Avodah Zarah 21aעבודה זרה כ״א א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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21aכ״א א

משכירין להם בתים אבל לא שדות ובחו"ל מוכרין להם בתים ומשכירין שדות דברי רבי מאיר רבי יוסי אומר בארץ ישראל משכירין להם בתים אבל לא שדות ובסוריא מוכרין בתים ומשכירין שדות ובחוץ לארץ מוכרין אלו ואלו

one may rent houses to gentiles, but one may not rent fields. And outside of Eretz Yisrael one may sell houses and rent fields to gentiles; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yosei says: In Eretz Yisrael one may rent houses to gentiles but one may not rent fields. And in Syria one may sell houses to them and rent fields, and outside of Eretz Yisrael one may sell both these, houses, and those, fields.

אף במקום שאמרו להשכיר לא לבית דירה אמרו מפני שהוא מכניס לתוכו עבודת כוכבים שנאמר (דברים ז, כו) לא תביא תועבה אל ביתך ובכל מקום לא ישכיר לו את המרחץ מפני שהוא נקרא על שמו:

Even in a place with regard to which the Sages said that it is permitted for a Jew to rent a house to a gentile, they did not say that one may rent it for use as a residence, because the gentile will bring objects of idol worship into it, as it is stated: “You shall not bring an abomination into your house” (Deuteronomy 7:26), and this is still considered the house of a Jew. And for the same reason, in every place, one may not rent a bathhouse to a gentile, since it is called by the name of the owner, and onlookers will think that the Jew is operating it on Shabbat.

גמ׳ מאי אין צריך לומר שדות אילימא משום דאית בה תרתי חדא חניית קרקע וחדא דקא מפקע לה ממעשר

GEMARA: What is the meaning of the mishna’s statement: Needless to say one may not allow gentiles to rent fields? Why is the halakha with regard to fields more obvious than the halakha of houses? If we say that it is because allowing a gentile to rent a field entails two problems, one of which is aiding gentiles in encamping in the land, and the other one is that doing so releases the land from the mitzva of separating tithe, this cannot be correct.

אי הכי בתים נמי איכא תרתי חדא חניית קרקע וחדא דקא מפקע לה ממזוזה אמר רב משרשיא מזוזה חובת הדר הוא:

The Gemara explains why that cannot be the reason: If that is so, the same can be said about the prohibition against renting houses, as it also involves two problems: One is aiding gentiles in encamping in the land, and the other one is that it releases the house from the mitzva of mezuza. Rav Mesharshiyya says in response: Affixing a mezuza is the obligation of the resident, rather than an obligation that applies to the house. Therefore, if no Jew lives in a house, it is not subject to the mitzva of mezuza. This means that by renting a house to a gentile one is not removing the right to perform the mitzva from the house.

בסוריא משכירין בתים כו': מאי שנא מכירה דלא משום מכירה דארץ ישראל אי הכי משכירות נמי נגזור היא גופה גזרה ואנן ניקום וניגזור גזרה לגזרה

The mishna teaches: In Syria one may rent houses but not fields to gentiles. The Gemara asks: What is different about selling houses that it is not permitted to sell houses in Syria? The Gemara answers that it is prohibited due to a concern that this will ultimately result in the selling of houses in Eretz Yisrael. The Gemara challenges: If that is so, let us also issue a decree prohibiting renting houses to gentiles in Syria, lest it lead to renting to gentiles in Eretz Yisrael. The Gemara explains: The prohibition against renting houses to gentiles in Eretz Yisrael is itself a rabbinic decree lest one come to sell the houses, and shall we arise and issue one decree to prevent the violation of another decree?

והא שכירות שדה דבסוריא דגזרה לגזרה היא וקא גזרינן התם לאו גזרה הוא קסבר כיבוש יחיד שמיה כיבוש

The Gemara challenges: But the prohibition against renting a field that is in Syria is also a decree whose purpose is to prevent the violation of another decree, as the prohibition against allowing a gentile to rent one’s field in Eretz Yisrael is a rabbinic decree, and yet we still issue the decree. The Gemara explains: According to Rabbi Meir, there, with regard to selling houses and fields in Syria to gentiles, the prohibition is not merely a decree intended to prevent the violation of the decree with regard to Eretz Yisrael. Rather, Rabbi Meir holds that the conquest of an individual is called a conquest. Once Syria was conquered by King David, who is considered an individual in this regard, the sanctity of Eretz Yisrael applied to it.

