Avodah Zarah 52bעבודה זרה נ״ב ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
Save "Avodah Zarah 52b"
Toggle Reader Menu Display Settings
52bנ״ב ב

כיון דאיסורה בטיל טומאה נמי בטלה כי קא מיבעיא ליה תקרובת לעבודת כוכבים של אוכלין מאי כיון דאיסוריה לא בטיל כדרב גידל טומאה נמי לא בטלה או דלמא איסור דאורייתא לא בטיל טומאה דרבנן בטיל תיקו

as, since its prohibition is nullified, its impurity is also nullified. When he raises the dilemma, it is only with regard to an offering consisting of food brought in idolatrous worship. What is the halakha? Does one say that since its prohibition is not nullified, in accordance with the statement of Rav Giddel, who teaches that the prohibition that takes effect with regard to offerings brought in idolatrous worship is never nullified, therefore the impurity is also not nullified? Or perhaps only their prohibition, which is by Torah law, is not nullified, but their impurity, which is by rabbinic law, is nullified. The Gemara concludes: The dilemma shall stand unresolved.

בעא מיניה ר' יוסי בן שאול מרבי כלים ששימשו בהן בבית חוניו מהו שישתמשו בהן בבית המקדש

§ Rabbi Yosei ben Shaul asked Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi: With regard to vessels that were used in the temple of Onias, what is the halakha with regard to using them in the Temple?

וקא מיבעיא ליה אליבא דמ"ד בית חוניו לאו בית עבודת כוכבים היא דתנן כהנים ששימשו בבית חוניו לא ישמשו במקדש שבירושלים ואינו צריך לומר לדבר אחר

And he raised this dilemma according to the opinion of the one who says that the temple of Onias was not a temple of idol worship. As we learned in a mishna (Menaḥot 109a): Priests who served in the temple of Onias may not serve in the Temple that is in Jerusalem, and needless to say, those priests who served in a temple of something else, i.e., idol worship, may not serve in the Temple in Jerusalem. This distinction indicates that the temple of Onias was not a temple of idol worship. It was used for the service of God, but it violated the prohibition against sacrificing offerings outside of the Temple in Jerusalem.

כהנים הוא דקנסינהו רבנן משום דבני דעה נינהו אבל כלים לא או דלמא לא שנא

The Gemara explains the dilemma: Does one say that it is only the priests that the Sages penalized by preventing them from serving in the Temple, as they possess awareness and are responsible for their actions, but they did not institute a similar decree with regard to vessels, as they are inanimate? Or perhaps there is no difference, and the decree also applies to the vessels.

א"ל אסורים הן ומקרא היה בידינו ושכחנוהו

Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to Rabbi Yosei ben Shaul: The vessels that were used in the temple of Onias are prohibited, and we possessed knowledge of a verse from which this halakha was derived, but we forgot which verse it is.

איתיביה (דברי הימים ב כט, יט) כל הכלים אשר הזניח המלך אחז במלכותו במעלו הכנו והקדשנו מאי לאו הכנו דאטבלינהו הקדשנו דאקדישננהו

Rabbi Yosei ben Shaul raised an objection to this ruling from a verse referring to vessels of the Temple that Ahaz had used for idol worship: “All the vessels, which King Ahaz in his reign did cast away when he acted treacherously, we have prepared and sanctified, and, behold, they are before the altar of the Lord” (II Chronicles 29:19). What, is it not the case that the term “we have prepared” means that we immersed them in a ritual bath, and the term “sanctified” means that we sanctified them to be used again in the Temple? This would indicate that the vessels may be used in the Temple even though they were used in idolatrous worship.

א"ל ברוך אתה לשמים שהחזרת לי אבדתי הכנו שגנזנום והקדשנו שהקדשנו אחרים תחתיהם

Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to Rabbi Yosei ben Shaul: Blessed are you to Heaven, as you have returned my lost verse to me. That verse is the forgotten source of the halakha that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi stated, and it should be interpreted as follows: “We have prepared” means that we interred them; “and sanctified” means that we sanctified other vessels in their stead, as the vessels used by Ahaz were forbidden, and the same applies to the vessels from the temple of Onias.

לימא מסייע ליה מזרחית צפונית בה גנזו בית חשמונאי את אבני המזבח ששקצו אנשי יון ואמר רב ששת ששקצו לעבודת כוכבים

The Gemara suggests: Let us say that the mishna supports Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi’s opinion (Middot 1:6): The northeast chamber of the Chamber of the Hearth was the chamber in which the Hasmoneans sequestered the altar stones that the people of Greece desecrated. And Rav Sheshet says: This means that they desecrated the stones by using them for idol worship. This indicates that Temple vessels that were used in idolatrous worship can no longer be used and must be sequestered.

אמר רב פפא התם קרא אשכח ודרש דכתיב (יחזקאל ז, כב) ובאו בה פריצים וחללוה

Rav Pappa said: That case of the altar’s stones is different, because there a Sage found a verse and interpreted it homiletically, as it is written: “And they shall profane My secret place, and robbers shall enter into it and profane it” (Ezekiel 7:22). The verse indicates that when the gentiles entered the Temple and desecrated it, the altar was desacralized and acquired non-sacred status. Consequently, when the stones were subsequently used for idolatrous worship they were rendered forbidden even for non-sacred use.

