(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

Previous daf

Sanhedrin 61

SANHEDRIN 61 (6 Kislev) - Dedicated in honor of the Yahrzeit of Eliezer ben Reb Shraga Feivel Marmorstein by his nephew, whom he raised like his own child after the war, Mr. David Kornfeld.



(a) We just established that Rava bar Rav Chanan's Kashya (why we should not need "Zove'ach" to teach us 'Mechashvin me'Avodah le'Avodah' by Avodah-Zarah) is confined to Resh Lakish, but is not valid according to Rebbi Yochanan. Rav Papa queries this - inasmuch as even Rebbi Yochanan, who learns Chutz from P'nim with regard to the animal becoming Asur, will need another source to sentence the perpetrator to death. Consequently, the Kashya will extend to Rebbi Yochanan, too.

(b) Despite the fact that a mountain cannot become Asur be'Hana'ah, someone who prostrates himself before a mountain - will receive the death-sentence ...

(c) ... by the sword (and not by stoning).

(d) Based on this ruling, Rav Acha B'rei de'Rav Ika poses the very opposite Kashya from what Rav Papa asked, on Rava bar Rav Chanan. He asks - why even Resh Lakish should need "Zove'ach" to sentence someone who is Mechashev me'Avodah le'Avodah. Seeing as Zerikah for example, without Shechitah, is meaningless, he ought to be Chayav Miysah even if the animal does not become forbidden (in which case "Zove'ach" will remain superfluous (see Maharam).

(a) From the Pasuk "Eichah Ya'avdu ha'Goyim" we learn - that the Chiyuv Sekilah by Avodah-Zarah is confined to worshipping idols in the way that they are normally worshipped (but not if one performs acts that its adherents would not perform).

(b) Rav Acha mi'Difti now asks on Rava bar Chanan (who learns all kinds of Avodah from 'Hishtachavayah') - why we would then need "Eichah", seeing as we would now include even irregular forms of worship from 'Hishtachavayah'?

(c) We cannot learn from "Eichah" that someone who does the service of Pe'or (which is disgusting) before an idol that is normally served in a regular way is Patur - because we would know that too from 'Hishtachavayah' (which is Derech Kavod).

(a) Rebbi Elazar rules that someone who Shechts an animal (Derech Kavod) to Markulis (or to Pe'or), which is normally worshipped Derech Bizayon) - is Chayav.

(b) He learns this from the Pasuk in Acharei-Mos "ve'Lo Yizbechu Od es Zivcheihem ... ", using the principle 'Im Eino Inyan', because otherwise, the Pasuk is talking about Avodah-Zarah that is worshipped in a regular way (and we already know this from "Eichah)".

(c) We query this however from Rava bar Rav Chanan - who already learns that from 'Hishtachavayah' (and does therefore need the Pasuk in Acharei-Mos).

(d) We answer 'Hasam be'Zove'ach le'Hach'is' - meaning that the Pasuk of Hashtachavayah refers to someone who actually worships the idol ideologically, whereas this Pasuk refers to someone who worships it out of spite (without believing in what he is doing). Consequently, it is an independant La'av (for which there is no Kareis).

(a) When Rabah met Rav Hamnuna one day - the latter was searching for his lost oxen.

(b) Rabah extrapolated from our Mishnah 'ha'Oved Avodas-Kochavim ... ' - 'Oved, In, Amar, Lo' (that one is not Chayav Miysah until he actually worships the idol, but not for merely accepting it as a deity.

(c) Rabah raised an apparent discrepancy, by asking him from the Mishnah later, which rules that someone who says to a Meisis 'E'evod, Eilech ve'E'evod, Neilech ve'Na'avod' is Chayav (for mere words). Rav Hamnuna replied - by establishing our Mishnah when he declared that he would only accept the idol as a deity when he actually worshipped it.

(d) Rav Yosef gave a different answer. Initially at least, he thinks - that this point is subject to a Machlokes Tana'im, as we shall now see.

(a) Rebbi Meir in a Beraisa, rules that someone who says 'Come and worship me', is guilty - of being a Meisis.

(b) Rebbi Yehudah - declares him Patur.

