AVODAH ZARAH 3 - Two weeks of study material have been dedicated by Mrs. Estanne Abraham Fawer to honor the Yahrzeit of her father, Rav Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Rabbi Morton Weiner) Z'L, who passed away on 18 Teves 5760. May the merit of supporting and advancing Dafyomi study -- which was so important to him -- during the weeks of his Yahrzeit serve as an Iluy for his Neshamah.

1)

THE VERSES IN AMOS ABOUT IDOLATRY (Yerushalmi Halachah 1 Daf 1a)

מה מקיים רבי יוסי אהן קרייה והביאו לבוקר זבחיכם וגו'

(a)

Question: How does R. Yosi understand the pasuk in Amos?

במלכות ירבעם הכתוב מדבר כיון שמלך ירבעם על ישראל התחיל מפתה את ישראל ואמר להן בואו ונעבוד עבודה זרה ע"ז וותרנית היא.

(b)

Answer: It refers to the kingdom of Yaravam - when Yaravam began his reign over Yisrael, he began to seduce them into sinning. He said to them - come, let's serve the idol; it's easy going!

הדא היא דכתיב נעלה ביהודה ונקיצינה ונבקיענה אלינו ונמליך מלך בתוכה את בן טבאל

(c)

This is the understanding of the pasuk that states (Yishayahu 7:6), "Let us go up against Yehuda and provoke it, and annex it to us; and let us crown a king in its midst, one who is ('Tava'el') good for us"...

א"ר אבא חיזרנו בכל המקרא ולא מצינו מקום ששמו טבאל אלא שעושה טובה עם עובדיו.

1.

(R. Aba): We have studied the entire Tanach and there is no place by the name of Tava'el. Rather, it means Tav-el - it is a god that is good to its servants.

התורה אמרה ובחור אותו מכל שבטי ישראל לי לכהן וע"ז אומרה ויעש כהנים מקצות העם

(d)

(The Gemara now shows several ways in which idolatry is more lenient ('easy-going') than the Torah.) The Torah said (Shmuel 1:2:28), "Hash-m chose (the tribe of Levi) to serve Him from all of the tribes of Israel". And about the idolaters (Yeravam) it says (Melachim 1:12:31), "and he appointed priests from the Ketzos of the nation"

א"ר לא מן הקוצים שבעם מפסולת שבעם.

1.

(R. Ila): 'Ketzos' means "from the thorns of the nation" - meaning from the inferior of the nation.

התורה אמרה לא ילין חלב חגי עד בוקר וע"ז אמרה והביאו לבוקר זבחיכם.

(e)

The Torah said (Shemos 23:18), "and the fat of My festive sacrifice shall not stay overnight until morning"; whereas the about the idols it says, "and bring your sacrifices in the morning" (as stated above).

התורה אמרה ביום זבחכם יאכל וממחרת וע"ז אמרה לשלשת ימים מעשרותיכם.

1.

The Torah said - on the day of your sacrifice it shall be eaten and the following day (as Kodshim Kalim - 'offerings of lesser sanctity' may be eaten for two days with the night time in between them). And the idolaters say (Amos 4:4), "every three days your tithes (of animals)". This tithe is Kodshim Kalim but they would allow it to be eaten for three days. (This answers the question above (a) as to how R. Yosi uses this verse.)

התורה אמרה (לא תזבח על חמץ דם זבחי)[כי כל שאור וכל דבש לא תקטירו] וע"ז אמרה וקטר מחמץ תודה.

(f)

The Torah said (Vayikra 2:11), "For you shall not cause to (go up in) smoke any leavening or any honey, (as) a fire offering to Hash-m". And the idolaters say (Amos 4:5), "Burn thanksgiving offerings of leaven".

התורה אמרה כי תדור נדר לה' אלהיך לא תאחר לשלמו וע"ז אמרה וקראו נדבות השמיעו.

(g)

The Torah said (Devarim 23:22), "When you shall make a vow to Hash-m, your God, you shall not delay in paying it. And the idolaters say (Amos 4:5), "And proclaim and publicize voluntary offerings" (irrelevant of when you bring them).

א"ר יודן אבוי דרבי מתנייה לא בא הכתוב אלא להזכיר גניין של ישראל.

