ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Avodah Zarah 50
(a) The Beraisa 'Avanim she'Nashru min ha'Markulis, Nir'os Imo Asuros,
she'Ein Nir'is Imo, Mutaros ... ' implies that the stones were seen falling
off Markulis. To conform with Rebbi Yochanan, who learns that if it is known
that the stones fell from the big Markulis, they are forbidden under all
circumstances, according to all opinions, Rava amends the Beraisa to read -
'Avanim she'Nimtze'u (Samuch?) le'Markulis ... '.
(b) Rebbi Yishmael says in a Beraisa 'Shenayim bi'Tefisah Lo Asuros'.
'bi'Tefisah Lo' means - within four Amos.
(c) Three stones - he adds, are forbidden even if they are further away than
(d) The problem with our Mishnah is - that Rebbi Yishmael there permits two
stones even within four Amos.
(a) Rava solves the problem by establishing our Mishnah by one Tefisah, and
our Mishnah by two Tefisos - meaning that there is a mound in between the
big Markulis and them, giving it a Din of more than four Amos (since we can
be certain that the stones did not fall from the big Markulis (see Tosfos DH
(b) The Rabbanan and Rebbi Yishmael in the Beraisa argue - by one Tefisah
(where there is nothing in between the big Markulis and the stones) but
where the stones are at a distance of more than four Amos from the big
(a) To reconcile Rebbi Yishmael's description of two or three stones next to
each other, with the Beraisa, which specifically describes 'Markulis' as two
stones next to each other and one going across the top - we establish the
latter by the original Markulis exclusively, and Rebbi Yishmael, by the
replacement Markulis (where they were not so fussy how the three stones were
(b) Some Nochrim - set up a Markulis there. Others who did not worship
Markulis, took it apart and used the stones to pave the roads and the
(c) Some Chachamim walked along these roads, others did not. Rebbi Yochanan
opted for the lenient opinion - because, he argued, if Rebbi Menachem
b'Rebbi Sima'i could walk there, who was he to desist?
(d) Rebbi Yochanan referred to Rebbi Menachem b'Rebbi Sima'i as B'nan shel
Kedoshim - because he refused to look at the faces on the coins (see Tosfos
DH 'Hachi Garsinan').
(a) The reason of those Chachamim who declined to walk along those roads was
based on the D'rashah of Rav Gidal ... Amar Rebbi, who learned from the
Pasuk "Va'yitzamdu le'Va'al Pe'or Va'yochlu Zivchei Meisim" that Zivchei
Meisim (the sacrifices brought to Avodah-Zarah) are no more subject to Bitul
than Meisim are.
(b) This means, that we categorize the stones of Markulis - not (just) as
Avodah-Zarah itself (which is subject to Bitul), but to sacrifices of
Avodah-Zarah (which are not).
(c) The Chachamim who permit it disagree - based on the Pasuk "Zove'ach
la'Elohim Yochoram, Bilti la'Hashem Levado", which indicates that sacrifices
to Avodah-Zarah are only forbidden if they are similar to the sacrifices
that are brought before Hashem (precluding stones, which are not).
(a) When Rabah bar Yirmiyah arrived in Rav Yosef bar Aba's town, he cited a
Beraisa - which draws a distinction between stones of Markulis that a Nochri
brought and paved the roads and the highways with - which are permitted to
traverse, and those that were brought and paved by a Yisrael, which are
(b) When Rabah bar Yirmiyah added 've'Leis Nagar u'bar Nagar
de'Yifrekineih', he meant - that there is no Chacham or son of a Chacham who
could explain it, due to Rav Gidal's D'rashah (that we just cited),
precluding Zivchei Meisim from Bitul.
(c) Rav Sheishes on commented on this - that although he was neither a
Chacham nor a ben Chacham, he could explain it; and he gave the same answer
that we just gave to explain Rebbi Menachem b'Rebbi Sima'i (that it is not
(a) Another Beraisa that Rabah bar Yirmiyah cited, when he came to Rav Yosef
bar Aba's town, permitted Hasla'ah (removing worms from a tree) in the
Sh'mitah-year as well as Zihum - when a diseased tree begins losing some of
its bark, and one smears it with dung to prevent it from dying.
(b) 'Mezavlin, which the Sugya in Mo'ed Katan forbids - refers to laying
manure in the ground, which is a real Melachah.
(c) The Tana - forbids ...
1. ... performing these two Melachos on Chol-ha'Mo'ed, as well as ...
(d) The Tana adds 've'Sachin Shemen li'Gezom' - which means anointing oil on
the location of the cut (of the Gizum that he made earlier), to prevent the
tree from dying, and it is permitted even on Chol-ha'Mo'ed.
2. ... 'Gizum' (cutting branches to allow fresh branches to grow in the area
of the cut) both in the Sh'mitah-year and on Chol-ha'Mo'ed.
