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Today's Daf Yomi

March 9, 2018 | ื›ืดื‘ ื‘ืื“ืจ ืชืฉืขืดื—

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Joanna Rom and Steven Goldberg in loving memory of Steve's mother Shirley "Nana" Goldberg (Sura Tema bat Chaim v'Hanka)

Avodah Zarah 53

How does one cancel an idol – what acts show the non-Jew’s intent to cancel and which acts are not indicative of that?

ื“ืจื‘ื™ ื•ื•ืœืก ืœื ื ืฆืจื›ื” ืฉื™ืฉ ืœื• ื‘ื” ืฉื•ืชืคื•ืช ื•ืงื ืžืฉืžืข ืœืŸ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื”ื•ื ื“ืœื ืžื‘ื˜ืœ ื“ื ื›ืจื™ ืื‘ืœ ื ื›ืจื™ ื“ื ืคืฉื™ื” ืžื‘ื˜ืœ

of Rabbi Volas: No, this halakha is necessary in a case where the gentile has partnership in the idol, and it teaches us that it is only a Jew who cannot revoke the status of a gentileโ€™s object of idol worship. But a gentile can revoke the status of his own object of idol worship.

ืื™ื›ื ื“ืžืชื ื™ ืœื” ืื‘ืจื™ื™ืชื ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ื‘ืŸ ืžื ืกื™ื ืื•ืžืจ ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ืฉืœ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืื™ืŸ ืœื” ื‘ื˜ื™ืœื” ืขื•ืœืžื™ืช ืžืื™ ืขื•ืœืžื™ืช ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื”ื™ืœืœ ื‘ืจื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ื™ ื•ื•ืœืก ืœื ื ืฆืจื›ื” ืืœื ืฉื™ืฉ ืœื• ืœื’ื•ื™ ื‘ื” ืฉื•ืชืคื•ืช ื•ืงื ืžืฉืžืข ืœืŸ ื“ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืื“ืขืชื ื“ื ืคืฉื™ื” ืคืœื—

There are those who teach Rabbi Hillelโ€™s statement with regard to a baraita: Rabbi Shimon ben Menasya says: The status of a Jewโ€™s object of idol worship can never be revoked. What is the reason for the additional emphasis of the term never? Rabbi Hillel, son of Rabbi Volas, says: The emphasis is necessary only for a case where the gentile has partnership in the idol, and it teaches us that the Jew worships the idol based on his own intentions, and therefore although the gentile revokes the status of his share, the Jewโ€™s share remains forbidden.

ืžืชื ื™ืณ ื›ื™ืฆื“ ืžื‘ื˜ืœื” ืงื˜ืข ืจืืฉ ืื–ื ื” ืจืืฉ ื—ื•ื˜ืžื” ืจืืฉ ืืฆื‘ืขื” ืคื—ืกื” ืืฃ ืขืœ ืคื™ ืฉืœื ื—ื™ืกืจื” ื‘ื™ื˜ืœื” ืจืง ื‘ืคื ื™ื” ื”ืฉืชื™ืŸ ื‘ืคื ื™ื” ื’ืจืจื” ื–ืจืง ื‘ื” ืืช ื”ืฆื•ืื” ื”ืจื™ ื–ื• ืื™ื ื” ื‘ื˜ื™ืœื” ืžื›ืจื” ืื• ืžืฉื›ื ื” ืจื‘ื™ ืื•ืžืจ ื‘ื™ื˜ืœ ื•ื—ื›ืžื™ื ืื•ืžืจื™ื ืœื ื‘ื™ื˜ืœ

MISHNA: How does a gentile revoke the status of an object of idol worship? If he cut off the tip of its ear, or the tip of its nose, or its fingertip; or if he crushed it, even though he did not remove any part of it, in all these cases he thereby revoked its status as an object of idol worship. If he spat before the idol, urinated before it, dragged it on the ground, or threw excrement at it, the status of this idol is not revoked, as this is only a temporary display of scorn, and afterward the gentile might continue to worship the idol. If the gentile sold it or mortgaged it, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: He thereby revoked its status. And the Rabbis say that he did not revoke its status.

ื’ืžืณ ื›ื™ ืœื ื—ื™ืกืจื” ื‘ืžืื™ ื‘ื™ื˜ืœื” ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ื–ื™ืจื ืฉืคื—ืกื” ื‘ืคื ื™ื”

GEMARA: The mishna teaches that if the gentile crushed the idol without removing any part of it, the status of the idol is revoked. The Gemara asks: In a case where he did not remove any part of it, by what action did he revoke its status? Rav Zeira says: The mishna is referring to a case where he crushed its face with a hammer, destroying its form, even though none of its stone was removed.

ืจืงืง ื‘ืคื ื™ื” ื•ื”ืฉืชื™ืŸ ื‘ืคื ื™ื” ืžื ื”ื ื™ ืžื™ืœื™

ยง The mishna teaches: If he spat before the idol or urinated before it, the status of this idol is not revoked, as this is only a temporary display of scorn. The Gemara asks: From where are these matters derived?

ืืžืจ ื—ื–ืงื™ื” ื“ืืžืจ ืงืจื ื•ื”ื™ื” ื›ื™ ื™ืจืขื‘ ื•ื”ืชืงืฆืฃ ื•ืงืœืœ ื‘ืžืœื›ื• ื•ื‘ืืœื”ื™ื• ื•ืคื ื” ืœืžืขืœื” ื•ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื‘ืชืจื™ื” ื•ืืœ ืืจืฅ ื™ื‘ื™ื˜ ื•ื”ื ื” ืฆืจื” ื•ื—ืฉื›ื” ื•ื’ื•ืณ ื“ืืฃ ืขืœ ื’ื‘ ื“ืงืœืœ ืžืœื›ื• ื•ืืœื”ื™ื• ื•ืคื ื” ืœืžืขืœื” ืืœ ืืจืฅ ื™ื‘ื™ื˜

แธคizkiyya says: This is derived from a verse, as the verse states: โ€œAnd it shall come to pass that, when he shall be hungry, he shall fret, and curse his king and his god, and turn his face upwardโ€ (Isaiah 8:21). And it is written after this verse: โ€œAnd he shall look to the earth, and behold distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish, and outspread thick darknessโ€ (Isaiah 8:22). This indicates that even though he cursed his king and his idolatrous god, and he turned his face upward to God, nevertheless, he subsequently looks to the earth and beholds distress and darkness, since he returns to his idol worship.

ืžื›ืจื” ืื• ืžืฉื›ื ื” ืจื‘ื™ ืื•ืžืจ ื‘ื™ื˜ืœ ื•ื›ื•ืณ ื–ืขื™ืจื™ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืจืžื™ื” ื‘ืจ ืื‘ื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ื—ื“ ืืžืจ ืžื—ืœื•ืงืช ื‘ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื’ื•ื™ ืื‘ืœ ื‘ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื“ื‘ืจื™ ื”ื›ืœ ื‘ื™ื˜ืœ ื•ื—ื“ ืืžืจ ื‘ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืžื—ืœื•ืงืช

ยง The mishna teaches: If the gentile sold it or mortgaged it, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: He thereby revoked its status. And the Rabbis say that he did not revoke its status. The Gemara cites a dispute between that which Zeโ€™eiri says that Rabbi Yoแธฅanan says, and that which Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba says that Rav says. One says: The dispute between Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi and the Rabbis applies only when the gentile sold his idol to a gentile smith. But when he sold it to a Jewish smith everyone agrees that by selling the idol the gentile revoked its status, as he knows that the Jewish smith will certainly melt it down. And one says: The dispute applies to the case where he sold the idol to a Jewish smith.

ืื™ื‘ืขื™ื ืœื”ื• ื‘ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืžื—ืœื•ืงืช ืื‘ืœ ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื’ื•ื™ ื“ื‘ืจื™ ื”ื›ืœ ืœื ื‘ื™ื˜ืœ ืื• ื“ืœืžื ื‘ื™ืŸ ื‘ื–ื” ื•ื‘ื™ืŸ ื‘ื–ื” ืžื—ืœื•ืงืช

A dilemma was raised before the Sages: According to the second opinion, does the dispute apply only to the case where he sold the idol to a Jewish smith; but if he sold it to a gentile smith everyone agrees that he did not revoke its status by selling it? Or perhaps both in this case and in that case there is a dispute.

