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|AVODAH ZARAH 50 - Dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Reb Benzion ben Eliyahu and Chana Esther bas Nosson.|
1. If three stones are found next to each other very close to the side of a Markolis, they are forbidden.
2. Stones are found next to each other within four Amos of a Markolis. Rebbi Yishmael rules that if there is a mound between the stones and the Markolis, three stones are forbidden, and two stones are permitted. According to the Rabanan, even three stones are permitted.
3. If stones are found within four Amos of a Markolis without a mound between the stones and the Markolis, even two stones are forbidden.
4. An item offered as a sacrifice to an Avodah Zarah can never be nullified.
5. One is permitted, during Shevi'is, to remove worms from trees and to apply a paste where the bark peeled off from the tree. This is not permitted on Chol ha'Mo'ed.
6. One is forbidden, during both Shevi'is and Chol ha'Mo'ed, to prune a tree by cutting off branches. Oil may be applied even on Chol ha'Mo'ed if the branches were cut off previously.
7. Although one is forbidden to do Melachah on trees for thirty days prior to Shevi'is, young saplings may be watered and certain other Melachos may also be done.
8. Small unripe figs may be smeared with oil and punctured in order to infuse them with oil, even within thirty days prior to Shevi'is.
9. If a person breaks a stick in front of an Avodah Zarah where the practice is to worship that Avodah Zarah with a stick, he is Chayav. Breaking the stick is similar to the act of Shechitah of a Korban.
10. If a person throws a stick in front of an Avodah Zarah, he is exempt, even if the practice is to worship that Avodah Zarah with a stick. The act of throwing a stick is not similar to the sprinkling of the blood in the Beis ha'Mikdash.
A BIT MORE
1. Since they are found very close to the Markolis, it is assumed that they fell from the Markolis. Since it is usual for stones to fall from the Markolis, even according to the opinion that broken pieces of an Avodah Zarah are not worshipped, the stones which fall from the Markolis are worshipped.
2. According to Rebbi Yishmael, it is the practice of the Nochrim to make a small Markolis next to a big Markolis. According to the Rabanan, it is not their practice to make a small Markolis next to a big Markolis.
3. Even according to the Rabanan, the stones are forbidden. Since there is no mound between the stones and the Markolis, it is assumed that the stones fell from the Markolis.
4. There is a disagreement about whether a stone which was thrown at a Markolis has the status of a sacrifice to an Avodah Zarah. According to one opinion, since throwing stones is not similar to the sprinkling of the blood in the Beis ha'Mikdash (since the stones, unlike the blood, do not break into small pieces), it is not regarded as a sacrifice to the Avodah Zarah, and thus it may be nullified.
5. These things are strenuous activities and are forbidden on Chol ha'Mo'ed. However, they are permitted on Shevi'is even though working on the land on Shevi'is is prohibited, because only Melachos which improve the land are prohibited. These activities merely maintain the trees and do not improve them.
6. Pruning a tree is forbidden even during Shevi'is, because it is for the purpose of improving the tree. However, applying oil to a tree where the branches were previously cut off is for the purpose of maintaining the tree and is permitted.
7. The prohibition against working the land thirty days prior to Shevi'is is not mid'Oraisa, but mid'Rabanan. The Rabanan allowed doing certain Melachos for young saplings which otherwise might die.
8. Although it is prohibited to smear the figs with oil during the Shevi'is year, the Rabanan did not prohibit it during the thirty days prior to Shevi'is.
9. The practice was to worship the Avodah Zarah by waving the stick, not by breaking it. However, breaking a stick is similar to the Shechitah of a Korban (the breaking of the neck of the animal). A person is Chayav for serving the Avodah Zarah with any action that resembles an Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash.
10. The Avodah Zarah is not worshipped by throwing a stick, but only by waving a stick. Throwing a stick is not similar to sprinkling blood on the Mizbe'ach, because blood breaks up into small drops and a stick does not break apart. Therefore, he is exempt.
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