(e) Hasla'ah, Zihum and Sichah are permitted on Shevi'is - because the Torah
only forbids a Melachah that enhances the growth of the tree, whilst they
merely prevent it from deteriorating.
(a) With regard to this Beraisa too, Rabah bar Yirmiyah refers to a
discrepancy that is 'insoluble'. The problem cannot be the fact that ...
1. ... 'Masli'in u'Mezahamin' are permitted in the Sh'mitah, but forbidden
on Chol-ha'Mo'ed - since bearing in mind that the Torah only forbade
*Melachah* in the Sh'mitah, whereas on Chol-ha'Mo'ed even things that are
merely 'Tircha' (a trouble to perform) are forbidden too, this is not a
(b) We also reject the suggestion that the problem lies in the Heter to make
Zihum in the Sh'mitah, whereas another Beraisa appears to clash with this,
when the Tana writes 'Mezahamin es ha'Neti'os, ve'Korchin Osan (wraps them),
ve'Kotmin Osan (cuts them) ve'Osin Lahem Batim (a wall surrounding the tree
which one fills with earth) u'Mashkin Osan - ad Rosh ha'Shanah'.
2. ... Zihum is permitted in the Sh'mitah-year, whereas Gizum is forbidden -
because, whereas Zihum merely preserves the tree, Gizum actually improves
(c) The Tana needs to teach us this because we might otherwise have thought
that it is already forbidden - thirty days before the Sh'mitah, like other
acts of Avodas Karka.
(d) In any event, we can extrapolate from there - that Zihum is only
permitted until Rosh Hashanah of the Sh'mitah, but not during the Sh'mitah
year itself, creating a discrepancy between this Beraisa and the Beraisa
cited by Rabah bar Yirmiyah, which permits it.
(a) And we answer this with a statement of Rav Ukva bar Chamah, who
explained that there are two kinds of Kishkushi Ilni - (digging a ditch
around olive-trees), one of them which improves the tree, the other, which
(b) Likewise, we explain - there are two kinds of Zihum. The latter Beraisa
is speaking about Zihum that improves the tree (see Rabeinu Chananel),
whereas the Beraisa cited by Rabah bar Yirmiyah refers to Zihum that merely
(c) So we suggest that it is 'Sachin Shemen' that is the source of Rabah bar
Yirmiyah's problem. The Mishnah in Shevi'is permits anointing young figs,
and making holes in them and filling them with oil up until Rosh Hashanah of
(d) Like we learned earlier, this suggests that in the Sh'mitah itself, it
is forbidden (whereas the Beraisa earlier permitted anointing after Gizum).
This is no contradiction however - seeing as the former act of anointing
enhances the fruit's growth, whereas the latter act merely preserves it.
(a) Rav Sama b'rei de'Rav Ashi finally explains that Rabah bar Yirmiyah's
problem lies in the prohibition of Zihum on Chol-ha'Mo'ed on the one hand,
to the Heter of Sichah on Chol-ha'Mo'ed on the other - since both of these
only preserve the tree.
(b) This Kashya - remains unanswered.
(a) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav discusses an animal that one worships with a
stick - by which he means that one bangs in front of it.
(b) We learn from "Zove'ach la'Elohim Yocharam Bilti la'Hashem Levado", that
someone who worshipped an Avodah-Zarah using one of the Avodos in the
Beis-Hamikdash - is Chayav.
(c) And we learn from the Pasuk "Eichah Ya'avdu ha'Goyim ha'Eileh" - that
one is Chayav for worshipping an Avodah-Zarah in the way that it is normally
worshipped, however unconventional the method of worship may be.
(d) In our case therefore, if the animal ...
1. ... was not worshipped with a stick at all - he would be Patur even for
breaking a stick in front of it.
2. ... was worshipped by throwing a stick in front of it - then he would be
Chayav for doing so.
(a) Rav rules in our case, that someone who breaks a stick in front of the
Avodas-Kochavim - is Chayav, whereas someone who throws it - is Patur.
(b) Breaking the stick is similar to - the Avodah of Zerikah.
(c) Abaye asked Rava why, by the same token, one is not Chayav for throwing
stick (seeing as it is similar to Shechitah). Rava replied - that it is not
sufficiently comparable to Zerikah, because unlike the latter, it does break
up into particles.
(a) The Beraisa rules that someone who feeds an animal of Avodah-Zarah dung
or pours out a pot of urine in front of it (even if it is not normally
worshipped in that way [see Tosfos 51a DH 'Chayav']) - is Chayav.
(b) Rava reconciles Rav, who exempts someone who throws a stick in front of
an Avodah-Zarah, with this Beraisa (which obligates someone who feeds the
animal dung, even though it is not normally broken into pieces) - by
establishing the Beraisa by soft dung, which breaks up into particles just
like blood does.