ืชื ืฉืžืข ื“ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื ืจืื™ืŸ ื“ื‘ืจื™ื™ ื›ืฉืžื›ืจื” ืœื—ื‘ืœื” ื•ื“ื‘ืจื™ ื—ื‘ื™ืจื™ื™ ืฉืžื›ืจื” ืœืขื•ื‘ื“ื”

The Gemara replies: Come and hear a baraita, as Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: My statement that by selling the idol the gentile revokes its status appears correct in a case where he sold it for the purpose of destruction, and the statement of my colleagues that its status is not revoked appears correct in a case where he sold it for the purpose of worship.

ืžืื™ ืœื—ื‘ืœื” ื•ืžืื™ ืœืขื•ื‘ื“ื” ืื™ืœื™ืžื ืœื—ื‘ืœื” ืœื—ื‘ืœื” ืžืžืฉ ืœืขื•ื‘ื“ื” ืœืขื•ื‘ื“ื” ืžืžืฉ ืžืื™ ื˜ืขืžื ื“ืžืืŸ ื“ืืžืจ ื‘ื™ื˜ืœ ื•ืžืื™ ื˜ืขืžื ื“ืžืืŸ ื“ืืžืจ ืœื ื‘ื™ื˜ืœ

The Gemara explains the baraita: What is the meaning of selling the idol for destruction, and what is the meaning of selling it for worship? If we say that selling it for destruction means literally that he knew that it was being bought for the purpose of destruction, and that selling it for worship means literally that it was bought for the purpose of worship, this is difficult. What is the reasoning of the one who says that the gentile revoked the idolโ€™s status even though he knew that the buyer intended to worship it, and what is the reasoning of the one who says that he did not revoke its status even though he knew that the buyer intended to destroy it?

ืืœื ืœืื• ืœื—ื‘ืœื” ืœืžื™ ืฉืขืชื™ื“ ืœื—ื‘ืœื” ื•ืžื ื• ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืœืขื•ื‘ื“ื” ืœืžื™ ืฉืขืชื™ื“ ืœืขื•ื‘ื“ื” ื•ืžื ื• ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื’ื•ื™ ื•ืฉืžืข ืžื™ื ื” ื‘ื™ืŸ ื‘ื–ื” ื•ื‘ื™ืŸ ื‘ื–ื” ืžื—ืœื•ืงืช

Rather, is it not referring to a case where the buyerโ€™s intentions were not known with certainty? And accordingly, selling the idol for destruction means selling it to one who will presumably destroy it in the future. And who is that buyer? This is referring to a Jewish smith. Similarly, selling the idol for worship means selling it to one who will presumably worship it in the future. And who is that buyer? This is referring to a gentile smith. Since Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi states that his opinion appears correct in the case of a Jewish smith and the opinion of his colleagues appears correct in the case of a gentile smith, one may conclude from the baraita that there is a dispute both in this case and in that case.

ืœื ื”ื›ื™ ืงืืžืจ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื ืจืื™ืŸ ื“ื‘ืจื™ื™ ืœื—ื‘ื™ืจื™ื™ ื›ืฉืžื›ืจื” ืœื—ื‘ืœื” ื•ืžื ื• ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืฉืืฃ ื—ื‘ื™ืจื™ื™ ืœื ื ื—ืœืงื• ืขืœื™ ืืœื ื›ืฉืžื›ืจื” ืœืขื•ื‘ื“ื” ืื‘ืœ ืœื—ื‘ืœื” ืžื•ื“ื• ืœื™

The Gemara rejects this suggestion: No, this is what the baraita is saying: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: My statement that the idolโ€™s status is revoked appears to my colleagues correct in a case where he sold it for the purpose of destruction. And who is it who buys the idol with the intent of destroying it? This is referring to a Jewish smith. This is because even my colleagues disagreed with me only in a case where he sold it for the purpose of worship; but when he sold it to a Jewish smith for the purpose of destruction, they concede to my opinion.

ืžื™ืชื™ื‘ื™ ื”ืœื•ืงื— ื’ืจื•ื˜ืื•ืช ืžืŸ ื”ื’ื•ื™ื ื•ืžืฆื ื‘ื”ืŸ ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ืื ืขื“ ืฉืœื ื ืชืŸ ืžืขื•ืช ืžืฉืš ื™ื—ื–ื™ืจ ืื ืžืฉื ืชืŸ ืžืขื•ืช ืžืฉืš ื™ื•ืœื™ืš ืœื™ื ื”ืžืœื—

The Gemara raises an objection from a baraita: With regard to one who buys broken vessels made from gold or silver from the gentiles and finds among them an object of idol worship, if he pulled the object of idol worship, thereby performing an act of acquisition, before he gave the money to the gentile, he may return the object of idol worship to the gentile. But if he pulled it after he gave the money to the gentile he may not return it. Since the idolโ€™s status was not revoked, he must take it and cast it into the Dead Sea.

ืื™ ืืžืจืช ื‘ืฉืœืžื ื‘ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืžื—ืœื•ืงืช ื”ื ืžื ื™ ืจื‘ื ืŸ ื”ื™ื ืืœื ืื™ ืืžืจืช ื‘ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื’ื•ื™ ืžื—ืœื•ืงืช ืื‘ืœ ื‘ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื“ื‘ืจื™ ื”ื›ืœ ื‘ื™ื˜ืœ ื”ื ืžื ื™

The Gemara explains the objection: Granted, if you say that in the case of a gentile who sells an object of idol worship to a Jewish smith there is a dispute between Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi and the Rabbis, the baraita is not difficult. In accordance with whose opinion is this baraita? It is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, who hold that when a gentile sells an idol to a Jewish smith he does not thereby revoke its status. But if you say that the dispute between Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi and the Rabbis applies only when the idol is sold to a gentile smith, but in the case of a Jewish smith everyone agrees that the gentile revoked the idolโ€™s status, then in accordance with whose opinion is this baraita?

ืฉืื ื™ ื”ืชื ื“ืื“ืขืชื ื“ื’ืจื•ื˜ืื•ืช ื–ื‘ื™ืŸ ืื“ืขืชื ื“ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ืœื ื–ื‘ื™ืŸ

The Gemara answers: It is different there, as the gentile sold the metal with the understanding that he was selling broken vessels, and he did not sell the metal with the understanding that he was selling an object of idol worship. He therefore had no intention of revoking its status.

ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืœื•ื” ืขืœื™ื” ืื• ืฉื ืคืœื” ืขืœื™ื” ืžืคื•ืœืช ืื• ืฉื’ื ื‘ื•ื” ืœื™ืกื˜ื™ืŸ ืื• ืฉื”ื ื™ื—ื•ื” ื”ื‘ืขืœื™ื ื•ื”ืœื›ื• ืœืžื“ื™ื ืช ื”ื™ื

ยง The Sages taught: If a gentile borrowed money against an object of idol worship, using it as collateral, or with regard to another case where a rockslide fell on it, or a case where robbers stole it, or a case where the owners abandoned it and went overseas, the following halakha applies:

ืื ืขืชื™ื“ื™ืŸ ืœื—ื–ื•ืจ ื›ืžืœื—ืžืช ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ืื™ื ื” ื‘ื˜ื™ืœื”

In any of these cases, if the owners will return in the future, as was the case in the war of Joshua when he conquered Eretz Yisrael, then the status of the object of idol worship is not revoked.

ื•ืฆืจื™ื›ื ื“ืื™ ืชื ื ืœื•ื” ืขืœื™ื” ืžื“ืœื ื–ื‘ื ื” ืœื ื‘ื˜ืœื” ืื‘ืœ ื ืคืœื” ืขืœื™ื” ืžืคื•ืœืช ืžื“ืœื ืงื ืžืคื ื™ ืœื” ืื™ืžื ื‘ื˜ื•ืœื™ ื‘ื˜ืœื” ืฆืจื™ื›ื

The Gemara comments: And it is necessary for the baraita to state all of these cases. As, had the baraita taught only the case where the gentile borrowed money against the object of idol worship, one would say that in that case the gentile did not revoke its status, as he did not sell it, and he did not indicate that he intended to relinquish it. But in the case where a rockslide fell on it, since he did not clear the rocks, say that he revoked the status of the object of idol worship. It is therefore necessary to teach this case as well.

