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Mishnayos Avodah Zarah Perek 2 Mishnah 5

עבודה זרה פרק ב׳ משנה ה׳


Rabbi Yehuda said: Rabbi Yishmael asked Rabbi Yehoshua a series of questions while they were traveling along the road. Rabbi Yishmael said to him: For what reason did the Sages prohibit the cheeses of gentiles? Rabbi Yehoshua said to him: Because gentiles curdle cheese with the stomach contents of an unslaughtered animal carcass, and as the carcass of an unslaughtered animal is not kosher, cheese that is curdled with it is likewise prohibited. In response, Rabbi Yishmael said to him: But aren’t the stomach contents of a burnt-offering subject to a more stringent prohibition than the stomach contents of an unslaughtered animal carcass? And yet they said: A priest who is open-minded [shedato yafa] with regard to what he eats may swallow [shorefah] the stomach contents of a burnt-offering while they are raw, and the other Sages did not agree with him. But the Sages said: One may not derive benefit from the stomach contents of a burnt-offering ab initio, and if one did derive benefit from them, he is not liable for misusing consecrated property. According to both opinions, deriving benefit from the stomach contents of a burnt-offering is not prohibited by Torah law. Since the halakha with regard to a burnt-offering is more stringent than that of an animal carcass, why would deriving benefit from the carcass be prohibited, while deriving benefit from the burnt-offering is permitted? Rabbi Yehoshua said to Rabbi Yishmael: The cheese of gentiles is prohibited because they curdle it in the stomach contents of calves used for idol worship. Since it is prohibited to derive benefit from such calves, cheese curdled in their stomach contents is also prohibited. Rabbi Yishmael said to him: If that is so, why didn’t the Sages prohibit deriving any benefit from the cheese, instead of merely prohibiting its consumption? Instead of answering Rabbi Yishmael, Rabbi Yehoshua diverted his attention to another matter and said to him: Yishmael, how do you read the following verse in the Song of Songs (1:2)? Do you read it as: For Your love [dodekha] is better than wine, or as: For your love [dodayikh] is better than wine? The first version, which is in the masculine form, would be a reference to God, whereas the second version, in the feminine, would be a reference to the Jewish people. Rabbi Yishmael said to him that it should be read in the feminine: For your love [dodayikh] is better than wine. Rabbi Yehoshua said to him: The matter is not so, as another verse teaches with regard to it: “Your ointments [shemanekha] have a goodly fragrance” (Song of Songs 1:3). This phrase, which appears in the next verse, is written in the masculine form, and therefore it is determined that the preceding verse can also be understood in the masculine form.

אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה, שָׁאַל רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל אֶת רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, כְּשֶׁהָיוּ מְהַלְּכִין בַּדֶּרֶךְ. אָמַר לוֹ, מִפְּנֵי מָה אָסְרוּ גְבִינוֹת הַגּוֹיִם. אָמַר לוֹ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּעֲמִידִין אוֹתָהּ בְּקֵבָה שֶׁל נְבֵלָה. אָמַר לוֹ, וַהֲלֹא קֵבַת עוֹלָה חֲמוּרָה מִקֵּבַת נְבֵלָה, וְאָמְרוּ, כֹּהֵן שֶׁדַּעְתּוֹ יָפָה, שׂוֹרְפָהּ חַיָּה. וְלֹא הוֹדוּ לוֹ, אֲבָל אָמְרוּ, אֵין נֶהֱנִין וְלֹא מוֹעֲלִין. חָזַר, אָמַר לוֹ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּעֲמִידִין אוֹתָהּ בְּקֵבַת עֶגְלֵי עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה. אָמַר לוֹ, אִם כֵּן, לָמָּה לֹא אֲסָרוּהָ בַהֲנָאָה. הִשִּׂיאוֹ לְדָבָר אַחֵר, אָמַר לוֹ, יִשְׁמָעֵאל אָחִי, הֵיאַךְ אַתָּה קוֹרֵא (שיר השירים א), כִּי טוֹבִים דֹּדֶיךָ מִיָּיִן, אוֹ כִּי טוֹבִים דֹּדַיִךְ. אָמַר לוֹ, כִּי טוֹבִים דֹּדַיִךְ. אָמַר לוֹ, אֵין הַדָּבָר כֵּן, שֶׁהֲרֵי חֲבֵרוֹ מְלַמֵּד עָלָיו, לְרֵיחַ שְׁמָנֶיךָ טוֹבִים:


מפני מה אסרו גבינת של עובדי כוכבים – with regarding to eating, but the Rabbis require it because the milk of an impure animal one doesn’t have to suspect anything for we hold that the milk of an impure animal does not curdle.

