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 48
1) NULLIFICATION OF TREES THAT WERE WORSHIPPED
(a) (Mishnah): There are three laws of Asheiros forbidden on
account of idolatry:
1. If a tree was originally planted to be worshipped,
it is forbidden;
(b) (Gemara - d'vei R. Yanai): (The tree is forbidden) only
if he was Marchiv (put shoots into the ground for new
growth) or grafted onto it.
2. If one cut it (leaving the stump) or the branches in
order to worship the new growth, if the new growth
is removed, the tree is permitted;
3. If idolatry was put under it and removed, the tree
(c) Objection: But the Mishnah says, if he cut it or the
(d) Correction: Rather, d'vei R. Yanai taught that even if he
was Marchiv or grafted onto it, when the new growth is
removed, the tree is permitted.
1. One might have thought, since he was Marchiv or
grafted onto the tree itself, it is as if the tree
was originally planted for idolatry, and the entire
tree is forbidden - he teaches, this is not so.
(e) (Shmuel): If one bows to a tree, the future growth is
(f) Question (R. Elazar - Mishnah): If one cut it or the
branches, if the new growth is removed, the tree is
1. Future growth is forbidden only if he cut it or the
branches, not if he worshipped it!
(g) Answer #1 (on behalf of Shmuel): The Mishnah is like
Chachamim, my law is according to R. Yosi b'Rebbi
Yehudah, who says that if a tree was planted, and later
it was worshipped, it is forbidden.
(h) Objection (Rav Ashi): Why must we say that Chachamim and
R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah argue whether or not future
growth is forbidden, and Shmuel's law is according to R.
Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah?
1. Perhaps all agree that future growth is forbidden,
they argue whether or not the previous growth is
forbidden (and Shmuel's law is according to
(i) (Mishnah) Question: What is an Asheirah?
2. R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah learns that the previous
growth is forbidden from "Va'Ashereihem Tisrefun
3. Chachamim learn that previous growth is forbidden
from "Va'Ashereihem Tigade'un";
i. The verse discusses a tree whose stump is
permitted but the growth is forbidden, i.e. it
was planted and later worshipped.
4. Question: Above, we explained just the contrary
(each learns from the other verse)!
5. Answer: Indeed, we can explain similarly to above
after switching the opinions (the Beraisa did not
say how each expounded)!
6. Question: If so, who taught our Mishnah, which says
that future growth is forbidden only if he cut it or
i. According to Chachamim, it is forbidden even if
he did not cut anything;
7. Answer #1: The Mishnah can be like R. Yosi b'Rebbi
Yehudah - he only said that the entire tree is
forbidden when it was worshipped normally;
ii. According to R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah, if he cut
it or the branches, even the initial growth is
i. If he cut it or the branches, he shows that he
only wants to worship future growth, the
initial growth is permitted!
8. Answer #2: The Mishnah can be like Chachamim - they
teach when he cut it or the branches, for this is a
i. One might have thought, since he did an action
to the tree itself, the entire tree is
forbidden - the Mishnah teaches, this is not
(j) Answer #1: A tree with idolatry under it;
(k) Answer #2 (R. Shimon): A tree that is worshipped.
1. A case occurred, where people worshipped a tree;
there was a pile underneath it. R. Shimon commanded
to search the pile; they did, and they found an
(l) (Gemara) Question: Why does the Mishnah ask 'What is an
Asheirah?'? The previous Mishnah taught this (and it gave
three examples, not just one)!
2. R. Shimon: They were worshipping the image, the tree
(m) Answer: Our Mishnah means, of the three Asheiros, all
agree that two are forbidden, R. Shimon and Chachamim
argue about one of them;
1. What is the Asheirah that they argue about?
Chachamim forbid even a tree with idolatry under it,
R. Shimon only forbids tress that are worshipped.
(n) (New) question: If we do not know about a tree, how do we
know if it is an Asheirah?
(o) Answer #1 (Rav): If the priests (of idolatry) sit under
it and do not eat its fruits, it is an Asheirah.
(p) Answer #2 (Shmuel): Even if they say, 'The fruits are for
Bei Nitzrefei (an idol)', the tree is forbidden, for they
make beer from the fruits and drink it on their festival.
(q) (Ameimar): The Halachah follows Shmuel.
