ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Avodah Zarah 43
AVODAH ZARAH 43 (23 Nisan) - dedicated by Mr. Avy Reichman of Queens, NY,
l'Iluy Nishmas his father, Dovid ben Avraham, on the day of his Yahrzeit.
(a) We infer from the Pasuk "Lo Sa'asun Iti ... " - that one is permitted to
make a picture of Darkon.
(b) We therefore establish the Seifa of Rav Sheishes' Beraisa 've'Chol
ha'Tzuros Mutaros Chutz mi'Tzuras Darkon' by - Motze.
(c) Abaye - accepts the fact that 'Reisha ('Mazalos') ve'Seifa ('Tzuros')
be'Motze, u'Metzi'asa ('Pirtzufin') be'Oseh'.
(d) Rava establishes the Beraisa entirely by 'Motze', only he establishes
the Metzi'asa according to Rebbi Yehudah, who adds 'D'mus Menikah ve'Sar
Afis' to the list of found vessels with pictures that are prohibited.
1. 'D'mus Menikah' - refers to an image of Chavah (who mothered the world)
(e) In order to be prohibited, the first picture must include - a woman
feeding her baby, the second, a man holding scales and measuring.
2. ... and 'Sar Afis' - to Yosef, who came out of prison and sustained the world.
(a) According to Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar - Darkon must have fins (or hair)
between its joints.
(b) Rebbi Asi demonstrated - between the joints of the neck.
(c) Rebbi Chama b'Rebbi Chanina rules like Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar.
(a) Rabah bar bar Chanah related an episode that occurred with Rebbi
Yeshoshua ben Levi, who once saw Rebbi Elazar ha'Kapar 'B'rivi' find a ring
with the picture of a Darkon painted on it, in the street. 'B'rivi' means -
an important man.
(b) He did not in fact, pick up until the Nochri had nullified it.
(c) When ...
(d) Besides the fact that a Nochri can even nullify his friend's god, and
that he can be forced to nullify it against his will, we also learn from
there - that only one who understands what the god is can nullify it.
- ... he passed a little Nochri boy - he did nothing.
- ... the Nochri whom he asked to nullify it, refused - he slapped his face, and the Nochri complied.
(a) Rebbi Chanina expressed great surprise at Rebbi Elazar ha'Kapar, based
on a Beraisa, which rules - that if someone saves a lost article from the
clutches of a lion ... , a torrential river, a tidal wave, or who finds it
on a major thoroughfare - may keep it because the owner has definitely been
Meya'esh (given up hope).
(b) Assuming that Ye'ush automatically incorporates Bitul, Rebbi Chanina
therefore thought - that seeing as Rebbi Elazar ha'Kapar found the ring in a
public street, the owner obviously gave up hope, and was Mevatel it (in
which case any further Bitul was unnecessary).
(c) Abaye reconciles Rebbi Elazar ha'Kapar with that Beraisa however - by
differentiating between Ye'ush from the ownership of the article (which
there was) and Ye'ush from its divine power (which there was not).
(d) In fact, the owner believes that, even a Yisrael finds it, it will still
be worshipped - because, due to its great value, he will sell it to a
Nochri, to continue worshipping it.
(a) Raban Gamliel used to test the witnesses who came to testify that they
had seen the new moon on Rosh Chodesh - by comparing their description with
pictures of different shapes and sizes of the moon which he had drawn on a
board in his attic.
(b) The problem with that is, in view of the Pasuk "Lo Sa'asun Iti" - how
could he do that?
(c) Abaye reconciles Raban Gamliel with this Pasuk - by confining the
prohibition to images of things that can be constructed here (as we shall
(a) The Beraisa forbids making a replica of the Heichal, the Ulam and the
Azarah - the Shulchan or the Menorah.
(b) The latter is permitted - on condition that one makes it with less or
more than seven branches.
(c) It is also forbidden to make a Menorah of other metals besides gold.
(d) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi is even more stringent - including even a Menorah of
wood in the prohibition.
(a) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah proves his point from the fact that, at a
time of poverty, the Chashmona'im made a Menorah of wood. The Chachamim
counter-claim - that the Menorah in question was really made of iron and
overlaid with tin.
(b) When the Chashmona'im became ...
1. ... a little more wealthy - they made a Menorah of silver.
