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.

Feb 122018

Two different opinions are brought regarding if and when one can use a non-Jew as a doctor. Rav Yehuda says only for one’s animals and Rabbi Yochanan says as long as it’s not a life-threatening disease. However, there are exceptions such as an expert doctor whose reputation is on the line, if the doctor takes money for it (as he/she wants to get paid), if it is one’s last chance and he/she will die anyway without the non-Jew intervening. What is the difference between heretics and non-Jews regarding these laws? One explanation of Rabbi Yochanan is that the criteria for determining if it is life-threatening is the same as for Shabbat (one can desecrate Shabbat for a life-threatening illness). The gemara tangents to Shabbat and from there to all sorts of remedies for various ailments.

Feb 112018

Study Guide Avoda Zara 27

Can a non-Jew perform a brit mila on a Jew? What are the sources for the different opinions? If there is no Jew available, it is better if a Samaritan (Cuti) performs it or an idol worshipper? Can a woman perform a brit mila? Can a non-Jew perform a medical procedure on a Jew? Can a Jew perform a medical procedure for a non-Jew?

Feb 092018

How long did the sun stop in the time of Joshua? Who else did the sun stop for? The mishna relates that a woman can’t be alone with a non-Jew – what is the mishna referring to as even with a Jew this is forbidden? Why are we not concerned that the non-Jew will kill her. a braita is quoted which gives tips on how one should behave when one sees a suspect non-Jew walking near him in order to protect oneself.

Feb 082018

A number of questions are raised against Shila’s interpretation of Rabbi eliezer that one can’t purchase a red heifer from non-Jews because the verse implies that (vayikchu). The famous story about Dama ben Netina, a non-Jew who is used as the example for respecting one’s parents to show how far one must go to fulfill this mitzva, is brought to question Shila and also to question the explanation that Eliezer forbade it because one needs to be concerned for bestiality. Either way, one can’t purchase from non-Jews so how did the rabbis want to purchase it from Dama?  Further questions are asked on Rabbi Eliezer’s opinion regarding the prohibition to purchase animals for sacrifices from non-Jews.

Feb 072018

Study Guide Avoda Zara 23

Three different explanations are brought to explain the contradiction between our mishna and the braita regarding whether or not non-Jews are suspect that they will engage in bestiality with animals. In this context a debate is brought with regard to the red heifer and the gemara delves into the red heifer – is it treated like a sacrifice for certain issues or not.

Feb 062018

According to Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar, one can rent a field to a non-Jew and stipulate that the non-Jew not work the field on chol hamoed. However, this is not allowed with Samaritans as they will claim, “we know better than you and know that one can work on chol hamoed.”  A non-Jew and a Jew who work as sharecroppers in a field or in a partnership, what do they do regarding work done on Shabbat? In which situations would a non-Jew be suspect of engaging in bestiality? Based on that one can purchase an animal of theirs to use for a sacrifice but not leave animals alone in an inn with a non-Jew.