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 19
1) NOT FOLLOWING SINNERS AND THE EVIL INCLINATION
(a) (Rav Shmuel bar Nachmani): "Ashrei ha'Ish Asher Lo Halach
ba'Atzas Resha'im" - this is Avraham, who did not follow
the counsel of the generation of the dispersion;
2) WHAT AND HOW TO LEARN
1. They were wicked - "Hava Nivneh Lanu Ir".
(b) "Uv'Derech Chataim Lo Amad" - he did not stand among the
sinners of Sedom;
1. "V'Anshei Sedom Ra'im v'Chata'im la'Sh-m Me'od";
(c) "Uv'Moshav Letzim Lo Yashav" - he did not sit among the
Plishtim, for they are scoffers;
1. "Kir'u l'Shimshon vi'Sachek Lanu"
(d) Question: "Ashrei Ish Yarei Es Hash-m" - does this only
apply to a man?!
(e) Answer #1 (Rav Amram): No, it teaches that happy is one
who repents while he is still a man (with desire and
ability to sin);
(f) Answer #2 (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): Happy is one overcomes
his evil inclination like a (strong) man.
(g) (R. Elazar): "B'Mitzvosav Chafetz Me'od" - he desires the
Mitzvos, not their reward.
1. (Mishnah - Antigenos): Do not serve Hash-m as
servants who serve for the sake of reward, rather as
servants who serve not for the sake of reward.
(a) (R. Elazar): "Ki Im b'Toras Hash-m Cheftzo" - a person
only learns (well) what he desires to learn.
3) WHAT, WHEN AND FROM WHOM TO LEARN
(b) Rebbi finished teaching a Sefer to his son Shimon and to
Levi. Levi wanted to learn Mishlei next, and Shimon
wanted to learn Tehilim; they forced Levi to agree.
1. As soon as Rebbi expounded "Ki Im b'Toras Hash-m
Cheftzo" as above, Levi said 'You have given me
permission to leave'.
(c) (Rav Avdimi bar Chama): "Ki Im b'Toras Hash-m Cheftzo" -
anyone who engages in Torah, Hash-m does his desires.
(d) (Rava): "Ki Im b'Toras Hash-m Cheftzo" - a person should
learn from the Rebbi from whom he desires to learn
(e) (Rava): When a person starts learning, it is considered
Hash-m's Torah - "B'Toras Hash-m Cheftzo";
1. After he toiled, it is called his - "Uv'Soraso
Yehgeh Yomam va'Lailah".
(f) (Rava): First, a person should learn (from his Rebbi) the
text (of the Mishnayos and teachings that explain it) -
1. Afterwards, he himself should delve deeper into it -
(g) (Rava): A person should learn the text, even if he
forgets or does not understand it - "Garsah Nafshi
l'Sa'avah" (a language of cutting kernels of grain, not
grinding (which would represent a thorough
(h) Contradiction (Rava): One verse says, "(One should learn)
Al Gapei (an unsteady place; alternatively, by himself)";
another says "Al Kisei (in a fixed place; or, to many
(i) Answer (Rava): At first, one should learn Al Gapei;
later, he should learn Al Kisei.
1. Contradiction: It says "B'Rosh Meromim" (hiddenly);
it continues, "Alei Derech" (openly)!
(j) Contradiction (Ula): It says "Shesei Mayim mi'Borecha (a
pit containing water)"; it continues "v'Nozelim mi'Toch
Be'erecha (a well of running water)"!
2. Answer: At first, one should learn B'Rosh Meromim;
later, he should learn Alei Derech.
(k) Answer: At first, one should learn from a Rebbi; later,
he should learn and Mechadesh by himself (Gra).
(l) (Rava citing Rav Sechorah): "Hon me'Hevel Yim'at v'Kovetz
Al Yad Yarbeh" - if a person learns large amounts at a
time, without time to review properly, he will lose it;
if he learns small amounts at a time, he will grow.
1. (Rava): Many Rabanan know this, yet transgress it
(Maharsha - because they follow Rava's teaching
(m) (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): I fulfilled the teaching and
remembered my learning.
(n) Question (Rav Shizbi): What does it mean "Lo Yacharoch
(o) Answer #1 (Rav Shizbi): One who deceives (he projects
himself to be a Chacham because he has memorized much
text) will not (remember it nor) live a long time.
(p) Answer #2 (Rav Sheshes): One who learns small amounts at
a time (and reviews it often) will surely have to eat
(remember his learning)!
