ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Avodah Zarah 15
(a) A Nochri is permitted to allow his animal to work on Shabbos.
(b) Initially, we refute the suggestion that the prohibition of selling a
large type animal is because one might come to lend a Nochri the animal or
rent it to him - on the grounds that the Nochri acquires the animal for the
duration of the loan or the rental just like he acquires it when he buys it,
so that when the animal works on Shabbos, it is his own animal that is
working, which is permitted.
(c) In that case, Rami b'rei de'Rav Yeiva concludes, the prohibition must be
based on Nisyoni - which means that it might happen that the Nochri
purchases the animal just as Shabbos is due to enter, and to proof the
animal's worth, the owner calls it in the street, causing it walk with a
load on its back, which involves Mechamer Achar Behemto on Shabbos.
(d) The punishment of 'Mechamer Achar Behemto' on Shabbos - is Chatas
be'Shogeg (and Kareis be'Meizid [according to some opinions] see Tosfos DH
(a) We will learn in a Mishnah later that one is permitted to rent a house
to a Nochri in Chutz la'Aretz, but not for residential purposes - because we
are afraid that he may bring Avodah-Zarah into the house.
(b) Rav Shisha b'rei de'Rav Idi tries to prove from there that 'Sechirus Lo
Kanya' (renting does not acquire).
(c) We reject this proof however - on the basis of the Pasuk in Va'eschanan
"ve'Lo Savi So'eivah el Beisecha", a unique stringency which leaves open the
possibility that the prohibition will apply even if Sechirus *is* Koneh.
(a) The Mishnah in Terumos rules that ...
1. ... a Yisrael who hires a cow from a Kohen - may feed it Terumah.
(b) ... a clear proof - that Sechirus is not Koneh (and the animal remains
in the domain of the owner throughout).
2. ... a Kohen who hires a cow from a Yisrael - may not ...
(c) It is evident from the Sugya - that once we know the one, we also know
the other. So if Sechirus is not Koneh, She'eilah is not Koneh either.
(d) The outcome of the Sugya is - that selling a large animal to a Nochri is
forbidden - because of She'eilah, because of Sechirus and because of
(a) Rav Ada permitted the sale of a donkey through an agent. He was not
afraid of ...
1. ... Nisyoni - because the animal would hardly have recognized the agent's
voice in the short time that he had it.
(b) When Rav Chisda queried Rav Huna's sale of a cow to a Nochri - the
latter replied that since the Nochri may well have purchased it as food (and
not for work), we go le'Kula and permit the sale.
2. ... She'eilah or Sechirus - a. because the agent did not have a mandate
to borrow or sell the animal, and b. because, since his contract was to sell
the animal, he would avoid lending or hiring it out, so as to prevent its
blemishes from becoming known.
(c) Rav Huna explains the Mishnah's prohibition of selling a large animal -
either in the case of a non-Kasher animal (which is basically designated for
working and not for eating), or where the Nochri specifically mentioned that
he did not intend to slaughter it.
(a) In a Mishnah in Shevi'is, Beis Shamai forbid selling a cow that is
designated for plowing - to someone who is suspected of plowing in the
(b) Beis Hillel permit it - because one may rely on the possibility of the
purchaser Shechting the cow to use as food.
(c) Rabah (or Rava) rejects the proof from there that we rely on a Tzad
Heter to permit a sale which would otherwise be forbidden - on the grounds
that Shevi'is is more lenient to begin with, inasmuch as there is no Isur of
'Shevisas Behemto' (a prohibition for one's animal to work) like there is on
(a) Abaye counters Rabah's Kashya with a Beraisa (regarding the sale of a
field, which, unlike a cow, is subject to 'Shevisah' in the Sh'mitah). Beis
Shamai forbid the sale of a plowed field in the Sh'mitah-year - because the
purchaser is then likely to sow it.
(b) Beis Hillel permit it - because of the possibility that the purchaser
will leave it fallow that year.
(c) Rav Ashi cites a Mishnah in She'vi'is, which lists a plow-share and all
its accessories among the implements that one may not sell to someone who is
suspected of breaking the laws of Sh'mitah - from which we see that we do
not always rely on a Tzad Heter even where there is no Isur of 'Shevisah'
(contrary to Rabah's S'vara).
(a) Rav Ashi therefore draws the conclusion - that whenever there are good
grounds to rely on a Tzad Heter, the sale is permitted, and whenever there
are not, it is forbidden (irrespective of whether there is an Isur Shevisah
(b) The reason that Beis Hillel permitted selling a plowed field to a
suspect in the Sh'mitah is - because a field is good investment, and a
person is quite likely to purchase one that becomes available, even though
he cannot make use of it until the following year.
