3ג׳
1 א

כָּל הַצְּלָמִים אֲסוּרִים, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן נֶעֱבָדִין פַּעַם אַחַת בַּשָּׁנָה, דִבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, אֵינוֹ אָסוּר אֶלָּא כָל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּיָדוֹ מַקֵּל אוֹ צִפּוֹר אוֹ כַדּוּר. רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אוֹמֵר, כֹּל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּיָדוֹ כָל דָּבָר:

All images are prohibited because they are worshipped once a year, according to the opinion of Rabbi Meir; But the Sages say: [an image] is not prohibited except one that has a staff or bird or orb in its hand. Rabban Shimon b. Gamaliel says: any [image] which has anything in its hand [is prohibited].

2 ב

הַמּוֹצֵא שִׁבְרֵי צְלָמִים, הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מֻתָּרִים. מָצָא תַבְנִית יָד אוֹ תַבְנִית רֶגֶל, הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ אֲסוּרִים, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁכַּיּוֹצֵא בָהֶן נֶעֱבָד:

One who finds fragments of images, behold they are permitted. If one found the figure of a hand or the figure of a foot, behold it is prohibited because such an object is worshipped.

3 ג

הַמּוֹצֵא כֵלִים וַעֲלֵיהֶם צוּרַת חַמָּה, צוּרַת לְבָנָה, צוּרַת דְּרָקוֹן, יוֹלִיכֵם לְיָם הַמֶּלַח. רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אוֹמֵר, שֶׁעַל הַמְכֻבָּדִין, אֲסוּרִים. שֶׁעַל הַמְבֻזִּין, מֻתָּרִין. רַבִּי יוֹסֵי אוֹמֵר, שׁוֹחֵק וְזוֹרֶה לָרוּחַ אוֹ מַטִּיל לַיָּם. אָמְרוּ לוֹ, אַף הוּא נַעֲשֶׂה זֶבֶל, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יג) וְלֹא יִדְבַּק בְּיָדְךָ מְאוּמָה מִן הַחֵרֶם:

If one finds utensils upon which is the figure of the sun or moon or a dragon, he casts them into the Dead Sea. Rabban Shimon ben Gamaliel says: if [one of these figures] is upon precious utensils they are prohibited, but if upon common utensils they are permitted. Rabbi Yose says: he may grind [an idol] to powder and scatter it to the wind or throw it into the sea. They said to him, even so it may then become manure, as it says, “let nothing that has been proscribed stick to your hand (Deuteronomy 13:18)”.

4 ד

שָׁאַל פְּרוֹקְלוֹס בֶּן פִלוֹסְפוֹס אֶת רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל בְּעַכּוֹ, שֶׁהָיָה רוֹחֵץ בַּמֶּרְחָץ שֶׁל אַפְרוֹדִיטִי, אָמַר לוֹ, כָּתוּב בְּתוֹרַתְכֶם, וְלֹא יִדְבַּק בְּיָדְךָ מְאוּמָה מִן הַחֵרֶם. מִפְּנֵי מָה אַתָּה רוֹחֵץ בַּמֶּרְחָץ שֶׁל אַפְרוֹדִיטִי. אָמַר לוֹ, אֵין מְשִׁיבִין בַּמֶּרְחָץ. וּכְשֶׁיָּצָא אָמַר לוֹ, אֲנִי לֹא בָאתִי בִגְבוּלָהּ, הִיא בָאתָה בִגְבוּלִי, אֵין אוֹמְרִים, נַעֲשֶׂה מֶרְחָץ לְאַפְרוֹדִיטִי נוֹי, אֶלָּא אוֹמְרִים, נַעֲשֶׂה אַפְרוֹדִיטִי נוֹי לַמֶּרְחָץ. דָּבָר אַחֵר, אִם נוֹתְנִין לְךָ מָמוֹן הַרְבֵּה, אִי אַתָּה נִכְנָס לַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה שֶׁלְּךָ עָרוֹם וּבַעַל קֶרִי וּמַשְׁתִּין בְּפָנֶיהָ, וְזוֹ עוֹמֶדֶת עַל פִּי הַבִּיב וְכָל הָעָם מַשְׁתִּינִין לְפָנֶיהָ. לֹא נֶאֱמַר אֶלָּא אֱלֹהֵיהֶם. אֶת שֶׁנּוֹהֵג בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם אֱלוֹהַּ, אָסוּר. וְאֶת שֶׁאֵינוֹ נוֹהֵג בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם אֱלוֹהַּ, מֻתָּר:

