ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Avodah Zarah 17
(a) According to the second Lashon, "Harchek me'Alehah Darkech" refers both
to Miynus and to the Rashus, whereas "ve'Al Tikrav el Pesach Beisah" refers
to - the house of a harlot.
(b) One should remain - at least four Amos away from them, says Rav Chisda.
(c) The Rabbanan who disagree with Rebbi Eliezer (and with Ya'akov Ish K'far
S'chanya) learn from the Pasuk "Ki me'Esnan Zonah Kaftzah ve'Ad Esnan
Yashuvu" like the Drashah of Rav Chisda, who learns from the Pasuk
"u've'Sitech Esnan ve'Esnan Lo Niten Lecha va'Tehi le'Hefech" - that
eventually, people will become so disgusted with a Zonah, that instead of
them hiring her, she will have to hire them.
(d) Rebbi P'das disagrees with Rav Chisda, who requires a distance of four
Amos from a Zonah. He extrapolates from the Pasuk "Ish Ish el Kol She'er
Besaro Lo Sikrevu Legalos Ervah" - that the Torah forbids only the actual
act of Z'nus, and nothing else (see Tosfos DH 'u'Peliga').
(a) When Ula came out of Shul - he would kiss his sisters on the back of
their hands on their chests as a mark of respect (see Ya'avetz).
(b) This appears to clash with a statement that he himself made - forbidding
close physical contact with Arayos, such as kissing and embracing (see
Tosfos DH 'u'Peliga' and Maharsha).
(c) And he learns this from Chazal - who advised a Nazir to rather
circumvent a vineyard than go through it (in order to keep his distance from
(a) Assuming that 'Alukah' means Gehinom, its two daughters who scream 'Hav
Hav' in this world, says Rav Chisda Amar Mar Ukva, are the Miynim and the
members of the Rashus.
(b) The former scream 'Hav Hav' - for more sacrifices, the latter, for more
money in the form of gifts and taxes.
(c) They now scream from Gehinom - in pain.
(d) In the second Lashon, it is - Gehinom who screams 'Hav Hav' for the
Miynim and the Rashus.
(a) We learn from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Kol Ba'ehah Lo Yeshuvun" - that close adherents of Avodah-Zarah do
not do Teshuvah.
(b) The reason for this - is not based on logic, but upon Divine decree.
2. ... "ve'Lo Yasigu Orchos Chayim" - that if with great difficulty, they
do, they die at once from grief.
(c) That woman confessed before Rav Chisda - that the least of her sins was
that her youngest son was fathered by her oldest son.
(d) Rav Chisda expected her to die - because she was also guilty of Miynus
(as we shall soon see), and that is what is destined to happen to Miynim who
(a) We extrapolate from the fact that she referred to that sin as 'Kalah
she'be'Kalos' - that she must have been guilty of something that was even
worse (namely Miynus).
(b) The fact that she did not die poses a Kashya on what we just learned -
that immediate death is inevitable.
(c) We solve this problem - by pointing out that her Teshuvah was not
(d) According to the second Lashon, the woman did indeed die, because of
Miynus and not from the sin of incest - because otherwise of what
significance is the fact that she was guilty of Miynus too.
(a) Elazar ben Durdaya - was familiar with every Zonah who lived in his
time. He once traveled overseas with a cupful of Dinrim - to meet a Zonah
who demanded that price.
(b) After letting wind, the Zonah declared - that just as the wind will
never return to its place, so too, will Elazar ben Durdaya never be allowed
to return to his place (to do Teshuvah). This issued him with a challenge,
which he took up.
(c) When he began to do Teshuvah - he placed himself between two mountains.
(d) The mountains refused to Daven for him and so did Heaven and earth
(because they had enough on their plate Davening for themselves). He met
with the same response - when he asked first the sun and the moon, and then
the stars and the constellations, to Daven for him.
(a) Elazar ben Durdaya arrives at the conclusion - that if nobody else would
Daven for him, then he would Daven for himself.
(b) So he placed his head between his knees and wept until he died.
(c) This seems to clash with what we said earlier - that it is Miynim who
are destined to die, but not people who are guilty of other sins (including
(d) We resolve this apparent discrepancy - by establishing that Elazar ben
Durdaya was exceptionally attached to that sin (and was therefore comparable
to a Miyn).
(a) When Elazar ben Doorway died - the bas-Kol announced - that Rebbi Elazar
ben Doorway was ready to enter Olam ha'Ba.
(b) Besides 'Yesh Koneh Olamo be'Kamah Shanim ... ', Rebbi added - that
Ba'alei Yeshiva, it seems adopt the title 'Rebbi' in Olam ha'Ba (something
that he did not announce on the previous occasion, when he was talking about
(a) Rebbi Chanina and Rebbi Yonasan were traveling together on a journey.
The dilemma that faced them was which road to take - the road that passed
the Beis Avodah-Zarah or the road that passed a brothel.