ื•ืื™ ืชื ื ื ืคืœื” ืขืœื™ื” ืžืคื•ืœืช ืžืฉื•ื ื“ืกื‘ืจ ื”ื ืžื ื—ืช ื›ืœ ืื™ืžืช ื“ื‘ืขื™ื ื ืœื” ืฉืงื™ืœื ื ืœื” ืื‘ืœ ื’ื ื‘ื•ื” ืœืกื˜ื™ื ืžื“ืœื ืงื ืžื”ื“ืจ ืื‘ืชืจื” ื‘ื˜ื•ืœื™ ื‘ื˜ืœื” ืฆืจื™ื›ื

And had the baraita taught only the case where a rockslide fell on the idol, one would say that in that case its status is not revoked because the owner thinks to himself: The idol lies under the rocks safely; whenever I want it, I shall take it, and he feels no need to clear the rockslide immediately. But in the case where robbers stole it, since he is not searching after it, this indicates that he revoked its status. It is therefore necessary to teach this case as well.

ื•ืื™ ืชื ื ื’ื ื‘ื•ื” ืœืกื˜ื™ืŸ ืžืฉื•ื ื“ืกื‘ืจ ืื™ ื’ื•ื™ ืฉืงื™ืœ ืœื” ืžืคืœื— ืคืœื— ืœื” ืื™ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืฉืงืœื” ืื™ื™ื“ื™ ื“ื“ืžื™ื” ื™ืงืจื™ืŸ ืžื–ื‘ื™ืŸ ืœื” ืœื’ื•ื™ ื•ืคืœื— ืœื” ืื‘ืœ ื”ื ื™ื—ื•ื” ื”ื‘ืขืœื™ื ื•ื”ืœื›ื• ืœืžื“ื™ื ืช ื”ื™ื ืžื“ืœื ืฉืงืœื• ื‘ื”ื“ื™ื™ื”ื• ื‘ื˜ื•ืœื™ ื‘ื˜ืœื•ื” ืฆืจื™ื›ื

And had the baraita taught only the case where robbers stole the idol, one would say that in that case its status is not revoked because the owner thinks to himself: If a gentile took it, he will worship it. If a Jew took it, since it is of great monetary value, he will sell it to a gentile and the buyer will worship it. There is therefore no indication that the gentile intends to revoke its status. But in the case where the owners abandoned the idol and went overseas, since they did not take it with them, this indicates that they revoked its status. It is therefore necessary to teach this case as well.

ืื ืขืชื™ื“ื™ืŸ ืœื—ื–ื•ืจ ื›ืžืœื—ืžืช ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ืื™ื ื” ื‘ื˜ื™ืœื” ืžื™ื“ื™ ืžืœื—ืžืช ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ืžื™ื”ื“ืจ ื”ื“ื•ืจ ื”ื›ื™ ืงืืžืจ ืื ืขืชื™ื“ื™ืŸ ืœื—ื–ื•ืจ ื”ืจื™ ื”ื•ื ื›ืžืœื—ืžืช ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ื•ืื™ืŸ ืœื” ื‘ื˜ื™ืœื”

The baraita states: If the owners will return in the future, as was the case in the war of Joshua when he conquered Eretz Yisrael, then the status of the object of idol worship is not revoked. The Gemara asks: Is it so, that after the war of Joshua the gentiles returned home? They were defeated and killed and did not return home. The Gemara explains: This is what the baraita is saying: If the owners will return in the future, the idol has the same status as did the idols of the gentiles killed in the war of Joshua, who intended to return and did not revoke the status of their idols, and therefore its status is not revoked.

ื•ืœืžื” ืœื™ ืœืžื™ืชืœื™ื™ื” ื‘ืžืœื—ืžืช ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ืžืœืชื ืื’ื‘ ืื•ืจื—ื ืงื ืžืฉืžืข ืœืŸ ื›ื™ ื”ื ื“ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ื™ื”ื•ื“ื” ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืฉื–ืงืฃ ืœื‘ื™ื ื” ืœื”ืฉืชื—ื•ืช ืœื” ื•ื‘ื ื’ื•ื™ ื•ื”ืฉืชื—ื•ื” ืœื” ืืกืจื”

The Gemara asks: And why should I associate this halakha with the war of Joshua? The Gemara answers: It teaches us a matter in passing, that the halakhot of idol worship may be derived from the war of Joshua, as may be illustrated by that which Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: In the case of a Jew who set a brick upright in order to bow to it but did not actually bow to it, and a gentile then came and bowed to it, the gentile rendered it prohibited even though it was not his brick.

ืžื ืœืŸ ื“ืืกืจื” ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ืืœืขื–ืจ ื›ืชื—ื™ืœื” ืฉืœ ืืจืฅ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื“ืืžืจ ืจื—ืžื ื ื•ืืฉืจื™ื”ื ืชืฉืจืคื•ืŸ ื‘ืืฉ ืžื›ื“ื™ ื™ืจื•ืฉื” ื”ื™ื ืœื”ื ืžืื‘ื•ืชื™ื”ื ื•ืื™ืŸ ืื“ื ืื•ืกืจ ื“ื‘ืจ ืฉืื™ื ื• ืฉืœื•

The Gemara explains: From where do we derive that he rendered it prohibited? Rabbi Elazar says: This halakha is like the halakha that applied at the outset of the Jewish peopleโ€™s conquest of Eretz Yisrael, when the Torah commanded them to destroy any trees that were used as part of idolatrous rites [asherim], as the Merciful One states: โ€œAnd you shall break down their altarsโ€ฆand you shall burn their asherim with fireโ€ (Deuteronomy 12:3). Now, Eretz Yisrael is the inheritance of the Jewish people from their ancestors, and a person does not render forbidden an item that is not his. If so, how could the gentiles render the trees forbidden, as the land was not theirs?

ื•ืื™ ืžืฉื•ื ื”ื ืš ื“ืžืขื™ืงืจื ื‘ื‘ื™ื˜ื•ืœื ื‘ืขืœืžื ืกื’ื™ ืœื”ื•

If the trees were forbidden because some of them might have been those trees that were worshipped initially, before God gave the land to Abraham, it would not have been necessary to destroy them. Rather, the Jews could have forced the gentiles to revoke their status, and since the asherim were objects of gentilesโ€™ idol worship, a mere revocation would be sufficient to render them permitted.

ืืœื ืžื“ืคืœื—ื• ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืœืขื’ืœ ื’ืœื• ืื“ืขืชื™ื™ื”ื• ื“ื ื™ื—ื ืœื”ื• ื‘ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ื•ื›ื™ ืืชื• ื’ื•ื™ื ืฉืœื™ื—ื•ืชื ื“ื™ื“ื”ื• ืขื‘ื“ื™ ื”ื›ื™ ื ืžื™ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืฉื–ืงืฃ ืœื‘ื™ื ื” ื’ืœื™ื ื“ืขืชื™ื” ื“ื ื™ื—ื ืœื™ื” ื‘ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ื•ื›ื™ ืืชื ื’ื•ื™ ื•ืคืœื— ืœื” ืฉืœื™ื—ื•ืชื ื“ื™ื“ื™ื” ืงืขื‘ื™ื“

Rather, since the Jewish people worshipped the Golden Calf, they revealed their intentions and indicated that they were amenable to idol worship. And when the gentiles came and engaged in idol worship, they were, in effect, carrying out their agency on behalf of the Jewish people. The asherim were therefore considered objects of Jewsโ€™ idol worship, whose status cannot be revoked. So too, in the case of a Jew who set a brick upright in order to bow to it, he thereby revealed his intentions and indicated that he is amenable to idol worship. And when a gentile came and worshipped it, he was carrying out the agency on behalf of the Jew.

ื•ื“ืœืžื ื‘ืขื’ืœ ื”ื•ื ื“ื ื™ื—ื ืœื”ื• ื‘ืžื™ื“ื™ ืื—ืจื™ื ื ืœื ืืžืจ ืงืจื ืืœื” ืืœื”ื™ืš ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืžืœืžื“ ืฉืื™ื•ื• ืœืืœื•ื”ื•ืช ื”ืจื‘ื”

The Gemara challenges: But perhaps it is only with regard to the Golden Calf that the Jewish people were amenable to worshipping it, but not with regard to any other type of idol worship. The Gemara counters: The verse states with regard to the Golden Calf: โ€œAnd they said: These are your gods, O Israelโ€ (Exodus 32:4), in the plural. This teaches that they desired many gods, and they did not desire to worship only the Golden Calf.

ืื™ืžื ื›ืœ ื“ื‘ื”ื“ื™ ืขื’ืœ ื ื™ืชืกืจื• ืžื›ืืŸ ื•ืื™ืœืš ื ื™ืฉืชืจื™ ืžืืŸ ืžื•ื›ื—

The Gemara suggests: Say that whatever asherim were worshipped by the gentiles simultaneously with the Jewish peopleโ€™s worship of the Golden Calf should be prohibited, because at that time they acted as agents of the Jewish people. But any ashera that was worshipped from that point forward, after the Jewish people repented and no longer engaged in idol worship, should be permitted. The Gemara answers: Who can prove when each ashera was worshipped? Since it is impossible to determine which asherim were worshipped at the time of the Golden Calf, they are all forbidden.

