Avodah Zarah 12a:3עבודה זרה י״ב א
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12aי״ב א

ששפתו שתי קדירות על גבי כירה אחת ולא חשו להם חכמים מאי לא חשו להם חכמים

place two pots on one stove, and yet the Sages were not concerned and did not issue a prohibition with regard to the meat that was in the pot belonging to the Jew, despite the fact that forbidden food was in close proximity to the permitted food? Similarly, in this case as well, the Sages were not concerned about the bazaar’s proximity to Gaza and did not prohibit engaging in business there. The Gemara asks: What did he mean in stating: The Sages were not concerned, with regard to the meat, and how does that case relate the issue here?

אמר אביי משום בשר נבילה לא אמרינן דלמא מהדר אפיה ישראל לאחוריה ושדי עובד כוכבים נבילה בקדירה דכוותה ה"נ לא חשו להם חכמים משום דמי עבודת כוכבים

Abaye said: The Sages were not concerned with regard to the possibility of eating the meat of an unslaughtered animal carcass. We do not say: Cooking in this manner is prohibited since perhaps the Jew will turn his face and at that moment the gentile will throw meat of an animal carcass into his pot. Here too, in the corresponding situation, although the permitted and prohibited places are in close proximity, the Sages were not concerned about engaging in business transactions in the bazaar of Gaza, even due to the possibility that money associated with idol worship would end up in the hands of the Jews. If the money were for the purchase of an animal used as an offering for idolatry, those coins would be prohibited by Torah law. Nevertheless, the Sages were not concerned about this possibility, just as they were not concerned that the gentile might add his meat to the Jew’s pot.

רבא אמר מאי לא חשו להם חכמים משום בישולי עובדי כוכבים

Rava said that there is a different explanation. The Sages were not lenient in the face of a potential violation of Torah law, but were lenient in a case where it was rabbinic law that might be violated. As for Rabbi Ḥanina’s comparison to pots in Tyre, there is no concern that a gentile might throw his meat into the pot of a Jew, as he would derive no benefit from doing so and would be afraid that the Jew might see him. By contrast, here the gentile is engaged in business. Rather, what is it that the Sages were not concerned about in the case of the pots? Although the gentile is cooking food next to the Jew, there is no concern with regard to the possibility that the gentile might cook the Jew’s food, causing the latter to violate the rabbinic prohibition against eating food cooked by gentiles.

דכוותה ה"נ לא חשו להם חכמים משום יום אידם

Rava concludes: Here too, in the corresponding situation, it is referring to a case where the coins were the gentile’s own money. The Sages were not concerned about engaging in business transactions in the bazaar of Gaza, even due to the possibility that the Jew might be engaging in business with residents of Gaza on their festival day, which would be a violation of rabbinic law.

רבה בר עולא אמר לא חשו להם חכמים משום צינורא

Rabba bar Ulla says: Even if the concern in the case of the pots applied only to the gentile cooking the Jew’s food, not the consumption of non-kosher meat, with regard to the bazaar the halakha would not be comparably lenient. The reason is the Jew need only stir the coals once to do to ensure that the food in his pot is not considered cooked by a gentile, an option that does not apply here. Rather, in the case mentioned by Rabbi Ḥanina, the Sages were not concerned with regard to the possibility that food might splatter [tzinnora] from the gentile’s pot into the Jew’s pot. This is an especially lenient case, both because this is an unlikely possibility and because that small amount of food would be nullified by a majority of the Jew’s food.

דכוותה ה"נ לא חשו להם חכמים משום לפני אידיהן:

Rabba bar Ulla concludes: Here too, in the corresponding situation, the Sages were not concerned about engaging in business transactions in the bazaar of Gaza with regard to the days before the festival of Gaza. This is an analogous case to that of the splattered food, as it is outside the festival in both time and place.

