ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Avodah Zarah 47
(a) Resh Lakish asked whether a Lulav picked from a date-palm in front of
which someone prostrated himself, is permitted for the Mitzvah on Succos.
There is no She'eilah in the case of a date-palm that was planted initially
1. ... for that purpose, even according to the Chachamim - because they
concede to Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah that it is forbidden.
(b) Resh Lakish asks the She'eilah - in the latter case, according to the
2. ... for personal use and later worshipped, according to Rebbi Yossi
b'Rebbi Yehudah - because he certainly forbids it.
(c) The basis of the She'eilah is - whether, even though such a date-palm is
Mutar be'Hana'ah, it might be forbidden on Succos - because it is repulsive
in the eyes of Hashem (and cannot therefore be used for a Mitzvah).
(d) When Rav Dimi arrived from Eretz Yisrael, he established the She'eilah
by a date-palm of Avodah-Zarah which a Nochri declared Bateil, and the
question is - whether we say 'Yesh Dichuy Eitzel Mitzvos' (once an object of
Mitzvah becomes Asur, it cannot become permitted).
(a) We try and resolve the She'eilah from a Mishnah in Chulin, which rules
that the blood of a wild animal or a bird that was Shechted, which ...
1. ... one covered and which became uncovered again - does not require
(b) Rabah bar bar Chanah Amar Rebbi Yochanan qualifies the latter ruling -
confining it to where it became uncovered again. Otherwise, he is Patur.
2. ... was initially covered by the wind - does.
(c) Even if the wind did uncover the blood again, it is not exempt from
Kisuy because of the principle 'Ho'il ve'Idchi, Idchi', Rav Papa explains -
because we hold 'Ein Dichuy Eitzel Mitzvos.
(d) We cannot resolve Rav Dimi's She'eilah from Rav Papa's ruling - because
we suspect that Rav Papa himself rules 'le'Chumra' because he has a Safek as
to whether we say 'Ein Dichuy Eitzel Mitzvos' or not. Consequently, his
ruling there will not apply here, seeing as 'Ein Dichuy Eitzel Mitzvos'
would constitute a Kula concerning the Lulav-branch.
(e) The outcome of the She'eilah is 'Teiku'.
(a) Rav Papa asked whether the wool of a sheep which has been worshipped may
be used for Techeiles, which can pertain either to the Bigdei Kehunah or to
the Mitzvah of Tzitzis. The problem with learning the She'eilah in
connection with ...
1. ... the Bigdei Kehunah is - that it duplicates the She'eilah already
asked by Rami bar Chama earlier in the Sugya ('ha'Mishtachaveh le'Har,
Avanav Mahu le'Mizbe'ach').
(b) We answer that indeed, Rav Papa did not need to ask this She'eilah, and
he asked it because of another She'eilah that he asked together with it -
i.e. whether the horns of the worshipped animal may be used to make
trumpets, the calves to make flutes and the intestines to make strings for
the harps (all for the Avodah in the Beis-Hamikdash).
2. ... Tzitzis is - that it is synonymous with Resh Lakish's She'eilah
('ha'Mishtachaveh le'Dekel, Lulavo Mahu le'Mitzvah').
(c) They might be ...
1. ... permitted, even assuming that the Techeiles for the Bigdei Kehunah is
forbidden - according to the opinion that the main Mitzvah of Shirah is done
with the mouth, and the instruments are only of secondary importance.
(d) The outcome of the She'eilah is - 'Teiku'.
2. ... forbidden, even assuming that a Lulav from a worshipped date-palm is
permitted - since their purpose is to enhance the Korbanos, it would be more
loathsome to use something that had Avodah-Zarah connections.
(a) Rabah asks whether the water of a spring that someone worshipped is
eligible for the Nesachim (for the Avodah in the Beis-Hamikdash). We reject
the suggestion that the She'eilah is whether one is worshipping the water or
one's own reflection - because then Rabah ought rather to have asked the
same She'eilah with regard to water in a dish.
(b) From the fact that he did not ask it that way, we would then be forced
to assume - that he considers it Asur.
(c) So we conclude that he is in fact, worshipping the water (and not his
reflection), and the She'eilah is - whether he means to worship the water in
front of him (which soon passes, leaving the rest of the water in the spring
Mutar, or whether he means to worship all the water in the stream.
(d) We reconcile the possibility that the spring might be Asur, with Rebbi
Yochanan in the name of Rebbi Shimon ben Yehotzadak, who rules that public
water cannot become Asur - by restricting the case to where the spring flows
exclusively within the borders of his field.
(a) When our Mishnah speaks about someone whose wall (of his house) was
'Samuch la'Avodas Kochavim', it means - that he shares a wall with a house
that was actually worshipped.
