• August 12, 2020
  • 22 5780, Av
  • פרשת ראה

Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב

Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב

Join Rabbi Yitzhak Zuriel and learn the second chapter in Masechet Avodah Zara. We will cover the discussions of the gemara itself, as well as the comments of Rashi and Tosafot. We will emphasize a methodological approach to studying gemara, aimed at equipping the student with the tools needed to learn gemara on one’s own. This course is an intermediate Talmud course and students should already have some basic skills learning Gemara. 

May 12, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

Welcome to new students, and welcome back to returning students!

I am excited to be learning gemara with you! You may have noticed (and this is for the first time in WebYeshiva history) that my gemara shiur and Rabbi Brovender’s are not learning the same masechet. This means that in theory a student can study in both classes without experiencing overlapping material. It is part of our effort to adapt to the needs of the online learning community and the demand for variety.

In this course we will be continuing to study Masechet Avodah Zarah as we did in the previous semester, but we are moving forward to chapter 2, where the gemara discusses certain prohibitions of food produced by עובדי עבודה זרה. This material is actually part of the large body of halacha that has to do with kashrut, what we generally call “issur ve-heter”.

We will begin in this shiur with mishnayot of Perek ב. After that we will begin studying the gemara and rishonim from the mishna on Daf 29b.

As usual, we will emphasize a methodological approach to understanding the text of the gemara itself, and look for insights into the approaches of the rishonim printed on the page, namely Rashi and Tosafot.

Looking forward to studying with you!
Yitzhak Zuriel

May 14, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In this shiur, we will begin the mishnayot (starting with mishna 3) that discuss prohibited foods, mostly related to the severe prohibition of wine that was owned or touched by  גוים.

May 19, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we learned the 3rd and 4th mishnayot of chapter 2 of Avodah Zarah. These mishnayot introduced for us the topic of the prohibitions of foods whose level of prohibition is issur hanaah, i.e. it is forbidden to derive any benefit from them.

In this shiur, we will learn משנה ה, the 5th mishna in the chapter, and then continue on to complete over the next shiurim the mishnayot of chapter 2, and in parallel start studying on the gemara page Avodah Zarah 29b , where we will study the comments of Rashi on mishnayot 3-5 (the mishnayot appear together as one long mishna on this page) before commencing the sugya of forbidden wine.

May 21, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we learned the long mishna containing the story of the dialog between R.Yishmael and R.Yehoshua about the prohibition on eating cheese produced by non-Jews. With this we have learned the mishnayot that will be the starting point for the gemara that we will be learning, on Avodah Zarah 29b .

In this shiur, we will be studying the comments of Rashi on the last few mishnayot that we learned, as they appear on Daf 29b. Then we will start the sugya in the gemara about non-Jewish wine.

May 26, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we learned one additional mishna of chapter 2 and then started Rashi’s comments on the set of previous mishnayot of the chapter that appear together on Daf 29b in the gemara.

In this shiur, we will finish reading and discussing Rashi’s comments on the mishnayot and then begin the gemara on the subject of the severe prohibition of wine of non-Jews, all of this found on Avodah Zarah 29b .

May 28, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we finished learning the comments of Rashi on the mishnayot that are brought together on Daf 29b.  We then read the first sugya in the gemara , which seeks the chain of midrash on verses that serves as the connection between the halacha about the severe prohibition of יין נסך, wine of which part was used for pagan worship (and, with it, the prohibition of סתם יין, wine in general owned by non-Jews) and the written Torah. Please review this material; if there are any questions we will discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will discuss this drash and what seems problematic about it.  Following that we will learn the comments of Rashi and part of those of Tosafot on this segment of the gemara. Finally, we will learn the next section of the gemara, which asks why the halachot (of יין and of חומץ made from wine) at the beginning of the mishna are not already known and therefore unnecessary to be explicitly taught.  All of this material is on Avodah Zarah 29b .

June 2, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

Towards the end of the previous shiur, we learned the short segment of gemara towards the bottom of Avodah Zarah 29b that demands and finds the novel point in the halacha from the mishna about vinegar made from wine. We also learned the Rashi on this material.

In this shiur, we will read and discuss an important comment of Tosafot on this segment.  Then we will proceed to the next segment of gemara, which is similar in format, and introduces the subject of יין מבושל, wine that was boiled after its production. This will take us onto the beginning of the next page, Avodah Zarah 30a .

June 4, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we completed the segment of the gemara that ends at the top of Daf 30a, which raised the subject of  יין מבושל (boiled wine), and whether and under what circumstances it is subject to the prohibition of non-Jewish wine.

In this shiur, we will first learn the last mishnah of chapter 2, which we had not done previously. Then we will continue further on Avodah Zarah 30a , to see more discussion of the issue of יין מבושל .  In the subsequent shiurim we will be moving to Daf 34b, to the sugya about cheese.

June 9, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we finished the gemara material on Daf 29b-30a that we planned to cover, on the subject of wine of non-Jews.

In this shiur, we are moving to the gemara that discusses the subject of non-Jewish cheese. Its starting point is the position of R. Meir in the mishna on Daf 29b about גבינת בית אונייקי (cheese from the place called Beit Onyaki).  The material is found in the middle of Avodah Zarah 34b .

