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Sanhedrin 64



(a) The Pasuk writes "va'Yitz'aku el Hashem Elokeihem". The Anshei K'neses ha'Gedolah were crying ('Baya Baya', which is the equivalent of 'Oy Vay'!) about - the Yeitzer-ha'Ra for Avodah-Zarah, which was still rampant, even after they returned from Galus Bavel.

(b) They decided to pray for the removal of that particular Yeitzer ha'Ra - because its benefit (of being overcome) was outweighed by its loss (of overcoming them [in other words, it was too powerful for them to handle])

(c) After they had fasted for three days, a 'piece of paper' fell from Heave n containing the word 'Emes', a sign that Hashem agreed with their decision. Rebbi Chanina proves from Hashem's choice of word that Hashem's seal is 'Emes' (as if He co-signed with them on their Takanah).

(d) The Yeitzer ha'Ra was delivered to them - in the form of a lion cub of fire, which emerged from the Kodesh Kodshim. When a hair fell from it - its roar could be heard at a distance of four hundred Parsah.

(a) Acting on the advice of the Navi, they ensured that it remained in captivity - by sealing it in a lead pot which they covered with a lead lid.

(b) When, taking advantage of the opportunity, they prayed for Hashem to also remove the Yeitzer-ha'Ra for adultery - they discovered after holding that Yeitzer-ha'Ra too in captivity for three days, that not even an egg for a sick person was to found (since even the animals were no longer interested in reproducing.

(c) They did not pray for Hashem to at least remove its sinful aspect however - because they knew that Hashem does not answer half-requests.

(d) So they finally decided to paint its eyes - with the result that at least the Yeitzer-ha'Ra for incest was removed, even though the desire for adultery and relations with a Nidah remained.

(a) That Nochris undertook that should she recover from a serious illness - she would worship every Avodah-Zarah in the world.

(b) When she came to Pe'or, the priests instructed her - to eat spinach, drink beer and defecate in front of Pe'or.

(c) Her reaction to this was - that it was better to become ill once more than to perform something so disgusting.

(d) Based on the Pasuk "ha'Nitzmadim le'Va'al Pe'or", we comment on this - that this woman was more refined than our ancestors, who cleaved to Pe'or, like a lid that is attached to a jar.

(e) Based on the Pasuk (which follows the account of Ba'al Pe'or) "ve'Atem ha'Deveikim ba'Hashem Elokeichem" the Tana comments - that when it comes to Avodah-Zarah, Yisrael only worship it loosely ("Nitzmadim"), like a bracelet ('Tzamid') on a woman's arm; whereas when they cleave to Hashem they cleave to Him tightly ("Deveikim").

(a) The Beraisa tells the story of Savta ben Elles, who rented his donkey to a Nochris. Savta ben Elles was - a plain Yisrael.

(b) When the Nochris, who had just worshipped Ba'al Pe'or, expressed surprise that he, a Yisrael, should want to do likewise, he replied - 'What business is it of yours?'

(c) He subsequently did what he had to do, but before leaving, he cleaned himself on the idol's nose, with the intention of degrading it.

(d) The priests - were ecstatic. Never they said, had they ever seen anyone worshipping their god with such enthusiasm.

(a) The Beraisa go on to say that someone who worships Pe'or with the intention of putting it to shame, or Markulis with intention of stoning it - is Chayav (since that is the way it is normally worshipped).

(b) Rav Menasheh arrived in Tursa. When they informed him that ...

1. ... there was an idol there - he pelted it with clods of earth.
2. ... the idol was called Markulis - he went to the Beis-Hamedrash to find out whether seeing as he did so in order to degrade it, his actions were justifiable.
3. ... that it was forbidden to do so even if his intention was to degrade it, he asked whether he could rectify what he had done by removing the clods.
(c) They answered his final She'eilah - in the negative, because, they said, removing one stone makes room for another to take its place.
(a) The two things that our Mishnah requires a father to do before he can be Chayav for worshipping Molech are - handing over his son to the priests and passing him through the fire.

(b) Rebbi Avin establishes the previous Mishnah, which mentions Molech as well as Avodah-Zarah, like Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar in the Beraisa, who holds that Molech is not considered an Avodah-Zarah. The Tana Kama rules - that he is Chayav, irrespective of whether he is serving Molech in this way, or any other Avodah-Zarah.

(c) The difference between whether Molech is an Avodah-Zarah or not - is either where one worshipped Molech with one of the four Avodos (Zivu'ach, ve'Kitur ... .), for which he will not be Chayav if Molech is not an Avodah-Zarah; or if he passed his son through the fire to an idol other than Molech, for which he will not be Chayav, if Molech is not an Avodah-Zarah.

(d) According to the Tana Kama, we need a Pasuk to forbid this kind of worship (with regard to other forms of Avodah-Zarah). We do not already know it from "Eichah Ya'avdu" - because "Eichah Ya'avdu" applies only to an Avodah that is Darkah be'Kach, and this Avodah (with respect of other Avodah-Zoros) is not.

(a) According to Abaye, Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon and Rebbi Chanina ben Antignos say one and the same thing. Rebbi Chanina ben Antignos explains that this type of worship is called 'Molech' - because the very essence of the Avodah that he performs proclaims that the worshipper accepts it as his king, adding 'Afilu Tzeror va'Afilu Kisam' (a clod of earth or a splinter of wood [become his king if he serves them in this way]).

(b) According to Rava - Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon will disagree with Rebbi Chanina ben Antignos' last statement, inasmuch as, in his opinion, Molech must be something fixed, and not something as casual as a clod of earth or a splinter of wood.




(a) Rebbi Yanai learns from the Pasuk "u'mi'Zar'acha *Lo Siten* Leha'avir la'Molech" - that one is only Chayav if one first hands over the child to the priests.

(b) The Beraisa too, makes this D'rashah and from "le'Ha'avir", the Tana learns that the father is not Chayav unless he (the father), is also the one who passes his son through the fire And he learns from the word "la'Molech" - that the Chiyuv is confined to 'Molech' (like Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon).

(c) And from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Ma'avir" "Ma'avir" from the Pasuk "Lo Yimatzei Becha Ma'avir B'no u'Vito ba'Eish" he derives - that one is only Chayav if one passes him through fire, and not through anything else.

(d) The Tana knows that the latter Pasuk does not incorporate other forms of Avodah-Zarah (even though it does not mention specifically 'Molech') - via the same 'Gezeirah-Shavah' (which generally works both ways.

(e) He interprets "Lo Siten Le'ha'avir" to mean - that he hands him to the priest and then passes him through the fire (and not that he hands him to the priest tin order o pass him through the fire).

(a) Rav Acha B'rei de'Rava learns from the word "u'mi'Zar'acha ..." - "mi'Zar'acha", 've'Lo Kol Zar'acha' (that one is not Chayav for giving all one's children to Molech.

(b) Rav Ashi asked what the Din will be if the child that was being passed through the fire was a. blind, b. asleep. Perhaps the father will not be Chayav - because the child was unable a. permanently, b. temporarily, to do so himself.

(c) Rav Ashi's third She'eilah was - whether one is Chayav for handing one's grandson to Molech, seeing as the Torah writes in Kedoshim "Lo Yimatzei Becha Ma'avir *B'no u'Vito* la'Molech" (which seems to preclude a grandson).

(d) The Beraisa, which quotes the Pasuk "Ki mi'Zar'o Nasan la'Molech", resolves - the third of the three She'eilos, since "mi'Zar'o" includes one's grandsons.

(e) When the Tana begins with the above Pasuk, and ends with "be'Sito mi'Zar'o la'Molech", he is coming to add the additional Chidush - that one is even Chayav for handing over one's children or grandchildren who are Pasul.

(a) Rav Yehudah absolves someone who performs the Avodah of Molech she'Lo ke'Darko. Abaye describes 'ke'Darko' as - passing him along a row of bricks with a raging fire on either side.

(b) Rava disagrees. He describes 'ke'Darko' as 'ke'Mashvarta de'Purya' which means - that the child has to jump across a pit in which a raging fire is burning, like the children used to do on Purim (presumably without the fire).