שדה דאית ביה תרתי גזרו ביה רבנן בתים דלית בהו תרתי לא גזרו בהו רבנן:

Therefore, concerning a field, which has two problems, as one releases the land from the mitzva of separating tithes and aids gentiles in acquiring land in Eretz Yisrael, the Sages issued a decree as a preventative measure, prohibiting the renting of fields just as in Eretz Yisrael. But concerning houses, which do not have two problems, the Sages did not issue such a decree.

בחוץ לארץ וכו': שדה דאית ביה תרתי גזרו בהו רבנן בתים דלית בהו תרתי לא גזרו בהו רבנן:

The mishna teaches that according to Rabbi Meir, outside of Eretz Yisrael one may sell houses and rent fields, but one may not sell fields to gentiles. The Gemara explains: Concerning a field, which has two problems when it is in Eretz Yisrael, the Sages issued a decree preventing its sale even outside of Eretz Yisrael. Concerning houses, which do not have two problems, the Sages did not issue a decree prohibiting their sale.

רבי יוסי אומר בארץ ישראל משכירין להם בתים וכו': מ"ט שדות דאית בהו תרתי גזרו בהו רבנן בתים דלית בהו תרתי לא גזרו בהו רבנן:

The mishna further teaches that Rabbi Yosei says: In Eretz Yisrael one may rent houses but not fields to gentiles. The Gemara explains: What is the reason that one may rent houses but not fields? Concerning fields, which have two problems, the Sages issued a decree as a preventive measure prohibiting the renting of fields in Eretz Yisrael. But concerning houses, which do not have two problems, the Sages did not issue a decree prohibiting renting houses to gentiles.

ובסוריא מוכרין וכו': מ"ט קסבר כיבוש יחיד לא שמיה כיבוש ושדה דאית בה תרתי גזרו בה רבנן בתים דלית בהו תרתי לא גזרו בהו רבנן:

The mishna teaches that Rabbi Yosei rules: And in Syria one may sell houses and rent fields to gentiles, but one may not sell fields. The Gemara asks: What is the reason that one may sell houses but not fields? The Gemara answers: Rabbi Yosei holds that the conquest of an individual is not called a conquest, and therefore there is no prohibition by Torah law against selling houses in Syria. And concerning a field, which has two problems, the Sages issued a decree as a preventive measure prohibiting the sale of fields in Syria. Concerning houses, which do not have two problems, the Sages did not issue a decree prohibiting their sale.

ובחו"ל מוכרין וכו': מאי טעמא כיון דמרחק לא גזרינן

The mishna continues: And outside of Eretz Yisrael one may sell houses and fields. The Gemara asks: What is the reason for this? The Gemara answers: Since this land is at a distance from Eretz Yisrael, the Sages do not issue a decree, unlike Syria, which is near Eretz Yisrael.

אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל הלכה כרבי יוסי אמר רב יוסף ובלבד שלא יעשנה שכונה וכמה שכונה תנא אין שכונה פחותה משלשה בני אדם

In conclusion, Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei, that it is permitted to sell houses outside of Eretz Yisrael to gentiles. Rav Yosef says: And this is the halakha provided that one does not make it into a gentile settlement. And how many people constitute a settlement? The Sage taught: There is no settlement that consists of fewer than three people.

ולחוש דלמא אזיל האי ישראל ומזבין לחד עובד כוכבים ואזיל היאך ומזבין לה לתרי אמר אביי אלפני מפקדינן אלפני דלפני לא מפקדינן:

The Gemara challenges: But let us be concerned that perhaps this Jew will go and sell to one gentile, and the other owners of the adjacent houses will go and sell to two other gentiles, resulting in a gentile settlement. Abaye said: We are commanded about placing a stumbling block before the blind (see Leviticus 19:14), but we are not commanded about placing a stumbling block before someone who may place it before the blind. In other words, this prohibition applies only when one causes another to sin by his direct action, not in a situation such as this, where the prohibition is two stages removed from the Jew’s action.

אף במקום שאמרו להשכיר: מכלל דאיכא דוכתא דלא מוגרי

§ The mishna teaches that even in a place with regard to which the Sages said that it is permitted for a Jew to rent a house to a gentile, they did not say that one may rent it for use as a residence. The Gemara points out: By inference, this means that there is a place where one may not rent any house to a gentile.