שורפה חיה – it is a mere secretion (and no longer real milk – see Tractate Hullin 116b).

בקיבת עגלי עבודה זרה – and even though it is a mere secretion, it is prohibited, for idolatry is different, as it is written concerning it (Deuteronomy 13:18): “Let nothing that has been doomed stick to you hand,[in order that the LORD may turn from His blazing anger and show you compassion, and in His compassion increase you as He promised your fathers on oath].”

השיאו לדבר אחר – and he did not want to tell him the reason of the matter because twelve months had not yet passed from when they made this decree. For when the Rabbis make a decree, they do not reveal the reason until twelve months of a year until their decree will become widespread. For perhaps there is someone who doesn’t hold by this reason and will come to despise it, and the reason why they forbade the cheeses of idolaters is because they curdle it in the skin of an animal slaughtered by an idolater which is a carcass, but even though it is a small amount corresponding to all of the milk, since he curdles the milk and performs an act, it is not negated, and we hold that everything goes according to the one who curdles the milk. But because of meat with milk, he did not forbid it, for since the meat on its own is permitted, it is not forbidden with milk, even though he curdles it until he gives forth into it a taste , but I is a matter of something forbidden from its outset. He forbids something that is permitted, even though it does not give forth a taste while he is curdling it.

כי טובים דודייך מיין – The Holy One, blessed be He says this to the congregation of Israel.

אין הדבר כן – but rather the congregation of Israel stated before the Holy One, blessed be He (see Talmud Avodah Zarah 35a): “The words of Your beloved ones are a surety before Me,” meaning to say, the ordinances that the Sages have established and decreed are better than the wine of the Torah, from the principle of the Written Torah (as they supplement the Written Torah and complete it).

מפני מה אסרו גבינות של נכרים. באכילה. ולרבנן קא בעי. ומשום חלב של בהמה טמאה ליכא למיחש, דקים לן דחלב בהמה טמאה אינה נקפה:

שורפה חיה. דפירשא בעלמא היא:

בקיבת עגלי עבודה זרה. ואע״ג דפירשא בעלמא היא, אסור, דשאני ע״ז דכתיב בה (דברים י״ג:י״ח) ולא ידבק בידך מאומה מן החרם:

השיאו לדבר אחר. ולא רצה להגיד לו טעמו של דבר. מפני שעדיין לא עברו שנים עשר חודש שנגזרה גזירה זו, וכי גזרי רבנן גזירה לא מגלו לטעמא עד תריסר ירחי שתא עד שתתפשט גזירתן, דלמא איכא דלא סבירא ליה לטעמא ואתי לזלזולי ביה. וטעמא דאסרו גבינות של נכרים, מפני שמעמידין אותה בעור קיבה של שחיטת נכרים שהיא נבילה. ואע״פ שהוא דבר מועט כנגד כל החלב, כיון שהוא מעמיד החלב ועושה בו מעשה לא בטל, דקיי״ל הכל הולך אחר המעמיד. ומשום בשר בחלב לא היה אסור, כיון שהבשר בפני עצמו מותר אינו אוסר בחלב אע״פ שמעמידו, עד שיתן בו טעם. אבל דבר של איסור מעיקרו, אוסר בהיתר אע״פ שאינו נותן בו טעם, כל זמן שהוא מעמיד:

כי טובים דודייך מיין. הקב״ה אומר כן לכנסת ישראל:

אין הדבר כן. אלא כנסת ישראל אמרה לפני הקב״ה, ערבים עלי דברי דודיך כלומר תקנות שתקנו וגזרו החכמים, יותר מיינה של תורה, מעיקר תורה שבכתב: