POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Avodah Zarah 17
1) DISTANCING ONE'S SELF FROM HERETICS
(a) R. Eliezer returned home distraught, he did not know why
Hash-m caused him to be seized; he refused to be
2) HASH-M PROTECTS TZADIKIM
1. R. Akiva: May I say something you taught me?
(b) Question: How do Chachamim (who do not expound as the
Min) expound "Me'Esnan..."?
2. R. Eliezer: Yes.
3. R. Akiva: Perhaps this was a punishment for having
benefited from heresy?
4. R. Eliezer: Indeed, I remember - a Min once asked
'May an Esnan (wages paid to a harlot) be used to
make a toilet for a Kohen Gadol'?
i. I did not answer; he answered, "Me'Esnan Zonah
Kibatzah v'Ad Esnan Zonah Yashuvu" - it comes
from filth, and returns to filth.
5. I enjoyed it, therefore I was seized;
i. Version #1: "Harchek Me'aleha Darkecha"- stay
far from ; "V'Al Tikrav El Pesach Beisah" - do
not approach the authorities (they kill people
to take their money).
ii. Version #2: "Harchek Me'aleha...." - from
heresy and the authorities; "V'Al Tikrav El
Pesach Beisah" - of a harlot.
iii. Question: How far must one stay away?
iv. Answer (Rav Chisda): Four Amos.
(c) Answer: As Rav Chisda taught.
1. (Rav Chisda): A harlot hires herself out; in the
end, she is despised, she will pay men - "Uv'Sitech
(d) R. Pedas argues with Rav Chisda (who expounded that one
must distance four Amos).
1. (R. Pedas): The 'Kirvah' (approaching) the Torah
forbids is actual relations with Arayos - "Lo
Sikrevu Legalos Ervah".
(e) When Ula would return from learning, he would kiss his
sisters' hands (some say, (the garment over their)
(f) Question: Ula himself expounded, even approaching Arayos
is forbidden - 'Lech Lech Amrin Nezira...';
1. Question:" La'Alukah Shtei Vanos Hav Hav" - what
does this mean?
(g) Question: "Kol Ba'eha Lo Yeshuvun v'Lo Yasigu Orechos
Chayim" - since (Minim) do not repent, surely they do
not attain the ways of life!
2. Version #1 - Answer (Mar Ukva): These are two groups
that scream in Gehinom (on account of their great
tortures), that say in this world 'Hav Hav (Give,
give)' - Minus and the authorities.
3. Version #2 - Answer (Rav Chisda citing Mar Ukva):
Gehinom is requesting (to receive, in order to
punish) the two groups that say in this world 'Give,
(h) Answer: Even if they do repent, they do not attain the
ways of life!
(i) Version #1 - Inference: This says that if they repent,
they will not live (from the pain of fighting the evil
inclination which became so strong in them);
(j) Question: But a woman came in front of Rav Chisda (to
repent); the lightest sin she did was having a child
through her son;
1. Rav Chisda told people to prepare shrouds for her,
but she did not die;
(k) Answer: She did not repent properly, therefore she did
2. If her lightest sin was incest, surely she had been
(l) Version #2 - Inference: Only one who was a Min, if he
repents, will not live - but one who sinned with Arayos
(m) Question: But a woman came in front of Rav Chisda, her
lightest sin was incest; Rav Chisda told people to
prepare shrouds for her, and she died!
(n) Answer: Her lightest sin was incest, surely she had been
(o) Question: Is it really true that one who sinned with
Arayos can repent and live?!
1. (Beraisa): Eliezer ben Durdiya slept with every
harlot in the world. He heard of a harlot overseas
who charged a bag of coins. He took the money and
went to her. During the act, she let off gas, and
said 'just as the gas will not return, you will not
be received if you repent'.
(p) Answer: Since he was so steeped in it, it was like
2. Eliezer sat between two mountains and asked them to
request mercy for him; they responded that they must
request for themselves - "He'Harim Yamushu...";
3. He requested from Heaven and earth, the sun, moon
and stars; each responded that it must request for
4. He realized that he must ask for himself; he put his
head between his knees and cried, and died.
