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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Avodah Zarah 54



(a) The Beraisa rules - that if Reuven worships his own animal, it is forbidden, but that if Shimon worships it, it is permitted.

(b) We learned in another Beraisa 'Eizehu Ne'evad, Kol she'Ovdim Osah Bein be'Shogeg, Bein be'Meizid, Bein be'Ones u'Bein be'Ratzon'. In view of the previous Beraisa, Rami bar Chama interprets 'Bein be'Ones' to mean - that Nochrim forced Reuven to prostrate himself before his own animal.

(c) Rebbi Zeira however, queries Rami bar Chama's explanation from the Pasuk - 've'la'Na'arah Lo Sa'aseh Davar' (which teaches us the principle 'Ones Rachmana Patreih').

(d) Rava solves the problem by reconciling two Pesukim. He establishes the Pasuk ...

1. ... "va'Chai Bahem" - by someone who worships idols in private (see Tosfos DH 'Ha be'Tzin'ah').
2. ... "ve'Lo Sechalelu es Sheim Kodshi" - by someone who does so in public ('be'Farhesya' [which is also how the Beraisa is speaking]).
(a) The Beraisa rules that Bimsi'os of Nochrim (on which Yisre'elim were forced by decree to sacrifice) following the nullification of the decree - remain forbidden.

(b) Rava himself refutes the proof from here for his previous ruling (regarding 'O'nes be'Farhesya') - on the grounds that the reason here might well be because of the likelihood that some Yisre'eilim actually worshipped it on purpose.

(c) Rav Ashi goes even further than Rava. According to him - it is inevitable that at least one Yisrael, seeing Yisrael at the losing end, worshipped it on purpose.

(a) Chizkiyah establishes 'Bein be'Ones' in the Beraisa to mean that someone else performed an act of worship on his animal against his will. Nevertheless, the animal will become Asur - because it is speaking when the worshipper performed an act (by pouring wine to his god between the animal's horns).

(b) When Rav Ada bar Ahavah asked on this 'Hai Ne'evad Hu? Hai Bimus be'Alma Hu, he meant - that this would still not render the animal Asur, seeing as in spite of the act of worship, he neither worshipped the animal nor did he turn it into a sacrifice.

(c) So Rav Ada bar Ahavah amended Chizkiyah's interpretation of 'Bein be'Ones' to read - that he worshipped the animal by pouring wine between the animal's horns.

(d) And he supports this explanation with a statement of Ula Amar Rebbi Yochanan, who said (when he came from Eretz Yisrael) that, despite the fact that if Reuven prostrated himself before Shimon's animal, he would not render it Asur, he would - if he actually performed an act on the animal.

(a) Rav Nachman announced - that someone should report to Ula that Rav Huna had effectively already issued the identical ruling in Bavel (as the that he [Ula] quoted in the name of Rebbi Yochanan).

(b) Rav Huna in fact, ruled that, in a case where Shimon's animal was crouching in front of an image - and Reuven Shechted one Siman (one of the two pipes that constitute a Kasher Shechitah), he renders the animal Asur. (c) We cannot learn this from ...

1. ... the Pasuk forbidding Kohanim who had been forced to serve as priests for Avodah-Zarah, to serve any more in the Beis-Hamikdash - because we cannot learn a K'nas on inanimate objects from one issued against people, who have Seichel.
2. ... the stones of the Mizbe'ach, which the Chashmona'im hid, because the Greeks had worshipped them - since there we found a Pasuk in Yechezkel, which declared them Hefker (as Rav Papa explained earlier).
(d) Rav Huna derived his ruling from the vessels which Achaz forsook, and which Chizkiyahu and his Beis-Din forbade forever.

(e) We do not apply the principle 'Ein Adam Oser Davar she'Eino she'Lo' to those vessels - because an act had been performed with the stones, as we explained above.




(a) When Rav Dimi arrived from Eretz Yisrael, he quoted Rebbi Yochanan as saying, that even though someone who worships Karka *does not* render it Asur - if he digs holes in it for the sake of his god, he *does*.

(b) When Rav Shmuel bar Yehudah arrived from Eretz Yisrael, he quoted Rebbi Yochanan as saying - that, even though someone who worships an animal *does not* render it Asur, if he exchanges it for an Avodah-Zarah - he *does*.

(c) And when Ravin came from Eretz Yisrael, he cited a Machlokes between Rebbi Yishmael b'Rebbi Yossi and the Rabbanan with regard to Chalipei Chalipin of Avodah-Zarah. One of them learns from the Pasuk in Va'eschanan ...

