AVODAH ZARAH 41 (10 Adar) - Dedicated by Shaul Yonah Markeluk of Buenos Aires L'iluy Nishmat his father, Itzjak ben Yaacov Markeluk Z'L (whose Yahrzeit is on 10 Adar), and for the Hatzlachah of his family and all of Klal Yisrael.

[a - 26 lines; b - 37 lines]

1)[line 2]לנויL'NOI- for beauty

2)[line 4]למיפלחינהוL'MIFLECHINHU- to bow down to it

3)[line 7]שרודהSHE'RODEH- that shows that he rules

4)[line 12]סייףSAYIF- a sword

5)[line 13]לסטיםLISTIM- a bandit

6)[line 15]גדילGEDIL- a craftsman who fashions crowns

7)[line 15]כליליKELILEI- crowns

8)[line 16]אישתיימאISHTAIMA- a messenger who bears the seal of the one who sings him

9)[line 19]קיסםKISEM- a piece of wood

10)[line 22]תבנית ידTAVNIS YAD- the form of a hand


11)[line 1]תרגמהTIRGEMAH- he explained it

12)[line 2]בסיסןBASISAN- their base

13)[line 6]איהי נפשה לא אצלהIHI NAFSHAH LO ATZLAH- itself it could not save

14a)[line 8]"[וישכמו בבקר ממחרת, והנה דגון נופל לפניו ארצה לפני ארון ה';] וראש דגון ושתי כפות ידיו כרותות [אל המפתן, רק דגון נשאר עליו]""[VA'YASHKIMU BA'BOKER MI'MACHARAS, V'HINEH DAGON NOFEL L'FANAV ARTZAH LIFNEI ARON HASH-M;] V'ROSH DAGON U'SHTEI KAPOS YADAV KERUSOS [EL HA'MIFTAN, RAK DAGON NISH'AR ALAV]" - "[And they (the Pelishtim) arose the next morning, and behold Dagon (an idol shaped like a fish) had fallen on his face before HaSh-m], the head of Dagon and his two hands, which were severed [were lying on the threshold; only [the body of] Dagon remained intact]" (Shmuel I 5:4) (THE ARON IS CAPTURED / HASH-M TAKES VENGEANCE FROM THE PELISHTIM)

(a)In the decisive battle that saw the Pelishtim's defeat of Yisrael, Chofni and Pinchas, Eli ha'Kohen's two sons, fell, and the Aron ha'Kodesh was captured. The aged Eli himself had died, as well as his daughter-in-law, Pinchas' wife, who died in labor.

(b)Meanwhile, the Pelishtim took the captured Aron ha'Kodesh and placed it in the Temple of Dagon in Ashdod. Dagon had already fallen down the night before. The verse describes what happened the night after they picked it up and returned it to its pedestal.

(c)Accordig to RADAK, the idol Dagon was shaped like a merman (half-man and half-fish); now, only the fish portion remained intact.

b)[line 9]"על כן לא ידרכו כהני דגון [וכל הבאים בית דגון על מיפתן דגון באשדוד, עד היום הזה]""AL KEN LO YIDRECHU KOHANEI DAGON [V'CHOL HA'BA'IM BEIS DAGON AL MIFTAN DAGON B'ASHDOD, AD HA'YOM HA'ZEH]" - "That is why the priests of Dagon [and all those who visit the house of Dagon] do not tread [on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod, until this day]" (Shmuel I 5:5) (HASH-M TAKES VENGEANCE FROM THE PELISHTIM)

(a)HaSh-m followed the above incident by striking Ashdod and its surrounding areas with a plague of mice, which entered their bodies from the back and proceeded to eat their intestines. When the plague persisted, the people of Ashdod sent the Aron to Ekron, who did not want to accept it, for fear that the same would happen to them. All the princes of the Pelishtim met and decided to send the Aron of HaSh-m back to where it came from, which they did amidst much great splendor and ceremony.

15)[line 11]הדגוןHA'DAGON- the idol Dagon, which was shaped like a fish (see above entry #14a:c)

16)[line 11]המיפתןHA'MIFTAN- the threshold of the base on which the idol stands

17)[line 22]ספק וודאי ואין ספק מוציא מידי ודאיSAFEF V'VADAI, V'EIN SAFEK MOTZI MI'YEDEI VADAI - a doubt does not override a certainty (VADAI / SAFEK)

(a)The principle of Ein Safek Motzi mi'Yedei Vadai is used with regard to questions of Isur and Heter, as well as with regard to questions of monetary matters. With regard to questions of Isur and Heter, this principle dictates that when one event certainly (Vadai) occurred, while there is a doubt (Safek) whether the other event (which would alter the Halachic status of the object in question) occurred, we assume that the doubtful event did not occur, since "a doubt does not override a certainty."

(b)In the case mentioned by our Gemara, an idol was definitely worshiped and is forbidden but we do not know if it was nullified, therefore our doubt does not permit what was definitely forbidden!

18)[line 23]חברCHAVER - a Talmid Chacham who is meticulous in his observance of Halachah

See Background to Avodah Zarah 39:26.

19)[line 23]מגורהMEGURAH- storeroom, silo

20)[line 25]טביליTEVILEI (TEVEL)

(a)After a crop that is grown in Eretz Yisrael is harvested and brought to the owner's house or yard, he must separate Terumah Gedolah from the crop and give it to a Kohen. Although the Torah does not specify the amount to be given, the Rabanan set the requirement at one fiftieth of the total crop. After Terumah is removed from the produce, one tenth of the produce that remains must be designated "Ma'aser Rishon," and given to a Levi. The Levi, in turn, must separate one tenth of his Ma'aser Rishon as Terumas Ma'aser, to be given to a Kohen, as it states in Bamidbar 18:26.

(b)The produce may not be eaten until both Terumos have been separated from it. Until the Terumos have been separated, the produce is called Tevel. The punishment for eating Tevel is Misah b'Yedei Shamayim (Sanhedrin 83a).

(c)A second tithe is given every year after Ma'aser Rishon has been separated. The tithe that is separated in the third and sixth years of the 7-year Shemitah cycle is called Ma'aser Ani and is given to the poor.

(d)The tithe that is separated during the first, second, fourth and fifth years is called Ma'aser Sheni. The Torah requires that Ma'aser Sheni be brought and eaten by its owner in Yerushalayim.

21)[line 34]מעריםMA'ARIM- one may act deceptively

22)[line 35]במוץB'MOTZ- with the chaff