ืžืชื ื™ืณ ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ืฉื”ื ื™ื—ื•ื” ืขื•ื‘ื“ื™ื” ื‘ืฉืขืช ืฉืœื•ื ืžื•ืชืจืช ื‘ืฉืขืช ืžืœื—ืžื” ืืกื•ืจื” ื‘ื™ืžื•ืกื™ืื•ืช ืฉืœ ืžืœื›ื™ื ื”ืจื™ ืืœื• ืžื•ืชืจื•ืช ืžืคื ื™ ืฉืžืขืžื™ื“ื™ืŸ ืื•ืชื” ื‘ืฉืขื” ืฉื”ืžืœื›ื™ื ืขื•ื‘ืจื™ื

MISHNA: With regard to an object of idol worship that was abandoned by its worshippers, if it was abandoned in peacetime, it is permitted, as it was evidently abandoned by choice and this constitutes an implicit revocation of its status as an object of idol worship. If it was abandoned in wartime, it is prohibited, as it was not abandoned by choice. With regard to the stone platforms of kings upon which idols are placed in honor of the kings, these are permitted, due to the fact that the idol is placed on these platforms only at the time that the kings pass by.

ื’ืžืณ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืจืžื™ื” ื‘ืจ ืื‘ื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ื‘ื™ืช ื ืžืจื•ื“ ื”ืจื™ ื”ื™ื ื›ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ืฉื”ื ื™ื—ื•ื” ืขื•ื‘ื“ื™ื” ื‘ืฉืขืช ืฉืœื•ื ื•ืžื•ืชืจ ืืฃ ืขืœ ื’ื‘ ื“ื›ื™ ื‘ื“ืจื™ื ื”ื• ืจื—ืžื ื ื›ืฉืขืช ืžืœื—ืžื” ื“ืžื™ ืื™ ื‘ืขื™ื ืœืžื™ื”ื“ืจ ื”ื“ื•ืจ ืžื“ืœื ื”ื“ื•ืจ ื‘ื˜ื•ืœื™ ื‘ื˜ืœื”

GEMARA: Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba says that Rav says: The temple of Nimrod, i.e., the remnants of the tower of Babel (see Genesis 11:1โ€“9), is considered a place of idol worship whose worshippers abandoned it in peacetime, and it is therefore permitted. This is despite the fact that when the Merciful One scattered the builders of the tower, the situation resembled wartime, as they were compelled to leave. Nevertheless, if they had desired to return, they could have returned. Since they did not return, they evidently chose to abandon the place of idol worship and thereby revoked its status.

ื‘ื™ืžื•ืกื™ืื•ืช ืฉืœ ืžืœื›ื™ื ื”ืจื™ ืืœื• ืžื•ืชืจื•ืช ื•ื›ื™ ืžืคื ื™ ืฉืžืขืžื™ื“ื™ืŸ ืื•ืชื” ื‘ืฉืขื” ืฉื”ืžืœื›ื™ื ืขื•ื‘ืจื™ืŸ ืžื•ืชืจื™ืŸ

ยง The mishna teaches: With regard to the stone platforms of kings, these are permitted, due to the fact that the idol is placed on these platforms only at the time that the kings pass by. The Gemara asks: But should the platforms be permitted because idols are placed on them at the time that the kings pass by?

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื” ื‘ืจ ื‘ืจ ื—ื ื” ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ื”ื›ื™ ืงืืžืจ ืžืคื ื™ ืฉืžืขืžื™ื“ื™ืŸ ืื•ืชืŸ ื‘ืฉืขื” ืฉื”ืžืœื›ื™ื ืขื•ื‘ืจื™ืŸ ื•ืžืœื›ื™ื ืžื ื™ื—ื™ืŸ ื“ืจืš ื–ื• ื•ื”ื•ืœื›ื™ืŸ ื‘ื“ืจืš ืื—ืจืช

Rabba bar bar แธคana said that Rabbi Yoแธฅanan said: This is what the mishna is saying: The platforms are permitted because the idol is placed on them at the time that the kings pass by, and sometimes the kings abandon this path where the platform has been placed and choose to walk on a different path. Since the kings do not impart any importance to the platforms, they are not considered accessories of idol worship.

ื›ื™ ืืชื ืขื•ืœื ื™ืชื™ื‘ ืื‘ื™ืžืกื ืคื’ื™ืžื ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืจื‘ ื™ื”ื•ื“ื” ืœืขื•ืœื ื•ื”ื ืจื‘ ื•ืฉืžื•ืืœ ื“ืืžืจื™ ืชืจื•ื™ื™ื”ื• ื‘ื™ืžื•ืก ืฉื ืคื’ื ืืกื•ืจ ื•ืืคื™ืœื• ืœืžืืŸ ื“ืืžืจ ืื™ืŸ ืขื•ื‘ื“ื™ื ืœืฉื‘ืจื™ื ื”ื ื™ ืžื™ืœื™ ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ื“ื–ื™ืœื ื‘ื™ื” ืžืœืชื ืœืžืคืœื— ืœืฉื‘ืจื™ื ืื‘ืœ ื”ืื™ ืœื ืื™ื›ืคืช ืœื™ื”

ยง When Ulla came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he sat on a damaged platform of idol worship. Rav Yehuda said to Ulla: But donโ€™t Rav and Shmuel both say: A platform that was damaged remains prohibited? And even according to the one who says that idol worshippers do not worship fragments of idols, that statement applies only to an object of idol worship, as it is a degrading matter to a person to worship fragments. But in this case, with regard to the platform, it does not matter to him if it is damaged, as it is still fit for use.

ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืžืืŸ ื™ื”ื™ื‘ ืœืŸ ืžืขืคืจื ื“ืจื‘ ื•ืฉืžื•ืืœ ื•ืžืœืื™ื ืŸ ืขื™ื™ื ื™ืŸ ื”ื ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ื•ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ื“ืืžืจื™ ืชืจื•ื™ื™ื”ื• ื‘ื™ืžื•ืก ืฉื ืคื’ื ืžื•ืชืจ ื•ืืคื™ืœื• ืœืžืืŸ ื“ืืžืจ ืขื•ื‘ื“ื™ืŸ ืœืฉื‘ืจื™ื ื”ื ื™ ืžื™ืœื™ ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ื“ื›ื™ื•ืŸ ื“ืคืœื—ื” ื–ื™ืœื ื‘ื™ื” ืžื™ืœืชื ืœื‘ื˜ื•ืœื” ืื‘ืœ ื”ื ื™ ืฉืงืœื™ ืœื”ืื™ ื•ืžื™ื™ืชื• ื‘ื™ืžื•ืก ืื—ืจื™ื ื

Ulla said to Rav Yehuda: Who shall give us of the dust of the graves covering Rav and Shmuel? We would fill our eyes with that dust, as they were great and holy men. Nevertheless, with regard to the halakha in this case, donโ€™t Rabbi Yoแธฅanan and Reish Lakish both say: A platform that was damaged is permitted? And even according to the one who says that idol worshippers worship fragments of idols, that statement applies only to an object of idol worship, due to the fact that since he already worshipped it, it is a degrading matter to him to revoke its status. But in the case of these platforms, idol worshippers take this platform and throw it away and bring another platform that is not defective to replace it.

ืชื ื™ื ื›ื•ื•ืชื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ื•ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ื‘ื™ืžื•ืก ืฉื ืคื’ื ืžื•ืชืจ ืžื–ื‘ื— ืฉื ืคื’ื ืืกื•ืจ ืขื“ ืฉื™ื ืชืฅ ืจื•ื‘ื• ื”ื™ื›ื™ ื“ืžื™ ื‘ื™ืžื•ืก ื”ื™ื›ื™ ื“ืžื™ ืžื–ื‘ื— ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืขืงื‘ ื‘ืจ ืื™ื“ื™ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ื‘ื™ืžื•ืก ืื‘ืŸ ืื—ืช ืžื–ื‘ื— ืื‘ื ื™ื ื”ืจื‘ื”

It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yoแธฅanan and Reish Lakish: A platform that was damaged is permitted. Conversely, an altar of idol worship that was damaged remains prohibited until most of it is destroyed. What is considered a platform, and what is considered an altar? Rabbi Yaโ€™akov bar Idi says that Rabbi Yoแธฅanan says: A platform consists of one stone; an altar consists of many stones.