(c) Rebbi Yehudah concedes to Rebbi Meir that he is Chayav if they actually worshipped him - since the Torah writes "Lo Sa'aseh Lecha Pesel" ('Do not make yourself into an idol', and he did).

(d) They argue in a case - where the people did not subsequently worship him, and they argue over whether words are considered like a deed (Rebbi Meir), or not (Rebbi Yehudah).

(a) Rav Yosef retracted however, based on Rebbi Yehudah who ruled in another Beraisa - that someone who says 'E'evod, Eilech ve'E'evod or Neilech ve'Na'avod' is Chayav.

(b) Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Yehudah argue in a case - where the Meisis tried to talk his listeners into serving *him*.

(c) And they argue over - whether, if the listeners respond in the affirmative, they really mean 'Yes!' (Rebbi Meir), or whether they are only pulling his leg, because, they think to themselves, that he is no more a god than they are.




(a) To resolve the discrepancy between the Reisha and the Seifa, Rav Yosef establishes our Mishnah ('ha'Oved', the Reisha), by a Yachid and the Mishnah later ('ha'Omer E'evod ... ', the Seifa) - by a Rabim.

(b) The reason to distinguish between them is - that a Yachid readily accepts the Nisas' overtures, whereas a Rabim will first make inquiries before finally accepting his words.

(c) Rav Yosef proves his opinion from the Pasuk "Lo Soveh Lo ve'Lo Sishma Eilav", from which he extrapolates 'Ha Avah ve'Shama, Chayav' (bearing in mind that the Pasuk is speaking in the singular).

(a) The Beraisa points out that the Torah is more stringent by ...
1. ... a Yachid - with regard to their bodies, since he receives Sekilah for Avodah-Zarah, whereas a Rabim receives only Sayaf.
2. ... a Rabim - with regard to their property, which is destroyed, whereas that of a Yachid is not.
(b) Abaye extrapolates from this Beraisa - that there are no other distinctions between a Yachid and a Rabim, as Rav Yosef claims there are.

(c) *He* therefore establishes the Mishnah which obligates Dibur alone - when the Nisas is talked into worshipping idols by others (where his acceptance is generally final), and the Mishnah which requires an act (where he is still likely to change his mind even after having made the initial decision to worship them) - when he talks *himself* into worshipping them.

(d) He proves that Dibur alone is sufficient when talked over by others - by quoting the very same Pasuk as Rav Yosef did "Lo Soveh Lo ve'Lo Sishma Elav", 'Ha Avah ve'Shama, Chayav'.

(a) According to Rava, both Mishnos are speaking when the Nisas is talked over by a third party, yet sometimes, the Nisas is Patur with Dibur alone (until he actually worships the idol) - in a case where the Meisis failed to point out the accomplishments of the god in question ('This is what it eats, this is what it drinks, these are the good things that it does, and these are the bad ones'.

(b) And he derives this from the Pasuk "me'Elohei ha'Amim Asher Sevivoseichem ha'Kerovim O ha'Rechokim", which cannot be understood literally - since what difference will the location of the idol make?

(c) So Rava interprets the Pasuk to mean - that the Meisis points to the accomplishments of the neighboring gods, to demonstrate those of the distant ones that he is attempting to 'sell'.

(a) According to Rav Ashi, the Tana generally requires an act before the Nisas can be sentenced to death - and he establishes the Seifa, which obligates him with Dibur alone by a Yisrael Mumar, who is an established sinner, and who, one assumes, will stick to his decision to worship the idol.

(b) Whereas according to Ravina, the Tana is not concerned with a Mumar, and he establishes the Seifa 'ha'Omer 'E'evod ... ', not as an independent case, but - in the form of 'Lo Zu Af Zu' (meaning that the two Mishnos form a sequence, to teach us that not only is one Chayav for an act of Avodah-Zarah, but that one is even Chayav for Dibur alone.

(c) According to Abaye, one is Chayav Miysah (be'Meizid, and a Korban be'Shogeg) for worshipping Avodah-Zarah out of love or fear - of a human being (and not because one believes in the deity concerned).

(d) Rava rules - 'Patur', because in order to be Chayav for Avodah-Zarah, one has to believe in the idol that one worships.

