Questions tagged [masecheth-avodah-zarah]

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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)
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1answer
85 views

Is one allowed to sleep in a room/house where there are images of JC, Virgin Mary and other avodah zarah?

Is a Jew permitted to sleep in a room/house where there are idolatrous images on the walls, such as JC, virgin Mary, etc.? What about non-Jews?
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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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1answer
148 views

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, ...
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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 ...
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1answer
49 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
43 views

Different kinds of Moshav Leitzim clowns

On Gemore 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 ...
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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 ...
4
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1answer
103 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. ...
2
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1answer
104 views

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 ...
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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 ...
2
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1answer
111 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?
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60 views

What was so miraculous of the Chanukah war?

In the Canukah "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 the hands of the ...
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1answer
48 views

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 ...
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1answer
94 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
275 views

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 ...
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1answer
556 views

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,...
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1answer
144 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: ...
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1answer
117 views

A מין's science: permitted?

This is an explosive issue, that could have a many consequences. With great apprehension, I expose these questions to the community. The Talmud (AZ 27b) and in the Tosfot talks about the issur to ...
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1answer
56 views

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. ...
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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 ...
2
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1answer
110 views

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. ...
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3answers
252 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] ...
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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, ...
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3answers
554 views

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 ...
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297 views

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 .......
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2answers
101 views

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 ...
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2answers
195 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 ...
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3answers
530 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 ...
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6answers
799 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 ...
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764 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), ...
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2answers
344 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 ...
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1answer
135 views

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

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 ...
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414 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 ...
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Difference in Tehillim 82:7 quoted in Avodah Zarah 5a

This is Tehillim 82:7 in Masoretic: אֲנִי-אָמַרְתִּי, אֱלֹהִים אַתֶּם; וּבְנֵי עֶלְיוֹן כֻּלְּכֶם Yet, see the following passage in Avodah Zarah 5a where Tehillim 82:6-7 is quoted by Rabbi Yose,...
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2answers
2k views

Understanding “The Bruriah Incident”

Masecheth 'Avodah Zarah (18b) cryptically mentions "מעשה דברוריה" - "The Beruriah Incident" - as a reason R' Meir fled to Bavel. Rashi (ad loc) explains that R' Meir was teasing his wife (the noted ...