(h)

(R. Yudan, father of R. Matanya): (Disagrees over the understanding of the pesukim in Amos) The verses are coming to mention the disgrace of Yisrael that they sinned in these things and they should go to Beis El to do them, because they should not be done with real Kodshim.

יום מלכינו החלו שרים חמת מיין משך ידו את לוצצים. יום שמלך ירבעם על ישראל אתון כל ישראל לגביה בפתי רמשא אמרו ליה קום (עבוד)[עביד לן] ע"ז.

(i)

The pasuk states (Hoshea 7:5), "The day of our king, the officers became 'ill' from the heat of the wine; he withdrew his hand with the scoffers." The day on which Yeravam became king over Yisrael, they all came to him in the evening and said to him, "Arise and make for us an idol".

אמר לון אפתי רמשא הוא אשתי ולא אשתי כל עמא שתו אלא אם אתון בען אזלון ואתון בצפרא הדא הוא דכתיב כי קרבו כתנור לבם בארבם כל הלילה ישן אופיהם. כל הלילה לא ישן אופיהם בוקר הוא בוער כאש להבה

(j)

(Yeravam to the people): It is the evening and I am a bit drunk and all of you also drank. So if you want to serve an idol, go now to your homes and return in the morning"; as the pasuk states (pasuk 6), "For they have made ready their heart like an oven with their ambush; all night their baker sleeps" - meaning that all night they had thoughts about serving idols and they did not sleep.

בצפרא אתון לגביה אמר לון כדון אנא ידע דאתון בען אלא דאנא דחיל מסנהדרין דידכון דלא יקטלונני.

(k)

In the morning, they came to Yeravam and he said to them, "Now I know that you wish to serve idols with all of your hearts, but I am afraid that your Sanhedrin will kill me if I command you to do it."

אמרו ליה אנן קטלין לון הה"ד כולם יחמו כתנור ואכלו את שופטיהם.

(l)

(They said to Yeravam): If they try to do this, we will kill them. This is as the pasuk states (pasuk 7), "They are all heated like an oven and they devour their judges".

רבי לוי אמר הרגום היך מה דת מר כי ימצא חלל

(m)

(R. Levi): They actually killed the Sanhedrin, as the earlier pasuk states (Hoshea 7:5), "The day of our king, the officers 'Hechelu' - which is the same verb as used in the pasuk about finding a corpse murdered between two cities, where it says (Devarim 21:1), "If a corpse (Chalal) will be found".

רבי לא אמר הורידן מגדולתן. יום מלכינו החלו שרים חמת מיין. יום שנעשו בו שרים חולין

(n)

(R. Ila): They were demoted from their positions (on the Sanhedrin), understanding the pasuk "the officers hechelu" as, 'it was the day on which the officers became ordinary".

מי גרם להן חמת מיין שהיו להוטין אחר היין.

(o)

What was the cause of this all? The next phrase (in Hoshea 7:5) answers it - "from the heat of the wine" - because they were driven after wine and other physical pleasures, which caused them to follow idolatry so that they could fulfil them.

משך ידו את לוצצים כד הוה חמי בר נש כשר הוה מייתיב גביה תרין ליצנין ואמרין ליה אי זה דור חביב מכל הדורות אמר להן דור המדבר.

(p)

The last part of the pasuk says, "he withdrew his hand with the scoffers". Yeravam made a wine feast. When he saw an upstanding person who would not agree to serve idols, Yeravam sat him in between two scoffers and they asked him, "Which was the most cherished generation ever?" He answered them, "The generation of the desert".

ואינון אמרין ליה ולא עבדון עכו"ם והוא אמר לון בגין דחביבין לא איתענשון.

1.

They responded - "Didn't they commit idolatry?" He answered, "Yes, but because they were so cherished by Hash-m, they were not punished."

והינון אמרין ליה חשי דמלכא בעי מיעבד כן ולא עוד אלא אינון עבדין חד ודין עבד תרין. וישם את האחד בבית אל ואת האחד נתן בדן.

2.

They said, "Be silent! The king wants to commit idolatry and woe is to anyone that stands in his way. And furthermore, the kings wants to add onto the generation of the desert, as they only served one calf and the king has made two", as the pasuk states (Melachim 1:12:29), "And he put one in Beis El and one he put in Dan".

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