ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Avodah Zarah 19
(a) According to Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni Amar Rebbi Yonasan, the Pasuk
"Ashrei ha'Ish" (that we discussed earlier), refers to Avraham Avinu. "Atzas
Resh'im" refers to the Dor Haflagah, whereas ...
1. ... "Derech Chata'im" refers to - S'dom, and ...
(b) We know that the men of P'lishtim were Letzanim (jesters/mockers) -
from the Pasuk in Shoftim (in connection with Shimshon) "Va'yehi ke'Tov
Libam, Va'yomru Kir'u le'Shimshon Vi'yesachek Lanu" (an invitation to the
captured Shimshon to 'jest' for them).
2. ... "Moshav Leitzim" to - the P'lishtim.
(c) Rebbi Amram Amar Rav learns from the Pasuk in "Ashrei ha'Ish Yarei es
Hashem" - that it is considered praiseworthy to do Teshuvah whilst one is
still a man (meaning in one's prime), and not wait until one becomes old.
(a) According to Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi, "Ish" comes to teach us the
praiseworthiness of the *one who overcomes his Yetzer-ha'Ra* when he is
young. He extrapolates from the continuation of the Pasuk "be'Mitzvosav
Chafetz Me'od" - that it is Mitzvos that one should want, and not their
reward (which is forthcoming anyway) ...
(b) ... as we learned in the Mishnah in Pirkei Avos 'Do not be like servants
who serve their master in order to receive reward. Be like servants who
serve their master not in order to receive reward (but out of love for
(c) Rebbi (or a S'tam Beraisa) learns from the continuation of the earlier
Pasuk "Ki Im be'Soras Hashem Cheftzo" - that one should learn whatever one
(a) Levi and Rebbi Shimon b'rei de'Rebbi had just fiinshed learning a Seifer
with their Rebbe (Rebbi). Levi wanted to begin learning Mishlei - Rebbi
Shimon preferred Tehilim.
(b) Rebbi Shimon manged to convince Levi, and they began learning Tehilim.
The moment however, they arrived at the Pasuk "Ki Im be'Soras Hashem
Cheftzo" - Rebbi taught them the explanation that we just cited, and Levi
remarked that Rebbi had effectively given him permission to leave,
(a) Rava explained the Pasuk "Ki Im be'Soras Hashem Cheftzo" like Rebbi. Rav
Avdimi bar Chama Darshened it to mean - that Hashem carries out the needs of
those who study Torah.
(b) Rava Darshens from the change ...
1. ... of person, from "Soras Hashem" to "u've'Soraso Yehegeh ... " - that
although initially, the Torah is Hashem's, once a person has studied it, it
(c) And from ...
2. ... from "Soras Hashem" to "u've'Soraso Yehegeh ... " - that one should
first learn the entire text with his Rebbe, and only then, should he begin
to elaborate (because one's Rebbe will not always be available to answer all
one's questions first time round, and one lacks the basic knowledge to deal
with them oneself).
1. ... the Pasuk "Garsah Nafshi le'Sa'avah", he Darshens - that one should
learn even if one does undertand fully what he is learning, like grain that
is only partially ground (which is what "Garsah" means).
(d) Similarly, the change from ...
2. ... the change from one Pasuk "al Gapei Meromei Kares" to "al Kisei
Meromei Kares" in another Pasuk, he learns - that Talmidim should learn, if
need be, even if their understanding is unstable (like a bird's wings).
Later, it will become more solid (like a chair). Alternatively, one should
first learn alone (like "Im be'Gapo Yavo" [Mishpatim]), and later, one will
1. ... "al Rosh Meromim" to "Alei Derech" we Darshen to mean - that one
first learns in the alleyways (out of sight), and later, in public, where
many Talmidim will learn from him.
2. ... "Sh'sei Mayim mi'Borcha" to "ve'Nozlim mi'Toch Be'ercha" Ula Darshens
to mean - that initially, a Talmid will drink the limited supply of water
from his pit. Later, he will merit to drink from a fountain (whose supply is
(a) Rava Amar Rav S'chorah Amar Rav Huna learns from the Pasuk "Hon me'Hevel
Yim'at, ve'Kovetz al Yad Yirbeh" - that rather than learning vast quantities
of Gemara without revision, one should learn little by little, and
constantly revise it.
