ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Avodah Zarah 11
AVODAH ZARAH 11 - dedicated by Reb Gedalya Weinberger of Brooklyn, N.Y. in
memory of his father, Reb Chaim Tzvi ben Reb Shlomo Weinberger. Reb Chaim
Tzvi, who miraculously survived the holocaust, raised his children with an
intense dedication to the Torah and Gedolei Torah.
(a) The Emperor (Hadrian) sent a group of soldiers after Unkelus bar
K'lonimus - who had converted to Judaism, to bring him back to Rome.
(b) After quoting them some Pesukim however - he got them to convert as
(c) The Emperor attempted to prevent this from happening with the second
group - by ordering them not to speak to him.
(d) As they were leading him back to Rome however, Unkelus asked them that
if lower ranking officers would carry a torch for higher ranking officers,
and the Hegmon for the Kuma, would the Kuma carry a torch for the Hegmon.
What he meant to ask them was - whether a king would dream of carrying a
torch for even the highest officer in his kingdom.
(a) The soldiers agreed with the implication behind Unkelus question - that
a king would never carry a torch for even the highest officer in the land.
(b) He then quoted them the Pasuk "va'Hashem Holech Lifneihem Yomam ... ",
to prove to them the difference between their King and our king (who is also
(c) The next thing - they too, converted.
(d) The third group of soldiers was given strict instructions not to speak
to Unkelus at all. He got them to question him however - by putting his hand
on the Mezuzah as he walked past, and asking them what that was; to which
they were bound to reply 'You tell us').
(e) He replied - by pointing out that whereas a regular king sits in his
palace, whilst his men stand guard outside, Yisrael sit in their homes
whilst Hashem guards them, as the Pasuk writes "Hashem Yishmor Tzeischa
u'Vo'echa". They too, promptly converted.
(a) The next thing that Hadrian did was - to give up.
(b) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav - 'amends' the Pasuk "Sh'nei Goyim be'Vitnech" to
read "Sh'nei Ge'im" (two proud [esteemed] persons), referring to Antoninus
(from Eisav) and Rebbi (from Ya'akov).
(c) Radishes, lettuce and cucumbers, he says, were never absent from their
table, neither in summer nor in winter.
(d) Radishes cut the food ...
1. ... lettuces turn it over in the stomach, whilst ...
2. ... cucumbers stretch the stomach.
(a) Cucumbers are called 'Kishu'in' - because they are harmful to the body.
(b) When Rav Yehudah Amar Rav just said that they are healthy - he was
referring to small one (which are called 'Kishos', whereas it is the large
one that are called 'Kishu'in').
(a) According to the Chachamim, the day of the king's death is only
considered a festival if they burned the king's vessels and utensils when he
died. We can extrapolate from there that - Rebbi Meir does not
(b) Initially, we think that the basis of their Machlokes is - whether
'S'reifas Melachim' is a Chok la'Avodah-Zarah (the Chachamim) or not (Rebbi
(c) We refute this suggestion however, on the basis of a Beraisa - which
specifically permits burning a king's belongings when he dies, proving that
it cannot be a Chok la'Avodas Kochavim (otherwise, how could the Tana permit
it, when the Torah writes in Acharei-Mos ''u've'Chukoseihem Lo Seilechu"?)
(d) Since neither opinion considers burning the king's belongings a 'Chok
la'Avodah-Zarah', the basis of their Machlokes is - whether the death of a
king whose belongings they do not burn when he dies, is important enough in
their eyes to go and sacrifice to their gods on account of it (Rebbi Meir),
or not (the Chachamim).
(a) The Beraisa derives the concession to burn the king's belongings from a
Pasuk in Yechezkel - who writes "be'Shalom Tamus u've'Misrefos Avosecha
ha'Melachim ... " - in connection with Tzidkiyahu.
(b) Besides a king, one also burns - the property of the Nasi of Beis-Din
when he dies.
(c) The Beraisa includes in the list of things that one burns - the Nasi's
bed and his personal utensils.
(a) Unkelus ha'Ger burned seventy Manah Tzuri (560 Manah Medinah) when Raban
(b) We reconcile this with the Beraisa that we just quoted, which restricts
the burning to the Nasi's bed and his personal utensils - by amending this
to seventy Manah Tzuri worth of utensils.
(c) The Beraisa 'Okrin al ha'Melachim ve'Ein Bo Mishum Darkei ha'Emori'
appears to clash with the previous Beraisa - since most animals do not fall
under the heading of 'personal utensils'.
(d) To reconcile the two Beraisos, Rav Papa establishes this latter one - by
the horse on which the king rode (which does).
(a) Another Beraisa - confines Ikur to where it does not render the animal a
(b) One does this - by hamstringing the animal (cutting off the animal's
hind legs [or the tendon]) from below the knee.
