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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Avodah Zarah 48



(a) Our Mishnah lists three 'Asheiros'. The Tana rules that, in the case of a tree which one planted initially ...
1. ... as an Asheirah - the tree is forbidden.
2. ... for one's personal use, and then cut down and carved for that what then grows to be worshipped - one needs only to remove what subsequently grew.
(b) Whereas if one simply placed an Avodah-Zarah underneath a tree - then the moment it is removed, the tree becomes Mutar.

(c) The problem with de'bei Rebbi Yanai, who, commenting on the middle case, requires that one actually grafts into or transplants, a branch of an Asheirah into the tree itself, for the Isur to need to be removed is - that our Mishnah specifically writes 'Gid'o u'Pislo', and says nothing about grafting or transplanting.

(d) So we amend de'Bei Rebbi Yanai's statement to refer (not to the Isur, but) to Bitul, to teach us that even following grafting or transplanting, Bitul of what subsequently grew is sufficient (and it is not then necessary to be Mevatel the entire tree).

(a) Shmuel rules that if someone prostrates himself before a tree, the Tosefes (that what grows later) is forbidden. Rebbi Elazar asks on him from our Mishnah which talks about 'Gid'o u'Pislo le'Shem Avodas-Kochavim' - implying that unless one makes such a change in the tree, the Tosefes is permitted.

(b) To answer Shmuel, we establish our Mishnah like the Rabbanan (who hold 'Ilan she'Not'o, ve'li'Besof Avdo, Mutar) - whereas Shmuel holds like according Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah, who holds 'Asur'.

(c) Rav Ashi queries this however. Perhaps they will both agree that what subsequently grows is forbidden, he suggests, and the basis of their Machlokes is as follows.

1. Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah learns from "ve'Ashereihem Tisrefun ba'Eish" - that two kinds of Asheiros are Asur be'Hana'ah; 1. one that was initially planted as an Asheirah, and 2. one that was planted for the owner's personal use and worshipped afterwards.
2. The Rabbanan learn from "ve'Ashereihem Tegade'un" - that the Torah forbids only what grows after it has been cut, but not the original tree.
(d) According to the Rabbanan, "*ve'Ashereihem* Tisrefun ba'Eish" (in the plural) - refers to all the Asheiros in the world (provided they were planted originally as Asheiros).
(a) According to Rav Ashi, we will explain the Sugya above, where Rebbi Yossi learned that Nat'o ve'li'Besof Avdo Asur from "ve'Ashereihem Tegade'un" and the Rabbanan from "va'Ashereihem Tisrefun ba'Eish" - by switching the opinions of Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah and the Rabbanan.

(b) We try to reject Rav Ashi's explanation on the grounds that according to him, our Mishnah would not go like either Tana. It would not go like ...

1. ... the Rabbanan - because, according to them, the Tosefes would be Asur even without 'Gid'o u'Pislo'.
2. ... Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah - because, according to him, even the original tree is Asur, so why does he need to mention the Tosefes.
(c) But we finally establish the Mishnah according to either Tana. The author might be ...
1. ... Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah - who is coming to teach us that in this case, the original tree is Mutar, since 'Gid'o u'Pislo' indicates that he intends to worship the Tosefes, and not what was there before.
2. ... the Rabbanan - who are coming to teach us that the original tree is Mutar even by 'Gid'o u'Pislo', where he performed an act on the tree.
(a) The Tana Kama of our Mishnah defines Asheirah as any tree under which there is an Avodas-Kochavim - whereas Rebbi Shimon forbids the tree only if it is actually worshipped.

(b) With regard to a tree in Tzidon which was worshipped, and under which they found a pile of stones, Rebbi Shimon instructed the people - to examine the pile.

(c) He then permitted the tree - because they found an image hidden in the pile (in which case the tree was not worshipped).

