Shabbat 83aשבת פ״ג א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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83aפ״ג א

ורבי עקיבא למאי הלכתא איתקש לנדה למשא לוקשיה לנבלה אין הכי נמי אלא מה נדה אינה לאברין אף עבודה זרה אינה לאברין אלא הא דבעי רב חמא בר גוריא עבודה זרה ישנה לאברים או אינה לאברים תיפשוט ליה מהא בין לרבנן בין לרבי עקיבא דאינה לאברים רב חמא בר גוריא כרבה מתני ובעי לה אליבא דרבי עקיבא

And according to the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, with regard to what halakha was idolatry juxtaposed to a menstruating woman? If it was to teach the halakha of impurity imparted by carrying, let it be juxtaposed to an animal carcass and not to a menstruating woman and creeping animals. The Gemara answers: Yes, it is indeed so. However, the juxtaposition to a menstruating woman teaches: Just as a menstruating woman does not transmit impurity through her limbs, as a menstruating woman who leans on an object by a single limb does not transmit impurity imparted by carrying (Ra’avad), so too, an idol does not transmit impurity through its limbs, and a section of an idol does not transmit impurity. The Gemara asks: But that which Rav Ḥama bar Guria raised as a dilemma: Does idolatry have the capacity to transmit impurity through limbs or does it not have the capacity to transmit impurity through its limbs; resolve the dilemma from this, as according to both the Rabbis and Rabbi Akiva, it does not transmit impurity through limbs. According to this explanation, Rabbi Akiva agrees with the Rabbis. The Gemara rejects this: Rav Ḥama bar Guria taught in accordance with the explanation of Rabba and raised the dilemma in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva.

מיתיבי עבודה זרה כשרץ ומשמשיה כשרץ רבי עקיבא אומר עבודה זרה כנדה ומשמשיה כשרץ בשלמא לרבי אלעזר ניחא אלא לרבה קשיא אמר לך רבה מי אלימא ממתניתין דקתני עציו ואבניו ועפריו מטמאין כשרץ ואוקימנא מאי כשרץ דלא מטמא באבן מסמא הכא נמי דלא מטמא באבן מסמא

The Gemara now clarifies the explanations of Rabba and Rabbi Elazar in light of other sources. The Gemara raises an objection from that which was taught in a baraita: The ritual impurity of idolatry is like that of a creeping animal, and the ritual impurity of its accessories is like that of a creeping animal. Rabbi Akiva says: The ritual impurity of idolatry is like that of a menstruating woman, and the ritual impurity of its accessories is like that of a creeping animal. Granted, according to the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, it works out well. However, according to the opinion of Rabba, it is difficult. The dispute between Rabbi Akiva and the Rabbis in this baraita is whether idolatry is likened to a creeping animal and does not transmit impurity imparted by carrying or whether it is likened to a menstruating woman and it does transmit impurity imparted by carrying. According to Rabba, the Rabbis agree that it does transmit impurity imparted by carrying. Rabba could have said to you: Is the proof from this baraita stronger than the mishna in tractate Avoda Zara, which taught: Its wood and stones and dirt transmit impurity like a creeping animal? With regard to that mishna we established: What is the meaning of like a creeping animal? It means that it is like a creeping animal in the sense that it does not transmit impurity by means of a very heavy stone. Here too, the analogy to a creeping animal in the baraita is in the sense that it does not transmit impurity via a very heavy stone.

מיתיבי גוי וגויה עבודה זרה ומשמשיה הן ולא היסטן רבי עקיבא אומר הן והיסטן בשלמא לרבי אלעזר ניחא אלא לרבה קשיא אמר לך רבה וליטעמיך גוי וגויה נמי הן ולא היסטן והתניא דבר אל בני ישראל וגו׳ בני ישראל מטמאין בזיבה ואין גוים מטמאין בזיבה אבל גזרו עליהן שיהו כזבין לכל דבריהן

