Feb 232018

The gemara continues to discuss the items mentioned in the mishna that come from non-Jews that cannot be eaten but it is not forbidden to benefit from them. The gemara explains what the issues surrounding each case are. Within this context, issues of who among Jews can be trusted/not trusted for kashrut and other issues (techelet – and concern over forgeries of techelet) and in what situations (to buy from/eat in their house) are discussed. The next mishna mentions items that Jews are even allowed to eat if they come from non-Jews.

Feb 222018

Laws of bishul akum (food cooked by a non-Jew) – details about when it is permitted and when it is forbidden are discussed. What is considered “cooking,” if a Jew is involved in part of the cooking process – what type of involvement is necessary, etc.

Feb 212018

Study Guide Avoda Zara 37

Why didn’t Rabbi Yehuda Nesia permit bread of non-Jews? He didn’t want to be considered a permissive court, like Yosi benYoezer who permitted three things and was called “Yosef the permissive one.” Besides the oil of non-Jews, Yosi ben Yoezer permitted a case of a get where the husband dates the get with today’s date and says this will be your get if I don’t return within 12 months. If he dies, the woman does not have to perform levirate marriage (in the event they had no kids, as the get is valid). What were the 3 cases that Yosi ben Yoezer permitted?

Feb 202018

The bread and oil of non-Jews is forbidden. Was permission granted to allow bread of non-Jews? If so, was it limited to particular circumstances? Why was the oil of non-Jews forbidden and then later permitted? Debate between Rav and Shmuel. Many questions are raised against Rav’s opinion. According to Rav, it was part of the eighteen things that the students of Shamai and Hillel forbade on one particular day when there were more students of Shamai than Hillel and Shamai’s students were able to pass them by a majority vote. What they forbade on that day according to Rav in the category of non-Jews is explained – bread and oil because of wine, wine because of their daughters, their daughters because of something else and something else on account of something else. The gemara has a discussion and brings several attempts to explain what the issue is regarding the daughters, because if it is lest they marry them, that is already forbidden by Torah law.

Feb 192018

Study Guide Avoda Zara 35

What are the reasons that the rabbis decreed that cheese of non-Jews was forbidden for eating purposes, however one can benefit from them? The interaction in the mishna between Rabbi Yehoshua and Rabbi Yishmael regarding this issue is analyzed and is also brought as proof for the previous sugya about the difference between betrothing a woman with the dung of an ox who killed a person and the dung of an animal that was used for worshipping idols. Six possible explanations for the decree are brought by various amoraim. The next mishna discusses other decrees the rabbis instituted regarding items of non-Jews such as milk, bread, cooked items, oil, etc. Each item will be analyzed in the gemara.

Feb 182018

Do glazed earthenware vessels absorb? To what extent? In what situation? Can it be kashered? Three questions were asked of Rabbi akiva and he didn’t know the answer to them and went to the beit midrash and found the answers, one of them related to the question of clay jars of non-Jews. Grape seeds and grape peels, and fish stew (morayis) mentinoed in the mishna are discussed and the issues relating to them. Why are the cheeses from Onaiki forbidden? Reish Lakish brings an answer but his answer is questioned based on a seemingly contradictory statement he made in another context?

Feb 162018

The pottery shards that Hadrian used are described in detail. Since they have wine absorbed in them for the purpose of drinking, it is forbidden to derive benefit from them. But is one allowed to derive benefit from them if the benefit has nothing to do with the wine inside them, i.e. like using them for placing under the legs of a bed to make it even. In the context of that discussion, a braita is brought which included halachot about using a leather flask of a non-Jew and halachot relating to that issue are discussed. What are the details necessary to forbid a cut in the skin of an animal near the heart (when can one assume that it was done to remove the heart as an offering to their idols)? What are the halachot about animals on their way in/out of a house of idol worship? What about doing business with non-Jews on their way in/out of a house of worship? What about doing business with Jews on their way in/out of a house of worship?

Feb 152018

If one gives items to non-Jews to watch do they need to be concerned that the non-Jew switched it with their own items? Can one buy wine from Samaritans? Is there a concern that non-Jews came in contact with the wine? Why is beer of non-Jews forbidden?

Feb 142018

Which types of wine are not forbidden because of concern that a non-Jew may have used it as a libation for their idol worship? Which types of wines are we not concerned that if left uncovered, a snake may have come by and inserted its venom? What other types of foods/fruits that have liquids (are juicy) do we need to be concerned/not concerned that a snake may have inserted its venom?

Feb 132018

Shiur in memory of Enya bat Reuven. More remedies are described and also what foods/activities to avoid if one is sick. How can one get a haircut from a non-Jew and ensure that one won’t be killed? A Jew can give a haircut to a non-Jew but must be careful not to get near the area that they would grow long in order to then cut it and offer it to their gods. Certain items of non-Jews are forbidden not only to eat but also to benefit from as they may have been used for idol worship such as wine.