ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Avodah Zarah 14
(a) Initially, we establish the Itztrublin in our Mishnah as Turnisa - a
species of cedar tree.
(b) We refute this suggestion however, on the basis of a Beraisa, which
includes Itztrublin among the species that are subject to the Dinim of
Shevi'is. The problem with that being - that this species of cedar does not
remain intact during the winter, and is therefore not subject to Shevi'is
(see Tosfos DH 'Turnisa').
(c) Rav Safra finally establishes ' Itztrublin' as - acorns (the fruit of
the cedar tree).
(d) When Ravin arrived from Eretz Yisrael, his quotation of Rebbi Elazar -
simply substantiated Rav Safra's explanation.
(a) Rabah bar bar Chanah Amar Rebbi Yochanan explains ...
1. ... 'B'nos-Shu'ach' as - a species of white (presumably what we call
(b) And Rebbi Yitzchak Amar Resh Lakish explains 'Levonah' as -
2. ... 'P'totros' (which is not the name of an independant species) as - the
above with their stalks, which they used to suspend them in front of the
Avodah-Zarah as a form of idol-worship.
(c) The Beraisa permits selling all of these items in bulk - which Rebbi
Yehudah ben Beseira states as three Manah. The reason for this is - because
then it is obvious that the purchaser is buying the commodity for commercial
purposes (and not to sacrifice to his gods).
(d) We are not concerned that the purchaser will then sell it to others for
idolatrous purposes - because even if he does, the Torah only forbids
causing someone to sin ("Lifnei Iver Lo Siten Michshol"), and not for
causing someone to cause someone else to sin ('Lifnei de'Lifnei').
(a) Rebbi Yonah Amar Rebbi Zeira Amar Rav Z'vid (others omit Rav Z'vid) -
permits selling a white rooster to a Nochri who is looking for someone
selling a rooster, but forbids it if he is looking for someone selling a
(b) Our Mishnah cited the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah, who permits selling a
white rooster among other roosters - and where the purchaser must have asked
for a rooster S'tam (otherwise the Tana would not have permitted selling him
a white rooster, even among a batch ...
(c) ... implying that selling it to him on its own is forbidden (a Kashya on
Rebbi Zeira, who permits it).
(a) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak establishes the Mishnah when the purchaser said
'Zeh ve'Zeh' - meaning that he mentioned a white rooster, but he mentioned
other colors too.
(b) The difference between selling him one rooster and selling him a few,
according to Rebbi Yehudah, is - that if the Nochri subsequently buys the
white rooster on its own, it seems that this is what he really wanted to
begin with, and that he only mentioned the other colors in order to trick
the seller into believing that he is not fussy.
(c) And the Rabbanan forbid selling a white one even together with others -
because, even in such a case, they suspect that the Nochri was only tricking
the seller into believing that he is not fussy.
(d) And we prove this from Rebbi Yehudah in a Beraisa - where he qualifies
the prohibition of selling a Nochri a white rooster, by confining it to
where he said 'Tarnegol Zeh Lavan', but permits there where he said 'Zeh
(e) If the Nochri said 'Tarnegol' S'tam - then even the Rabbanan would
concede that one may sell him a white rooster.
(a) In a case where the Nochri is arranging a party on behalf of his son, or
where a member of his family is sick, Rebbi Yehudah permits even 'Tarnegol
(b) The Mishnah (that we learned earlier) however - forbids doing business
with a Nochri on the day that he arranges a party in honor of his son's
wedding - (because he will go and give thanks to his god - a Kashya on Rebbi
Yehudah, who permits selling him even a white rooster on that day.
(c) Rav Yitzchak bar Rav Mesharshaya reconciles Rebbi Yehudah in the Beraisa
with the Mishnah, (forbidding that day at least), by establishing Rebbi
Yehudah by Tavzig - which means a 'party' which is no more than a social
affair, and which is not important enough to warrant giving thanks to his
(a) We learned in our Mishnah 've'Sha'ar Kol ha'Devarim S'taman Mutar,
u'Perushan Asur'. 'S'taman' cannot mean where he asked for white wheat, and
'Perushan', when he specifically added 'la'Avodas Kochavim' - because then
both Dinim would be obvious, and would not require a Mishnah.
(b) So we propose to interpret ...
1. ... 'S'taman' as - when he asked for wheat.
(c) We can extrapolate with regard to the equivalent Din by a rooster - that
even S'tam is forbidden (a Kashya on Rebbi Zeira, who permits it).
2. ... 'Perushan' as - when he asked for *white* wheat.
(d) We finally establish our Mishnah like we established it at first, and
the Chidush lies in the Seifa. We might have thought that even though the
Nochri specifically added 'la'Avodas Kochavim', it would still be permitted
to sell him the white wheat - because when he mentioned
'la'Avodas-Kochavim', it was not because he wanted it for idolatrous
purposes, but because, a strong adherent of idolatry, he presumes that the
seller will give him a special price if he thinks that he wants it to for
his god (just like he would do if he was selling to someone else).