(a) Abaye attempts to prove his opinion from our Mishnah, 'ha'Oved Avodas-Kochavim, Echad ha'Oved ... ' - by interpreting the Reisha by someone who worships the idol out of love or fear, and the Seifa, by someone who worships it out of conviction.

(b) Rava refutes this proof by citing Rebbi Yirmiyah who, earlier in the Sugya - established the Reisha by 'ke'Darkah' and the Seifa, by 'she'Lo ke'Darkah'.

(a) Abaye makes a second attempt at proving his opinion from another Beraisa. The Tana extrapolates there from the Pasuk (in the Aseres ha'Dibros) ...
1. ... "Lo Sishtachaveh *Lahem*" - 'Aval Atah Mishtachaveh le'Adam' (permitting a person to prostrate himself before a human).
2. ... "ve'Lo Sa'avdem" - unless he declares himself a god like Haman.
(b) We know that Haman declared himself a god - because otherwise, there is no reason for Mordechai to have angered Haman the way he did by his refusal to prostrate himself before him.

(c) Rava refutes Abaye's proof from here that Avodah-Zarah out of fear is Chayav - by explaining that the Beraisa gave the example of Haman, because here we have a prime example of a human being who made himself into a god, even though the people were not Chayav in that particular case (because they transgressed out of fear).

(d) Abaye makes a third attempt at proving his opinion from yet another Beraisa. Rebbi obligates a Kohen Mashi'ach (the Kohen Gadol) who served Avodah-Zarah, to bring a Korban, on the basis of a regular Shigegas Ma'aseh. He is normally obligated to bring his special Korban - consisting of a bull, provided he sinned following the ruling of Beis-Din, who permitted Cheilev, shall we say, and he went and ate some.

(a) Rebbi obligates a Kohen Mashi'ach (the Kohen Gadol) who served Avodah-Zarah to bring a Korban, on the basis of a regular Shigegas Ma'aseh. The Chachamim - confine his Chiyuv Korban by Avodah-Zarah to a case of He'elam Davar, like he is by other transgressions.

(b) The Chachamim agree however, that he brings a Se'irah (a she-goat, because the Torah writes in Sh'lach-Lecha [in connection with Avodah-Zarah] "ve'Im Nefesh Achas" [incorporating a Kohen Gadol]), and not a bull. Whereas Rebbi concedes - that the Kohen Gadol does not bring an Asham Taluy (despite the fact that the Nasi brings a Chatas even be'Shigegas Ma'aseh) ...

(c) ... because the Torah writes twice "Shigegaso" by Asham Taluy, indicating that it is only someone who brings a Chatas be'Shigegas Ma'aseh for all his sins, who brings an Asham Taluy (precluding a Kohen Gadol, who usually requires a He'elam Davar).

(a) We have a problem ascertaining the case of Shigegas Ma'aseh (by Avodah-Zarah) bearing in mind that there is no He'elam Davar (in which case we assume that he was aware of the Isur of Avodah-Zarah). It cannot mean that he prostrated himself before ...
1. ... a Shul - because then, he means to serve Hashem, and not an idol.
2. ... the bust of a king, which he accepted as a god - because then he is a Meizid (and is Chayav Kareis or Sekilah).
3. ... the bust of a king, which he did not accept as a god - because then he has done nothing wrong (and there is no reason why he should bring a Korban).
(b) Abaye therefore establishes Shigegas Ma'aseh - when he served it out of love or fear.

(c) This is Abaye's proof that Ahavah ve'Yir'ah is considered a Shogeg. Despite the fact that he believes this to be permitted, it is not a case of He'elam Davar (to obligate even a Kohen Gadol, according to the Chachamim) - because 'He'elam Davar' constitutes specifically forgetting an intrinsic part of the Isur, such as one of the Avodos.

(d) Rava refutes Abaye's proof by establishing it by someone who thinks that Avodah-Zarah is completely permitted (and not when he was aware of the Isur, like we thought until now), and the case of He'elam Davar (which even the Rabbanan concede the Kohen Gadol will be Chayav) is - there where he thinks that some of the Avodos are permitted, but is aware that others are Asur (See Tosfos DH 've'Rava').

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,