ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Avodah Zarah 52
(a) Rebbi Akiva counters Rebbi Yishmael's proof forbidding Nochri
Avodah-Zarahs immediately - because - by rejecting Rebbi Yishmael's Hekesh
("Asher Atem Yorshim Osam es Eloheihem", comparing the Nochri gods to the
vessels with which they are worshipped), because, he says, the word "es"
interrupts between the vessels and the gods.
(b) Rebbi Yishmael knows that the Avodah-Zarah of a Yisrael is ...
1. ... forbidden the moment it is made - (initially, at least) by
insinuation, from the fact that that of a Nochri is forbidden only after it
has been worshipped.
(c) Rebbi Yishmael ultimately learns from the Pasuk ...
2. ... not permitted - from the fact that it requires 'Genizah' (hiding, as
we will learn later).
1. ... "ve'es Chatachem Asher Asisem es ha'Eigel" - that a Yisrael
transgresses the moment he makes an image.
(d) Rebbi Akiva interprets "To'avas Hashem" - to mean that he is only Chayav
for making an image that leads to abomination, but not that it is forbidden
2. ... "Arur ha'Ish Asher Ya'aseh Pesel u'Maseichah" - that he is also
cursed from that moment on.
3. ... "To'avas Hashem" - that the image is forbidden, too from then.
(a) Ula (explaining Rebbi Akiva) learns from the Pasuk "Pesilei Eloheihem
Tisrefun ba'Eish" - that as soon as the Nochri carves out an idol, it
(b) The Beraisa cited by Rav Yosef (conforming with Rebbi Yishmael's
interpretation) explains this Pasuk to mean - that a Nochri is able to
nullify his god (from the Lashon of 'Pesoles' [meaning 'waste']), his source
permitting a Nochri to disqualify an image.
(c) Rebbi Akiva learns this from the apparent discrepancy between the two
phrases (following "Pesilei Eloheihem Tisrefun ba'Eish") "Lo Sachmod Kesef
ve'Zahav Aleihem" and "Ve'lakachta Lach" (like Shmuel explained) - that
1. ... "Lo Sachmod Kesef ve'Zahav Aleihem" - refers to 'Pislo le'Elo'ah' (if
he carved it as a god).
(d) Rebbi Akiva learns - from "ve'Sam ba'Saser" says Rav Yehudah - that the
Avodah-Zarah of a Yisrael only becomes forbidden after the Yisrael has
2. ... "Ve'lakachta Lach" - refers to 'Pislo me'Elo'ah' (if he disqualified
it from being a god [his source permitting a Nochri to disqualify an
(a) Rebbi Yishmael explains "ve'Sam ba'Saser" like Rebbi Yitzchak, who
learns from there - that the Avodah-Zarah of a Yisrael requires Genizah
(b) Rebbi Akiva learns this from the Pasuk "Lo Sita Lecha Asheirah Kol Eitz
Eitzel Mizbach ... " like Rav Chisda Amar Rav - who learns a Hekesh between
an Asheirah and the stones of the Mizbe'ach.
(c) Rebbi Akiva explains this Pasuk like Resh Lakish, who learns from the
juxtaposition of "Lo Sita Lecha Asheirah Kol Eitz" next to "Shoftim
ve'Shotrim Titen Lecha" - that whoever appoints a judge who is unworthy, it
is as if he planted an Asheirah in Yisrael.
(d) And what's more, based on the next words ("Eitzel Mizbach") Rav Ashi
adds - that if he does so in a place where there are Talmidei-Chachamim, it
is as if he has planted it beside the Mizbe'ach.
(a) Rav Hamnuna asks what the Din will be in a case where someone was
'Risach Kli la'Avodas-Kochavim'. 'Risach' means - hammering a dented vessel
(b) Rav Hamnuna cannot be referring to an Avodas-Kochavim belonging to ...
1. ... a Nochri, even according to Rebbi Yishmael - because both Tana'im
agree that Meshamshei Avodas-Kochavim do not become forbidden until they
have been worshipped, and not as soon as they are made.
(c) Consequently, he must be referring to the Avodah-Zarah of a Yisrael,
according to Rebbi Yishmael (who holds that it becomes forbidden as soon as
it is made).
2. ... a Yisrael, according to Rebbi Akiva - because, in his opinion, the
Avodah-Zarah of a Yisrael only becomes forbidden when it has been
(d) One side of the She'eilah is whether we learn Meshamshin (of a Yisrael)
from Meshamshin (of a Nochri), which are Asur only after they have been
worshipped - the other, that we learn (Meshamshin of) a Yisrael from (the
Avodah-Zarah of) a Yisrael, which is Asur immediately.