(a) Rav Ashi asks whether, if a Nochri asks for a white rooster minus a
limb, one may sell him a complete one. This might well be forbidden -
because the Nochri may have asked for a blemished one as a trick, only
because he knew that they would not sell him one if they knew why he wanted
it; and in addition, he knew that birds with missing limbs were scarce, and
that in all likelihood, he would receive a complete one anyway.
(b) Assuming that we are strict in the previous case, he then asked what the
Din will be if the Nochri requested a white rooster, but accepted the
initial offer of first a black one, and then, a red one. This She'eilah can
only go - according to Rebbi Yehudah in our Mishnah, who permits a white
rooster among a batch of different colored roosters, but according to the
Rabbanan, who forbid even that, it is obvious that our case is forbidden.
(c) The outcome of these She'eilos is 'Teiku' (Tishbi Yetaretz Kushyos
(a) Maseches Avodah-Zarah of Avraham Avinu comprised - four hundred
(b) Rav Chisda made this comment to Avimi - adding that our Maseches
Avodah-Zarah comprises only five chapters, and even that we have difficulty
(c) Rav Chisda had a problem with Rebbi Meir in our Mishnah, who forbids
selling a 'Dekel Tav' to Nochrim. From this we can infer - that one is
permitted to sell him a Dekel Ra.
(d) His problem is based on the Mishnah later - which forbids selling a
Nochri whatever is attached to the ground (even a Dekel Ra).
(a) To answer Rav Chisda's Kashya, Avimi explained 'Dekel Tav' to mean - the
(detached) fruit of a date-palm.
(b) Rav Huna said - the same.
(c) And they interpreted ...
1. ... 'Chatzav' to mean - 'Kasba', a kind of date (or the type of plant
that grows straight down, which Yehoshua used to divide the borders when he
divided Eretz Yisrael).
2. ... 'Niklas' to mean - a kind of fruit.
(a) When Rav Dimi arrived from Eretz Yisrael, he cited Rebbi Chama bar
Yosef, who translated Niklas as 'Kuraiti', to which Abaye commented - that
seeing as they did not recognize this word either, they were none the wiser
than they had been before.
(b) Rav Dimi response to Abaye's comment was - that at least, when he
arrived in Eretz Yisrael, he would be able to ask the people there, who knew
the meaning of 'Kuraiti', but not 'Niklas'.
(c) We reject the translation of 'Kuraiti' as the dust from grains of
frankincense - on the grounds that if that were so, why did Abaye not know
what it meant (not a problem if it was the name of a fruit that grew locally
in Eretz Yisrael).
(a) Our Tana rules that selling ...
1. ... a small type animal to a Nochri - is permitted, subject to Minhag -
because in some places, the Chachamim suspected Nochrim of bestiality (at
least, that is what we think initially).
(b) Calves and foals - fall under the category of large animals (because the
owner might substitute them for fully-grown animals, and the same reason
will apply to the opinion of the Tana Kama that follows).
2. ... him a large animal - is always prohibited (as we shall see in the
(c) The Tana Kama does not differentiate between whole ones and broken ones.
Rebbi Yehudah - permits selling him broken ones.
(d) ben Beseira - permits selling him a horse (all of which will be
explained in the Sugya).
(a) The Beraisa - forbids leaving animals under the care of Nochrim in their
(b) The reason for this - is based on the Pasuk "Ve'hayu le'Basar Echad"
(permitting mankind only such a union which produces children, and
precluding bestiality). Consequently, seeing as the Nochrim are suspect on
bestiality (Revi'ah), leaving one's animals with them constitutes "Lifnei
Iver ... ".
(c) Rav correlates this Beraisa, which seems to forbid leaving an animal
with a Nochri outright, with our Mishnah which presents selling them a small
animal as a matter of Minhag - by disillusioning us and establishing the
Beraisa in places where they are suspect (coinciding with the Minhag which
forbids selling in our Mishnah).
(a) Rebbi Elazar disagrees with Rav. According to him, our Mishnah has
nothing to do with the suspicion of 'Revi'ah' - because even though a Nochri
is suspect on Revi'ah, that is only on someone else's animal. He will not
however, commit bestiality with his own animal, seeing as that causes the
animal to become sterile (and a Nochri 'has pity on his own animal').
(b) The reason for the Minhag that prohibits the sale of a small animal is -
a decree that one may come to sell him a large animal (Lo P'lug).
(c) Rav retracted from his ruling - and conceded that Rebbi Elazar was
(d) Rav Tachlifa ... issued a statement in the name of Rav that a Nochri has
pity on his animal and will not allow it to become sterile.