Proclos, son of a plosphos, asked Rabban Gamaliel in Acco when the latter was bathing in the bathhouse of aphrodite. He said to him, “It is written in your torah, ‘let nothing that has been proscribed stick to your hand (Deuteronomy 13:18)’; why are you bathing in the bathhouse of Aphrodite?” He replied to him, “We do not answer [questions relating to torah] in a bathhouse.” When he came out, he said to him, “I did not come into her domain, she has come into mine. People do not say, ‘the bath was made as an adornment for Aphrodite’; rather they say, ‘Aphrodite was made as an adornment for the bath.’ Another reason is, even if you were given a large sum of money, you would not enter the presence of your idol while you were nude or had experienced seminal emission, nor would you urinate before it. But this [statue of Aphrodite] stands by a sewer and all people urinate before it. [In the torah] it is only stated, “their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:3) what is treated as a god is prohibited, what is not treated as a deity is permitted.

5 ה

הַגּוֹיִם הָעוֹבְדִים אֶת הֶהָרִים וְאֶת הַגְּבָעוֹת, הֵן מֻתָּרִין וּמַה שֶּׁעֲלֵיהֶם אֲסוּרִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים ז) לֹא תַחְמֹד כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב עֲלֵיהֶם וְלָקַחְתָּ. רַבִּי יוֹסֵי הַגְּלִילִי אוֹמֵר, (שם יב) אֱלֹהֵיהֶם עַל הֶהָרִים, וְלֹא הֶהָרִים אֱלֹהֵיהֶם. אֱלֹהֵיהֶם עַל הַגְּבָעוֹת, וְלֹא הַגְּבָעוֹת אֱלֹהֵיהֶם. וּמִפְּנֵי מָה אֲשֵׁרָה אֲסוּרָה, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֶּשׁ בָּהּ תְּפִיסַת יָד אָדָם, וְכֹל שֶׁיֶּשׁ בָּהּ תְּפִיסַת יְדֵי אָדָם אָסוּר. אָמַר רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא, אֲנִי אוֹבִין וְאָדוּן לְפָנֶיךָ. כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁאַתָּה מוֹצֵא הַר גָּבוֹהַּ וְגִבְעָה נִשָּׂאָה וְעֵץ רַעֲנָן, דַּע שֶׁיֶּשׁ שָׁם עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה:

If idolaters worship mountains and hills these are permitted; but what is upon them is prohibited, as it is says, “you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them and take them” (Deut. 7:25). Rabbi Yose the Galilean says: [it says] “their gods on the mountains” (Deut. 12:, not their mountains which are their gods; “their gods on the hills” (ibid.), not their hills which are their gods. And why is an asherah prohibited? Because there was manual labour connected with it, and whatever has manual labour connected with it is prohibited. Rabbi Akiba said: let me expound and decide [the interpretation] before you: wherever you find a high mountain or elevated hill or green tree, know that an idolatrous object is there.

6 ו

מִי שֶׁהָיָה בֵיתוֹ סָמוּךְ לַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה וְנָפַל, אָסוּר לִבְנוֹתוֹ. כֵּיצַד יַעֲשֶׂה, כּוֹנֵס בְּתוֹךְ שֶׁלּוֹ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת וּבוֹנֶה. הָיָה שֶׁלּוֹ וְשֶׁל עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה, נִדּוֹן מֶחֱצָה עַל מֶחֱצָה. אֲבָנָיו עֵצָיו וַעֲפָרוֹ, מְטַמְּאִין כַּשֶּׁרֶץ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים ז) שַׁקֵּץ תְּשַׁקְּצֶנּוּ. רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמֵר, כַּנִּדָּה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה ל) תִּזְרֵם כְּמוֹ דָוָה, צֵא תֹּאמַר לוֹ, מַה נִּדָּה מְטַמְּאָה בְמַשָּׂא, אַף עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה מְטַמְּאָה בְמַשָּׂא:

