POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question on the daf
Previous daf Avodah Zarah 26
1) THIEVES OF BAVEL
(a) Thieves came upon Rav Menasheh; he said 'I am heading to
Pumbadisa'. When he reached Bei Tursa (his true
destination), the thieves realized that they were
2) DO NOT HELP NOCHRIM PROPAGATE
1. The thieves: You are a Talmid of (Rav) Yehudah the
(b) For the next 22 years, they tried to steal, but did not
succeed. All but one (a weaver) came to ask to permit the
Cherem; that one was eaten by a lion.
2. Rav Menasheh: You know him? You should be
1. The thieves of Bavel are so much coarser than those
of Eretz Yisrael (who praised R. Akiva)!
(a) (Mishnah): A Bas Yisrael may not help a Nochris give
birth, for the child will serve idolatry;
(b) A Nochris may help a Bas Yisrael give birth.
(c) A Bas Yisrael may not nurse a Nochris' baby;
(d) A Nochris may nurse a Bas Yisrael's baby when the mother
(e) (Gemara - Beraisa - R. Meir): A Bas Yisrael may not help
a Nochris give birth, for the child will serve idolatry;
1. A Nochris may not help a Bas Yisrael give birth, we
are concerned she will kill the baby.
(f) (Mishnah): A Bas Yisrael may not nurse a Nochris' baby.
2. Chachamim say, a Nochris may help a Bas Yisrael in
front of Yisraelim, but not alone.
3. R. Meir says, even in front of others is forbidden,
perhaps she will crush the forehead and they will
i. A Nochris scolded her friend: why do you help
Benos Yisrael give birth?!
4. Chachamim: The friend was fibbing.
ii. Her friend: Your suffering should be as great
as the number of babies I have killed, like the
number of branches in the river!
(g) (Beraisa - R. Meir): A Bas Yisrael may not nurse a
Nochris' baby, for the child will serve idolatry.
1. A Nochris may not nurse a Bas Yisrael's baby, we are
concerned she will kill the baby.
(h) We must teach the argument in both cases.
2. Chachamim say, she may nurse when others are there.
3. R. Meir forbids even when others are there, lest she
put poison on her breast.
1. If we only taught the argument about helping give
birth, one might have thought that Chachamim permit
because she cannot kill the baby without them
seeing, but they agree that nursing is forbidden,
lest she put poison on her breast.
(i) Contradiction (Beraisa): A Bas Yisrael may help a Nochris
give birth for pay, but not for free.
2. If we only taught the argument about nursing, one
might have thought that R. Meir forbids lest she put
poison on her breast, but they agree that she may
help a Bas Yisrael give birth, because she cannot
kill the baby without them seeing.
(j) Answer (Rav Yosef): It is permitted for pay, to avoid
(k) (Rav Yosef): A Bas Yisrael may help a Nochris give birth
for pay on Shabbos, to avoid animosity.
(l) Rejection (Abaye): There will be no animosity, she can
say 'We may desecrate Shabbos to deliver a baby that will
observe Shabbos, but not for a baby that will not observe
(m) (Rav Yosef): A Bas Yisrael may nurse a Nochri baby for
pay, to avoid animosity.
(n) Rejection (Abaye): There will be no animosity:
1. A single girl can say 'I cannot nurse, I want (that
men will desire me,) to get married!'
(o) (Beraisa): Nochrim and people that graze (their own)
small animals (they constantly steal by grazing on
others' property) - we do not throw them into a pit (to
actively kill them), nor may (Me'iri - must) we raise
them from a pit to save them.
2. A married woman can say 'I cannot nurse, I do not
want that my husband will despise me!'
(p) (Rav Yosef): It is permitted (Me'iri - obligatory) to
raise them for pay, to avoid animosity.
(q) Rejection (Abaye): There will be no animosity, he can say
'I cannot save you now, my son is (in great danger) on
the roof', or 'I must meet the officer now, or else I
will suffer a great loss'.
(a) (R. Avahu): Nochrim and people that graze small animals -
we do not throw them into a pit, nor do we raise them;
4) MAY NOCHRIM CIRCUMCISE YISRAELIM?
1. Minim (heretics), informers (that lie to
extortionists, causing them to take people's
property) and Mumrim (people that habitually
transgress a certain Mitzvah) - we throw them into a
pit, we do not raise them.
(b) Objection (R. Yochanan): "L'Chol Avedas Achicha" - this
includes property of a Mumar;
1. If we must return his property, all the more so we
do not kill him!
(c) (Rav Acha or Ravina): A Mumar l'Tei'avon is considered a
Mumar, a Mumar l'Hach'is is considered a Min.
2. Rather, we must delete 'Mumrim' from the Beraisa.
3. Question: Why not say, we must return the lost
object of a Mumar who eats Neveilos l'Tei'avon (to
fulfill his lust), the Beraisa teaches that we kill
a Mumar who eats Neveilos l'Hach'is (to anger
4. Answer: R. Yochanan holds that a Mumar l'Hach'is is
considered a Min (which was already mentioned in the
(d) (The other of Rav Acha and Ravina): Even a Mumar
l'Hach'is is a Mumar.
(e) Question: According to the latter opinion, what is a Min?
(f) Answer: One who serves idolatry is a Min.
(g) Question (Beraisa): If one ate one flea or mosquito, he
is a Mumar.
1. Surely, this was Lehach'is, and he is a Mumar!
(h) Answer: He did not intend to anger Hash-m, he merely
wanted to taste forbidden food.
(i) (R. Avahu): We throw them into a pit, we do not raise
(j) Objection: Obviously, if we throw them into a pit, we do
not raise them!
(k) Answer #1 (Rav Sheshes): This teaches that if there was a
way to climb out of the pit, one should find a pretext to
close it, e.g. 'I do not want my animals to fall in'.
(Tosfos - this applies even when the Nochrim rule the
area, we only throw them in a pit when Yisraelim rule;
Ritva - we never throw them into a pit, we only prevent
them from leaving).
(l) Answer #2 (Rabah and Rav Yosef): One covers the pit with
a rock, saying 'I must pass my animals over the pit.'
(m) Answer #3 (Ravina): One removes the ladder, saying 'I
need it to save my son, he is on the roof'.
(a) (Beraisa - R. Meir): A Yisrael may circumcise a Nochri
for the sake of conversion;
1. He may not circumcise him for medical reasons, e.g.
if there is a worm in the foreskin.
(b) Question: Is it really true that R. Meir does not allow a
Nochri to circumcise a Yisrael?!
2. R.Meir: A Nochri may not circumcise a Yisrael, for
they are suspected of killing.
3. Chachamim say, a Nochri may circumcise a Yisrael,
only if others are there.
4. R. Meir forbids this - perhaps he will tilt the
knife and make the baby incapable of having
1. Contradiction (Beraisa - R. Meir): If there is no
Yisrael Mohel (one who knows how to circumcise) in
the city, one should use a Nochri Mohel, not a Kusi
(c) Answer #1: The opinions must be switched: R. Meir says,
one should use a Kusi Mohel, not a Nochri Mohel;
2. R. Yehudah says, one should use a Kusi Mohel, not a
1. R. Yehudah says, one should use a Nochri Mohel, not
a Kusi Mohel.
(d) Objection: Does R. Yehudah really permit using a Nochri
1. (Beraisa #1 - R. Yehudah): Circumcision by a Nochri
is invalid - "V'Ata Es Brisi Tishmor".