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Joanna Rom and Steven Goldberg in loving memory of Steve's mother Shirley "Nana" Goldberg (Sura Tema bat Chaim v'Hanka)

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Avodah Zarah 53

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Avodah Zarah 53

ื“ืจื‘ื™ ื•ื•ืœืก ืœื ื ืฆืจื›ื” ืฉื™ืฉ ืœื• ื‘ื” ืฉื•ืชืคื•ืช ื•ืงื ืžืฉืžืข ืœืŸ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื”ื•ื ื“ืœื ืžื‘ื˜ืœ ื“ื ื›ืจื™ ืื‘ืœ ื ื›ืจื™ ื“ื ืคืฉื™ื” ืžื‘ื˜ืœ

of Rabbi Volas: No, this halakha is necessary in a case where the gentile has partnership in the idol, and it teaches us that it is only a Jew who cannot revoke the status of a gentileโ€™s object of idol worship. But a gentile can revoke the status of his own object of idol worship.

ืื™ื›ื ื“ืžืชื ื™ ืœื” ืื‘ืจื™ื™ืชื ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ื‘ืŸ ืžื ืกื™ื ืื•ืžืจ ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ืฉืœ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืื™ืŸ ืœื” ื‘ื˜ื™ืœื” ืขื•ืœืžื™ืช ืžืื™ ืขื•ืœืžื™ืช ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื”ื™ืœืœ ื‘ืจื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ื™ ื•ื•ืœืก ืœื ื ืฆืจื›ื” ืืœื ืฉื™ืฉ ืœื• ืœื’ื•ื™ ื‘ื” ืฉื•ืชืคื•ืช ื•ืงื ืžืฉืžืข ืœืŸ ื“ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืื“ืขืชื ื“ื ืคืฉื™ื” ืคืœื—

There are those who teach Rabbi Hillelโ€™s statement with regard to a baraita: Rabbi Shimon ben Menasya says: The status of a Jewโ€™s object of idol worship can never be revoked. What is the reason for the additional emphasis of the term never? Rabbi Hillel, son of Rabbi Volas, says: The emphasis is necessary only for a case where the gentile has partnership in the idol, and it teaches us that the Jew worships the idol based on his own intentions, and therefore although the gentile revokes the status of his share, the Jewโ€™s share remains forbidden.

ืžืชื ื™ืณ ื›ื™ืฆื“ ืžื‘ื˜ืœื” ืงื˜ืข ืจืืฉ ืื–ื ื” ืจืืฉ ื—ื•ื˜ืžื” ืจืืฉ ืืฆื‘ืขื” ืคื—ืกื” ืืฃ ืขืœ ืคื™ ืฉืœื ื—ื™ืกืจื” ื‘ื™ื˜ืœื” ืจืง ื‘ืคื ื™ื” ื”ืฉืชื™ืŸ ื‘ืคื ื™ื” ื’ืจืจื” ื–ืจืง ื‘ื” ืืช ื”ืฆื•ืื” ื”ืจื™ ื–ื• ืื™ื ื” ื‘ื˜ื™ืœื” ืžื›ืจื” ืื• ืžืฉื›ื ื” ืจื‘ื™ ืื•ืžืจ ื‘ื™ื˜ืœ ื•ื—ื›ืžื™ื ืื•ืžืจื™ื ืœื ื‘ื™ื˜ืœ

MISHNA: How does a gentile revoke the status of an object of idol worship? If he cut off the tip of its ear, or the tip of its nose, or its fingertip; or if he crushed it, even though he did not remove any part of it, in all these cases he thereby revoked its status as an object of idol worship. If he spat before the idol, urinated before it, dragged it on the ground, or threw excrement at it, the status of this idol is not revoked, as this is only a temporary display of scorn, and afterward the gentile might continue to worship the idol. If the gentile sold it or mortgaged it, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: He thereby revoked its status. And the Rabbis say that he did not revoke its status.

ื’ืžืณ ื›ื™ ืœื ื—ื™ืกืจื” ื‘ืžืื™ ื‘ื™ื˜ืœื” ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ื–ื™ืจื ืฉืคื—ืกื” ื‘ืคื ื™ื”

GEMARA: The mishna teaches that if the gentile crushed the idol without removing any part of it, the status of the idol is revoked. The Gemara asks: In a case where he did not remove any part of it, by what action did he revoke its status? Rav Zeira says: The mishna is referring to a case where he crushed its face with a hammer, destroying its form, even though none of its stone was removed.

ืจืงืง ื‘ืคื ื™ื” ื•ื”ืฉืชื™ืŸ ื‘ืคื ื™ื” ืžื ื”ื ื™ ืžื™ืœื™

ยง The mishna teaches: If he spat before the idol or urinated before it, the status of this idol is not revoked, as this is only a temporary display of scorn. The Gemara asks: From where are these matters derived?

ืืžืจ ื—ื–ืงื™ื” ื“ืืžืจ ืงืจื ื•ื”ื™ื” ื›ื™ ื™ืจืขื‘ ื•ื”ืชืงืฆืฃ ื•ืงืœืœ ื‘ืžืœื›ื• ื•ื‘ืืœื”ื™ื• ื•ืคื ื” ืœืžืขืœื” ื•ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื‘ืชืจื™ื” ื•ืืœ ืืจืฅ ื™ื‘ื™ื˜ ื•ื”ื ื” ืฆืจื” ื•ื—ืฉื›ื” ื•ื’ื•ืณ ื“ืืฃ ืขืœ ื’ื‘ ื“ืงืœืœ ืžืœื›ื• ื•ืืœื”ื™ื• ื•ืคื ื” ืœืžืขืœื” ืืœ ืืจืฅ ื™ื‘ื™ื˜

แธคizkiyya says: This is derived from a verse, as the verse states: โ€œAnd it shall come to pass that, when he shall be hungry, he shall fret, and curse his king and his god, and turn his face upwardโ€ (Isaiah 8:21). And it is written after this verse: โ€œAnd he shall look to the earth, and behold distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish, and outspread thick darknessโ€ (Isaiah 8:22). This indicates that even though he cursed his king and his idolatrous god, and he turned his face upward to God, nevertheless, he subsequently looks to the earth and beholds distress and darkness, since he returns to his idol worship.

ืžื›ืจื” ืื• ืžืฉื›ื ื” ืจื‘ื™ ืื•ืžืจ ื‘ื™ื˜ืœ ื•ื›ื•ืณ ื–ืขื™ืจื™ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืจืžื™ื” ื‘ืจ ืื‘ื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ื—ื“ ืืžืจ ืžื—ืœื•ืงืช ื‘ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื’ื•ื™ ืื‘ืœ ื‘ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื“ื‘ืจื™ ื”ื›ืœ ื‘ื™ื˜ืœ ื•ื—ื“ ืืžืจ ื‘ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืžื—ืœื•ืงืช

ยง The mishna teaches: If the gentile sold it or mortgaged it, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: He thereby revoked its status. And the Rabbis say that he did not revoke its status. The Gemara cites a dispute between that which Zeโ€™eiri says that Rabbi Yoแธฅanan says, and that which Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba says that Rav says. One says: The dispute between Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi and the Rabbis applies only when the gentile sold his idol to a gentile smith. But when he sold it to a Jewish smith everyone agrees that by selling the idol the gentile revoked its status, as he knows that the Jewish smith will certainly melt it down. And one says: The dispute applies to the case where he sold the idol to a Jewish smith.

ืื™ื‘ืขื™ื ืœื”ื• ื‘ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืžื—ืœื•ืงืช ืื‘ืœ ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื’ื•ื™ ื“ื‘ืจื™ ื”ื›ืœ ืœื ื‘ื™ื˜ืœ ืื• ื“ืœืžื ื‘ื™ืŸ ื‘ื–ื” ื•ื‘ื™ืŸ ื‘ื–ื” ืžื—ืœื•ืงืช

A dilemma was raised before the Sages: According to the second opinion, does the dispute apply only to the case where he sold the idol to a Jewish smith; but if he sold it to a gentile smith everyone agrees that he did not revoke its status by selling it? Or perhaps both in this case and in that case there is a dispute.

ืชื ืฉืžืข ื“ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื ืจืื™ืŸ ื“ื‘ืจื™ื™ ื›ืฉืžื›ืจื” ืœื—ื‘ืœื” ื•ื“ื‘ืจื™ ื—ื‘ื™ืจื™ื™ ืฉืžื›ืจื” ืœืขื•ื‘ื“ื”

The Gemara replies: Come and hear a baraita, as Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: My statement that by selling the idol the gentile revokes its status appears correct in a case where he sold it for the purpose of destruction, and the statement of my colleagues that its status is not revoked appears correct in a case where he sold it for the purpose of worship.