(a) We establish the She'eilah in connection with 'Tum'ah Yeshanah' -
because if Rav Hamnuna had meant to ask about whether the vessel is
forbidden or permitted - he should have presented the case of where one made
the vessel from scratch (and not the case of 'Risach').
(b) The Mishnah in Keilim rules - that Tamei metal vessels (irrespective of
whether they are flat or whether they are receptacles) which broke and were
repaired (and which became Tahor when they broke) - automatically regain
their Tum'ah (mi'de'Rabbanan) when they are repaired.
(c) We think that the Tum'ah of Avodah-Zarah might be different - because it
is only mi'de'Rabbanan (and it is possible that Chazal only decreed 'Tumah
Yeshanah' by Tum'ah d'Oraysa.
(d) In fact, Rav Hamnuna presents his She'eilah in two parts (of which our
Mishnah cites the second). First of all, he asks, what will be the Din by
other Tum'os de'Rabbanan. And even if we hold there that the Rabanan did not
decree, perhaps, due to the Chumra of Avodah-Zarah, by Tum'as Avodah-Zarah,
(a) Rebbi Yochanan asked Rebbi Yanai - whether, if a Nochri is Mevateil
Tikroves Akum of food, it becomes Tahor.
(b) He not ask the same She'eilah with regard to ...
1. ... vessels - because (unlike food) they possess the leniency of Taharah
in a Mikvah (in which case, he took for granted that Bitul will indeed be
effective by them, too.
(c) The She'eilah is whether - since on the one hand, the Isur of Tikroves
Avodas-Akum is not Bateil (like Rav Gidal taught earlier un the Pasuk), the
Tumah is not Bateil either, or whether, on the other, the Tum'ah, which,
unlike the Isur is only mi'de'Rabbanan, and is therefore Bateil.
2. ... an Avodas-Kochavim (itself) of food - because since *Bitul Akum*
applies to the Isur, he took for granted that it is effective as regards
Tum'ah as well.
(d) The outcome of both the She'eilah of Rav Hamnuna and that of Rebbi
Yochanan is - 'Teiku'.
(a) Rebbi Yossi ben Shaul asked Rebbi whether vessels that were used in the
service of Beis Chonyo were subsequently permitted to be used in the
Beis-Hamikdash or not. Chonyo was - the son of Shimon ha'Tzadik, who fled to
Egypt because his brother took over the Kehunah Gedolah (in Yerushalim)
after his father's death. He built a Mizbe'ach there and sacrificed on it.
(b) It does not follow at all that vessels that Meshamshei Avodah-Zarah may
be permitted for the Avodas Beis-Hamikdash - because we are speaking
according to those who hold that Beis Chonyo was built in the name of Hashem
(and not as an Avodah-Zarah).
(c) The basis of this She'eilah is the Din regarding the Kohanim themselves
who served in Beis Chonyo - whom the Mishnah in Menachos disqualifies from
serving in the Beis-Hamikdash.
(d) The She'eilah is - whether the Chachamim extended their decree to
vessels, seeing as (unlike the Kohanim) they do not possess common-sense
(and are not therefore subject to fines).
(a) Rebbi replied 'Asur' - adding that he had been aware of a Pasuk from
which he derived this ruling, but that it had slipped his mind.
(b) When Rebbi Yossi ben Shaul quoted the Pasuk in Divrei Hayamim "Kol
ha'Keilim Asher Hizni'ach Hamelech Achaz ... Heichanu ve'Hikdashnu", Rebbi
declared - that Rebbi Yossi ben Shaul deserved to be blessed for reminding
him of the Pasuk which served as his source.
(c) According to the latter, "Heichanu" referred to Toveling the vessels,
and "ve'Hikdashnu", to sanctifying them anew.
(d) Rebbi however, interpreted the Pasuk to mean - that they buried the
stones and sanctified new ones to replace them.
(a) We try to support Rebbi from a Mishnah in Keilim. The Tana says there
that of the four rooms that were situated on the four corners of the
Azarah - the south-eastern room contained the stones of the Mizbe'ach, which
the Greeks had 'defiled' and the Chashmona'im had hidden there.
(b) According to Rav Sheishes - the Greeks had defiled them by using them
for idolatrous practices.
