Feb 052018

Can one sell or rent property to non-Jews in Israel, close to Israel (Syria) or outside of Israel entirely? What are the issues involved? What is at the root of this prohibition? How is it that people sell property anyway? What explanations did later authorities provide to explain this? Is it applicable to all non-Jews or only to the 7 nations or only to idol worshippers? An additional issue is raised with renting a field or bathhouse to a non-Jew who will use it on Shabbat. In what situations is it permitted and in what situations is it forbidden? What is the difference between a non-Jew and a Samaritan.

Feb 042018

This mishna lists other things that are forbidden to do with non-Jews/or idol worshippers are mentioned – selling trees and items attached to the ground and selling/making jewelry for their idols. Rabbi Eliezer ads that one can sell them jewelry – however there is a debate whether this is actually part of the mishna or a mistaken addition or should be corrected to read “if one sold to them, it is permitted to benefit from the money.” The gemara derives from the verse “lo techanem” 3 things that are forbidden, including the halacha in the mishna about selling items attached to the ground, complimenting non-Jews and giving them gifts for free. The other halachot mentioned are also alayze3d – are there really forbidden? Contradictory sources are brought. The debate in the mishna between Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yehuda is discussed – can one sell a tree on condition that the non-Jew will chop it down after the sale?

Feb 022018

Rabbi Chanina ben Tradion’s death is described – why it happened? Why were others in his family punished with him? Rabbi Yosi ben Kisma predicted his death and in the aftermath of Rabbi Yosi’s death, in fact, Rabbi Chanina gets caught by the Romans and killed in exactly the way Rabbi Yosi predicted. His daughter is punished by being sent to be a prostitute and the story is told of how Bruria, her sister, convinces Rabbi Meir to rescue her. This ultimately leads to his being wanted by the Romans and runs away to Babylonia. The gemara quotes braitot that list all sorts of other Roman activities that it is forbidden to be involved in on account of being “moshav leitzim,” which defined as those who sit around idle and scorn others. The antidote to this is learning Torah.

Feb 012018

The story of Rabbi Eliezer continues as he discovers a situation where he heard the claim of a heretic and agreed somewhat to his interpretation of the verse and assumes that is why he was punished. The gemara then discusses how much one should keep one’s distance from heretics and from prostitutes/those who are forbidden to have sexual relations with. If one repents from being a heretic, one will die immediately – why? Does this apply only to heretics or also to those who engage in promiscuous sexual relations? rabbi Chanania ben Tradion and Rabbi Eliezer ben Prata are captured by the Romans – will they both die? Why?