ืžืื™ ืœื—ื‘ืœื” ื•ืžืื™ ืœืขื•ื‘ื“ื” ืื™ืœื™ืžื ืœื—ื‘ืœื” ืœื—ื‘ืœื” ืžืžืฉ ืœืขื•ื‘ื“ื” ืœืขื•ื‘ื“ื” ืžืžืฉ ืžืื™ ื˜ืขืžื ื“ืžืืŸ ื“ืืžืจ ื‘ื™ื˜ืœ ื•ืžืื™ ื˜ืขืžื ื“ืžืืŸ ื“ืืžืจ ืœื ื‘ื™ื˜ืœ

The Gemara explains the baraita: What is the meaning of selling the idol for destruction, and what is the meaning of selling it for worship? If we say that selling it for destruction means literally that he knew that it was being bought for the purpose of destruction, and that selling it for worship means literally that it was bought for the purpose of worship, this is difficult. What is the reasoning of the one who says that the gentile revoked the idolโ€™s status even though he knew that the buyer intended to worship it, and what is the reasoning of the one who says that he did not revoke its status even though he knew that the buyer intended to destroy it?

ืืœื ืœืื• ืœื—ื‘ืœื” ืœืžื™ ืฉืขืชื™ื“ ืœื—ื‘ืœื” ื•ืžื ื• ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืœืขื•ื‘ื“ื” ืœืžื™ ืฉืขืชื™ื“ ืœืขื•ื‘ื“ื” ื•ืžื ื• ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื’ื•ื™ ื•ืฉืžืข ืžื™ื ื” ื‘ื™ืŸ ื‘ื–ื” ื•ื‘ื™ืŸ ื‘ื–ื” ืžื—ืœื•ืงืช

Rather, is it not referring to a case where the buyerโ€™s intentions were not known with certainty? And accordingly, selling the idol for destruction means selling it to one who will presumably destroy it in the future. And who is that buyer? This is referring to a Jewish smith. Similarly, selling the idol for worship means selling it to one who will presumably worship it in the future. And who is that buyer? This is referring to a gentile smith. Since Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi states that his opinion appears correct in the case of a Jewish smith and the opinion of his colleagues appears correct in the case of a gentile smith, one may conclude from the baraita that there is a dispute both in this case and in that case.

ืœื ื”ื›ื™ ืงืืžืจ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื ืจืื™ืŸ ื“ื‘ืจื™ื™ ืœื—ื‘ื™ืจื™ื™ ื›ืฉืžื›ืจื” ืœื—ื‘ืœื” ื•ืžื ื• ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืฉืืฃ ื—ื‘ื™ืจื™ื™ ืœื ื ื—ืœืงื• ืขืœื™ ืืœื ื›ืฉืžื›ืจื” ืœืขื•ื‘ื“ื” ืื‘ืœ ืœื—ื‘ืœื” ืžื•ื“ื• ืœื™

The Gemara rejects this suggestion: No, this is what the baraita is saying: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: My statement that the idolโ€™s status is revoked appears to my colleagues correct in a case where he sold it for the purpose of destruction. And who is it who buys the idol with the intent of destroying it? This is referring to a Jewish smith. This is because even my colleagues disagreed with me only in a case where he sold it for the purpose of worship; but when he sold it to a Jewish smith for the purpose of destruction, they concede to my opinion.

ืžื™ืชื™ื‘ื™ ื”ืœื•ืงื— ื’ืจื•ื˜ืื•ืช ืžืŸ ื”ื’ื•ื™ื ื•ืžืฆื ื‘ื”ืŸ ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ืื ืขื“ ืฉืœื ื ืชืŸ ืžืขื•ืช ืžืฉืš ื™ื—ื–ื™ืจ ืื ืžืฉื ืชืŸ ืžืขื•ืช ืžืฉืš ื™ื•ืœื™ืš ืœื™ื ื”ืžืœื—

The Gemara raises an objection from a baraita: With regard to one who buys broken vessels made from gold or silver from the gentiles and finds among them an object of idol worship, if he pulled the object of idol worship, thereby performing an act of acquisition, before he gave the money to the gentile, he may return the object of idol worship to the gentile. But if he pulled it after he gave the money to the gentile he may not return it. Since the idolโ€™s status was not revoked, he must take it and cast it into the Dead Sea.

ืื™ ืืžืจืช ื‘ืฉืœืžื ื‘ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืžื—ืœื•ืงืช ื”ื ืžื ื™ ืจื‘ื ืŸ ื”ื™ื ืืœื ืื™ ืืžืจืช ื‘ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื’ื•ื™ ืžื—ืœื•ืงืช ืื‘ืœ ื‘ืฆื•ืจืฃ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื“ื‘ืจื™ ื”ื›ืœ ื‘ื™ื˜ืœ ื”ื ืžื ื™

The Gemara explains the objection: Granted, if you say that in the case of a gentile who sells an object of idol worship to a Jewish smith there is a dispute between Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi and the Rabbis, the baraita is not difficult. In accordance with whose opinion is this baraita? It is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, who hold that when a gentile sells an idol to a Jewish smith he does not thereby revoke its status. But if you say that the dispute between Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi and the Rabbis applies only when the idol is sold to a gentile smith, but in the case of a Jewish smith everyone agrees that the gentile revoked the idolโ€™s status, then in accordance with whose opinion is this baraita?

ืฉืื ื™ ื”ืชื ื“ืื“ืขืชื ื“ื’ืจื•ื˜ืื•ืช ื–ื‘ื™ืŸ ืื“ืขืชื ื“ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ืœื ื–ื‘ื™ืŸ

The Gemara answers: It is different there, as the gentile sold the metal with the understanding that he was selling broken vessels, and he did not sell the metal with the understanding that he was selling an object of idol worship. He therefore had no intention of revoking its status.

ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืœื•ื” ืขืœื™ื” ืื• ืฉื ืคืœื” ืขืœื™ื” ืžืคื•ืœืช ืื• ืฉื’ื ื‘ื•ื” ืœื™ืกื˜ื™ืŸ ืื• ืฉื”ื ื™ื—ื•ื” ื”ื‘ืขืœื™ื ื•ื”ืœื›ื• ืœืžื“ื™ื ืช ื”ื™ื

ยง The Sages taught: If a gentile borrowed money against an object of idol worship, using it as collateral, or with regard to another case where a rockslide fell on it, or a case where robbers stole it, or a case where the owners abandoned it and went overseas, the following halakha applies:

ืื ืขืชื™ื“ื™ืŸ ืœื—ื–ื•ืจ ื›ืžืœื—ืžืช ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ืื™ื ื” ื‘ื˜ื™ืœื”

In any of these cases, if the owners will return in the future, as was the case in the war of Joshua when he conquered Eretz Yisrael, then the status of the object of idol worship is not revoked.

ื•ืฆืจื™ื›ื ื“ืื™ ืชื ื ืœื•ื” ืขืœื™ื” ืžื“ืœื ื–ื‘ื ื” ืœื ื‘ื˜ืœื” ืื‘ืœ ื ืคืœื” ืขืœื™ื” ืžืคื•ืœืช ืžื“ืœื ืงื ืžืคื ื™ ืœื” ืื™ืžื ื‘ื˜ื•ืœื™ ื‘ื˜ืœื” ืฆืจื™ื›ื

The Gemara comments: And it is necessary for the baraita to state all of these cases. As, had the baraita taught only the case where the gentile borrowed money against the object of idol worship, one would say that in that case the gentile did not revoke its status, as he did not sell it, and he did not indicate that he intended to relinquish it. But in the case where a rockslide fell on it, since he did not clear the rocks, say that he revoked the status of the object of idol worship. It is therefore necessary to teach this case as well.

ื•ืื™ ืชื ื ื ืคืœื” ืขืœื™ื” ืžืคื•ืœืช ืžืฉื•ื ื“ืกื‘ืจ ื”ื ืžื ื—ืช ื›ืœ ืื™ืžืช ื“ื‘ืขื™ื ื ืœื” ืฉืงื™ืœื ื ืœื” ืื‘ืœ ื’ื ื‘ื•ื” ืœืกื˜ื™ื ืžื“ืœื ืงื ืžื”ื“ืจ ืื‘ืชืจื” ื‘ื˜ื•ืœื™ ื‘ื˜ืœื” ืฆืจื™ื›ื

And had the baraita taught only the case where a rockslide fell on the idol, one would say that in that case its status is not revoked because the owner thinks to himself: The idol lies under the rocks safely; whenever I want it, I shall take it, and he feels no need to clear the rockslide immediately. But in the case where robbers stole it, since he is not searching after it, this indicates that he revoked its status. It is therefore necessary to teach this case as well.