(c) The Beraisa forbids Ikur that renders the animal T'reifah - because of
'Bal Tashchis' (the prohibition of wasting something that is useful [see
also Tosfos DH 'Okrin']).
(d) Bearing in mind that Tereifus is confined to Kasher animals, the problem
with this is - that the only animal that fits into the category of 'the
king's personal utensils' is a horse, as Rav Papa just explained (and a
horse is not Kasher).
(e) To reconcile these two Beraisos, Rav Papa establishes this latter
Beraisa - by a calf that pulls the king's wagon.
(a) The two possible ways of explaining our Mishnah 'Yom Tiglachas Zekano
*u'B'luriso'* are - either the day that one shaves one's beard and leaves
the 'B'luris' intact, or the day that one shaves one's beard and (with
reference to the following year) the day that one shaves one's B'luris, and
not one's beard.
(b) Based on a Beraisa, we resolve the She'eilah - by including both cases
in the prohibition.
(c) Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel cites another festival that took place every
seventy years. The man riding on the back of a lame man represented - Eisav
riding on the back of Ya'akov, symbolizing that Eisav still rules over
(d) The latter would be wearing - the special clothes of Adam ha'Rishon
(that Ya'akov had 'borrowed' from him when he received the B'rachos from
Yitzchak), and they would place on his head - the skin of Rebbi Yishmael
Kohen Gadol's face (which had been treated with Afarsemon oil and which was
still lying in the vaults in Rome).
(a) They would place a chain weighing two hundred Zuz around his neck, stud
his legs with precious stones, and make a public announcement.
1. 'Sach Kiri P'laster'! means - that Ya'akov's prophesy to his children
that they will be redeemed, is false.
(b) And when they continued ...
2. 'Achuhah de'Marana Zaifna'! means - 'Our master (Eisav)'s brother is an
1. ... 'de'Chami Chami, u'de'Lo Chami Lo Chami' - they meant that seeing as
this festival occurs only once every seventy years, someone who did not
witness the festivities, will not get another chance.
(c) Their final declaration was - 'Woe to Eisav when Ya'akov attains power'?
2. ... 'Mai Ahanu le'Rama'ah be'Ram'useih, u'le'Zaifna be'Zaifnuseih', they
meant - to say that the swindler has gained nothing from his swindle, nor
the impostor from his forgery.
(d) Rav Ashi comments - that 'Achuhah de'Marana Zaifna!' is a bad reflection
on themselves, since it can also be translated as 'the brother of our master
the swindler'. What they should rather have said is 'Zaifna Achuhah
(e) The Tana of our Mishnah omits this festival from his list - because he
is only concerned with the festivals that occur annually, whereas this
festival takes place only once every seventy years.
(a) The festivals in our Mishnah are those of the Romans. Our Sugya also
lists the festivals of the Persians and the Babylonians.
(b) Rav Chanan bar Rav Chisda (or Rav Chanan bar Rava Amar Rav) - lists
'Beis-Beil in Bavel, Beis-Nevo in Kursi, Tar'asa in Mefeg, Tz'rifa in
Ashkelon and Nashra in Arabia' as fixed Avodah-Zarahs.
(c) When Rav Dimi came from Eretz Yisrael, he added Yerid in Ein-Bechi and
Nidbechah (or Nisbera) in Acco to the List. Rav Dimi from Neherda'a -
inverted the above two 'Yerid in Acco and Nidbechah in Ein-Bechi'.
(d) Rav Chisda explained the significance of the above fixed Batei-Akum to
his son Rav Chanan in that - it was forbidden to do business with them all
(a) During the period of Galus - Shmuel confines the prohibition of doing
business with Nochrim on their festivals to the actual day of the festival
(b) ... because we rely on them for our Parnasah, and it would be impossible
to manage without them for three days.
(c) Rav Yehudah permitted Rav B'runa (or Rav Kahana or Rav Nachman) to buy a
donkey, and Rav Z'vid, to buy wheat, on the actual day of the festival of
the Ta'ya (the day when the local merchants would gather to celebrate in
honor of their god).
(d) We reconcile this with Shmuel, who forbade doing business with Nochrim
on the actual day of their festival - by pointing out that the merchants
were not so particular about that festival, and if it suited them one year,
they would cancel it.
(a) Our Mishnah - permits about doing business with the Nochrim who live
outside the town, during the festival that townspeople celebrate, and
(b) ... because each one tended to celebrate different festivals.
(c) The Tana also permits traveling to a town at the time of the festival -
only if there is a road leading from it to other towns, or if the road to
the town branches off in other directions. Otherwise, it will be forbidden
because of 'Mar'is ha'Ayin' (the suspicion that he is going there in order
to celebrate with the townspeople).
(d) Resh Lakish in the name of Rebbi Chanina defined 'Chutzah Lah' in our
Mishnah as the butchery of Azah - which was extremely close to the town. In
other words, 'Chutzah Lah' has no minimum limits.