מהו לילך לשם וכו': ת"ר עיר שיש בה עבודת כוכבים אסור ליכנס לתוכה ולא מתוכה לעיר אחרת דברי רבי מאיר וחכ"א כל זמן שהדרך מיוחדת לאותו מקום אסור אין הדרך מיוחדת לאותו מקום מותר

§ The mishna teaches: What is the halakha with regard to traveling there, a place that is celebrating a pagan festival? If the road leads only to that place, it is prohibited, but if the road leads to another place as well, it is permitted. In this connection, the Gemara cites a related baraita. The Sages taught: In the case of a city in which there is active idol worship, i.e., its residents are worshipping their idol on that day, it is prohibited to enter the city, and one may not leave it for another city; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. And the Rabbis say: As long as the road is designated only for that place, it is prohibited to enter the city. But if the road is not designated for only that place, it is permitted.

ישב לו קוץ בפני עבודת כוכבים לא ישחה ויטלנה מפני שנראה כמשתחוה לעבודת כוכבים ואם אינו נראה מותר נתפזרו לו מעותיו בפני עבודת כוכבים לא ישחה ויטלם מפני שנראה כמשתחוה לעבודת כוכבים ואם אינו נראה מותר

The baraita continues: If a thorn became imbedded in one’s foot while he was standing before an object of idol worship, he may not bend down and remove the thorn, because he appears to be bowing down to the object of idol worship; but if he is not seen, it is permitted. If one’s coins were scattered while he is before an object of idol worship, he may not bend down and pick them up, because he appears to be bowing down to the object of idol worship; but if he is not seen, it is permitted.

מעיין המושך לפני עבודת כוכבים לא ישחה וישתה מפני שנראה כמשתחוה לעבודת כוכבים ואם אינו נראה מותר פרצופות המקלחין מים לכרכין לא יניח פיו על פיהם וישתה מפני שנראה כמנשק לעבודת כוכבים כיוצא בו לא יניח פיו על סילון וישתה מפני הסכנה

Likewise, if there is a spring that runs before an object of idol worship, one may not bend down and drink from it, because he appears to be bowing down to the object of idol worship; but if he is not seen, it is permitted. With regard to figures of human faces [partzufot] that spray water in the cities, i.e., fountains, one may not place his mouth on the mouths of the figures and drink, because he appears to be kissing the object of idol worship. Similarly, one may not place his mouth on a pipe [sillon] and drink,here due to the danger that this practice poses.

מאי אינו נראה אילימא דלא מתחזי והאמר רב יהודה אמר רב כל מקום שאסרו חכמים מפני מראית העין אפילו בחדרי חדרים אסור אלא אימא אם אינו נראה כמשתחוה לעבודת כוכבים מותר

The Gemara asks: What does the baraita mean when it states: If he is not seen? If we say it means that he is not seen by others, doesn’t Rav Yehuda say that Rav says: Wherever the Sages prohibited an action due to the appearance of prohibition, it is prohibited even in the innermost chambers where no one will see it, as the Sages did not distinguish between different circumstances in such cases. Accordingly, the fact that he is not seen by anyone should make no difference with regard to whether or not the action is prohibited. Rather, say: If he is not seen as one who bows down to an object of idol worship, i.e., he turns his side or back to the idol, then it is permitted.

וצריכא דאי תנא קוץ משום דאפשר למיזל קמיה ומשקליה אבל מעות דלא אפשר אימא לא

The Gemara comments: And it is necessary for the baraita to list all of these cases, notwithstanding their similarity. As, if it had taught only the case of the thorn, one might have thought that bending down to remove a thorn is prohibited because it is possible to walk past the figure, and only then take out the thorn. But in the case of the coins, where it is not possible to collect them elsewhere, you might say that it is not prohibited to pick them up.

ואי תנא מעות דממונא אבל קוץ דצערא אימא לא ואי תנא הני תרתי משום דליכא סכנה אבל מעיין דאיכא סכנה דאי לא שתי מיית אימא לא צריכא

And furthermore, if the baraita had taught only the case of the coins, one might have thought that the reason for the stringent ruling is that the loss is purely financial. But in the case of the thorn, which causes him pain, you might say that it is not prohibited to remove it. And finally, if the baraita had taught only these two cases, one might have thought that they are prohibited because there is no danger if the action is not performed on the spot. But in the case of the spring, where there is an element of danger, that if he does not drink he might die, one could say that it is not prohibited. Therefore, it is necessary to state each example.