(q) Answer #3 (Rav Dimi): This is a parable: if a hunter
breaks the wings of each bird he catches before hunting
the next (Maharsha), he will keep all of them; if not, he
will lose them.
(a) (R. Yanai): "V'Hayah k'Etz *Shasul* Al Palgei Mayim" - it
was *replanted* there, not planted there - anyone who
learns Torah from one Rebbi will never see a sign of
(b) Rav Chisda (to his Talmidim): I am afraid that you will
leave me when you hear this!
1. He taught like R. Yanai; they went to learn from
2. (Rabah): This only applies to reasoning, but it is
best to learn the text from one Rebbi, in order that
he will not be confused by different texts.
(c) (R. Tanchum bar Chanila'i): A person should divide his
years into three: he should learn written Torah for one
third, Mishnah for a third, and Talmud (resolving
difficulties between Mishnayos) for a third.
4) WAGES FOR BUILDING IDOLS
(d) Question: A person does not know how long he will live!
(e) Answer: He meant, he should divide his days (Rashi - 2
days of each every week; Tosfos - he should learn some of
each every day).
(f) (Rava): "Asher Piryo Yiten b'Ito" - If a person fulfills
the Torah, "v'Alehu Lo Yibol" (his learning will endure).
1. If not, "Ha'Resha'im...Tidefenu Ru'ach", he and his
Rebbi (who should not have taught such a Talmid)
will be uprooted.
(g) (R. Aba): "Ki Rabim Chalalim Hipilah" - this is a Talmid
who is not yet fitting to give rulings, but does so;
1. "Va'Atzumim Kol Harugeha" - this is a Talmid who is
fitting to rule, but does not.
(h) (Rav Acha bar Ada): "V'Alehu Lo Yibol..." - one can learn
from even the secular talk of a Chachamim (what is a
proper way to speak).
2. Question: When is one fitting to rule?
3. Answer: Not before he is 40 years old.
4. Question: But Rabah started to rule when he was 18!
5. Answer: There was no one in his city greater than
(i) (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): We have verses from Torah, the
prophets and Kesuvim (the Writings) teaching that one who
engages in Torah, his property (Gra's text - ways) will
1. Torah - "U'Shmartem...Lema'an Taskilu Es Kol Asher
(j) R. Alexandri announced: 'Who wants life'? Everyone
flocked to him. He explained: 'Ha'Chafetz Chayim...Netzor
2. The prophets - "V'Hagisa Bo Yomam
va'Lailah...Tatzli'ach Es Derachcha";
3. The Kesuvim - "Uv'Soraso Yehgeh Yomam
va'Lailah...v'Chol Asher Ya'aseh Yatzli'ach".
(k) Suggestion: If he avoids forbidden speech, perhaps he may
he may indulge in sleep!
(l) Rejection: "Sur me'Ra va'Ase Tov";
1. "Tov" refers to Torah - "Lekach Tov Nasati Lachem
(a) (Mishnah): When he gets to the dome where they put the
idolatry (it is forbidden to build).
5) SELLING FOR IDOLS ITEMS ATTACHED TO THE GROUND
(b) (R. Elazar): If he built it, the wages are permitted.
(c) Objection: This is obvious! The dome merely serves
idolatry; R. Akiva and R. Yishmael agree that such things
are not forbidden until they are used to serve idolatry!
(d) Answer (R. Yirmeyah): R. Elazar teaches that if he built
idolatry itself, the wages are permitted.
(e) Question: We understand this according to R. Yishmael,
who says that idolatry of a Yisrael (e.g. he made for
himself, to sell) is forbidden immediately, and idolatry
of a Nochri is not forbidden until he serves it; (the
entire time the Yisrael is making it, it is permitted);
1. But R. Akiva says just the contrary, idolatry (of a
Yisrael is not forbidden until he serves it,) of a
Nochri is forbidden immediately, why are the wages
(f) Answer (Rabah bar Ula): It is only considered idolatry
when it is completed, i.e. when the last hammer blow is
done; the last blow is worth less than a Perutah.
1. He holds that wages accrue continuously from the
beginning until the end (we do not say that all the
wages are due on account of the last blow).
(a) (Mishnah): [(Tosfos deletes these first two clauses.) We
may not make ornaments for idolatry: necklaces,
nose-rings and rings;
(b) R. Eliezer permits the wages (if a Yisrael made them).]
(c) We may not sell anything attached (to the ground) to
Nochrim; one must sell it after it is uprooted;
(d) R. Yehudah says, we may sell something attached on
condition that the Nochri will uproot it.