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 44
1) HOW TO DESTROY IDOLS
(a) (Mishnah - R. Yosi): One should grind up (idols) and
throw the dust to the wind, or cast it to the sea.
2) DAVID'S CROWN
(b) Chachamim: No, this will fertilize the ground (that it is
deposited on), and we may not derive any benefit from
idols - "Lo Yidbak b'Yadcha Me'umah Min ha'Cherem".
(c) (Gemara - Beraisa - R. Yosi): "...Ha'Egel Lakachti
va'Esrof Oso ba'Esh va'Ekos Oso Tachon...va'Ashlich Es
Afaro El ha'Nachal". (Moshe ground up the golden calf and
threw the dust to the river, even though it will be
deposited on the banks!)
(d) Chachamim: "Va'Yizer Al Penei ha'Mayim va'Yashk Es Benei
Yisrael" - he made Yisrael drink it, to test them like
Sotos (it killed those who were guilty).
(e) R. Yosi: "Va'Yichros Asa Es Miflatztah va'Yadek va'Yisrof
b'Nachal Kidron" (Asa ground up the idol and threw the
dust to the river)!
(f) Chachamim: He threw it to Nachal Kidron, because nothing
1. Question (Beraisa): After blood was thrown against
the Altar...it flows into the spring (that ran
through the Mikdash) and flows into Nachal Kidron;
gardeners buy it, Me'ilah applies to it (Rashi -
mid'Rabanan, if one uses it without paying Hekdesh;
Rambam - mid'Oraisa).
(g) R. Yosi: "V'Chitas Nachash ha'Nechoshes" (Chizkiyah
ground up the snake-image of Moshe, even though people
were worshipping it)!
2. Answer: Some places in Nachal Kidron can grow
things, other places cannot (Asa threw the dust to a
place where nothing grows).
3. Question: What is "Miflatztah"?
4. Answer (Rav Yehudah): It was MaFLi LeiTZanuSAH (a
i. (Rav Yosef): Ma'achah made a male organ for it,
and she would have relations with it every day.
(h) Chachamim: "Ase *Lecha* Saraf" - it belonged to Moshe,
others could not forbid benefiting from it;
1. It was permitted to benefit from it, he ground it up
because people were sinning through it.
(i) R. Yosi: "Va'Ya'azvu Sham Es Atzabeihem *va'Yisa'em*
(they strewed (the ground-up idols)) David va'Anashav"!
1. Question: How do we know that va'Yisa'em means 'they
(j) Chachamim: It says "Va'Yisarefu ba'Esh", it does not say
'Va'Yisrafem va'Yisa'um' - we must say, they burned it,
they did not strew it;
2. Answer: From the Targum of "Tizrem v'Ru'ach
1. Va'Yisa'em simply means, they carried it!
(k) Question: The verses contradict each other!
(l) Answer (Rav Huna): Before Iti ha'Giti (a Nochri friend of
David), they could not nullify the idol, they were
burning it; after Iti came, he nullified it, they carried
(a) Question: "Va'Yikach Es Ateres Malkam...u'Mishkalah Kikar
Zahav...va'Tehi Al Rosh David" - but it is forbidden to
benefit from idols!
(b) Answer (Rav Nachman): Iti ha'Giti nullified it.
(c) Question: A Kikar of gold is too heavy for David to wear!
(d) Answer #1 (Rav Yehudah): The verse means, it was
*fitting* to be on David's head.
(e) Answer #2 (R. Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina): A magnet helped
support most of its weight.
(f) Answer #3 (R. Elazar): It contained a precious stone
worth a Kikar of gold (but it weighed much less).
(g) Question: What does it mean "Zos Haysah Li Ki Pikudecha
(h) Answer: As a reward for keeping Hash-m's Mitzvos, there
was testimony for David.
(i) Question: What was the testimony?
(j) Answer (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): He donned the crown in the
place of Tefilin, and it fit (miraculously - the crown
was round, and the head is not round there)!
(k) Question: But he must wear Tefilin there!
(l) Answer (Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzchak): There is space on
the head for two pairs of Tefilin.
(m) "Va'Yitenu Alav (on Yo'ash) Es ha'Nezer" - this is the
1. (Rav Yehudah): "V'Es ha'Edus" - this is testimony to
the house of David, the crown only fits one who is
fit to be king.
