Avodah Zarah 20aעבודה זרה כ׳ א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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20aכ׳ א

דאמר קרא (דברים ז, ב) לא תחנם לא תתן להם חנייה בקרקע האי לא תחנם מיבעי ליה דהכי קאמר רחמנא לא תתן להם חן

The source is that the verse states: “You should not show them mercy [lo teḥonnem]” (Deuteronomy 7:2), which is understood as meaning: You should not give them a chance to encamp [ḥanayah] in, i.e., to acquire land in, Eretz Yisrael. The Gemara asks: This phrase: “You should not show them mercy”; isn’t it necessary to teach that this is what the Merciful one is saying: You should not give them favor [ḥen] by praising them?

א"כ לימא קרא לא תחונם מאי לא תחנם שמע מינה תרתי

The Gemara answers: If that were so, let the verse say: Lo teḥunnem, with the letter vav, as then it would be evident that this is a form of the root ḥet, vav, nun, which means favor. What is the reason that the verse instead states: Lo teḥonnem, without the letter vav? Conclude two conclusions from it, that one may not praise them and also that one may not allow them to acquire land.

ואכתי מיבעי ליה דהכי אמר רחמנא לא תתן להם מתנת של חנם אם כן לימא קרא לא תחינם מאי לא תחנם שמע מינה כולהו

The Gemara asks: But still, isn’t the phrase “You should not show them mercy” necessary to teach the halakha that this is what the Merciful One states: You should not give them an undeserved [ḥinnam] gift? The Gemara answers: If that were so, let the verse say: Lo teḥinnem. What is the reason that it is spelled without the letter yud, as: Lo teḥonnem? Learn from it all of these three halakhot.

תניא נמי הכי לא תחנם לא תתן להם חנייה בקרקע דבר אחר לא תחנם לא תתן להם חן דבר אחר לא תחנם לא תתן להם מתנת חנם

This is also taught in a baraita: “You should not show them mercy”; this teaches that you should not give them a chance to encamp in the land of Eretz Yisrael. Another matter: “You should not show them mercy”; this indicates that you should not give them favor. Another matter: “You should not show them mercy”; this teaches that you should not give them an undeserved gift.

ומתנת חנם גופה תנאי היא דתניא (דברים יד, כא) לא תאכלו כל נבילה לגר אשר בשעריך תתננה ואכלה או מכור לנכרי אין לי אלא לגר בנתינה ולעובד כוכבים במכירה לגר במכירה מנין תלמוד לומר תתננה או מכור

The Gemara notes: And this issue of an undeserved gift to a gentile is itself a dispute between tanna’im. As it is taught in a baraita: “You shall not eat of any unslaughtered animal carcass; you may give it to the resident alien who is within your gates, that he may eat it; or you may sell it to a foreigner; for you are a sacred people to the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 14:21). I have derived only that it is permitted to a resident alien through giving and to a gentile through selling. From where do I derive that it is permitted to transfer an unslaughtered animal to a resident alien through selling? The verse states: “You may give itor you may sell it,” meaning that one has the option to do either of these.

לעובד כוכבים בנתינה מנין תלמוד לומר תתננה ואכלה או מכור לנכרי נמצא אתה אומר אחד גר ואחד עובד כוכבים בין בנתינה בין במכירה דברי ר' מאיר רבי יהודה אומר דברים ככתבן לגר בנתינה ולעובד כוכבים במכירה

The baraita continues: From where is it derived that it is permitted to a gentile through giving and one is not required to sell it to him? The verse states: “You may give itthat he may eat it; or you may sell it to a foreigner.” Therefore, you may say that he may transfer it to both a resident alien and a gentile, both through giving and through selling. This is the statement of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yehuda says: These matters are to be understood as they are written; one may transfer an unslaughtered animal carcass to a resident alien only through giving, and to a gentile only through selling, as it is prohibited to give an undeserved gift to a gentile.

שפיר קאמר ר"מ ור' יהודה אמר לך אי סלקא דעתך כדקאמר ר"מ לכתוב רחמנא תתננה ואכלה ומכור או למה לי שמע מינה לדברים ככתבן הוא דאתא

The Gemara comments: Rabbi Meir is saying well, as the verse indicates that either method is acceptable. The Gemara explains: And Rabbi Yehuda could have said to you: If it enters your mind to understand the verse in accordance with that which Rabbi Meir says, then let the Merciful One write: You may give it to the resident alien who is within your gates that he may eat it, and also you may sell it to a foreigner. Why do I need the word “or” between these two options? Learn from it that it comes to teach that the matters are to be understood as they are written.

ור"מ ההוא לאקדומי נתינה דגר למכירה דעובד כוכבים ור' יהודה כיון דגר אתה מצווה להחיותו וכנעני אי אתה מצווה להחיותו להקדים לא צריך קרא:

The Gemara asks: And how does Rabbi Meir explain the wording of the verse? The Gemara answers: That word, “or,” teaches that one should give precedence to giving to a resident alien over selling to a gentile. And Rabbi Yehuda holds that since you are commanded to sustain a resident alien, as it is stated: “And he shall live with you” (Leviticus 25:35), and you are not commanded to sustain a gentile, there is no need for a verse to teach that one should give precedence to a resident alien.

ד"א לא תחנם לא תתן להם חן: מסייע ליה לרב דאמר רב אסור לאדם שיאמר כמה נאה עובדת כוכבים זו

§ It is taught in the baraita cited earlier: Another matter: “You should not show them favor”; this teaches that you should not give them favor by praising them. The Gemara notes that this supports the opinion of Rav. As Rav says: It is prohibited for a person to say: How beautiful is this gentile woman!

מיתיבי מעשה ברשב"ג שהיה על גבי מעלה בהר הבית וראה עובדת כוכבים אחת נאה ביותר אמר (תהלים קד, כד) מה רבו מעשיך ה' ואף ר"ע ראה אשת טורנוסרופוס הרשע רק שחק ובכה רק שהיתה באה מטיפה סרוחה שחק דעתידה דמגיירא ונסיב לה בכה דהאי שופרא בלי עפרא

The Gemara raises an objection from a baraita: There was an incident involving Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, who was on a step on the Temple mount, and he saw a certain gentile woman who was exceptionally beautiful and said: “How great are Your works, O Lord!” (Psalms 104:24). And Rabbi Akiva too, when he saw the wife of the wicked Turnus Rufus he spat, laughed, and cried. He spat, as she was created from a putrid drop; he laughed, as he foresaw that she was destined to convert and he would marry her; he cried, as this beauty would ultimately be consumed by dirt.

ורב אודויי הוא דקא מודה דאמר מר הרואה בריות טובות אומר ברוך שככה ברא בעולמו

And how would Rav explain the incident involving Rabban Gamliel, who praised the beauty of a gentile? The Gemara answers: Rabban Gamliel was giving thanks to God for creating such beautiful people rather than praising the gentile herself. As the Master said: One who sees beautiful or otherwise outstanding creatures recites: Blessed be He, Who has created such in His world.

ולאסתכולי מי שרי מיתיבי (דברים כג, י) ונשמרת מכל דבר רע שלא יסתכל אדם באשה נאה ואפילו פנויה באשת איש ואפי' מכוערת

But is it permitted to gaze upon a woman? The Gemara raises an objection from a baraita. The verse states: “And you shall keep yourself from every evil thing” (Deuteronomy 23:10); this teaches that a person should not gaze upon a beautiful woman, even if she is unmarried; and a person should not gaze upon a married woman, even if she is ugly;