(c) The only case out of the above, which is forbidden because there is
nothing on which to rely is - that of the plowing implements in the
(a) When Abaye ...
1. ... queried Rabah about his sale of a donkey to someone who was suspected
of selling it to Nochrim, he relied - that he had after all, sold it to a
(b) Abaye then cited a Beraisa. The Tana there ...
2. ... asked him why he was not concerned that the Yisrael would sell it to
a Nochri, he replied - that he might equally sell it to a Yisrael.
1. ... forbids leaving animals with Nochrim in their inns or handing them to
their shepherds, irrespective of whether one leaves a male animal with a
woman and a female animal with a man, or vice-versa, but ...
(c) The reason for the difference is - that whereas Nochrim are suspect on
bestiality, Kutim are not.
2. ... permits it regarding Kutim in *their* inns and with their shepherds.
(d) Another Beraisa permits selling a small type of animal to a Kuti,
subject to Minhag - implying that one may not sell him a large animal.
(a) The Beraisa forbids ...
1. ... being alone with a Nochri - because he is suspected of murder.
(b) All of the above - are permitted in the case of Kutim.
2. ... giving one's children to him for schooling or to teach them a trade -
a. for the same reason, and b. because they are also suspected of
(a) The Tana forbids ...
1. ... selling to a Nochri weapons and their handles ...
(b) ... because he is suspected of murdering Jews or trying to do them
2. ... sharpening his weapons, or selling him ...
3. ... stocks, fetters and chains.
(c) The Beraisa lists Kutim together with Nochrim in connection with the
above prohibitions. In spite of the fact that Kutim are not suspect on
murder (as we learned above) - they are suspected of selling these things to
(d) Rabah has proved from this Beraisa - that once a person is suspected of
selling, we contend with the possibility that he will sell to a Nochri, and
do not rely on the fifty per cent chance that he will sell to a Yisrael
(like Rabah maintained).
(a) We attempt to refute Abaye's Kashya on Rabah however, by differentiating
between Kutim and Yisre'elim who are suspect, suggesting - that the above
only pertains to Kutim, who will not do Teshuvah, but not to Yisre'elim who
are suspect, who will.
(b) We repudiate this distinction however, with a statement of Rav Nachman
Amar Rabah bar Avuhah - who places a Yisrael who is suspect on a par with a
Nochri, as regards selling to him things that are forbidden.
(c) So Rabah was not justified in selling his donkey to the suspect Yisrael
(d) Rabah reacted to this - by running three Parsah (twelve Mil [some say
one Parsah in the sand]) after the Yisrael who had purchased his donkey (to
persuade him to sell it back to him) ...
(e) ... but he did not succeed in catching him.
(a) Rav Dimi bar Aba - compared selling to a Jewish robber, to selling to a
(b) The problem with this ruling is - that 'Mah Nafshach', if he is
suspected of killing (meaning that he has killed before), then it is
obvious; and if not, then why should one not sell to him?
(c) So we establish it - by the latter case, only we are talking about a
grab and run robber, who sometimes has to defend himself against his
pursuers (and the distinct possibility that he will kill, is forever
(d) The Tana Kama in a Beraisa forbids selling a Nochri, shutters - because
he may use them to defend himself (when fighting a Yisrael).
(e) It is nevertheless permitted to sell them wheat and barley (despite the
fact that it too, keeps him alive) - because refusing to sell them such
basic commodities is bound to lead to enmity (and revenge).
(a) 'Yesh Omrim' - permits selling them shutters.
(b) The reason the second Lashon gives for the prohibition is - because
should their conventional store of weapons run out in the course of battle,
they will use the shutters.
(c) According to the Yesh Omrim however, once their store of weapons runs
out, they flee from the battlefield.
(d) Rav Nachman Amar Rabah bar Avuhah - rules like the Yesh Omrim.
(a) Rav Ada bar Ahavah forbids selling them thick lumps of iron - for fear
that they melt them down and shape them into weapons.
(b) Rav Z'vid then explained the fact that one is permitted to sell them
gardening implements, such as hoes and adzes - by confining the prohibition
to Indian iron, which was only used to manufacture weapons.
(c) They permitted selling all of the above to the Persians - because they
would only use them to protect the town (including the jewish inhabitants)
from the enemy.