If [a Jew] has a house next to an idolatrous shrine and it collapsed, he is forbidden to rebuild it. What should he do? He withdraws a distance of four cubits into his own ground and build there. [If the wall] belonged both to him and the shrine, it is judged as being half and half. Its stones, timber and rubbish defile like a creeping thing, as it says, “you shall utterly detest it” (Deut. 7:26). ] Rabbi Akiba says: [it defiles] like a menstruous woman, as it says, “[and you will treat as unclean the silver overlay of your images and the golden plating of your idols]. You will cast them away like a menstruous woman. Out, you will call to them” (Isaiah 30:22), just as a menstruous woman impurifies [an object] by carrying it, so also an idolatrous object defiles by its being carried.

7 ז

שְׁלשָׁה בָתִּים הֵן. בַּיִת שֶׁבָּנוּי מִתְּחִלָּה לַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה, הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר. סִיְּדוֹ וְכִיְּרוֹ לַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה וְחִדֵּשׁ, נוֹטֵל מַה שֶּׁחִדֵּשׁ. הִכְנִיס לְתוֹכָה עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה וְהוֹצִיאָהּ, הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר. שָׁלשׁ אֲבָנִים הֵן. אֶבֶן שֶׁחֲצָבָהּ מִתְּחִלָּה לְבִימוֹס, הֲרֵי זוֹ אֲסוּרָה. סִיְּדָהּ וְכִיְּרָהּ לְשֵׁם עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה וְחִדֵּשׁ, נוֹטֵל מַה שֶּׁחִדֵּשׁ. הֶעֱמִיד עָלֶיהָ עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה וְסִלְּקָהּ, הֲרֵי זוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת. שָׁלשׁ אֲשֵׁרוֹת הֵן. אִילָן שֶׁנְּטָעוֹ מִתְּחִלָּה לְשֵׁם עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה, הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר. גִּדְּעוֹ וּפִסְּלוֹ לְשֵׁם עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה וְהֶחֱלִיף, נוֹטֵל מַה שֶּׁהֶחֱלִיף. הֶעֱמִיד תַּחְתֶּיהָ עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה וּבִטְּלָהּ, הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר. אֵיזוֹ הִיא אֲשֵׁרָה, כֹּל שֶׁיֵּשׁ תַּחְתֶּיהָ עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה. רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן אוֹמֵר, כֹּל שֶׁעוֹבְדִין אוֹתָהּ. וּמַעֲשֶׂה בְצַיְדָּן בְּאִילָן שֶׁהָיוּ עוֹבְדִין אוֹתוֹ, וּמָצְאוּ תַחְתָּיו גָּל. אָמַר לָהֶן רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן, בִּדְקוּ אֶת הַגַּל הַזֶּה, וּבְדָקוּהוּ וּמָצְאוּ בוֹ צוּרָה. אָמַר לָהֶן, הוֹאִיל וְלַצּוּרָה הֵן עוֹבְדִין, נַתִּיר לָהֶן אֶת הָאִילָן:

There are three types of shrines: A shrine originally built for idolatrous worship behold this is prohibited. If one plastered and tiled [an ordinary house] for idolatry and renovated it, one may remove the renovations. If he had only brought an idol into it and taken it out again, [the house] is permitted. There are three kinds of [idolatrous] stones: A stone which a man hewed originally to serve as a pedestal [for an idol] behold this is prohibited. If one plastered and tiled [a stone] for idolatry, one may remove the plaster and tile, and it is then permitted. If he set an idol upon it and took it off, behold [the stone] is permitted. There are three kinds of asherah: a tree which has originally been planted for idolatry behold this is prohibited. If he chopped and trimmed [a tree] for idolatry, and its sprouted afresh, he removes the new growth. If he only set [an idol] under it and took it away, behold the tree is permitted. What is an asherah? Any [tree] beneath which there is an idol. Rabbi Shimon says: any [tree] which is worshipped. It happened at Sidon that there was a tree which was worshipped and they found a heap of stones beneath it. Rabbi Shimon said to them, “examine this heap.” They examined it and discovered an image in it. He said to them, “since it is the image that they worship, we permit the tree for you.”