(b) In the event that his house collapses, the only option the Tana leaves
him is - to rebuild his wall four Amos from the spot where it originally
(c) When the Tana then adds that they go halves on the wall, he means that
he may count his half of the wall in those four Amos, but not the other
(a) Based on the Pasuk "Shaketz Teshaktzenu", the Tana Kama declares the
stones, the wood and the dust of such a Beis Avodah-Zarah that collapsed,
Tamei like a Sheretz. Rebbi Akiva, based on the Pasuk "Tizarem K'mo Davah,
Tzei Tomar Lo" - goes still further, declaring them Tamei like a Nidah.
(b) The practical difference between Tum'as Sheretz and Tum'as Nidah in this
regard is - that the latter is Metamei be'Masa, as well as be'Maga.
(c) Tum'as Masa constitutes - anything on which the Nidah sits, even though
she does not actually touch it (e.g. if she sits on ten sheets, all of them
are Tamei (and the same will apply to anything on which the Avodah-Zarah is
(a) The problem with the ruling in our Mishnah that requires the Yisrael to
rebuild the wall four Amos within one's own domain is - that by doing so, he
donates space to the Avodas-Kochavim.
(b) Rebbi Chanina from Sura resolves the problem - by establishing that one
uses the intervening space as a bathroom.
(c) The problem that arises in doing so ...
1. ... by day is - that relieving oneself in the open contravenes the laws
of Tzeni'us ...
(d) As a matter of fact, we interpret Mar's statement 'Eizehu Tzanu'a,
ha'Nifneh ba'Laylah be'Makom she'Nifneh ba'Yom' to mean - (not in the same
location, but) in the same way (e.g.by taking care not to uncover oneself
more than necessary).
2. ... even by night - seeing as Mar requires a bathroom used by night to be
in the same place as the one that one uses by day.
(e) We answer the current Kashya in one of two ways. One of them, that the
bathroom is used for small children (who are not subject to the same
stringent laws of Tzeni'us). The other - by requiring the Yisrael to put up
a hedge of thorns (where the wall originally was), which will suffice for
Tzeni'us purposes, without giving the Avodah-Zarah any benefit.
(a) Our Mishnah lists 'three houses'. The Tana there rules that if someone
1. ... builds a house in order to worship it - it is Asur.
(b) Despite the fact that the Avodah-Zarah of a Yisrael cannot become
Bateil - the house, in the middle case, will be Mutar, even if it was a
Yisrael Mumar who did the cementing or the carving.
2. ... cements a house that is already built, or carves pictures on it, on
behalf of Avodah-Zarah - one has only to remove the cement or the picture
(since that is what is Asur), and the house retains its status of Heter.
3. ... brought an Avodah-Zarah into a house that was already built - one has
only to remove it from the house, for the house to become Mutar once more.
(c) In the last case, the house will be Asur, too - if he designated it for
the use of the Avodah-Zarah.
(a) Rav rules that someone who prostrates himself before a house - renders
(b) We prove from there - that in Rav's opinion, 'Talush ve'li'Besof Chibro'
is considered Talush in this regard.
(c) We resolve Rav with our Mishnah, which refers to 'Ban'o', and not
'Hishtachaveh Lo' - by establishing that there are actually two cases that
are Asur, one mentioned by the Mishnah, the other, by Rav.
(d) And the reason that the Tana lists three cases and not four - is because
the Din in the two cases is the same (and he is listing the Dinim, not the
(e) In both of the above cases, if it was a Nochri who built the house -
then his Bitul helps, whereas if it was a Yisrael, then it can never become
(a) The Mishnah also lists three cases of 'stones'. The Tana rules that
someone who ...
1. ... mines a stone on behalf of Bimus (a platform that was built
specifically for the idol to be placed on it (and which was worshipped in
its own right) - it is forbidden (even though the idol was never actually
placed on it).
(b) In the last case, the stone will become forbidden - if he designated it
for the Avodah-Zarah.
2. ... cements a stone that is already built, or carves pictures on it, for
Avodah-Zarah - needs only to remove what he did, for the stone to be
3. ... placed an idol on it which he then removed - the stone is permitted.
(a) When Rebbi Ami says (with regard to the middle case) 've'Hu she'Siyed
ve'Kiyed be'Gufah shel Even', he means - that the Siyud ve'Kiyud only needs
to be removed if it was actually done on the stone itself, but not if it was
done on the cement that covers it (though it is not clear how this
distinction will work with regard to 'Siyud').
(b) The problem with Rebbi Ami's ruling fromthe equivalent case of a house
in previous Mishnah is - that there the pictures are done in the cement that
overlays the bricks, and not on the bricks themselves (and the Tana compares
the case of the worshipped stones to that of the worshipped house).
(c) We reject the suggestion that there too, the Tana speaks when he does
the Siyud and the Kiyud between the rows of bricks (which is considered part
of the house itself) - because the Tana states S'tam 'Siyed ve'Kiyed',
implying wherever it is.
(d) So we conclude that Rav is speaking with regard to Bitul - meaning that
he is not coming to preclude Siyud ve'Kiyud on the cement, but to stress
that removing the Siyud ve'Kiyud, even if it was done on the actual stone
itself, will permit it.