Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Avodah Zara 50: When Idols are Worshipped by Throwing Things (Rocks, Sticks, Urine, Diarrhea, etc.)

  • Brief thoughts about today's daf:
  • the rabbis discuss specific idols that have stones thrown at them in worship
  • found rocks might have been thrown at these idols
  • the rabbis consider coins that feature the face of idols
  • consideration is given to the distance between found stones and an idol
  • during shemita we cannot remove worms or put fertilizer on a tree where bark fell off; we cannot prune a tree to encourage growth or apply oil to a pruned tree
  • the rabbis are challenged to interpret different baraitot
  • on shemita, work is forbidden; on intermediate days, even exertion is forbidden
  • we may prevent deterioration; we may not improve
    • A Mishna taught that we may put fertilizer on young trees, wrap branches together so that they will not droop to the ground or wrap something around the tree to protect it from the sun or cold, cut the ends of the branches or put ashes on them, make a fence around them, water them between erev shemita and Rosh HaShana.  Thus these things are forbidden on shemita itself.
  • example are given about sustaining plants without improving them
  • The rabbis consider idols that are served with sticks
  • breaking a stick or throwing a stick should be fine
  • are those actions done in worship of an idol?
  • throwing something that splits up is forbidden because it is like the spraying of blood in the Temple
  • urinating near an idol is forbidden because urinating is like throwing something that splits up; defacating is liable when it is diarrhea for the same reason

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