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Avodah Zarah 16

AVODAH ZARAH 16 - dedicated by Reb Gedalya Weinberger of Brooklyn, N.Y. in memory of his father, Reb Chaim Tzvi ben Reb Shlomo Weinberger. Reb Chaim Tzvi, who miraculously survived the holocaust, raised his children with an intense dedication to the Torah and Gedolei Torah.

1) [line 1] IY EFSHAR, HACHI NAMI - (a) it is impossible [not to sell them wheat and barley without causing strife] (It seems as though RASHI is not Gores the words "Hachi Nami" -- see DIKDUKEI SOFRIM #20) (RASHI); (b) if it were possible, this, too [we would do, i.e. not sell them wheat and barley] (HA'GA'ON RAV YESHAYAH PIK)

2) [line 2] KI SHALIM ZINAIHU, KATLEI B'GAVAIHU - when they run out of weapons, they use them (the shields) to kill

3) [line 4] MI'ARAK ARKEI - they run away [and do not use the shields to kill]
4) [line 6] ASHASHIYOS SHEL BARZEL - (O.F. masses) lumps of wrought iron
5) [line 7] CHALSHEI / CHASHLEI MINAIHU - they pound [them until they are soft enough to fashion weapons] from them

6a) [line 8] MAREI - (O.F. fossoir) hoes
b) [line 8] CHATZINEI - (O.F. doledoire - a carpenter's adze) axes

7a) [line 9] PARZELA HINDEVA'AH - iron from Hindeva (see next entry), used primarily to make weapons (RASHI) (this might refer to the iron used to make the "Arabian daggers" of ancient times, which were well-known as the strongest weapons -- MIDRASH TANCHUMA va'Eschanan 6)
b) [line 9] HINDEVA - Hindeva, or Hindeka, is normally translated as "India," as implied by Midrash Koheles Raba 2:5 (where we find that exotic spices grew in "Hindiki") and Targum to Megilas Esther 1:1 (where India is referred to as "Hindiya Raba"). This is indeed the way RASHI translates Hindeva here DH b'Farzela. However, TARGUM YONASAN associates Hindeva with "Ethiopia" (see Targum Yonasan to Bereishis 2:11, 10:7, 25:18 and Divrei ha'Yamim I 1:9, where "Chavila" is translated as "Hindevin" -- according to the text of the Aruch, Erech Hinduy, or "Hindeka" according to our texts; Targum Yonasan to Yirmeyah 13:23 where "Kushi" is translated as "Hindeva'ah;" Targum Yonasan to Tzefanyah 3:10 where "Kush" is translated as "Hodu"). This is indeed the way Rashi translates Hindeva in Berachos 36b, Yoma 34b and 81b and Kidushin 22b. It is possible that *both* India and a region of Ethiopia were known by the same name (Hindeva in Aramaic, or Hodu in Hebrew), as might be implied from the Gemara in Megilah 11a.

8) [line 16] MIPNEI SHE'HU OSEH VO MELACHAH SHE'EIN CHAYAVIN ALEHA CHATAS - since he will perform with it a Melachah for which there is no liability to bring a Korban Chatas, such a riding it (RABEINU CHANANEL)

9) [line 20] KATIL BI'SHECUFEI - it kills with the downward motion of its front hoofs (O.F. adenter - to knock to the ground)

10) [line 24] SHOR SHEL PATAM - a fattened ox [that is so fat that it cannot do work]

11) [line 30] HAYU MAKRIVIN SHOR SHEL PATAM B'YOM EIDAM - they would give a fattened ox [as a tax or a gift to the Emperor] on the day of the idolaters' festival

12) [line 30] CHISER 4 RIVEVAN SHE'EIN MAKRIVIN OSO HA'YOM ELA L'MACHAR - [Rebbi] spent (lit. depleted) forty thousand [Dinerin to get the authorities to agree] that they (the members of Rebbi's household) need not give the ox on the day of the idolaters' festival, but rather on the next day

13) [line 34] MI'AKAR MILSA BA'I - he wanted to have the obligation (lit. the matter) cancelled

14) [line 34] SAVAR YE'AKER V'ASI PURTA PURTA - and he reasoned that it could only be cancelled little by little

15) [line 35] V'CHI MASH'HEI LEI, BARI V'AVID MELACHAH?! - And if it is left [without feeding it to loose weight], will it become strong and be able to do work (as the Gemara assumes above, according to one side of the argument)?!

