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Questions tagged [masecheth-avodah-zarah]

Tractate with laws of foreign deities, their worshippers and Maachalei Akum (food/wine made/cooked by a gentile)

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Is Pat Akum applicable nowadays

The Mishnah in Avodah Zarah 2:6 discusses the prohibition of bread baked by a gentile, also known as Pat Akum. My question is whether nowadays, when the Halacha LeMaaseh appears to permit that, ...
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Are copies of the Temple's keilim assur behanaah?

The Talmud in Masechet Avodah Zarah 43a states Jews are forbidden from making replicas of items of the Temple. My question is: once a replica has been created, is it prohibited to derive any benefit ...
Kirk's user avatar
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"Everything that you did, you did for your own needs." (Avodah Zara 2b) - Why do we need to know this now?

The gemara in Avodah Zara discusses the conversation between Hashem and the world, after Moshiach arrives. He invites everyone to come and get their reward for Torah. The various nations queue up and ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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*Obligation* to only learn what you enjoy?

The famous gemara in Avodah Zara: א"ר אין אדם לומד תורה אלא ממקום שלבו חפץ שנאמר (תהלים א, ב) כי אם בתורת ה' חפצו Rabbi [Yehuda HaNasi] says: A person can learn Torah only from a place [in the ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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Ben Ish Chai: Rome and the USA

Rav Daniel Glatstein often quotes from the Ben Ish Chai's commentary Ben Yehoyada on Avodah Zarah 10. He says that the Ben Yehoyada describes "רוֹמִי"- Rome - to mean "Western ideas&...
Shmuel's user avatar
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The parallel of 6000 years and the six days of creation

I have read in the Yalkut Biurim-section of the Mesivta Gemara Sanhedrin (p. 98 of the Yalkut Biurim), that the six days of creation are intertwined with the teaching that the world will exist for ...
Shmuel's user avatar
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18,000 worlds under the protection of Hashem!

This is based on the answer to the post here. "In the Milstein-edition (Artscroll, p. 427) 1 it quotes the Maharal's Chiddushei Aggadah and says that these (eighteen thousand worlds) are the ...
Seeker's user avatar
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2 answers
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G-d traveling 18,000 worlds

What’s the deeper meaning behind this midrash in Avodah Zara 3b: ובליליא מאי עביד איבעית אימא מעין יממא ואיבעית אימא רוכב על כרוב קל שלו ושט בשמונה עשר אלף עולמות שנאמר (תהלים סח, יח) רכב אלהים ...
Curious Yid's user avatar
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Does the battle between Leviathan and Behemoth stand for the battle between Rome and Persia?

We first meet descriptions of the Behemoth and Leviathan in the book of Job. In the prophecy of Daniel wild beasts are used to represent kingdoms. We have received a tradition that the Leviathan and ...
James Read's user avatar
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Why does the speaker not attribute to ALL sources?

On 16b of Masechet Avodah Zarah, the gemara recounts a situation in which R' Zeira tells of a fact he learned from R' Yehudah. R' Yehudah learned it from someone important but doesn't recall if it was ...
rosends's user avatar
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Why wear white for the inauguration of the Mishkan?

Rashi (Vayikra 8:28) quotes the Gemara Avoda Zara saying ויקטר המזבחה. מֹשֶׁה שִׁמֵּשׁ כָּל שִׁבְעַת יְמֵי הַמִּלּוּאִים בְּחָלוּק לָבָן (עבודה זרה ל"ד) — Moshe (though a non-kohen) was ...
NJM's user avatar
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Is the Talmudic section of Avoda Zara really about "idolatry" or is it just a euphemism gentiles, christians, and apostates?

Is the Talmudic section of Avoda Zara really about "idolatry" or is it just a euphemism for gentiles, christians, and jewish apostates and jewish heretics? For example, if we look near the ...
barlop's user avatar
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Which ancient cults would cut out the hearts of live animals and offer them as sacrifices?

Which ancient cults would cut out the hearts of live animals and offer them as sacrifices? The Mishnah (Avodah Zarah 2:3) mentions a concept called עורות לבובין which Maimonides and other commentators ...
Reb Chaim HaQoton's user avatar
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What exactly are the forbidden statues according to Yerushalmi- Avodah Zarah 3:1 18a?

We read in Yerushalmi- Avodah Zarah 3:1 18a (English translation by Rabbi Jacob Neusner): [A] All images are prohibited. [B] "Because they are worshipped once a year", the words of R. Meir [...
Amos74's user avatar
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Do Rome and Persia's kingdoms still exist?

The Gemara in Avoda Zara 2b says: וכי מאחר דחזו לקמאי דלא מהני ולא מידי מ"ט עיילי סברי הנך אישתעבדו בהו בישראל ואנן לא שעבדנו בישראל מאי שנא הני דחשיבי ומאי שנא הני דלא חשיבי להו משום דהנך משכי ...
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Why can Avodah Zara be בטל בשישים?