The Gemara raises an objection from what we learned: A gentile man and a gentile woman, with regard to whom the Rabbis issued a decree that they transmit impurity like a zav, idolatry and its accessories, all transmit impurity. They transmit impurity, and not their movement, i.e., they do not transmit impurity to one who moves them. Rabbi Akiva says: Both they and their movement transmit impurity. Granted, according to the explanation of Rabbi Elazar, this works out well; however, according to the explanation of Rabba, it is difficult. Rabba could have said to you: And according to your reasoning, with regard to a gentile man and a gentile woman as well, do they transmit impurity and their movement does not transmit impurity? Wasn’t it taught in a baraita with regard to the verse: “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, when any man has an emission from his body, his emission is impure” (Leviticus 15:2), by Torah law, only the children of Israel become impure through the emission of a zav, and gentiles do not become impure through the emission of a zav? But the Sages decreed that they should be considered like a zav for all their halakhic matters. Since gentiles have the legal status of a zav, they should transmit impurity through carrying. Therefore, the baraita that states that gentiles do not transmit impurity through carrying is corrupted and must be emended.

אלא רבה מתרץ לטעמיה גוי וגויה הן והיסטן ואבן מסמא שלהן עבודה זרה היא והיסטה אבל לא אבן מסמא שלה רבי עקיבא אומר עבודה זרה היא והסיטה ואבן מסמא שלה ורבי אלעזר מתרץ לטעמיה גוי וגויה הן והיסטן ואבן מסמא שלהן עבודה זרה היא ולא היסטה ורבי עקיבא אומר עבודה זרה היא והסיטה

Rather, Rabba explains and adds to the baraita in accordance with his reasoning: A gentile man and a gentile woman transmit impurity, they and their movement and their very heavy stone. And idolatry transmits impurity, it and its movement but not its very heavy stone. Rabbi Akiva says: Idolatry transmits impurity, it and its movement and its very heavy stone. And Rabbi Elazar explains and adds to the baraita in accordance with his reasoning as follows: A gentile man and a gentile woman transmit impurity, they and their movement and their very heavy stone. Idolatry transmits impurity, it and not its movement. And Rabbi Akiva says: Idolatry transmits impurity, it and its movement.

מתקיף לה רב אשי מאי הן אלא אמר רב אשי הכי קאמר גוי וגויה בין הן שהסיטו את אחרים ובין אחרים שהסיטו אותן טמאים עבודה זרה שהסיטה אחרים טהורין אחרים שהסיטו אותה טמאים משמשיה בין הן שהסיטו את אחרים ובין אחרים שהסיטו אותן טהורים רבי עקיבא אומר גוי וגויה ועבודה זרה בין הן שהסיטו את אחרים ובין אחרים שהסיטו אותן טמאים משמשיה בין הן שהסיטו אחרים ובין אחרים שהסיטו אותן טהורין

Rav Ashi strongly objects to this explanation: According to this explanation, what is the meaning of the word they in the context of this baraita? It would have been sufficient to say that their movement transmits impurity. The fact that the gentiles themselves are ritually impure is obvious. Apparently, the word they is emphasized in order to teach an additional halakha. Rather, Rav Ashi said, this is what the baraita is saying: With regard to a gentile man and a gentile woman, whether they moved others or others moved them, the others are ritually impure. The impurity of a gentile is like that of a zav, which is unique in that anything that a zav moves becomes impure even if he did not touch it directly. Idolatry that moved others, the others remain ritually pure; however, others who moved it are ritually impure. With regard to its accessories, whether they moved others or others moved them, the others remain ritually pure. Rabbi Akiva says: A gentile man and a gentile woman and idolatry, whether they moved others or others moved them, the others are ritually impure. Its accessories, whether they moved others or others moved them, the others remain ritually pure. According to this explanation, both the word they and the word movement, both of which appear in the baraita, are significant.

עבודה זרה בשלמא אחרים שהסיטו אותה משכחת לה אלא היא שהסיטה את אחרים היכי משכחת לה אמר רמי בריה דרב ייבא כדתנן הזב בכף מאזנים ואוכלין ומשקין בכף שנייה כרע הזב טמאין

Rav Ashi’s explanation explains the baraita, but the Gemara questions the matter itself. With regard to idolatry, granted, a case where others moved it can be easily found. However, a case where the idolatry moved others, under what circumstances can it be found? How can an idol move another object? Rami, son of Rav Yeiva, said, a case like that is possible, as we learned in a mishna: In a case where the zav sat on one pan of a balance scale, and food and drinks were on the second pan, if the zav tipped the scales, the food and drinks on the other pan are ritually impure because the zav moved them.