2) SITTING OR PASSING UNDER AN "ASHEIRAH"
(a) (Mishnah): One may not sit in its shade; if he sat, he is
3) PLANTING UNDER AN ASHEIRAH
(b) One may not pass under it; if he did, he is Tamei;
1. If its foliage was overhanging a public domain and
he passed under it, he is Tahor.
(c) (Gemara) Version #1 - Question: Obviously, he may not sit
in its shade!
(d) Answer (Rabah bar bar Chanah): The Mishnah teaches that
one may not sit in a weak shadow (a morning or evening
shadow which is longer than the tree's height).
1. Inference: The Mishnah discusses a weak shadow - but
if he sat in a strong shadow (a shadow no longer
than the tree's height) he is Tamei!
(e) Version #2 - Question: Obviously, if he sat in its shade,
he is Tahor!
2. Rejection: No, even then he is Tahor;
i. The Mishnah teaches, one may not sit in its
shadow, even a weak shadow.
(f) Answer (Rabah bar bar Chanah): The Mishnah teaches that
even if he sat in a strong shadow, he is Tahor.
1. Inference: The Mishnah discusses a strong shadow -
but l'Chatchilah, one may sit in a weak shadow!
(g) (Mishnah): One may not pass under it; if he did, he is
2. Rejection: No, even that is forbidden;
i. The Mishnah teaches, even if one sat in a
strong shadow, he is Tahor.
(h) Question: Why is he Tamei?
(i) Answer: Surely, something under the tree was offered to
idolatry; the Mishnah is like R. Yehudah ben Beseira.
1. (Beraisa - R. Yehudah ben Beseira): Something
offered to idolatry has Tum'as Ohel - "...Vayochelu
(j) (Mishnah): (The foliage was overhanging a public domain;)
if he passed under it, he is Tahor.
i. Just as a dead body has Tum'as Ohel, also
something offered to idolatry.
(k) Question: Does the Mishnah say '*if* he passed under it
(b'Diavad)', or 'he *may* pass under it (l'Chatchilah)'?
(l) Answer #1 (R. Yitzchak ben Elazar): It says 'He may
(m) Answer #2 (R. Yochanan): It says 'If he passed'.
(n) They do not argue - if there is another path (no longer
than this), it is forbidden to pass under; if there is no
other path, it is permitted.
(o) Rav Sheshes (was blind, his servant would transport him.
He) told his servant 'When we pass under the Asheirah,
(p) Question: What is the case?
1. If there is no other path, it is permitted, he need
(q) Answer: Really, there was no other path; an important
person should be stringent to hurry.
2. If there is another path, it is forbidden even if he
(a) (Mishnah): One may plant vegetables under it in winter
(when its shade is bad for them), but not in summer;
1. One may not plant lettuce under it in summer or
winter (shade is always good for lettuce).
(b) R. Yosi says, even vegetables are forbidden in winter,
because the leaves fall and fertilize them.
(c) (Gemara) Inference: This implies that R. Yosi says that
Zeh v'Zeh Gorem (if something results from two (or more)
causes, and one of the causes is forbidden, the result)
is forbidden (e.g. vegetables that are fertilized by the
Asheirah leaves and the soil), and Chachamim permit it;
(d) Contradiction: Elsewhere, each holds just the opposite!
1. (Mishnah - R. Yosi): One should grind up (idolatry)
and throw the dust to the wind, or cast it to the
(e) Answer #1 - part 1 (for R. Yosi): R. Yosi permits
throwing dust of idolatry to the wind, because it will be
scattered and not fertilize anything (Tosfos; Rashi - the
idolatry was nullified by grinding it up);
2. Chachamim: No, this will fertilize the ground (that
it is deposited on), and we may not get any benefit
from idolatry - "Lo Yidbak b'Yadcha Me'umah Min
1. Question: How can we answer for Chachamim?
(f) Answer #2: The opinions must be switched.
(g) Completion of Answer #1: The opinions are not switched;
we answer for R. Yosi like above;
1. Answer #1 - part 2 (for Chachamim): We explain
Chachamim through Rav Mari's reasoning.
2. (Rav Mari brei d'Rav Kahana): (Even though a hide is
worth more if it is flayed from the legs, we do not
allow this regarding blemished Kodshim, for it is
bad for the meat; even though we want to make the
redemption value as great as possible,) the gain to
the hide is offset by the loss to the meat.
3. Here also, the gain on account of the leaves
(fertilizer) is offset by the loss on account of the