AVODAH ZARAH 47 (16 Adar) - Dedicated by Mr. Avraham Yitzchak Berger of Jerusalem/Lakewood, in memory of his father, Reb Pinchas ben Reb Avraham Yitzchak, on the day of his Yahrzeit.

[47a - 51 lines; 47b - 36 lines]

1)[line 6] () [] DASHA HU (D'ACHIZA) [D'ACHIDA] B'ANPAH- it is merely a door (the currently closed birth canal) that is closed in its face

2)[line 13] , KI SIBA'I LACH ALIBA D'RABANAN- the question applies [only] according to the opinion of the Rabanan (who rule that a tree that was not originally planted to be worshipped as Avodah Zarah is not prohibited, even if someone bows down to it)

3)[line 15] B'ASHEIRAH SHE'BITLAH- [the question was asked] regarding an Asheirah tree (see Background to Avodah Zarah 45:5) that was annulled

4)[line 16] YESH DICHUY ETZEL MITZVOS O EIN DICHUY ETZEL MITZVOS - if an object that the Torah requires for the fulfillment of a particular Mitzvah becomes disqualified for that Mitzvah, is it irrevocably disqualified ("Dachuy") for that Mitzvah, or can it again become fit for the Mitzvah at a later date?

(a)The concept of "Dichuy" (irrevocable disqualification) applies to Halachos in the Torah where a particular object is required for a Korban or Mitzvah. Some examples are limbs and blood of the Korbanos which were prepared to be offered on the altar, blood of Kosher birds and wild animals that must be covered with dirt, live animals that were designated for Korbanos, and objects used to perform Mitzvos.

(b)The question of Dichuy with regard to objects used to perform Mitzvos applies in two instances: 1. the object was only fit for use after the time that the Mitzvah first applied ("Dichuy me'Ikara"); and 2. the object was fit for use at the time that the Mitzvah first applied, later became unfit, and afterwards became fit again ("Nir'eh v'Nidcheh"). In the latter case, the Dichuy is stronger.

(c)In our Gemara, Rav Dimi explains Reish Lakish's question regarding the Lulav of an Asheirah tree as follows. A Lulav becomes unfit for both mundane use and for the Mitzvah of Lulav on Sukos if it was worshipped, or if it grew on an Asheirah tree which was worshipped. If a Lulav from an Asheirah was permitted for mundane use through "Bitul" after the start of Sukos, will it also be permitted for use in the Mitzvah of Lulav on Sukos? That is, once an object is unfit for a Mitzvah (Dichuy me'Ikara) at the time the Mitzvah began to apply, is the object forever suspended from being used for that Mitzvah ("Dichuy") or not. (See Insights.)


There is a Mitzvah to cover the blood of all birds and wild animals (Chayos) that are slaughtered, as it states in Vayikra (17:13) " ... , " "v'Ish Ish... Asher Yatzud Tzeid Chayah O Of Asher Ye'achel, v'Shafach Es Damo v'Chisahu be'Afar." The blood must be covered from above and below with earth or any similar granular substance.

6)[line 18] KISAHU HA'RU'ACH- if the wind covered it (the blood)

7)[line 21] V'HAVINAN BAH- and we ask about it


(a)The Kohen Gadol must wear the eight vestments of the Kohen Gadol when he performs the Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash. The eight vestments are 1. Tzitz (forehead-plate), 2. Efod (apron), 3. Choshen (breastplate), 4. Me'il (robe), 5. Kutones (long shirt), 6. Michnasayim (breeches), 7. Avnet (belt), 8. Mitznefes (flat turban). Four of these, the Efod, Choshen, Me'il, and the Avnet (as well as the ribbon of the Tzitz) contain wool dyed the color Techeles, a greenish-blue dye that is obtained from the Chilazon (identified as the underwater snail, murex trunculus). (RAMBAM Hilchos Klei ha'Mikdash 4:12-13; 8:16-10:4)

(b)An ordinary Kohen must wear the four vestments of the ordinary Kohen when he performs the Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash. The four vestments are 1. Kutones (long shirt), 2. Michnasayim (breeches), 3. Avnet (belt), 4. Migba'as (pointed turban) (RAMBAM ibid.). There is an argument as to whether the Avnet of the ordinary Kohen is made only of linen (like the other three vestments) or of four colors (white linen and three colors of wool), one of them being Techeles (Yoma 6a, 12a, 69a).


(a)There is a Mitzvah to wear Tzitzis (fringes) on four-cornered garments, as it states in the Torah (Devarim 22:12). Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel argue (Menachos 41b) whether one must double over three strings through each hole of the garment (Beis Hillel), or whether one must double over four strings (Beis Shamai).

(b)Techeles is a greenish-blue dye used to dye some of the woolen strings used for Tzitzis. The dye is obtained from the Chilazon, identified by many as the underwater snail, murex trunculus. The " " "Pesil Techeles" - the "string of Techeles" (Bamidbar 15:38) is the most important part of a four-cornered garment since through it one is able to completely fulfill the Mitzvah of Tzitzis. The exact process for obtaining the Techeles dye is not known today (see Insights to Shabbos 75:1).