(n) "Misnasei Leimor Ani Emloch" - he tried on the crown, but
it did not fit him.
(o) Question: "*Va'Ya'as*...va'Chamishim Ish Ratzim Lefanav"
- what did Adoniyahu *do* to the people who ran in front
(p) Answer (Beraisa): He removed their spleens and the skin
of the bottom of their feet (so they could run faster,
thorns would not hurt them).
3) AFRODITI'S BATHHOUSE
(a) (Mishnah): Fruklus (a Nochri Min) saw R. Gamliel bathing
in the bathhouse of Afroditi (an idol).
1. Fruklus: This is forbidden to you - "Lo Yidbak
b'Yadcha Me'umah Min ha'Cherem"!
(b) Question: How could R. Gamliel say this there ('We do not
answer...' is (a Halachah of) Torah!)?
2. R. Gamliel: We do not answer (matters of Torah) in a
3. After he left, he told him: I did not come to
Afroditi's domain, she came to my domain!
i. People do not say 'Let us build a bathhouse to
glorify Afroditi'; rather, they say 'Let us put
a statue of Afroditi in the bathhouse for
4. Also: If I would give you a fortune, would you go to
your idol naked, Tamei from seminal emissions, and
urinate in front of it?
i. She is by the trough, everyone urinates by her!
5. We are forbidden to benefit from "Eloheihem" - only
what they treat like gods.
1. (Rabah bar bar Chanah): It is permitted to think
about Torah, except for a bathhouse or bathroom.
(c) Answer (Beraisa): After he left (Ri - the inner room of
the bathhouse, where it is forbidden even to greet
someone with 'Shal-m'), he said 'We do not answer in a
2. Suggestion: Perhaps he did not say it in Lashon
ha'Kodesh (and therefore it is permitted).
3. Rejection: Abaye taught, profane matters may be said
(in a bathhouse or bathroom) even in Lashon
ha'Kodesh, Torah may not be said there even in other
(d) (Rav Chama bar Yosef citing R. Oshaya): R. Gamliel did
not give him a proper answer;
1. Rav Chama: I myself say, it was a proper answer.
(e) Question: Why was it improper (according to R. Oshaya)?
(f) Answer #1 (Rav Chama): He said, 'She is by the trough,
everyone urinates by her!'
1. (Rava): People excrete in front of Pe'or (and the
Torah forbids it)!
(g) Answer #2 (Abaye): R. Oshaya considered it improper
because he said 'I did not come to her domain, she came
to my domain!'
2. Rav Chama: I say, it was a proper answer - that is
the way to serve Pe'or, but for Afroditi, this is
1. Even had he come to her domain, it would be
permitted (as long as he does not show gratitude)!
(h) Answer #3 (Rav Simi bar Chiya): He considered it improper
because he said 'She is by the trough, everyone urinates
i. (Mishnah): If there is a bathhouse or garden of
idolatry, one may benefit from it only if he
does *not* show gratitude to it.
2. Abaye: I say, it was a proper answer - R. Gamliel
was a great man, his benefit from it gives prestige
to the idol (and would be forbidden had he gone to
1. (Mishnah): If an idolater spat or urinated on his
idol, or dragged it in mud or excrement, it is not
(i) Answer #4 (Rabah bar Ula): He considered it improper
because he said 'People do not say 'Let us build a
bathhouse to glorify Afroditi'; rather, 'Let us put
Afroditi in the bathhouse for decoration'';
2. Rav Simi bar Chiya: I say, it is a proper answer -
in the Mishnah, he was angry at the moment, there
urinating on it does not nullify it as he will later
i. Here, because they always urinate by it, it is
not considered idolatry.
1. Even if they would say 'Let us build a bathhouse to
glorify Afroditi', one may bathe there!
i. (Beraisa): If one says 'This house (or cup)
should be for the idol,' nothing takes effect -
there is no concept of 'Hekdesh' to idolatry.
2. Rabah bar Ula: I say, it is a proper answer -
granted, one may benefit from the bathhouse, but if
bathing there glorified the idol, it would be
forbidden (Rashi; Tosfos - mid'Oraisa, one may
benefit from the bathhouse, there is no Hekdesh to
idols; however, if it was built to glorify the idol,
it would be forbidden mid'Rabanan).