Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

תוספות on ("כתובות ל״ג עמ׳ ב׳ "אלמלי) explains that the גמרא assumes that חנניה, מישאל, & עזריה were not forced to actually worship idolatry, but merely to bow down to a meaningless statue dedicated to the honor of the king. The גמרא says the reason they stood their ground and refused was only because they were tortured, but if they hadn't been tortured they would have bowed to the statue. The insight of תוספות here, quoting רבינו תם, is that they would have been fully within their rights to bow to the meaningless statue, if not for the torture, and that the situation (forced submission on pain of torture and potential death) is what called for a קידוש ה׳, not the nature of the act (i.e., there's nothing wrong with a meaningless gesture to a meaningless statue to show honor to the king and get him to leave them alone).

But this תוס׳ concludes, immediately after presenting this argument, with, "but it does seem like עבודה זרה, which is kind of a difficulty."

Furthermore, on עבודה זרה ג׳ עמ׳ ב׳, this גמרא is referenced by תוס׳ again, and the opinion of ר״ת is again presented, but this time without the contradictory concluding statement.

So who wrote that dissenting opinion in the תוס׳ on כתובות ל״ג עמ׳ ב׳?

share|improve this question
Probably whoever wrote Tosfos on Kesubos. –  b a Feb 27 '13 at 5:27
Also, was the reference to "Kesuboth" at the end of the question a typo? –  b a Feb 27 '13 at 5:33
Did you check the Tosafots of Rosh, Rash and Rabbeinu Peretz to see if they have the extra line? –  Double AA Feb 27 '13 at 5:53
Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/33705 –  msh210 Dec 4 '13 at 7:39
@Seth J My understanding of the gemoro is exactly the opposite. –  preferred May 6 at 13:11

1 Answer 1

I don't know who wrote the dissenting opinion, however, there is the opinion of the Ri quoted in Tosfos Pesachim 53b "Mah Ra'uh" who implies that the statue was considered avoda zara. He says that the question is not why Chanania, Mishael and Azariah were willing to give their lives up, but rather why they did not run away before it came to that point.

Also the Shita Mekubetzes (Kesubos 33b) brings many Rishonim who held (like Rabbeinu Tam) that the statue was not a problem of Avoda Zara, but also cites a Rabbeinu Eliezer who also holds that it was Avoda Zara, but that a person is not obligated to withstand torture not to serve idols, only to give up their life.

share|improve this answer
Rail, welcome to Mi Yodeya! Thank you for the very interesting additional information to consider. It should be noted, however, that this does not answer the question of who provided the dissenting opinion. Perhaps this should be converted to a comment. –  Seth J May 20 at 14:33
I'm nominating this answer for deletion because it inherently does not answer the question. It begins with, "I don't know [the answer to your question]..." IMHO (maybe not so 'H'), this moves the attempted answer into conjecture and commentary territory. Move to delete and transform into a comment on the question. I've voted to delete, and I urge others to support me in this. –  Seth J Jun 2 at 17:38

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.