(b) One of them suggested that they take the road that passed the Beis
Avodah-Zarah, rather than the one that passed the brothel - in order to
minimize the Nisayon (bearing in mind that Ezra and his Beis-Din had already
prayed for the Yetzer-ha'Ra for Avodah-Zarah to be removed).
(c) The other one argued - that it was better to take the road that passed
the brothel (see Tosfos DH 'Neizel') and to overcome their Yetzer-ha'Ra.
(d) He based this decision on the Pasuk "mi'Zimah Tishmor Alach, Tevunah
Sintzerekah", which the Rabbanan explained in front of Rava to mean - that
Torah (hinted in the latter phrase) saves from immoral thoughts and
(e) The Pasuk cannot mean that Torah which is called 'Zimah' (which Unklus
in Chumash translates as 'Atzas Chet'in' [and Yeshayah refers to Torah as
"Eitzah", advice]) will guard you - because then the Torah ought to have
written ''Zimah Tishmor Alach ... " (without the 'Mem').
(a) When Rebbi Elazar ben P'rata and Rebbi Chanina ben T'radyon were both
taken by the Romans, the former thought that the latter was more fortunate
than him - because he was taken in for only one 'sin', whilst *he* was taken
in for five.
(b) To which Rebbi Chanina ben T'radyon replied - that in fact - Rebbi
Elazar ben P'rata was destined to be set free, whilst he was not, because
whereas the latter had combined Torah with Chesed, he had not.
(c) Rav Huna describes someone who studies Torah but who does not indulge in
Chesed - as someone who has no G-d ("le'Lo Elokim Emes").
(a) Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov stated that one should not donate money to a
Tzedakah-fund unless the person who runs it - is of the caliber of Rebbi
Chanina ben T'radyon (implying that he was indeed a Gabai-Tzedakah).
(b) But Rebbi Chanina ben T'radyon just testified about himself - that
whereas he studied Torah, he did not indulge in Chesed
(c) We reject the answer that Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov was only presenting
Rebbi Chanina ben T'radyon as the epitome of integrity, but that in reality,
he did not deal with matters of Tzedakah - from a statement of Rebbi Chanina
ben T'radyon (which will be explained on the following Amud) where he stated
that money that he had designated for Purim got mixed up with the money of
the Tzedakah-fund and he had distributed it all to the poor (from which we
see that he was a Gabai Tzedakah after all).
(d) So we resolve the problem - by explaining Rebbi Chanina ben T'radyon's
statement to mean - that as opposed to Rebbi Elazar ben P'rata, he had not
performed the Mitzvah of Tzedakah to the extent that he should have done.
(a) Rebbi Elazar ben P'ratas reply, when the Romans ...
1. ... accused him of learning Torah and stealing, was - that 'It is either
the sword or the book. It cannot be both!' (It is inconceivable that someone
who learns Torah should be a thief). And since the one accusation had to be
false, so did the other.
2. ... asked him why he was called Rebbi, was - that he was the Rebbe (the
teacher) of the weavers.
(b) The Romans challenged this claim - by bringing two balls of wool and
asking him to identify which was the woof and which was the warp.
(c) He managed to identify them, despite his total ignorance in these
matters - when a female bee settled (miraculously) on the warp (which
receives the woof, like a female receives the male) and a male bee on the
(d) And when they asked him why he ...
1. ... failed to attend the 'Bei Avidan' (a gathering in honor of their
gods, where they would eat and drink and discuss ways of improving its
service), he replied that he was afraid that, due to his age, he would be
trampled to death in the crowd.
2. ... had set free his Eved Cana'ani (in spite of the law forbidding it) -
denied having done so.
(a) When they asked him how many old men he knew of had been trampled to
death at the 'Bei Avidan' - a miracle occurred and they heard the news that
an old man was indeed trampled to death that day.
(b) When a witness got up to testify that Rebbi Chanina ben T'radyon had
indeed set an Eved free, Eliyahu ha'Navi arrived in court - disguised as a
Roman dignitary, to prevent him from testifying.
(c) He warned him - that just as miracles had saved Rebbi Chanina up until
now, so too, would a miracle save him now, and that he himself would pay for
(d) Suddenly - they needed a messenger to go to the Emperor, and he was
designated. Even after that, he failed to return to give evidence - because
Eliyahu threw him a distance of four hundred Parsah (sixteen hundred Mil).
(a) When they asked Rebbi Chanina ben T'radyon why he had studied Torah, he
replied - that this was what his G-d had commanded to do.
(b) They sentenced him to death by burning ...
1. ... his wife - to death, and ...
(c) The sin for which he deserved to die was - pronouncing the forty-two
letter Name of Hashem the way it is written.
2. ... his daughter - to live in a brothel.
(d) The sin of ...
1. ... his wife - was not stopping him.
2. ... his daughter - was improving her posture when she heard some Roman
dignitaries appraising the way she walked.