אמרי היכי נעביד ניתברינהו (דברים כז, ו) אבנים שלמות אמר רחמנא ננסרינהו (דברים כז, ה) לא תניף עליהם ברזל אמר רחמנא

The Gemara explains why the altar’s stones were sequestered: The Hasmoneans said: What should we do to revoke the stone’s forbidden status? Shall we break them? That is not possible, as the Merciful One states in the Torah: “You shall build the altar of the Lord your God of unhewn stones” (Deuteronomy 27:6). Shall we saw them without breaking them? That is also not a viable option, as the Merciful One states in the Torah: “You shall lift up no iron tool upon them” (Deuteronomy 27:5). There was therefore no alternative to sequestering the stones.

ואמאי ליתברינהו ולישקלינהו לנפשייהו מי לא אמר רב אושעיא בקשו לגנוז כל כסף וזהב שבעולם משום כספא ודהבא של ירושלים והוינן בה ירושלים הויא רובא דעלמא

The Gemara asks: But why did the Hasmoneans have no alternative? Let them break the stones and take them for themselves. Didn’t Rav Oshaya say: The Sages wished to sequester all of the silver and gold in the world because of the silver and gold of Jerusalem, most of which was consecrated to the Temple treasury and became mixed with other silver and gold. And we discussed it and asked: Is Jerusalem the majority of the world that all of the silver and gold of the world should be forbidden as perhaps it came from Jerusalem?

אלא אמר אביי בקשו לגנוז דינרא הדרייאנא טוריינא שיפא מפני טבעה של ירושלים עד שמצאו לה מקרא מן התורה שהוא מותר ובאו בה פריצים וחללוה

Rather, Abaye said: The Sages wished to sequester all of the worn-out dinars of Hadrian and Trajan because of the coins of Jerusalem, as it was known that these coins contained a large quantity of the Temple treasury’s gold and silver. They did not permit the use of these coins until they found a verse in the Torah indicating that it is permitted: “And robbers shall enter into it, and profane it” (Ezekiel 7:22).

התם לא אשתמשו בהו לגבוה הכא כיון דאשתמש בהו לגבוה לאו אורח ארעא לאשתמושי בהו הדיוטא:

The Gemara answers: The two cases are not comparable. There, the coins of Jerusalem had not been used in service of the Most High; they were only consecrated. Here, since the stones of the altar had been used in service of the Most High, it is not proper conduct for an ordinary person to make use of them, and therefore the Hasmoneans sequestered the stones.

מתני׳ עובד כוכבים מבטל עבודת כוכבים שלו ושל חבירו וישראל אין מבטל עבודת כוכבים של עובד כוכבים המבטל עבודת כוכבים מבטל משמשיה ביטל משמשיה משמשין מותרין והיא אסורה:

MISHNA: A gentile can revoke the status of his object of idol worship and the status of the idol of another gentile, but a Jew cannot revoke the status of the object of idol worship of a gentile. One who revokes the status of an object of idol worship thereby revokes the status of its accessories. But if he revokes the status of its accessories, its accessories alone are rendered permitted, but the object of idol worship itself remains prohibited.

גמ׳ מתני ליה ר' לר"ש ברבי עובד כוכבים מבטל עבודת כוכבים שלו ושל חבירו א"ל רבי שנית לנו בילדותך עובד כוכבים מבטל עבודת כוכבים שלו ושל ישראל דישראל מי קא מבטלה והא (דברים כז, טו) ושם בסתר כתיב א"ר הילל בריה דרבי וולס לא נצרכה שיש לו בה שותפות

GEMARA: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi taught Rabbi Shimon, son of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, the following version of the mishna: A gentile can revoke the status of his object of idol worship and the status of the idol of another gentile. Rabbi Shimon said to him: My teacher, in your youth, i.e., when you were younger, you taught us a different version of the mishna: A gentile can revoke the status of his object of idol worship and the status of the object of idol worship of a Jew. The Gemara asks: Can the status of a Jew’s idol be revoked? But isn’t it written: “And shall set it up in a hidden place” (Deuteronomy 27:15), from which the Sages derived that a Jew’s idol requires interment? Rabbi Hillel, son of Rabbi Volas, said: No, this halakha is necessary in a case where the gentile has partnership in the idol, and therefore it is possible to say that its status can be revoked.

בילדותו מאי קסבר ובזקנותו מאי קסבר בילדותו סבר ישראל אדעתא דעובד כוכבים פלח כיון דעובד כוכבים מבטל דנפשיה דישראל נמי מבטלה ובזקנותו סבר ישראל אדעתא דנפשיה פלח כי מבטל עובד כוכבים דנפשיה דישראל לא בטיל

The Gemara asks: What did Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi hold in his youth, and what did he hold in his old age? The Gemara answers: In his youth he held that the Jew worships the idol based on the intention of the gentile. Once the gentile revokes the status of his share in the idol, the status of the share of the Jew is also revoked. But in his old age Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi held that the Jew worships the idol based on his own intentions. Therefore, when the gentile revokes the status of the object of idol worship, he revokes the status of only his own share, but the status of the share of the Jew is not revoked.

איכא דמתני לה אסיפא ישראל אינו מבטל עבודת כוכבים של עובד כוכבים פשיטא א"ר הילל בריה

There are those who teach Rabbi Hillel’s statement with regard to the latter clause of the mishna: A Jew cannot revoke the status of the object of idol worship of a gentile. The Gemara asks: Isn’t that obvious? Said Rabbi Hillel, son