If עבודה זרה is so strict, why can it be בטל by 1/60 in דבר שלא במינו? (see :עבודה זרה ע"ג)
Heppenheimer's user avatar
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Is one allowed to embarass idolaters and atheists in public?

From the story of Yehudah and Tamar, we know that it's better to die than embarass a fellow Jew in public. However, I've heard multiple times that Torah permits embarassing and insulting idolaters (...
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Name of avoda zara in the mishna?

Avoda Zara 3, 4: שאל פרוקלוס... שהיה רוחץ במרחץ של אפרודיטי Proclus asked... because he was washing in the bathroom of aphroditi ... Given it is forbidden to say name of avoda zara (Sanhedrin ...
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Do any Rishonim or Achronim view Rava’s opinion of Mordechai as a negative one?

Recently I was browsing some source sheets on Sefaria regarding Purim, and I stumbled upon this sheet, which, based on various comments of Rava’s throughout Shas, argues that, in Rava’s opinion, ...
DonielF's user avatar
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Is it a good sign or a bad sign to face downwards upon one’s death?

Kesuvos 103b says: תניא מת מתוך השחוק סימן יפה לו מתוך הבכי סימן רע לו פניו למעלה סימן יפה לו פניו למטה סימן רע לו פניו [...] It was taught in a Braisa: One who dies amidst laughter, it’s a ...
DonielF's user avatar
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Money obtained by selling Tikrovet avoda zara

Talmud Kiddushin 58a says that Avoda Zara 'catches its value' (תופס דמיו) to be forbidden as itself: the money obtained from its sale is also forbidden. Now, what with tikrovet avoda zara (offerings ...
yO_'s user avatar
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Different kinds of Moshav Leitzim clowns

On Avoda Zara 18b, there's a list of multiple Moshav Leitzim examples: תנו רבנן ההולך לאיצטדינין ולכרקום וראה שם את הנחשים ואת החברין בוקיון ומוקיון ומוליון ולוליון בלורין סלגורין הרי זה מושב לצים I'...
HelterSkelter's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
163 views

Is there a problem with buying a Christian a Christmas gift?

To make the question easier, suppose that the recipient of the Christmas gift is a devout Christian who actually celebrates for religious reasons. Potentially there are several issues with buying a ...
DonielF's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
179 views

Why in Yom Kippur davening do we make mention of the Gemara that it would have better not to have been created?

In Nusach Ashkenaz, following Al Cheit in Chazaras HaShatz of Mussaf Yom Kippur, there are two passages that describe our pleas that Hashem fulfill His promise to cleanse us if only we repent. ...
DonielF's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Stumbling Block contained in the Babylonian Talmud

There is an incident in the Avodah Zarah tractate concerning a blasphemous joke Rabbi Eliazer overheard and derived pleasure from. This sin, according to the Rabbi himself, resulted in his wife and ...
יהושע ק's user avatar
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Did Rav Yosef seriously instruct us to leave people in pits?

Avodah Zarah 26a-b In a passage here, Rav Yosef instructs us to leave idolators and 'shepherds of small animals' in pits. Abaye constructs an excuse to fish them out. Abahu stands with leaving them ...
bimargulies's user avatar
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273 views

What is a kilbis fish?

The Gemara (Avodah Zarah 40a) mentions that if you find a "kilbis" (כילבית) fish in fish brine you can eat it. What does a "kilbis" fish translate out to in English?
Efraym's user avatar
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What was so miraculous of the Chanukah war?

In the Chanukah "Al Hanisim", it says: "You delivered the mighty into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few, the impure into the hands of the pure, the wicked into ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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What will the future be like in respect to populating the world?

Let’s say that we believe in the literal meaning of Midrashim. Let’s also say that we aren’t learning like the Rambam (Hil. Melachim 12:1) that, for the most part, the Messianic future will be the ...
DonielF's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
170 views

Why didn't Rashi mention lo sechanem includes gifts

Devarim 7:2 says: וּנְתָנָ֞ם יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ לְפָנֶ֖יךָ וְהִכִּיתָ֑ם הַחֲרֵ֤ם תַּחֲרִים֙ אֹתָ֔ם לֹא־תִכְרֹ֥ת לָהֶ֛ם בְּרִ֖ית וְלֹ֥א תְחָנֵּֽם׃ and the LORD your God delivers them to you and ...
robev's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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The Big Three in Private

I know that for the sins of sexual immorality, murder and idolatry one is required to die rather than violate them. The gemara in Avodah Zara 54a seems to imply that in private one is allowed to ...
Gabriel's user avatar
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Why did the R' Akiva marry the wife of Tyrannus Rufus?

The gemara in Avodah zara 20a brings a Baraisa that says, ואף רבי עקיבא ראה אשת טורנוסרופוס הרשע רק שחק ובכה רק שהיתה באה מטיפה סרוחה שחק דעתידה דמגיירא ונסיב לה בכה דהאי שופרא בלי עפרא We know that ...
Bach's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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The snake slept with Chavah?

Chazal say (Avodah Zarah 22b) that the snake had relations with Chavah. Does the Gemara elsewhere ever fault her explicitly for this? If not, why not, as she was already commanded in it (Sanhedrin 58a,...
DonielF's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
237 views

Why didn't Mordechai bow?