(b) Rava lamented the fact that the Rabbanan were aware of this Limud, yet
they chose to ignore it - Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak claimed that he practiced
it and succeeded in his learning.
(c) Rebbi Shizbi in the name of Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah explained the Pasuk
"Lo Yachroch, Remiyah Tzeido". He interpretted ...
1. ... "Remiyah Tzeido" to mean - that he tricks people into thinking that
he is a great Talmid-Chacham, by accumulating huge amounts of knowledge (by
learning vast quantities of Gemara without revision) ...
(d) When Rav Dimi arrived from Eretz Yisrael, he Darshened the Pasuk in
rhetoric form. According to him, the Pasuk means - that surely someone who
is cunning and revises the little that he learns at one time, will remember
what he learns ...
2. ... and "Lo Yachroch" means - that he will not live long (the acronym of
'Yichyeh ve'Ya'arich'), due to the fact that he will forget his learning
(and the Torah writes "Ki Hu Chayecha ve'Orech Yamecha" with regard to those
who learn and revise).
(e) ... just like a clever hunter scorches the wings of the birds that he
catches so that they should not fly away, ending u with a large catch.
(a) The Pasuk in Tehilim (currently under discussion) continues "Ve'hayah
ke'Eitz Shasul al Palgei Mayim". It uses the word "Shasul" and not
"Natu'a" - because the former (as opposed to the latter) refers to a tree
that is planted temporarily in one spot, which will later be transplanted to
a better location. Likewise, one should learn from one Rebbe and then from
another ... , and not learn everything from one Rebbe.
(b) de'Bei Rebbi Yanai says that someone who learns from one Rebbe - will
not see a Si'man B'rachah in his learning.
(c) Rav Chisda told his Talmidim before teaching them the Meimra of de'Bei
Rebbi Yanai - that he was afraid that what he was about to teach them would
result in their leaving him to go and learn with another Rebbe ...
(d) ... which is precisely what they did.
(e) When Rav Chisda's Talmidim joined Rabah's Yeshivah, he qualified the
Meimra of de'Bei Rebbi Yanai - by confining it to learning Iyun (S'vara,
since it is advantageous to hear the S'varos of different Rebbes), but not
to Beki'us (the learning of text, because a Talmid who hears different
versions of the same text from diferent Rebbes will only become confused).
(a) Rebbi Tanchum bar Chanila'i learns from the continuation of the Pasuk
"Ve'hayah ke'Eitz Shasul *al Palgei Mayim*" - that one should divide one's
life's learning ('Shenosav') into three, a third, Chumash, a third, Mishnah
and a third, Gemara.
(b) We object do this however - in that nobody really know when he is going
(c) So we amend it from years into - days, meaning that one divide one's
into three: two weekdays, Chumash; two, Mishnah and two, Gemara (see also
Tosfos DH 'Yeshalesh Adam').
(a) Rava ...
1. ... explains the Pasuk "Asher Piryo Yiten be'Ito ve'Aleihu Lo Yibol" to
mean - that one's learning will not flounder only if one fixes times to
learn (and not just whenever one has time).
(b) Alternatively, "Piryo Yiten be'Ito" might refer, not to learning without
fixed times, but - to learning theory without putting it into practice. And
this is the preferred explanation.
2. ... correlate this with the Pasuk "Lo Chein ha'Resha'im ki Im ka'Motz
Asher Tidfenu Ru'ach" - by ascribing it to both a Rebbe and a Talmid who do
not make their learning a fixture, as we explained.
(c) According to Rebbi Aba Amar Rav Huna Amar Rav, the Pasuk "Ki Rabim
Chalalim Hipilah" refers to a Talmid who Paskens (issues rulings) even
though he is unqualified to do so - and "Va'atzumim Kol Harugehah" to
someone who is qualified to Pasken, but doesn't.
