ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Avodah Zarah 55
AVODAH ZARAH 55 (5 Iyar 5763) - Dedicated by Marsha and Lee Weinblatt of
Teaneck, New Jersey. May they see much Nachas from all of their children and
grandchildren, and may we soon merit to see the return of Hashem to Zion!
(a) Agripas - a Roman general, quoting the Pasuk "Ki Hashem Elokecha Eish
Ochlah Hu, Keil Kana", asked Raban Gamliel how it was possible for a Chacham
and a Gibor to be jealous of someone inferior to himself?
(b) Raban Gamliel answered him with a Mashal about a man who marries a
second wife - of whom his wife will be jealous specifically if she is less
important than herself, not more (because jealous in this context, really
means anger [zealousness] rather than of envy).
(a) The problem Zonin (who was a Yisrael [see Agados Maharsha]) had with
Avodas-Kochavim (which he knew was worthless) was - that he saw sick people
going to visit the idol and coming out cured.
(b) Raban Gamliel cmpared this to a reliable man to whom everyone deposited
without witnesses, except for one man who always deposited by him with
witnesses - but who once forgot and deposited without. When the guardian's
wife suggested that they take advantage of the depositor's mistake and deny
the deposit, he replied that it was not for them to lose their reliability
on account of one fool's stupidity.
(c) Likewise, Raban Gamliel explained, illnesses are sent to their
recipients under oath that they will take their leave at a given date and
time, and under specific circumstances. When that time arrives, it is not
because the fool goes to the Avodah-Zarah, that they will renege on their
(d) This also helps us to understand the Pasuk "va'Chalayim Ra'im
*ve'Ne'emanim*" - meaning that the sicknesses are bad when they come, but
reliable to take their leave when the time comes, as Rebbi Yochanan
(a) Rava bar Rav Yitzchak ask Rav Yehudah about the idol in his town - which
used to appear to the people in times of draught, with instructions to
slaughter someone, and in return, he would send rain. And that is precisely
(b) Based on the Pasuk "Asher Chalak Hashem Elokecha Osam le'Chol ha'Amim",
Rav Yehudah replied - that sometimes, Hashem uses the celestial powers that
he designated for the nations of the world to mislead them into believing
that it is they (and not He) who runs their affairs. He interprets the wod
"Chalak" as 'makes them slip'.
(c) This is similar to a D'rashah of Resh Lakish, who Darshened from the
Pasuk "Im le'Leitzim Hu Yalitz, ve'La'Anavim Yitein Chein" - that Hashem
mocks the mockers, and gives Chein to the humble, meaning that He opens the
door for those who want to sin, and helps those who want to be purified.
(a) Our Mishnah permits the purchase of a Gas Be'utah from a Nochri. A 'Gas
Be'utah' is - a wine-press that has been trodden, though the wine has not
yet run into the wine-pit.
(b) There is no problem with the fact that the Nochri takes grapes from out
of the wine in the trough and carries them to the pile of grapes that are
being pressed - because this Tana holds that it is not called wine until it
reaches the wine-pit.
(c) The Tana permits evendrinking the wine, not merely benefitting from it.
(a) If the Nochri touches the wine in the pit - then that wine is forbidden,
but not the wine that is still outside the pit.
(b) The advantage of overlaying the wine-pit with lime is - that no wine
becomes absorbed in the walls of the pit?
(a) Our Mishnah permits a Yisrael to 'tread' the wine together with the
Nochri. This is not forbidden because of ...
1. ... benefitting from Isurei Hana'ah - since, as long as the wine has not
reached the pit, it is not Asur be'Hana'ah (as we just explained).
(b) The Tana nevertheless forbids picking the grapes together with the
Nochri - because since the grapes are Tahor when they are picked, and only
become Tamei once the wine begins to emerge from them when they are already
in the wine-press, he is causing the grapes to become Tamei.
2. ... causing Eretz Yisrael produce to become Tamei - because as soon as
the Nochri treads a little of the wine, it becomes Tamei anyway, and the
Yisrael does not make it any worse.
3. ... helping a person to sin - since the Nochri has done nothing wrong.
(c) In the above cases, with regard to doing these things with a Yisrael who
is not particular about Tum'ah - even treading the grapes with him is
forbidden, because it constitutes assisting someone to sin.
(d) The Tana does however, permit carrying empty barrels *to* the
wine-press, and full barrels *from* the wine-press - because the wine is
already Tamei, and there is no prohibition that forbids placing Tamei wine
(a) Our Mishnah - forbids kneading dough and arranging it together with a
Jewish baker who is not particular about Tum'ah, because he is assisting
someone to sin.
(b) The Tana nevertheless permits - carrying the finished doughs (which are
Tamei) to have them baked, seeing as the sin has been performed, and he is
not making it any worse by doing so.
(a) Rav Huna - forbids wine that has begun to flow into the wine-pit.
(b) The problem we have with this from our Mishnah 'Lokchin Gas Be'utah ...
' is - that the Tana obviously permits the wine up to the point that it
actually reaches the wine-pit (as we explained in our Mishnah).
(c) Rav Huna therefore establishes ...
1. ... the Reisha of our Mishnah - by a wine-press which is encased,
allowing no wine to flow down to the wine-pit (until the cover is removed),
and that is how he explains ...
2. ... the continuation of our Mishnah 'Eino Oseh Yayin Nesech Ad she'Yeired
le'Bor' - in the same way.
3. ... the Seifa 'Yarad le'Bor, Mah she'be'Bor Asur, ve'ha'Sha'ar Mutar' -
like the Mishnah Rishonah (i.e. the first Lashon of the Beraisa [as we will
now proceed to explain], whereas he holds like the Mishnah Acharonah]).
(a) The Mishnah Rishonah said 'Bedad' - which is the acronym of 'Botzrin,
Dorchin and Dorchin', which we will now proceed to explain.
(b) What the Tana is then saying is 'Ein Botzrin im ha'Oved-Kochavim be'Gas,
ve'Ein Dorchin im Yisrael she'Oseh Peirosav be'Tum'ah' (exactly as we
learned in our Mishnah). The second 'Daled' ('Dorchin') comes to teach us -
'Dorchin im ha'Oved-Kochavim be'Gas' (because it is not called wine until it
actually reaches the wine-pit [not like Rav Huna]).
(a) The Mishnah Acharonah learned 'Debab', which means 'Ein *Dorchin* im
ha'Oved-Kochavim be'Gas, ve'Ein *Botzrin* im Yisrael she'Oseh Peirosav
be'Tum'ah, Aval *Botzrin* im ha'Oved-Kochavim be'Gas. The Tana holds - that
if 'Ein Botzrin im Yisrael be'Gas', how much more so 'Ein Dorchin'.
(b) This Tana argues with the Mishnah Rishonah in two points. The reasoning
behind his ruling ...
1. ... 'Ein Dorchin im ha'Akum be'Gas' - is that he holds like Rav Huna
(that the wine already has a Din of wine from the moment it begins to flow
towards the wine-pit), and it is therefore Asur because of Yayin Nesech.
(c) Even though this Tana permits causing Tum'ah to Chulin in Eretz Yisrael,
he nevertheless forbids picking the grapes and treading them together with a
Yisrael - because when the Yisrael picks them, they are Tavul for Terumah,
and it is certainly forbidden to cause Terumah to become Tamei, in which
case the Yisrael is performing a sin, and it is forbidden to assist him.
2. ... 'Aval Botzrin im ha'Akum be Gas' - because he holds 'Mutar Li'gerom
Tum'ah le'Chulin she'be'Eretz Yisrael'.