(a) We query our Mishnah's question 'Eizehu Asheirah' from the previous Mishnah, which listed and defined three kinds of Asheirah (and not four). And we answer - that the Mishnah is teaching us that the third category listed above (where there was an Avodas-Kochavim under the tree) is subject to a Machlokes between the Tana Kama and Rebbi Shimon.

(b) In answer to the question 'Eizo Hi Asheirah S'tam', Rav replies that it is a fruit-tree under which the priests sit and decline to eat its fruit. According to Shmuel however - it is sufficient if they declare those dates to be dedicated to 'bei Nitzrefi' (the name of an idol), in which case they add beer into the dates, even though they drink it on their festival.

(c) The elders of Pumbedisa said to Ameimar - 'Hilchesa ki'Shemuel'.




(a) Our Mishnah - prohibits sitting in the shade of an Asheirah (see Tosfos DH 'Lo Yeishev').

(b) Based on the continuation of the Mishnah 've'Im Yashav Tahor' - the Tana must be referring to sitting in the shade that extends outside the tree (and not underneath it).

(c) The Mishnah then forbids passing underneath the branches of an Asheirah. Someone who did - is Tamei.

(d) The Tana adds that if the branches of the tree overhang a public domain, he remains Tahor - because the Isur is only mi'de'Rabbanan.

(a) It is obvious that sitting in the shade of an Asheirah is forbidden, so Rabah bar bar Chanah Amar Rebbi Yochanan establishes our Mishnah by Tzeil Tzilah ...
1. ... the shade that stretches beyond that of the actual height of the tree, as opposed to ...
2. ... 'Tzeil Komasah - which is the shade that stretches outside the tree, but only the distance equivalent to the actual height of the tree.
(b) We cannot extrapolate from Rebbi Yochanan that if someone sits be'Tzeil Komasah, he is Tamei - because the Tana needs to present the case of Tzeil Tzilah, to teach us that even that is Asur Lechatchilah.

(c) In the second Lashon, we query the Seifa 've'Im Yashav Tahor', which seems to be obvious. This time, Rabah bar bar Chanah Amar Rebbi Yochanan answers - that in fact, the Seifa is speaking in a case of 'be'Tzeil Komasah'.

(d) We cannot however, extrapolate from here that sitting be'Tzeil Tzilah is permitted - because the Tana needs to present the case of Tzeil Komasah, to teach us that even there the person who sat there is Tahor.

(a) Our Mishnah prohibits passing underneath an Asheirah - because there are bound to be sacrifices of Avodah-Zarah there.

(b) The author of our Mishnah must therefore be Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseira, who learns from the Pasuk "va'Yitzamdu le'Ba'al Pe'or, Va'yochlu Zivchei Meisim" - that sacrifices of Avodas-Kochavim are Metamei be'Ohel like Meisim.

(a) In response to the She'eilah whether 'Ve'avar Tachtehah' with regard to a public domain is specifically 'Bedi'eved', or whether it is even permitted 'Lechatchilah', Rebbi Yitzchak ben Elazar in the name of Chizkiyah rules even 'Lechatchilah' - whereas Rebbi Yochanan accepts the wording of the Mishnah as it stands.

(b) When we say 've'Lo P'ligi', we mean - that Rebbi Yochanan speaks when there is an alternative route (see Tosfos DH 'I de'Ika'), whereas Chizkiyah speaks when there is not.

(c) The problem with Rav Sheishes, who instructed his servant to run past such a spot was - that 'mi'Mah Nafshach', if there was another route, then why did he permit him to use that one (even on condition that he ran); and if there was not, then why did he tell him to run?

(d) We conclude that there was in fact, no other route, yet Rav Sheishes instructed him to run - because in his capacity as Rav Sheishes' servant, he was an important man, who is expected to be more Machmir in matters that are liable to cause suspicion than others.

(a) We already discussed the next Mishnah earlier, where the Tana Kama permits sowing vegetables under an Asheirah in the winter, but not in the summer - though he forbids sowing lettuce even in the winter (since the shade is always good for lettuce).