(d) "Va'atzumim" - means that he keeps his mouth shut (like "Otzem Einav" in
(a) When Rabah died, he was - forty years old.
(b) A Talmid is considered fit to Pasken - from the age of forty.
(c) Nonetheless, Rabah Paskened in his lifetime - because he was on a par
with the greatest Talmidei-Chachamim of his time.
(a) Rav Acha bar Ada Amar Rav (or Rav Acha bar Aba ... Amar Rav) interprets
the next phrase "ve'Aleihu Lo Yibol" to mean - that one can even learn from
the Talmid-Chacham's 'idle chatter' (which is to his Torah as the leaves of
a tree are to the fruit).
(b) The Pasuk concludes "ve'Chol Asher Ya'aseh Yatzli'ach". Rebbi Yehoshua
ben Levi explains - that this Pasuk from Kesuvim, together with the Pesukim
"u'Shemartem es Divrei ha'B'ris ha'Zos ... Lema'an Taskilu es Kol Asher
Ta'asun" (in Nitzavim [Torah]), and "Lo Yamush Seifer ha'Torah ha'Zeh
mi'Picha ... Ki Az Tatzli'ach es Derachecha ve'Az Taskil" (in Yehoshua
[Nevi'im]) - form a triumvirate which teach us that Hashem blesses a person
who learns Torah, with material success.
(a) When Rebbi Alexandri arrived in town, he announced - 'Who wants life?
Who wants life'?
(b) When the people came to discover the prescription - he simply quoted
them the Pasuk "Mi ha'Ish he'Chafetz Chayim ... Netzor Leshoncha me'Ra",
which is the true elixir of life.
(c) This cannot mean that a person can attain the greatest heights by going
to bed and sleeping all day - because the Pasuk continues "Sur me'Ra va'Asei
Tov ... ". In other words, after running away from evil, one remains
obligated to do good (by which the Pasuk means to learn Torah).
(d) And we know that "Tov" refers to Torah - because of the Pasuk in Mishlei
"Ki Lekach Tov Nasati Lachem Torasi Al Ta'azovu".
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that one must stop building upon reaching the
archway of the bathhouse. We ask - why Rebbi Elazar Amar Rebbi Yochanan
finds it necessary to allow the builder to receive payment for his work, in
the event that he did build it, seeing as it is only Tashmishei Avodah-Zarah
(an accessory of Avodah-Zarah, and not Avodah-Zarah itself).
(b) And this Kashya goes both according to Rebbi Akiva and Rebbi Yishmael,
who argue over - when the Avodah-Zarah of a Nochri becomes Asur immediately
(Rebbi Akiva) or only after he worships it (Rebbi Yishmael).
(c) Rebbi Yirmiyah therefore establishes the case with regard to the
manufacture of the Avodah-Zarah itself, which is permitted - because it was
made on behalf of a Nochri, but would be forbidden if it was made on behalf
of a Yisrael.
(d) The problem with this explanation is that it follows the opinion of
Rebbi Yishmael (but not that of Rebbi Akiva (who holds the opposite [and
there is no indication that our Mishnah is subject to a Machlokes]).
(a) Rabah bar Ula finally establishes the case with regard to payment for
the last hammer-blow, which is permitted - because it is not worth a P'rutah
(see Tosfos DH 'Alma').
(b) And the Chidush is - that this Tana holds 'Yeshnah li'Sechirus
mi'Techilah ve'Ad Sof' (that a worker acquires his wages as he works, and
not only at the end [like other Tana'im who hold 'Einah li'Sechirus Ela
(c) Our Mishnah forbids manufacturing various types of rings as ornaments
for Avodah-Zarah. We erase the wording 'Rebbi Eliezer Omer bi'Shechar
Mutar' - because nobody would permit such a thing.
(d) The Tana Kama forbids selling to Nochrim whatever is joined to the
ground, but permits whatever has been detached.
(e) According to Rebbi Yehudah - it will sufice for the purchaser to
undertake to detach what he buys from the ground.