9)[line 33] MISHUM D'IKA MILEI ACHARANAISA- since there were other things that he also asked at the same time

10)[line 34]KERANEHA- its horns

11)[line 34]CHATZOTZROS- horns (not the horns mentioned in Bamidbar 10:2, which were made of silver and blown by the Kohanim, but horns that were among the musical instruments used by the Leviyim in the Divine Service of the Beis ha'Mikdash - TOSFOS DH Keraneha)

12)[line 35]SHOKEHA- [the bones of] its thighs

13)[line 35]CHALILIN- flutes that were among the musical instruments used by the Leviyim in the Divine Service of the Beis ha'Mikdash

14)[line 35] BENEI ME'EHA- its intestines

15)[line 35]PE'EROS- (lit. ornaments) strings for the Kinoros, the lutes, that were among the musical instruments used by the Leviyim in the Divine Service of the Beis ha'Mikdash (According to the Girsa of RABEINU CHANANEL, " " "BENEI ME'EHA MAHU L'CHINOROS?" - "... for the lutes?")

16)[line 36] / IKAR SHIRAH BI'CHELI / IKAR SHIRAH B'FEH - the essential aspect of the songs of the Beis ha'Mikdash is the musical instruments / the singing (SHIRAH)

(a)Wine libations were brought with many of the Korbanos, as it states in Bamidbar 15:5-10. One of the appointments of the Leviyim in the Beis ha'Mikdash was to sing Tehilim and play musical instruments at the time that the wine libations were poured into special pipes at the top of the Mizbe'ach ha'Olah.

(b)There is a Machlokes as to whether the musical instruments are an essential aspect of the songs in the Beis ha'Mikdash. Those who hold that "Ikar Shirah b'Feh" - "the main aspect is the singing," rule that the musical instruments are not necessary, and that instruments may be played by those who are not Leviyim as well as by Leviyim.

17)[line 38] BESUMEI KOLA B'ALMA HU- it is merely an adornment for the singing (lit. to sweeten the sound [of the voices of the Leviyim])

18)[line 40]MA'AYAN- a wellspring


(a)One of the ceremonies of the holiday of Sukos in the Beis ha'Mikdash was the Nisuch ha'Mayim (water libation) ceremony, in which water was poured on the Mizbe'ach as a libation instead of wine. Tana'im argue as to whether this ceremony was performed all seven days of Sukos, or only six days (days 2-7) or two days (days 6 and 7). Another opinion holds that it was performed eight days, the seven days of Sukos and Shmini Atzeres (Sukah 3a; however see Hagahos Didukei Sofrim ad loc. #3, who suggests that no opinion holds that it was done for only two or six days).

(b)The Nisuch itself was done as follows. Water was drawn at daybreak from the Shilo'ach spring that is located to the south of the Temple Mount, and was brought to the Azarah in a joyous procession. When the morning Tamid sacrifice was brought, a Kohen poured the water into one of the "Sefalim" at the top of the Mizbe'ach (the silver libation pipes located in the southwest corner of the Mizbe'ach).

(c)This ceremony was associated with much rejoicing. On the Chol ha'Moed nights preceding the Nisuch ha'Mayim, people gathered in the Azaros of the Beis ha'Mikdash to rejoice and sing praises to HaSh-m until the morning, when it was time to draw the water. The Leviyim played more musical instruments than usual and the greatest Talmidei Chachamim danced and juggled exultantly. So many torches and lamps were lit in the Mikdash area to provide light for the celebrants that the streets of the nearby city of Yerushalayim were illuminated as bright as day. The Mishnah, describing the Simchas Beis ha'Sho'evah (Sukah 51a), states that anyone who has not seen the rejoicing of the Simchas Beis ha'Sho'evah has not seen rejoicing in his life.

20)[line 42] L'BAVU'AH KA SAGID- he bows down to his image [that is reflected in the water]

21)[line 43]SEFEL- [the water in] a [common] cup (which is detached from the ground, and can therefore become forbidden even for mundane use)

22a)[line 44] L'MAYA D'KAMEI KA SAGID- does he bow down to the water that is presently in front of him,

b)[line 45] V'KAMA'EI KAMA'EI AZDU- and that first [quantity of water] flows away

23)[line 45] DAVRONA D'MAYA- the source of the water, i.e. the entire watercourse leading to the spring

24)[line 48] () []D'KA NAV'EI ME'AR'EI- it springs up from [his own] land (without leaving his property at any point. Had it done so, it would have become "Mayim Shel Rabim," which is never prohibited - TOSFOS DH Lo Tzericha)

25)[line 50] , KONES B'SOCH SHELO ARBA AMOS, U'VONEH- he moves [the location of his wall] four Amos in, onto his property [rather than on the property line]


26)[line 1] NIDON MECHETZAH AL MECHETZAH- [if the Jew had a wall in common with a house of Avodah Zarah,] he begins to measure the four Amos from the center of the fallen wall (lit. it is judged half and half, i.e. half for the Jew and half for the Avodah Zarah).