(c) We just permitted pictures of the sun and moon, because they cannot be
copied here on earth. Abaye reconciles this with the Beraisa which forbids
making a replica of the servants who serve before Hashem (the four creatures
that support Hashem's Throne, as we explained earlier) - by confining that
to the four images that are joined together on one base (as they are in
2. ... more wealthy still - they made one of gold.
(a) According to what we just learned, it appears that a human face alone is
permitted, yet the Beraisa that we discussed on the previous Daf
specifically forbids it. Rav Huna b'rei de'Rav Idi learned from Abaye that
it is forbidden - from the Pasuk "Lo Sa'asun Iti", which he Darshened 'Lo
Sa'asun Osi' (and Hashem [Kevayachol] is sometimes depicted as an Adam).
(b) Abaye reconciles Raban Gamliel with the Beraisa forbidding all those
that serve before Hashem, such as the Ofanim, the Serafim, the Chayos
ha'Kodesh and the other angels - by restricting that D'rashah to those that
serve in the upper Heaven.
(c) And he reconciles this with the Beraisa that Darshens the Pasuk "Asher
ba'Shamayim mi'Ma'al", 'Lerabos Chamah u'Levanah ... ' - by establishing it
(not by making it, but) by worshipping it.
(d) And we learn from the same Pasuk ...
1. ... "Asher ba'Aretz" - to include seas, rivers, mountains and hills in
2. ... "mi'Tachas" - to include even a tiny worm.
(a) Abaye is forced however, to retract from his interpretation of Raban
Gamliel, by a Beraisa. The four items that the Tana incorporates in "Lo
Sa'asun Iti" that proves Abaye wrong are - the sun, the moon, the stars and
(b) Abaye finally explains - that the pictures on Raban Gamliel's
black-board were drawn by Nochrim (and not by Rabban Gamliel, as we
(c) The reason that Shmuel instructed Rav Yehudah to destroy the picture
that someone had made for him on his signet ring was - because the picture
protruded (and people might suspect him of actually worshipping it).
(d) That is why the Beraisa forbids someone with a signet-ring with a
protruding picture to wear it. With regard to ...
1. ... using it to stamp in wax - the Tana permits it (since the stamp will
2. ... wearing and stamping with a signet-ring, if the picture is sunken -
the Tana permits wearing it, but forbids stamping with it.
(a) What was unusual about the Beis-ha'K'nesses in Shaf ve'Yasiv (in
Neherda'a), the Shul where Shmuel's father and Levi used to Daven was - the
fact that it contained an image.
(b) Shmuel's father and Levi were nevertheless able to Daven there - because
'Mar'is ha'Ayin' is only applicable to a Yachid, but not to a Tzibur.
(a) Even though Raban Gamliel was only a Yachid, he was able to have
pictures of the phases of the moon in his attic - because, due to the fact
that he was the Nasi, there were always many people there, giving him the
Din of a Tzibur.
(b) Alternatively, we answer, 'di'Perakim Hava'i' - meaning that the
pictures of the moon, were actually made of plates, which Raban Gamliel only
constructed for the brief period that he needed them. At all other tomes,
they were dismantled, and 'Mar'is ha'Ayin' was not therefore applicable.
(c) Alternatively, we answer the basic Kashya on Raban Gamliel with the
Pasuk "Lo Silmad La'asos ke'So'avos ha'Goyim ... " - from which we infer
that, although it is forbidden to learn the ways of the Nochrim (including
making images that are not meant to be worshipped) in order to emulate them,
it is permitted to do so in order to understand them for the purpose of
(a) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel in our Mishnah qualifies the prohibition of
vessels with a picture of the sun, the moon or of Darkon - permitting
vessels that he terms 'Mevuzin' (inferior).
Rebbi Yossi in our Mishnah, permits grinding a god made of metal and
scattering it in the wind. The Chachamim - quoting in support the Pasuk "Lo
Yidbak be'Yadcha Me'umah min ha'Cherem", forbid it, since they say, people
will derive benefit from the dust in the form of manure for the fields.
(b) According to Rav, if the picture is above the level of the water, it
falls under the category of 'Mechubadin' (Chashuv), whereas if it is below
that, it is considered 'inferior'. In Shmuel's opinion however - both of
these fall under the category of 'inferior'.
(c) It is ornaments such as bracelets, nose-rings and finger-rings - that he
considers Chashuv in this regard.
(d) In the Beraisa that supports Shmuel, two items that the Tana adds to
cauldrons, pots and kettles, that fall under the category of 'inferior',
are - blankets and cloths.