5. A voice from Heaven: R. Eliezer ben Durdiya is
prepared for the world to come (without need for
6. Summation of question: His only sin was Arayos, and
he died because of his repentance!
(q) Rebbi cried: Some acquire their share in the world to
come in a moment (and therefore have a small share), some
acquire their share over the course of many years.
(r) Rebbi: Not only is repentance accepted, the penitent even
gets the title of 'Rebbi'!
(a) R. Chanina and R. Yonason were travelling. There were two
paths in front of them; one went near idolatry, the other
near harlots. One of them suggested going on the path of
idolatry, for its evil inclination was slaughtered
(through the prayer of the Great Assembly).
3) THE SALVATION OF R. ELAZAR BEN PARTA
1. The other: Rather, we should go by the harlots, and
receive reward for overcoming our evil inclinations!
(b) Question (Rabanan): What does "M'Zimah" mean?
2. When they approached the harlots, the harlots
retreated to their rooms.
3. The first one: How did you know to trust in
4. The other: "M'Zimah Tishmor Alecha Tevunah
1. Suggestion: It refers to Torah, for the translation
of "Zimah" is counsel (regarding illicit relations,
it is a sinful counsel);
(c) Answer (Rava): Rather, it means 'From a matter of Zimah,
Torah will save you'.
i. Torah is called counsel - "Hifli.Etzah Higdil
2. Rejection: If so, it should have said 'Zimah', not
(d) (Beraisa): R. Elazar ben Parta and R. Chanina ben Tradyon
were seized to be tried.
1. R. Elazar ben Parta: You are more likely to be saved
than I, they only have one claim against you, they
have five against me!
2. R. Chanina ben Tradyon: Nevertheless, you will be
saved and not me, for you engaged in Torah and
Chesed, I only engaged in Torah.
i. (Rav Huna): One who only engages in Torah is
like one who has no G-d (to protect him) -
"V'Yamim Rabim l'Yisrael l'Lo Elokei Emes".
3. Question: Is it really true that R. Chanina did not
engage in Chesed?
i. (Beraisa - R. Eliezer ben Yakov): One should
not give a Perutah to the Tzedakah pouch unless
the one appointed over it is as trustworthy as
R. Chanina ben Tradyon.
4. Answer: Indeed, we want someone as trustworthy as R.
Chanina ben Tradyon, but he himself was not
appointed over it.
5. Question (Beraisa - R. Chanina ben Tradyon): I once
collected money for (the poor for the feast of)
Purim, and I mistakenly thought it was regular
Tzedakah, and gave it as such (Tosfos - he realized
his mistake after gathering the poor to distribute
Tzedakah, but gave it anyway, he did not want to
i. Later, (Rashi - when I realized my mistake) I
donated that amount for Purim.
6. Answer: He did (Tzedakah, and surely also) Chesed,
but not as much as he should have.
(a) They charged R. Elazar ben Parta for teaching Torah and
1. R. Elazar: Surely, one who steals cannot teach
Torah! Just as one of these claims is surely false,
both are false.
2. The prosecutors: Why are you called 'Rebbi'?
3. R. Elazar: I am the teacher of weavers.
4. The prosecutors: If so, go discern between these two
balls of thread, which is warp and which is woof!
i. Hash-m sent him a sign - He made a male bee
land on the warp, and a female bee on the woof
(which is like a female, the warp in inserted
5. The prosecutors: Why don't you come to our feasts to
honor the idolatry?
6. R. Elazar: I am old, I fear being trampled.
7. The prosecutors: Many old people come, they are not
i. Hash-m caused that an old person was trampled
8. The prosecutors: Why did you free your slave, we
decreed against this!
9. R. Elazar: I did not!
10. A Roman was about to testify that he did; Eliyahu
appeared to him, in the guise of a noble.
i. Eliyahu: Every time he is saved by miracles -
also now, it will not help to testify, you will
only be shamed!
11. The Roman did not listen; he got up to testify.
i. That day, the nobles had written a letter to
the Kaiser; they picked that man to take it.
Eliyahu threw him 400 Parsa'os, so he would not
return to testify.