(a)A Sheretz (a crawling pest - see Background to Shabbos 107:5), or even a part of a Sheretz the size of an Adashah (lentil bean), is an Av ha'Tum'ah (Vayikra 11:29-38, Chagigah 11a). It makes a person or object Tamei through Maga (contact), whether the Sheretz was touched willingly or unwillingly. (It does not, however, cause Tum'ah though Masa - carrying without direct contact.)

(b)The person who becomes Tamei by touching a Sheretz may not eat Terumah or Kodshim or enter the Azarah of the Beis Ha'Mikdash. However, he can immediately immerse in a Mikvah. After nightfall he becomes Tahor and may eat Terumah or Kodshim or enter the Azarah.

28)[line 2]"[ , ;] [ ]""[V'LO SAVI SO'EVAH EL BEISECHA, V'HAYISAH CHEREM KAMOHU;] SHAKETZ TESHAKTZENU [V'SA'EV TESA'AVENU, KI CHEREM HU]"- "[You shall not bring an abomination (an item of Avodah Zarah) into your house, lest you will become shunned like it, rather,] you shall utterly detest it, [and loathe it; for it is a cursed thing]" (Devarim 7:26).

29)[line 3]NIDAH

(a)By Torah Law, a woman who has her period is a Nidah for seven days. It makes no difference whether she saw blood only one time or for the entire seven days. At the end of seven days, after nightfall, she immerses in a Mikvah to become Tehorah. (The current practice is to consider all women who have a show of blood to be a Zavah, and therefore they must complete seven clean days before they go to the Mikvah.)

(b)A Nidah, like a Zav (see Background to Bava Kama 24:5 and to Bava Metzia 105:30), Zavah (see Background to Sanhedrin 87:6c), or Yoledes (see Background to Shevuos 8:5), can cause objects (other than Klei Cheres - earthenware objects) that are under her to become Avos ha'Tum'ah, whether she touches them or not. The objects become Tamei Midras (lit. an object that is treaded upon), otherwise known as Mishkav or Moshav ha'Nidah, ha'Zav, etc. (or the Tachton, of a Nidah, etc.). An object that is under these people becomes a Midras only if it was made for lying, sitting, or leaning upon.

(c)A person who touches (Maga) or carries (Masa) either a Midras or the Nidah herself gets the status of Rishon l'Tum'ah, and so do the clothes he is wearing and other utensils (except for earthenware utensils) that he is touching at the time.

(d)Utensils or clothes that lie above the Nidah also get the status of a Rishon l'Tum'ah, whether she touches them or not. These are called the Elyon of a Nidah.

30)[line 3]"[ , ;] , ""... TIZREM KEMO DAVAH, TZEI TOMAR LO"- "[You shall also defile the silver plating of your carved idols, and the golden ornaments of your molten images;] you shall cast them away as a menstrual thing, you shall say to it, 'Get out of here!'" (Yeshayah 30:22) - The prophet describes the process of repentance that will take place among the Jews. All of their idols will be defiled and cast away.

31)[line 4]MASA

One of the actions through which Tum'ah is transferred is called Masa (carrying). A person who carries an object that is an Av ha'Tum'ah (unless it is a Sheretz) becomes a Rishon l'Tum'ah. In addition, any clothes he is wearing, or objects (except for earthenware utensils) he is touching, while carrying the Av ha'Tum'ah, become a Rishon l'Tum'ah.

32)[line 9]HA'NIFNEH- one who defecates

33)[line 11] GADIR LEI B'HIZMEI V'HIN'GEI- he sets up a partition of prickly shrubs or trees (O.F. ronce), and prickly bushes

34a)[line 14]SIYEDO- he plastered it

b)[line 14]KIYEDO- he decorated it

35a)[line 17] ALMA KASAVAR TALUSH ULEVA'SOF CHIBERO K'TALUSH DAMI- it follows that Rav rules that detached, movable objects (such as the stones of a house) that one combines and attaches to the ground, are still considered detached (with regard to the Halachah that they can be prohibited as Avodah Zarah if the owner bows down to it)

b)[line 18] "" V'HA'ANAN "BENA'O" TENAN- but we (in our Mishnah) teach, "If one builds [a house with the intention of serving it as Avodah Zarah]" (i.e. worshipping it alone is not enough to prohibit it)

36)[line 23]CHATZAVAH- that was hewn

37)[line 23]BIMUS- a stone pedestal for Avodah Zarah, which becomes one unit with the object that is worshipped

38)[line 30] BEINEI URBEI- between the bricks

39)[line 30], D'SHI'A, V'HADAR SHIYE'EI- that [the house] was already plastered, and he plastered it [anew]