Mar 162018

Many different cases are brought regarding different less direct contacts the non-Jew has with the wine and whether or not it is forbidden? Also in cases where a non_Jew is in the proximity of wine unwatched – in what cases can we assume that the non-Jew will not come in contact with the wine and therefore permit it and in which cases is there room for concern?

Mar 132018

Rav and Shmuel have a debate regarding how to read a braita and therefore come to different halachic conclusions. According to Rav’s reading, a non-Jew does not need intent to forbid wine for drinking for a Jew (even a baby can forbid it). According to Shmuel’s reading, a Cannanite slave that was purchased from the market, needs a 12 month waiting period in the Jew’s home before being allowed to come in contact with the wine as there is concern he is still worshipping his idols and may offer the wine to his Gods.

Mar 122018

Are the definitions for when there is “gmar melacha” (when it is a somewhat finished product) to be able to be considered wine that could have been offered by an idol worshipper to his/her idols, the same as for when wine is obligated to be tithed? If the strainer is put back in the top of the winepress, it forbids the wine in the winepress. The gemara tries to understand on what basis the wine in the strainer is forbidden as it hasn’t even reached the collection vat. Wine that is owned by a Jew – if the non-Jew touches it, is it forbidden to drink? Forbidden to benefit from it? What if the non-Jew touched it with one’s leg?

Mar 112018

Basic philosophical questions are asked and answered regarding free choice – if God doesn’t want people worshipping idols, then why doesn’t God destroy them? The last section of Masechet Avoda Zara deals with wine of non-Jews and the first question addressed is at what stage does the wine become potential to the wine of libations and therefore forbidden to get benefit? Can a Jew work in the winepress treading on the grapes? An additional issue is raised regarding a rabbinic decree not to allow fruits of Israel to become impure.

Mar 082018

Study Guide Avoda Zara 52

When does an idol become forbidden? From the time it was created or from the time it was worshipped? What about a utensil for idol worship? Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yishmael disagree and the amoraim bring proof texts for each of them. Several questions are asked regarding the impurity that the rabbis instituted for items of idol worship. Can the impurity on a food that was offered up to an idol and then canceled by a non-Jew be considered pure or is the law the same as the benefit which is forbidden forever even if the item is cancelled? Can items used in the temple built by Onias (Chonyo) be used in the Beit Hamikdash?

Mar 072018

If an idol is worshipped with a stick, what acts that one would do with the stick would be considered worship? What would make that stick be considered a “tikrovet” – an offering? If one sacrifices to an idol when the typical method of worship is not sacrifice, is it forbidden? Items that are found next to the idol or on the idol, how does one determine if they are forbidden to derive benefit from them?

Mar 062018

Study Guide Avoda Zara 50

If one finds rocks beside the idol Markolis (Mercury), in what case should one assume that the rocks came from the idol and would be forbidden to benefit from them? If roads are paved by non-Jews who took rocks from there, can we walk on those roads as the rocks were canceled out by the non-Jews who paved the roads with them or are these rocks considered “tikrovet avoda zara” – something used for worship which then can never be canceled? The criteria for what can be considered a tikrovet is discussed. The gemara goes off on a tangent about types of work in the field that can/can’t be done in the shemita year and on Chol Hamoed.