ื•ืื™ ืชื ื ื’ื ื‘ื•ื” ืœืกื˜ื™ืŸ ืžืฉื•ื ื“ืกื‘ืจ ืื™ ื’ื•ื™ ืฉืงื™ืœ ืœื” ืžืคืœื— ืคืœื— ืœื” ืื™ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืฉืงืœื” ืื™ื™ื“ื™ ื“ื“ืžื™ื” ื™ืงืจื™ืŸ ืžื–ื‘ื™ืŸ ืœื” ืœื’ื•ื™ ื•ืคืœื— ืœื” ืื‘ืœ ื”ื ื™ื—ื•ื” ื”ื‘ืขืœื™ื ื•ื”ืœื›ื• ืœืžื“ื™ื ืช ื”ื™ื ืžื“ืœื ืฉืงืœื• ื‘ื”ื“ื™ื™ื”ื• ื‘ื˜ื•ืœื™ ื‘ื˜ืœื•ื” ืฆืจื™ื›ื

And had the baraita taught only the case where robbers stole the idol, one would say that in that case its status is not revoked because the owner thinks to himself: If a gentile took it, he will worship it. If a Jew took it, since it is of great monetary value, he will sell it to a gentile and the buyer will worship it. There is therefore no indication that the gentile intends to revoke its status. But in the case where the owners abandoned the idol and went overseas, since they did not take it with them, this indicates that they revoked its status. It is therefore necessary to teach this case as well.

ืื ืขืชื™ื“ื™ืŸ ืœื—ื–ื•ืจ ื›ืžืœื—ืžืช ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ืื™ื ื” ื‘ื˜ื™ืœื” ืžื™ื“ื™ ืžืœื—ืžืช ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ืžื™ื”ื“ืจ ื”ื“ื•ืจ ื”ื›ื™ ืงืืžืจ ืื ืขืชื™ื“ื™ืŸ ืœื—ื–ื•ืจ ื”ืจื™ ื”ื•ื ื›ืžืœื—ืžืช ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ื•ืื™ืŸ ืœื” ื‘ื˜ื™ืœื”

The baraita states: If the owners will return in the future, as was the case in the war of Joshua when he conquered Eretz Yisrael, then the status of the object of idol worship is not revoked. The Gemara asks: Is it so, that after the war of Joshua the gentiles returned home? They were defeated and killed and did not return home. The Gemara explains: This is what the baraita is saying: If the owners will return in the future, the idol has the same status as did the idols of the gentiles killed in the war of Joshua, who intended to return and did not revoke the status of their idols, and therefore its status is not revoked.

ื•ืœืžื” ืœื™ ืœืžื™ืชืœื™ื™ื” ื‘ืžืœื—ืžืช ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ืžืœืชื ืื’ื‘ ืื•ืจื—ื ืงื ืžืฉืžืข ืœืŸ ื›ื™ ื”ื ื“ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ื™ื”ื•ื“ื” ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืฉื–ืงืฃ ืœื‘ื™ื ื” ืœื”ืฉืชื—ื•ืช ืœื” ื•ื‘ื ื’ื•ื™ ื•ื”ืฉืชื—ื•ื” ืœื” ืืกืจื”

The Gemara asks: And why should I associate this halakha with the war of Joshua? The Gemara answers: It teaches us a matter in passing, that the halakhot of idol worship may be derived from the war of Joshua, as may be illustrated by that which Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: In the case of a Jew who set a brick upright in order to bow to it but did not actually bow to it, and a gentile then came and bowed to it, the gentile rendered it prohibited even though it was not his brick.

ืžื ืœืŸ ื“ืืกืจื” ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ืืœืขื–ืจ ื›ืชื—ื™ืœื” ืฉืœ ืืจืฅ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื“ืืžืจ ืจื—ืžื ื ื•ืืฉืจื™ื”ื ืชืฉืจืคื•ืŸ ื‘ืืฉ ืžื›ื“ื™ ื™ืจื•ืฉื” ื”ื™ื ืœื”ื ืžืื‘ื•ืชื™ื”ื ื•ืื™ืŸ ืื“ื ืื•ืกืจ ื“ื‘ืจ ืฉืื™ื ื• ืฉืœื•

The Gemara explains: From where do we derive that he rendered it prohibited? Rabbi Elazar says: This halakha is like the halakha that applied at the outset of the Jewish peopleโ€™s conquest of Eretz Yisrael, when the Torah commanded them to destroy any trees that were used as part of idolatrous rites [asherim], as the Merciful One states: โ€œAnd you shall break down their altarsโ€ฆand you shall burn their asherim with fireโ€ (Deuteronomy 12:3). Now, Eretz Yisrael is the inheritance of the Jewish people from their ancestors, and a person does not render forbidden an item that is not his. If so, how could the gentiles render the trees forbidden, as the land was not theirs?

ื•ืื™ ืžืฉื•ื ื”ื ืš ื“ืžืขื™ืงืจื ื‘ื‘ื™ื˜ื•ืœื ื‘ืขืœืžื ืกื’ื™ ืœื”ื•

If the trees were forbidden because some of them might have been those trees that were worshipped initially, before God gave the land to Abraham, it would not have been necessary to destroy them. Rather, the Jews could have forced the gentiles to revoke their status, and since the asherim were objects of gentilesโ€™ idol worship, a mere revocation would be sufficient to render them permitted.

ืืœื ืžื“ืคืœื—ื• ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืœืขื’ืœ ื’ืœื• ืื“ืขืชื™ื™ื”ื• ื“ื ื™ื—ื ืœื”ื• ื‘ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ื•ื›ื™ ืืชื• ื’ื•ื™ื ืฉืœื™ื—ื•ืชื ื“ื™ื“ื”ื• ืขื‘ื“ื™ ื”ื›ื™ ื ืžื™ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืฉื–ืงืฃ ืœื‘ื™ื ื” ื’ืœื™ื ื“ืขืชื™ื” ื“ื ื™ื—ื ืœื™ื” ื‘ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ื•ื›ื™ ืืชื ื’ื•ื™ ื•ืคืœื— ืœื” ืฉืœื™ื—ื•ืชื ื“ื™ื“ื™ื” ืงืขื‘ื™ื“

Rather, since the Jewish people worshipped the Golden Calf, they revealed their intentions and indicated that they were amenable to idol worship. And when the gentiles came and engaged in idol worship, they were, in effect, carrying out their agency on behalf of the Jewish people. The asherim were therefore considered objects of Jewsโ€™ idol worship, whose status cannot be revoked. So too, in the case of a Jew who set a brick upright in order to bow to it, he thereby revealed his intentions and indicated that he is amenable to idol worship. And when a gentile came and worshipped it, he was carrying out the agency on behalf of the Jew.

ื•ื“ืœืžื ื‘ืขื’ืœ ื”ื•ื ื“ื ื™ื—ื ืœื”ื• ื‘ืžื™ื“ื™ ืื—ืจื™ื ื ืœื ืืžืจ ืงืจื ืืœื” ืืœื”ื™ืš ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืžืœืžื“ ืฉืื™ื•ื• ืœืืœื•ื”ื•ืช ื”ืจื‘ื”

The Gemara challenges: But perhaps it is only with regard to the Golden Calf that the Jewish people were amenable to worshipping it, but not with regard to any other type of idol worship. The Gemara counters: The verse states with regard to the Golden Calf: โ€œAnd they said: These are your gods, O Israelโ€ (Exodus 32:4), in the plural. This teaches that they desired many gods, and they did not desire to worship only the Golden Calf.

ืื™ืžื ื›ืœ ื“ื‘ื”ื“ื™ ืขื’ืœ ื ื™ืชืกืจื• ืžื›ืืŸ ื•ืื™ืœืš ื ื™ืฉืชืจื™ ืžืืŸ ืžื•ื›ื—

The Gemara suggests: Say that whatever asherim were worshipped by the gentiles simultaneously with the Jewish peopleโ€™s worship of the Golden Calf should be prohibited, because at that time they acted as agents of the Jewish people. But any ashera that was worshipped from that point forward, after the Jewish people repented and no longer engaged in idol worship, should be permitted. The Gemara answers: Who can prove when each ashera was worshipped? Since it is impossible to determine which asherim were worshipped at the time of the Golden Calf, they are all forbidden.