8 ח

לֹא יֵשֵׁב בְּצִלָּהּ. וְאִם יָשַׁב, טָהוֹר. וְלֹא יַעֲבֹר תַּחְתֶּיהָ. וְאִם עָבַר, טָמֵא. הָיְתָה גוֹזֶלֶת אֶת הָרַבִּים, וְעָבַר תַּחְתֶּיהָ, טָהוֹר. וְזוֹרְעִין תַּחְתֶּיהָ יְרָקוֹת בִּימוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים אֲבָל לֹא בִימוֹת הַחַמָּה. וְהַחֲזָרִין, לֹא בִימוֹת הַחַמָּה וְלֹא בִימוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים. רַבִּי יוֹסֵי אוֹמֵר, אַף לֹא יְרָקוֹת בִּימוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַנְּמִיָּה נוֹשֶׁרֶת עֲלֵיהֶן וְהֹוָה לָהֶן לְזָבֶל:

One may not sit in its shadow, but if he sat he is pure. Nor may he pass beneath it, and if he passed he is impure. If it encroaches upon the public road and he passed beneath he is pure. They may sow vegetables beneath it in winter but not in summer, and lettuce neither in summer nor winter. Rabbi Jose says: even vegetables [may not be planted] in winter because the foliage falls upon them and becomes manure for them.

9 ט

נָטַל מִמֶּנָּה עֵצִים, אֲסוּרִים בַּהֲנָאָה. הִסִּיק בָּהֶן אֶת הַתַּנּוּר, אִם חָדָשׁ, יֻתַּץ. וְאִם יָשָׁן, יֻצַּן. אָפָה בוֹ אֶת הַפַּת, אֲסוּרָה בַהֲנָאָה. נִתְעָרְבָה בַאֲחֵרוֹת, כֻּלָּן אֲסוּרוֹת בַּהֲנָאָה. רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר, יוֹלִיךְ הֲנָאָה לְיָם הַמֶּלַח. אָמְרוּ לוֹ, אֵין פִּדְיוֹן לַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה. נָטַל הֵימֶנָּה כַרְכֹּר, אָסוּר בַּהֲנָאָה. אָרַג בּוֹ אֶת הַבֶּגֶד, הַבֶּגֶד אָסוּר בַּהֲנָאָה. נִתְעָרֵב בַּאֲחֵרִים וַאֲחֵרִים בַּאֲחֵרִים, כֻּלָּן אֲסוּרִין בַּהֲנָאָה. רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר, יוֹלִיךְ הֲנָאָה לְיָם הַמֶּלַח. אָמְרוּ לוֹ, אֵין פִּדְיוֹן לַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה:

If one took pieces of wood from it [the asherah tree], they are forbidden to be used. If he heated an oven with them if it was new it must be broken to pieces; if it was old, it must be allowed to cool. If he baked bread [in an oven heated with wood from an asherah], it is forbidden to be used, and if [the loaf] became mixed with other loaves, they are all prohibited. Rabbi Eliezer says: let him cast the advantage [he derives] into the Dead Sea. They said to him: there is no process of redemption for an idol. If one took [a piece of wood] from it [to use as] a shuttle, it is forbidden to be used. If he wove a garment with it, it is forbidden to be used. If [the garment) became mixed with others, and these with others, they are all forbidden to be used. Rabbi Eliezer says: let him cast the advantage [he derives] into the Dead Sea. They said to him: there is no process of redemption for an idol.

10 י

כֵּיצַד מְבַטְּלָהּ. קִרְסֵם, וְזֵרַד, נָטַל מִמֶּנָּה מַקֵּל אוֹ שַׁרְבִיט, אֲפִלּוּ עָלֶה, הֲרֵי זוֹ בְטֵלָה. שְׁפָיָהּ לְצָרְכָּהּ, אֲסוּרָה. שֶׁלֹּא לְצָרְכָּהּ, מֻתֶּרֶת:

How does one annul [an asherah]? If [a pagan] pruned or trimmed it, removing from it a stick or twig or even a leaf, behold it is annulled. If he smoothed it out for its own sake, it is prohibited; but if not for its own sake, it is permitted.