16a) [line 36] BAR TORA - a fattened ox
b) [line 36] MASH'HINAN LEI V'AVID AL CHAD TREIN - it may be left [without feeding it to loose weight], and it will [become strong enough to] do double [the work of an ordinary ox]

17) [line 38] BASILKI - a basilica, a building with colonnades often used as a meeting place for merchants and exchange, but also as the seat of the Roman magistrate, who decided capital cases (see pictures posted with the Shi'ur to Avodah Zarah 8: Highlights of a Roman City)

18) [line 38] GARDOM - [Roman] executioner's scaffold
19) [line 38] ITZTADYA - a stadium, to which Roman spectators would assemble to watch prisoners being tortured or killed by gladiators, mad bulls and other wild animals

20) [line 38] BIMAH - (O.F. almenbre) a platform [from which prisoners were pushed to their deaths]

21) [line 38] BIMOSI'OS - (a) (O.F. alter) an altar [for idolatrous sacrifices] (RASHI); (b) according to the Girsa *DIMOSI'OS* - bathhouse structures built around hot springs (TOSFOS to 16b, DH Bimosi'os); (c) a type of building that was not used for idolatrous purposes (RASHBAM, cited by TOSFOS ibid.)

22) [line 38] BEIS MERCHATZA'OS - bathhouses (see pictures posted with the Shi'ur to Avodah Zarah 8: Highlights of a Roman City)

23) [line 39] KIPAH - a dome
24) [line 41] CHAYAH GASAH - a large non-domesticated animal. (Examples of Kosher Chayos Gasos are water buffalo and antelope. Examples of non-Kosher Chayos Gasos are lions and tigers and bears.)

When a small, domesticated animal is slaughtered, it must extend and retract a limb (or limbs) in order to insure that it was healthy at the time of its slaughter (Chulin 37a). These spasmodic, jerking motions are known as "Pirchus," and they insure that the animal was not a Tereifah. (A Tereifah is an animal that has acquired or was born with a fatal defect that will result in its death within a year -- see Background to Avodah Zarah 5:32).


26) [line 25] D'VEI MAR YOCHANI TACHANEI REICHAYIM B'ARODEI - the members of the household of Mar Yochani used to grind flour by harnessing wild desert donkeys to a millstone

27) [line 26] KI HAVEINAN BEI RAV YEHUDAH - when we learned in the Yeshiva of Rav Yehudah (Rebbi Zeira originally lived in Bavel, where he was known as *Rav* Zeira, and he learned under the tutelage of Rav Yehudah. He moved to Eretz Yisrael (see Kesuvos 110b-111a and below, entry #29) where he received Semichah and became known as *Rebbi* Zeira.)

28) [line 30] KURKUNYA - (also Akra Kunya -- DIKDUKEI SOFRIM #4) possibly Kainai, a Roman Mesopotamian city, to the west of the Tigris

29) [line 33] L'SURA - (a) to Sura, a town in Southern Bavel between the canals, seat of the Yeshiva founded by Rav; (b) alternate Girsa *L'SURYA* - to [a town in] Assyria (and this story maps the journey of Rebbi Zeira to Eretz Yisrael, starting with Pumbedisa, the town of Rav Yehudah. He stopped in Kurkunya and Surya before arriving in Eretz Yisrael.)

30a) [line 42] PASYA UCHMA! - black earthenware vessel! (this appellation is used for a Talmid Chacham who is so fully devoted to learning Torah that he does not even have time to wash his clothes -- RASHI. According to the previous entry, (b), Rebbi Zeira may have met Rav Asi immediately upon his arrival from Bavel.)
b) [line 42] MINI U'MINACH TISTAYEM SHEMA'ATA - between the two of us, the matter will be clarified (i.e. the statement will be said in the name of its author, with the proper credit given to the ones who transferred the teaching)

31) [line 49] OTZAROS - treasure houses
32) [line 50] "LE'SOR MALCHEIHEM B'ZIKIM..." - "To bind their kings with chains, [and their nobles with fetters of iron.]" (Tehilim 149:8) - The word "le'Sor," "to bind," can be read "le'Esor," "to prohibit," and as such it is being used as a mnemonic to remember that the Basilka'os of kings are prohibited.

33) [line 53] KESHE'NITPAS REBBI ELEIZER L'MINUS - when Rebbi Eliezer was caught [and tried] by the Roman authorities (lit. by the Heresy)

34) [line 53] HEGMON - the district commander
35) [line 56] "DIMUS, PATUR ATAH." - (a) "In the name of *Dimus* (the idol of the Hegmon), you are exempt [from punishment]." (RASHI); (b) "By the *mercy* of [my idol, the name of which is not mentioned], you are exempt [from punishment]." (TOSFOS); (c) the word "Dimus" means "exempt," and the Gemara is translating his verdict (RA'AVAD); (d) the Greek word for the *oath* that the judge uses to exempt a prisoner from the death penalty is "Dimus" (ARUCH, MUSAF HE'ARUCH)

36) [line 57] L'NACHAMO - to comfort him (since he felt that the vague statement that he used to acquit himself may have been a Chilul HaSh-m, since the Hegmon understood it as support for his words that Torah learning is "Devarim Betelim")

37) [last line] SHEMA MINUS BA L'YADCHA - perhaps [words of] heresy came before you (lit. into your hands) [and they were pleasing to you at the time]

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