1. ... "*Vehayisa* Cheirem Kamohu" - that whatever one creates from an Avodah-Zarah, even Chalipei Chalipin, becomes Asur.
2. ... "Ki Cheirem *Hu*" - that *it* is Asur, but not its Chalipei Chalipin.
(d) The first Tana learns from "Hu" to preclude (not Chalipei Chalipin of Avodah-Zarah, but) - Chalipei Orlah and K'lai ha'Kerem.
(a) The Tana who learns Chalipei Chalipin from "Hu" claims that we do not require a Pasuk to preclude Chalipei Orlah and K'lai ha'Kerem, because we already know it from Avodah-Zarah and Shevi'is - due to the principle 'Sh'nei Kesuvim ha'Ba'in ke'Echad, Ein Melamdin' (if the Torah teaches a principle in two places, it must be to preclude it elsewhere).

(b) We learn from ...

1. ... the Pasuk "Ki Yovel Hi, Kodesh Tih'yeh Lachem"- that Shevi'is is compared to Kodesh, whose Kedushah is transferred to whatever one purchases it with.
2. ... the word "Tih'yeh" - that whereas with Kodesh, the Kodesh article then becomes Chulin, by Shevi'is, it too, remains Kodesh.
(c) Consequently, if someone swaps Sh'mitah fruit ...
1. ... for a piece of meat - both have the Din of Sh'mitah and must (for example) be eaten before the time of 'Bi'ur'.
2. ... for a piece of meat, the piece of meat for a fish, the fish for a bottle of wine and the bottle of wine for a bottle of oil - then the fruit remains Kadosh, and the bottle of oil becomes Kadosh too, whereas the meat, the fish and the wine go out to Chulin.
(d) The Tana who requires "Hu" to preclude Chalipei Orlah and K'lai ha'Kerem argues with the Tana who learns this from 'Sh'nei Kesuvin ha'Ba'im ke'Echad' (from Avodah-Zarah and Shevi'is) - in that he holds 'Sh'nei Kesuvim ha'Ba'in ke'Echad, Melamdin'.
(a) When the Romans asked the elders why, if Hashem does not want idolatry, He does not ...
1. ... destroy them, they replied - that seeing as they worship the sun, moon and stars, how could Hashem destroy something which the world cannot do without? Hashem would not destroy His world on account of the fools.
2. ... at least destroy those idols that the world does not need, they replied - that doing so would only lend credence to those who worship the sun,, moon and stars, claiming that their gods escaped the Divine wrath.
(b) The Beraisa (quoting the elders) adds - that the world continues to take its course, and the fools will have do give Din ve'Cheshbon for their deeds.

(c) The Beraisa then gives a parable of someone who ...

1. ... steals a Sa'ah of wheat and plants it in the ground - where according to the questioner, the seeds ought not to grow, only the world continues to run its course ... .
2. ... commits adultery with another man's wife - where according to the questioner, she ought not to become pregnant, only the world continues to run its course ... .
(d) Resh Lakish commented on this final point - that not only do they allow anyone access to form Hashem's stamp of creation, but they also trouble Him to add His seal (by forming the baby against His will [Kevayachol])).
(a) Based on the Pasuk "Ki Hashem Elokecha Eish Ochlah Hu", a philosopher once asked Raban Gamliel - why Hashem directs His zealousness against those who worship idols and not against the idols themselves.

(b) Raban Gamliel replied with a parable of a prince who called his dog after his father - even going so far as to swear 'by the life of my dog Aba'. Is it not obvious, he concluded, that it is with his son with whom the king will be angry, not with the dog?

(c) The philosopher become angry with Raban Gamliel - for comparing his god to a dog, when he was really a genuine deity.

(d) And to prove it - he related the episode of a conflagration that burned his entire city, with the sole exception of his god's house of worship.

(a) Raban Gamliel responded to the philosopher's tale - with the parable of a king whose country rose in rebellion. With whom would the king engage in battle, with those who were living or with those who were dead?

(b) The philosopher, horrified at now hearing his god referred to as a corpse as well, asked Raban Gamliel why Hashem did not then destroy it from the world - to which Raban Gamliel replied like the Tana'im mentioned above, namely, that most Avodah-Zaros comprise bodies that the world needs ...

(c) ... adding that sometimes they even worship people. Should he perhaps kill them too?

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