(c) In this case, the items concerned were not Asur d'Oraysa - because 'one
person cannot render somebody else's things forbidden'; whereas in the case
of Beis Chonyo, it was - because Beis Chonyo was not an Avodah-Zarah (as we
(d) Rav Papa refutes the proof for Rebbi from there, on the basis of the
Pasuk "u'Va'u Bah Paritzim ve'Chileluhah", which indicates - that when the
enemy entered the Heichal, the vessels lost their Kedushah. Consequently,
when the Greeks subsequently used the stones for Avodah-Zarah, they acquired
them from Hefker, in which case they subsequently became Asur mi'd'Oraysa
(whereas the stones of Beis Chonyo were only Asur mi'de'Rabbanan, as we
(a) The Chashmona'im did not call a Nochri to ...
1. ... break the stones, in which case, they would have been permitted to
re-use them - because only 'complete' stones are eligible for the Mizbe'ach,
and these stones were all broken.
(b) Neither did they get a Nochri to break the stones, and allow anyone to
take them home and use them - because once they had been used for Hashem, it
would have been disrespectful to take them home and use them for themselves.
2. ... then saw them to straighten the crooked edges - because it is
forbidden to use metal implements to cut stones of the Mizbe'ach (which must
therefore be naturally 'complete').
(c) The previous Kashya however, is based on a similar ruling of Rav Oshaya,
who said that they wanted to hide all the silver and golden coins in the
world because of those of Yerushalayim - by which he meant that after the
Churban, for fear that any coins in the world may have been Hekdesh or
Ma'aser-Sheini money from Yerushalayim, the Chachamim forbade all silver and
(d) The problem with Rav Oshaya's statement is - that the coins of
Yerushalayim do not comprise the majority of coins (so why should we go
after the minority)?
(a) Abaye therefore amended this to 'Dinra Hadri'ana, Turi'ana Shifa', which
means - that they wanted to forbid all old worn out coins of the era of the
Emperors Hadrian and Turi'anus, most of which were minted in Yerushalayim
(see Tosfos DH 'Dinrei Hadri'ana').
(b) The Chachamim changed their mind and permitted the coins however - on
account of the Pasuk "u'Va'u Bah Poritzim ... " (as we explained above) and
those coins, as opposed to stones of the Mizbe'ach, had not been used in the
Avodah in the Beis-Hamikdash.
(a) Our Mishnah rules that ...
1. ... a Nochri - may nullify his friend's Avodah-Zarah.
(b) ... and how much more so of a Yisrael - since the Torah writes "ve'Sam
ba'Seiser" (from which we learned earlier that the Avodah-Zarah of a Yisrael
2. ... a Yisrael - may not nullify the Avodah-Zarah of a Nochri ...
(c) A Nochri who nullifies an Avodah-Zarah - does not need to nullify its
accessories independently ...
(d) ... though if he nullified the accessories, he would still need to
nullify the Avodah-Zarah itself.
(a) Rebbi (as the compiler of the Mishnah) holds - that a Nochri cannot
nullify the Avodah-Zarah of a Yisrael.
(b) Rebbi Hillel b'rei de'Rebbi Vallas explains that when Rebbi, in his
younger years, taught his son Rebbi Shimon, that he can - he was referring
specifically to an Avodah-Zarah that was shared by a Yisrael and a Nochri.
(c) Rebbi thought ...
1. ... in his younger years - that a Yisrael only worships the idol as per
the intentions of the Nochri (therefore the Nochri's Bitul, even of the half
belonging to the Yisrael, takes effect).
2. ... later, when he learned our Mishnah - that the Yisrael worships the
Avodah-Zarah in his own right (irrespective of the Nochri's intentions).
(a) Others cite Rebbi Hillel b'rei de'Rebbi Vallas' statement in connection
with the Seifa 'Yisrael Eino Mevatel Avodas-Kochavim shel Oved-Kochavim',
and the Tana is coming to teach us - that even though the Yisrael cannot
nullify the Nochri's share in the Avodah-Zarah, the Nochri himself can.
(b) As a third alternative, Rebbi Hillel b'rei de'Rebbi Vallas refers to
Rebbi Shimon ben Menasya, who says in a Beraisa 'Avodas-Kochavim shel
Yisrael Ein Lah Beteilah *Olamis'*, which Rebbi Hillel interprets to mean
even if the Nochri has a share in it ...
(c) ... and the Beraisa is coming to teach us - that even if the Nochri
nullifies his own half, the half of the Yisrael is not Bateil.