Tosfos in AZ 3a (DH Shelo Histachavu L'Tzelem) brings several proofs that Nevuchadnetzar's statue could not have been Avodah Zarah, and bowing to it would have been considered merely showing honor: ...
DonielF's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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A מין's science: permitted?

The Talmud (AZ 27b) and in the Tosfot talks about the issur to frequent the מינים and to cure by them: לא ישא ויתן אדם עם המינים ואין מתרפאין מהן אפילו לחיי שעה וכו' שאני מינות דמשכא דאתי לממשך ...
yO_'s user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Sarah nursing idolaters' children

The Gemara (BM 87b) relates that at the time that Avraham made a feast for Yitzchak'a birth, the nations mocked him and Sarah, saying that they adopted him, or that he was Avimelech's son with Sarah. ...
DonielF's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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Promising someone Paradise

In Avoda Zarah 18a: The Executioner then said to him (Rabbi Chanina ben Tradyon), 'Rabbi, if I raise the flame and take away the tufts of wool from over your heart, will you bring me into the ...
ray's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Milk from a worshipped cow

The gemara in Avodah Zarah 34b brings the shitta of Rav Achdevoi who holds that if one wants to be mekudeshes with intestinal fluid from a calf that was worshipped then the person is not mekudeshes. ...
sam's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
426 views

How is drinking the golden-calf water a sotah-like test?

In Shemot 32:20 Moshe grinds up the golden calf into water and makes the people drink it. Rashi comments on this: [Those who practiced idolatry both] without witnesses and without warning [died] ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
73 views

Why entrap B'rurya? [duplicate]

Rashi, Avoda Zara 18 amud 2, in my own translation: One time, [B'rurya] belittled the sages' having said that women's knowledge is light on them. [Her husband, Rabi Meir,] told her, "By your life, ...
msh210's user avatar
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14 votes
3 answers
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What does it mean that Hashem plays with the Leviatan?

The Talmud in Avodah Zara 3b says that the last quarter of the day Hashem plays with the Leviathan. Is there any explanation of what that means? If so, where? הקב"ה יושב ועוסק בתורה....רביעיות יושב ...
El Shteiger's user avatar
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6 votes
0 answers
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What is a "royal language"?

In explaining the gemara (Avoda Zarah 10a) and Rashi, Tosfos write (sv שאין להם לא כתב ולא לשון): לכך פירש ר"י כתב לשון חשוב שהמלכים משתמשין בו כעין חכמת יונית....לשון מלכות קאמר‏ .......
MTL's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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Avodah Zarah 2b - about gold and silver

So I was recently studying Gemore Avoda Zara 2b with my friend. This part gave us some trouble: אמר להם הקב"ה במאי עסקתם אומרים לפניו רבש"ע הרבה שווקים תקנינו הרבה מרחצאות עשינו הרבה כסף וזהב ...
havarka's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
238 views

Chosen Nation? Or Last option? [duplicate]

We say every day "Asher Bachar Banu Mi'Kol Ha'amim" - Chosen from among all the nations. Yet we all know the famous medrash (quoted in Avodah Zara 2b) which says that G-d went to all the nations and ...
Shoel U'Meishiv's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
597 views

Did the Romans really argue that all they'd done was so Jews could study Torah?

Okay so I saw something really weird, apparently the Romans and the Persians said "and all of these we did only so that the Jewish People should be able to engage in Torah" in reference to all of the ...
user5047's user avatar
16 votes
6 answers
1k views

Hashem studies Torah?

The Gemara in Avodah Zarah 3b lays out the 12-hour schedule of Hashem's day. I realize that any kind of description of Hashem in human terms is allegorical as Hashem is not a human bounded by time and ...
Premundane's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do we understand Talmudic predictions of Moshiach?

There are some predictions in the Talmud for when Moshiach/Messiah will come. Avoda Zara 9b brings a Beraisa and Rabbi Chanina that say when Moshiach will come (the opinions are a few years apart), ...
A L's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
449 views

Chain of tradition for stories/parables told by Rashi

I've already asked one question about where Rashi got a particularly troubling interpretation of an obscure reference in the Gemara, telling a very detailed and gruesome story about R' Meir and his ...
Seth J's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
226 views

Who is the author of "תוספות "אילמלי on כתובות ל״ג עמ׳ ב׳?

תוספות on כתובות ל״ג עמ׳ ב׳‎ ("אילמלי") explains that the גמרא assumes that חנניה,‎ מישאל,‎ & עזריה were not forced to actually worship idolatry, but merely to bow down to a ...
Seth J's user avatar
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8 votes
6 answers
594 views

Meforashim and Poskim on Mas. 'Avodah Zarah and forming a curriculum

A friend and I have decided to start learning Mas. 'Avodah Zarah. Our goal, however, is not to just pick a random Masechta of Gemara and learn it with the commentaries on the Daf. Our actual goal is ...
Seth J's user avatar
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