'.
(a) Rabah asks whether the water of a spring that someone worshipped is eligible for the Nesachim (for the Avodah in the Beis-Hamikdash). We reject the suggestion that the She'eilah is whether one is worshipping the water or one's own reflection - because then Rabah ought rather to have asked the same She'eilah with regard to water in a dish.

(b) From the fact that he did not ask it that way, we would then be forced to assume - that he considers it Asur.

(c) So we conclude that he is in fact, worshipping the water (and not his reflection), and the She'eilah is - whether he means to worship the water in front of him (which soon passes, leaving the rest of the water in the spring Mutar, or whether he means to worship all the water in the stream.

(d) We reconcile the possibility that the spring might be Asur, with Rebbi Yochanan in the name of Rebbi Shimon ben Yehotzadak, who rules that public water cannot become Asur - by restricting the case to where the spring flows exclusively within the borders of his field.

(a) When our Mishnah speaks about someone whose wall (of his house) was 'Samuch la'Avodas Kochavim', it means - that he shares a wall with a house that was actually worshipped.

(b) In the event that his house collapses, the only option the Tana leaves him is - to rebuild his wall four Amos from the spot where it originally stood.

(c) When the Tana then adds that they go halves on the wall, he means that he may count his half of the wall in those four Amos, but not the other half.

(a) Based on the Pasuk "Shaketz Teshaktzenu", the Tana Kama declares the stones, the wood and the dust of such a Beis Avodah-Zarah that collapsed, Tamei like a Sheretz. Rebbi Akiva, based on the Pasuk "Tizarem K'mo Davah, Tzei Tomar Lo" - goes still further, declaring them Tamei like a Nidah.

(b) The practical difference between Tum'as Sheretz and Tum'as Nidah in this regard is - that the latter is Metamei be'Masa, as well as be'Maga.

(c) Tum'as Masa constitutes - anything on which the Nidah sits, even though she does not actually touch it (e.g. if she sits on ten sheets, all of them are Tamei (and the same will apply to anything on which the Avodah-Zarah is lying).




(a) The problem with the ruling in our Mishnah that requires the Yisrael to rebuild the wall four Amos within one's own domain is - that by doing so, he donates space to the Avodas-Kochavim.

(b) Rebbi Chanina from Sura resolves the problem - by establishing that one uses the intervening space as a bathroom.

(c) The problem that arises in doing so ...

1. ... by day is - that relieving oneself in the open contravenes the laws of Tzeni'us ...
2. ... even by night - seeing as Mar requires a bathroom used by night to be in the same place as the one that one uses by day.
(d) As a matter of fact, we interpret Mar's statement 'Eizehu Tzanu'a, ha'Nifneh ba'Laylah be'Makom she'Nifneh ba'Yom' to mean - (not in the same location, but) in the same way (e.g.by taking care not to uncover oneself more than necessary).

(e) We answer the current Kashya in one of two ways. One of them, that the bathroom is used for small children (who are not subject to the same stringent laws of Tzeni'us). The other - by requiring the Yisrael to put up a hedge of thorns (where the wall originally was), which will suffice for Tzeni'us purposes, without giving the Avodah-Zarah any benefit.

(a) Our Mishnah lists 'three houses'. The Tana there rules that if someone ...
1. ... builds a house in order to worship it - it is Asur.
2. ... cements a house that is already built, or carves pictures on it, on behalf of Avodah-Zarah - one has only to remove the cement or the picture (since that is what is Asur), and the house retains its status of Heter.
3. ... brought an Avodah-Zarah into a house that was already built - one has only to remove it from the house, for the house to become Mutar once more.
(b) Despite the fact that the Avodah-Zarah of a Yisrael cannot become Bateil - the house, in the middle case, will be Mutar, even if it was a Yisrael Mumar who did the cementing or the carving.

(c) In the last case, the house will be Asur, too - if he designated it for the use of the Avodah-Zarah.

(a) Rav rules that someone who prostrates himself before a house - renders it Asur.

(b) We prove from there - that in Rav's opinion, 'Talush ve'li'Besof Chibro' is considered Talush in this regard.

(c) We resolve Rav with our Mishnah, which refers to 'Ban'o', and not 'Hishtachaveh Lo' - by establishing that there are actually two cases that are Asur, one mentioned by the Mishnah, the other, by Rav.

(d) And the reason that the Tana lists three cases and not four - is because the Din in the two cases is the same (and he is listing the Dinim, not the cases).

(e) In both of the above cases, if it was a Nochri who built the house - then his Bitul helps, whereas if it was a Yisrael, then it can never become Bateil.

(a) The Mishnah also lists three cases of 'stones'. The Tana rules that someone who ...
1. ... mines a stone on behalf of Bimus (a platform that was built specifically for the idol to be placed on it (and which was worshipped in its own right) - it is forbidden (even though the idol was never actually placed on it).
2. ... cements a stone that is already built, or carves pictures on it, for Avodah-Zarah - needs only to remove what he did, for the stone to be permitted.
3. ... placed an idol on it which he then removed - the stone is permitted.
(b) In the last case, the stone will become forbidden - if he designated it for the Avodah-Zarah.
(a) When Rebbi Ami says (with regard to the middle case) 've'Hu she'Siyed ve'Kiyed be'Gufah shel Even', he means - that the Siyud ve'Kiyud only needs to be removed if it was actually done on the stone itself, but not if it was done on the cement that covers it (though it is not clear how this distinction will work with regard to 'Siyud').

(b) The problem with Rebbi Ami's ruling fromthe equivalent case of a house in previous Mishnah is - that there the pictures are done in the cement that overlays the bricks, and not on the bricks themselves (and the Tana compares the case of the worshipped stones to that of the worshipped house).

(c) We reject the suggestion that there too, the Tana speaks when he does the Siyud and the Kiyud between the rows of bricks (which is considered part of the house itself) - because the Tana states S'tam 'Siyed ve'Kiyed', implying wherever it is.

(d) So we conclude that Rav is speaking with regard to Bitul - meaning that he is not coming to preclude Siyud ve'Kiyud on the cement, but to stress that removing the Siyud ve'Kiyud, even if it was done on the actual stone itself, will permit it.

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