(c) The major difference between 'Molech' and 'S'farvim' that we discussed earlier (and through which Chizkiyah Hamelech was passed) is - that by Molech, the child is not actually passed through the fire, and therefore does not necessarily die. We know this from the Machlokes that follows, as to whether someone passes *himself* to Molech is Chayav or Patur (implying that he survives the ordeal).

(d) The Beraisa that supports Rava ('He'eviro be'Raglo Patur') adds that one is only Chayav for Yotz'ei Yereicho. This ...

1. ... incorporates - one's sons and daughters (not to mention one's grandchildren ... ).
2. ... precludes - one's father and mother, brothers and sisters.
(a) The Tana Kama of the Beraisa absolves someone who passes himself to Molech. Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon - obligates him.

(b) Ula learns from the Pasuk "Lo Yimatzei *Becha* Ma'avir B'no u'Vito la'Molech" - that a person is Chayav for passing *himself* to Molech (like Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon).

(c) We learned in the Mishnah in Bava Metzi'a 'Aveidaso va'Aveidas Aviv, she'Lo Kodem'. Rav Yehudah derives it from the Pasuk - "Efes Ki Lo Yihyeh Becha Evyon", which we initially assume he learns from the word "Becha" ...

(d) ... a Kashya on the Tana Kama in the previous Beraisa - who does not Darshen "Becha" (whereas this Tana seems to Darshen it). Does this mean that the author of the Mishnah is Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon?

(a) We answer that it does not - because the D'rashah is not from "Becha", but from "Efes" (which has connotations of negating).

(b) According to Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina, the connection between the two K'riysus mentioned by Molech "va'Ani Eten es Panai ba'Ish ha'Hu ve'Hichrati Oso mi'Kerev Amo" and "ve'Samti Ani es Panai ... ve'Hichrati Oso ... ", and the Pasuk "Ki D'var Hashem Bazah ... Hikares Tikares" is - that they constitute the three K'riysus by Avodah-Zarah.

(c) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina knows that the latter Pasuk is referring to Avodah-Zarah - because "D'var Hashem" hints at the first two of the Aseres ha'Dibros (which we heard directly from Hashem).

(d) This does not imply that he considers Molech an Avodah-Zarah - because we only apply one of the K'riysus written there to Avodah-Zarah, using the principle 'Im Eino Inyan' (due to the fact that the second of the two Pesukim is not needed for Molech; and besides, even if 'Molech' is not halachically an Avodah-Zarah, it is referred to as such).

(a) If one Kareis applies to Avodah-Zarah ke'Darkah, and the other, to she'Lo ke'Darkah (by the four Avodos), the third one applies - to Molech.

(b) According to those who consider Molech an Avodah-Zarah, the third Kareis applies -to someone who passes his son through the fire she'Lo ke'Darkah (i.e. other types of Avodah-Zarah, which are not generally worshipped in this way).

(c) If Megadef is not considered an Avodah-Zarah, we can understand why it requires its own Kareis ("es Hashem Hu Megadef"), but we have a problem according to those who hold that it is (which we resolve shortly). Assuming that it is a form of Avodah-Zarah, it constitutes - singing to Avodah-Zarah (like the Levi'im sang to accompany the Korbanos).

(a) Rebbi Akiva interprets ...
1. ... the double Lashon "Hikares Tikares" in connection with Megadef in Sh'lach-Lecha - "Hikares", 'ba'Olam ha'Zeh', "Tikares", 'ba'Olam ha'Ba'.
2. ... 'Megadef' to mean - someone who curses Hashem.
(b) Rebbi Yishmael interprets 'Megadef' to mean - Avodah-Zarah (as we just explained).

(c) That bring the case, despite the fact that the Torah has already written "ve'Nichresah", it needs to add ...

1. ... "Hikares" - to teach us that someone who serves Avodah-Zarah is cut off, not only from this world, but also from the World to Come.
2. ... "Tikares" - not for Halachic reasons, but because of the principle 'Dibrah Torah ki'Leshon B'nei Adam' (because it is a manner of speech).
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