ืžืชื ื™ืณ ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ืฉื”ื ื™ื—ื•ื” ืขื•ื‘ื“ื™ื” ื‘ืฉืขืช ืฉืœื•ื ืžื•ืชืจืช ื‘ืฉืขืช ืžืœื—ืžื” ืืกื•ืจื” ื‘ื™ืžื•ืกื™ืื•ืช ืฉืœ ืžืœื›ื™ื ื”ืจื™ ืืœื• ืžื•ืชืจื•ืช ืžืคื ื™ ืฉืžืขืžื™ื“ื™ืŸ ืื•ืชื” ื‘ืฉืขื” ืฉื”ืžืœื›ื™ื ืขื•ื‘ืจื™ื

MISHNA: With regard to an object of idol worship that was abandoned by its worshippers, if it was abandoned in peacetime, it is permitted, as it was evidently abandoned by choice and this constitutes an implicit revocation of its status as an object of idol worship. If it was abandoned in wartime, it is prohibited, as it was not abandoned by choice. With regard to the stone platforms of kings upon which idols are placed in honor of the kings, these are permitted, due to the fact that the idol is placed on these platforms only at the time that the kings pass by.

ื’ืžืณ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืจืžื™ื” ื‘ืจ ืื‘ื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ื‘ื™ืช ื ืžืจื•ื“ ื”ืจื™ ื”ื™ื ื›ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ืฉื”ื ื™ื—ื•ื” ืขื•ื‘ื“ื™ื” ื‘ืฉืขืช ืฉืœื•ื ื•ืžื•ืชืจ ืืฃ ืขืœ ื’ื‘ ื“ื›ื™ ื‘ื“ืจื™ื ื”ื• ืจื—ืžื ื ื›ืฉืขืช ืžืœื—ืžื” ื“ืžื™ ืื™ ื‘ืขื™ื ืœืžื™ื”ื“ืจ ื”ื“ื•ืจ ืžื“ืœื ื”ื“ื•ืจ ื‘ื˜ื•ืœื™ ื‘ื˜ืœื”

GEMARA: Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba says that Rav says: The temple of Nimrod, i.e., the remnants of the tower of Babel (see Genesis 11:1โ€“9), is considered a place of idol worship whose worshippers abandoned it in peacetime, and it is therefore permitted. This is despite the fact that when the Merciful One scattered the builders of the tower, the situation resembled wartime, as they were compelled to leave. Nevertheless, if they had desired to return, they could have returned. Since they did not return, they evidently chose to abandon the place of idol worship and thereby revoked its status.

ื‘ื™ืžื•ืกื™ืื•ืช ืฉืœ ืžืœื›ื™ื ื”ืจื™ ืืœื• ืžื•ืชืจื•ืช ื•ื›ื™ ืžืคื ื™ ืฉืžืขืžื™ื“ื™ืŸ ืื•ืชื” ื‘ืฉืขื” ืฉื”ืžืœื›ื™ื ืขื•ื‘ืจื™ืŸ ืžื•ืชืจื™ืŸ

ยง The mishna teaches: With regard to the stone platforms of kings, these are permitted, due to the fact that the idol is placed on these platforms only at the time that the kings pass by. The Gemara asks: But should the platforms be permitted because idols are placed on them at the time that the kings pass by?

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื” ื‘ืจ ื‘ืจ ื—ื ื” ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ื”ื›ื™ ืงืืžืจ ืžืคื ื™ ืฉืžืขืžื™ื“ื™ืŸ ืื•ืชืŸ ื‘ืฉืขื” ืฉื”ืžืœื›ื™ื ืขื•ื‘ืจื™ืŸ ื•ืžืœื›ื™ื ืžื ื™ื—ื™ืŸ ื“ืจืš ื–ื• ื•ื”ื•ืœื›ื™ืŸ ื‘ื“ืจืš ืื—ืจืช

Rabba bar bar แธคana said that Rabbi Yoแธฅanan said: This is what the mishna is saying: The platforms are permitted because the idol is placed on them at the time that the kings pass by, and sometimes the kings abandon this path where the platform has been placed and choose to walk on a different path. Since the kings do not impart any importance to the platforms, they are not considered accessories of idol worship.

ื›ื™ ืืชื ืขื•ืœื ื™ืชื™ื‘ ืื‘ื™ืžืกื ืคื’ื™ืžื ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืจื‘ ื™ื”ื•ื“ื” ืœืขื•ืœื ื•ื”ื ืจื‘ ื•ืฉืžื•ืืœ ื“ืืžืจื™ ืชืจื•ื™ื™ื”ื• ื‘ื™ืžื•ืก ืฉื ืคื’ื ืืกื•ืจ ื•ืืคื™ืœื• ืœืžืืŸ ื“ืืžืจ ืื™ืŸ ืขื•ื‘ื“ื™ื ืœืฉื‘ืจื™ื ื”ื ื™ ืžื™ืœื™ ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ื“ื–ื™ืœื ื‘ื™ื” ืžืœืชื ืœืžืคืœื— ืœืฉื‘ืจื™ื ืื‘ืœ ื”ืื™ ืœื ืื™ื›ืคืช ืœื™ื”

ยง When Ulla came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he sat on a damaged platform of idol worship. Rav Yehuda said to Ulla: But donโ€™t Rav and Shmuel both say: A platform that was damaged remains prohibited? And even according to the one who says that idol worshippers do not worship fragments of idols, that statement applies only to an object of idol worship, as it is a degrading matter to a person to worship fragments. But in this case, with regard to the platform, it does not matter to him if it is damaged, as it is still fit for use.

ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืžืืŸ ื™ื”ื™ื‘ ืœืŸ ืžืขืคืจื ื“ืจื‘ ื•ืฉืžื•ืืœ ื•ืžืœืื™ื ืŸ ืขื™ื™ื ื™ืŸ ื”ื ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ื•ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ื“ืืžืจื™ ืชืจื•ื™ื™ื”ื• ื‘ื™ืžื•ืก ืฉื ืคื’ื ืžื•ืชืจ ื•ืืคื™ืœื• ืœืžืืŸ ื“ืืžืจ ืขื•ื‘ื“ื™ืŸ ืœืฉื‘ืจื™ื ื”ื ื™ ืžื™ืœื™ ืขื‘ื•ื“ื” ื–ืจื” ื“ื›ื™ื•ืŸ ื“ืคืœื—ื” ื–ื™ืœื ื‘ื™ื” ืžื™ืœืชื ืœื‘ื˜ื•ืœื” ืื‘ืœ ื”ื ื™ ืฉืงืœื™ ืœื”ืื™ ื•ืžื™ื™ืชื• ื‘ื™ืžื•ืก ืื—ืจื™ื ื

Ulla said to Rav Yehuda: Who shall give us of the dust of the graves covering Rav and Shmuel? We would fill our eyes with that dust, as they were great and holy men. Nevertheless, with regard to the halakha in this case, donโ€™t Rabbi Yoแธฅanan and Reish Lakish both say: A platform that was damaged is permitted? And even according to the one who says that idol worshippers worship fragments of idols, that statement applies only to an object of idol worship, due to the fact that since he already worshipped it, it is a degrading matter to him to revoke its status. But in the case of these platforms, idol worshippers take this platform and throw it away and bring another platform that is not defective to replace it.

ืชื ื™ื ื›ื•ื•ืชื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ื•ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ื‘ื™ืžื•ืก ืฉื ืคื’ื ืžื•ืชืจ ืžื–ื‘ื— ืฉื ืคื’ื ืืกื•ืจ ืขื“ ืฉื™ื ืชืฅ ืจื•ื‘ื• ื”ื™ื›ื™ ื“ืžื™ ื‘ื™ืžื•ืก ื”ื™ื›ื™ ื“ืžื™ ืžื–ื‘ื— ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืขืงื‘ ื‘ืจ ืื™ื“ื™ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ื‘ื™ืžื•ืก ืื‘ืŸ ืื—ืช ืžื–ื‘ื— ืื‘ื ื™ื ื”ืจื‘ื”

It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yoแธฅanan and Reish Lakish: A platform that was damaged is permitted. Conversely, an altar of idol worship that was damaged remains prohibited until most of it is destroyed. What is considered a platform, and what is considered an altar? Rabbi Yaโ€™akov bar Idi says that Rabbi Yoแธฅanan says: A platform consists of one stone; an altar consists of many stones.

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