(b) Rebbi Yossi forbids even vegetables in the winter - because the leaves that drop off the tree make good manure for them.

(a) Bearing in mind that the ground, as well as the fallen leaves, cause the vegetables to grow, the basis of the Machlokes between the Tana Kama and Rebbi Yossi is - whether 'Zeh ve'Zeh Gorem, Asur' (Rebbi Yossi), or 'Mutar' (the Rabbanan).

(b) Rebbi Yossi learned earlier in the Perek that one may grind an Avodah-Zarah and scatter its dust in the wind. The Rabbanan - prohibit this because the dust will then settle and manure growing plants ...

(c) ... from which it seems that the Rabbanan are the ones to hold 'Zeh ve'Zeh Gorem Asur', whilst Rebbi Yossi holds 'Mutar' (posing a Kashya on our Mishnah)?

(d) We resolve the discrepancy in Rebbi Yossi with ease - by differentiating between the dust, which basically dissipates on the one hand, and the leaves, which settle on the ground and remain intact.

(a) Left with a discrepancy in the Rabbanan, we initially kill two birds with one stone - by switching the opinions in our Mishnah (Rebbi Yossi permits planting vegetables in the winter and the Rabbanan forbid it).

(b) If that is so - we will be forced to discard our previous explanation in Rebbi Yossi (differentiating between the dust and the leaves).

(c) Alternatively, leaving our Mishnah intact, we answer the Kashya on the Rabbanan by citing Rav Mari b'rei de'Rav Kahana, who explains that one may not flay Pesulei ha'Mukdashin beginning with the legs (despite the fact that this method preserves the skin), one may not do so - because what one gains with the skin, one loses with the flesh (which becomes spoilt by employing this method [and it is forbidden to cause Hekdesh a loss]).

(d) In our case too, the Rabbanan hold that what the vegetables gain from the leaves, they lose from the shade of the tree (in which case there is no Gorem Lehachmir, and it does not fall into the category of 'Zeh ve'Zeh Gorem').

(a) In fact, the Rabbanan hold - 'Zeh ve'Zeh Gorem Asur' (like Rebbi Yossi).

(b) In a Mishnah in Orlah, Rebbi Yossi permits planting a branch of Orlah, but not a nut of Orlah.
The basis for this distinction is - the fact that it is the fruit of Orlah exclusively which the Torah forbids, and not the wood.

(c) According to Rav Yehudah Amar Rav, Rebbi Yossi holds - that Bedi'eved, where one did plant the nut, it is permitted, because he holds 'Zeh ve'Zeh Gorem, Mutar'.

(d) We support this with a Beraisa, which maintains - that Rebbi Yossi concedes that if one planted, grafted or transplanted the nut, the tree that subsequently grows is permitted.

(a) Alternatively, we might interpret 'she'Im Nata ve'Hivrich ve'Hirkiv, Mutar' to mean (not 'or', but) 'and', meaning that after he planted the nut and it grew, he then grafted or transplanted it.

(b) The problem with this is - why it is necessary to add that he grafted or transplanted it, seeing as the planted nut is already a case of 'Zeh ve'Zeh Gorem', even if he didn't (see Tosfos DH 'she'Im Nata').

(a) To answer this discrepancy between Orlah and Avodah-Zarah - we explain that Rebbi Yossi is stringent in our Mishnah due to the Chumra of Avodah-Zarah (otherwise he holds 'Zeh ve'Zeh Gorem Mutar').

(b) One Beraisa permits a field that has been manured with manure of Avodah-Zarah - and the same applies to a cow that was fattened with oats of Avodah-Zarah.

(c) Another Beraisa - requires the field to be left fallow, and the cow to be starved until it becomes thin.

(d) We reconcile the first Beraisa with the current Sugya (where even Rebbi Yossi concedes 'Zeh ve'Zeh Gorem Asur' by Avodah-Zarah) - by establishing the author as Rebbi Eliezer (which we will now set out to prove).

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