June 11, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we learned in the gemara and then with Rashi the first part of the sugya about גבינת בית אונייקי on Avodah Zarah 34b. Please review this material and if there are any questions I will be happy to discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we are going to follow the reference made by Rashi to the gemara in Yevamot 119a and study the sugya there to help us understand better the reference to R. Meir’s position that חוששים למיעוט,  we should give weight to the prevalent numerical minority in a situation of doubt as to the identity or nature of an object or person when there is a prohibition involving them that can possibly be violated. We are likely to spend this shiur and a good part of the next shiur on that sugya.

June 16, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we learned the mishna and first chunk of the gemara on Yevamot 119a, and also read the comments of Rashi. We spent time analyzing and understanding the cases in the mishna there. The goal of studying this sugya is to help us better understand the position of R. Meir in our own sugya on Avodah Zara 34b that חוששים למיעוט. Please review this material, as the material we will cover in this shiur will be built upon what we have understood thus far.

In this shiur, we will continue down the page on Yevamot 119a and work our way through the sugya to the final answer of Rava at the top of Daf 119b. We will learn the remainder of the sugya with Rashi and perhaps part of the comments of Tosafot.

June 18, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we continued learning the sugya in Yevamot 119a . We have read and discussed the difficulty raised by the gemara in attempting to reconcile the entire mishnah there with the known position of R.Meir.

In this mishna, we will learn two possible approaches of the later amoraim to reconcile the difficulty, and we will try to understand why Rava rejects the first answer and therefore brings his own.

June 23, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we finished learning the gemara text itself in the sugya in Yevamot 119a ending at the top of Yevamot 119b .  Please review this material and we will go over any questions you may have. You can also send them by email in advance.

In this shiur, we will finish learning the sugya in Yevamot with the comments of Rashi. We will then come back to our “home” sugya on Avodah Zarah 34b to put things that we have learned together, and we will also see the explanation of R.Meir’s position by the Ritva that we mentioned a while back.

June 25, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we finished learning the sugya in Yevamot 119b with Rashi’s comments. Then we went back to our own sugya on Avodah Zarah 34b and read the comment of Tosafot ( ד”ה אי אמרת רוב) to see how he reconciles what appears to be a contradiction between the two sugyot.  Please review this material; if there are questions we will discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will conclude our study of R.Meir’s position with respect to מיעוטא  and מיעוטא דמיעוטא by reading the summary of the Ritva on the issue. Then we will continue on Avodah Zarah 34b to learn the new difficulty that the amoraim find with the meimra of R. Yehoshua ben Lakish, and how he answers it.

June 30, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we concluded our study about R.Meir’s distinction between a simple (single) minority  and a “minority of a minority”, and we finished with the explanation of the Ritvah.  After that, we read, translated, and gave a basic explanation of the new segment of the gemara on Avodah Zarah 34b .

In this shiur, we will learn the comments of Rashi to understand the issues better, and also see Tosafot’s explanation of a problem with understanding this short sugya.

July 2, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we began by reviewing discussing further the new question raised against Reish Lakish’s statement about the reason for the prohibition of cheese from Beit Onyaki, and his answer. Then we learned Rashi’s explanations, both on our own page Avodah Zarah 34b and also where the same meimra containing the dispute between R.Yohanan and Reish Lakish brought in our gemara is also brought–in a different context–on Zevachim 10a . We saw how Rashi clarifies the issues and concepts and also how he brought additional–and helpful–information in the parallel location in Zevachim. Please review this material. If there are questions, please raise them by email or at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will learn a couple of the comments of Tosafot on our page, which further clarify the sugya. Then, time allowing, we will move on to the next segment of gemara. It relates to the dialogue between R.Yishmael and R.Yehoshua in the mishna, which we learned a while ago and we will review.

July 7, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we read through and translated the new section of gemara, which relates to the mishnah’s dialogue between R.Yishmael and R.Yehoshua about the reason for the prohibition of non-Jewish cheese. (We did this after reviewing the mishna.)

In this shiur, we will identify the logical pieces of the gemara and the flow of logic, then go deeper to understand the insights that the amoraim bring to the nuances in the mishna. We will also learn the Rashi and the relevant comment of Tosafot.  This takes us about a third of the way down the page on Avodah Zarah 35a .

July 9, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we discussed in depth the part of the gemara that brings the halacha of Rav, with its alternative logical and drashic derivations, and we also studied Rashi’s comments. Please review this material.

In this shiur, we will discuss the remainder of that piece of gemara, consisting of Rava’s assertion that the principles behind Rav’s halachot can be seen in our mishna. We will also see Tosafot’s comment here. Then we will continue on to the segment of the gemara that relates to the final part of the dialogue between R.Yehoshua and R.Yishmael. This segment will take us most of the way down the page on Avodah Zarah 35a .

July 14, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we finished discussing the sugya in the gemara at the top of Daf 35a which focused on the dialogue in the mishna between R.Yehoshua and R.Yishmael about non-Jewish cheese. The sugya showed how we can see that the mishna reflects the halachic principles upon which Rav later based his halachot (with which the sugya began on the previous page) about using peresh from the stomach of animals forbidden with a prohibition to derive benefit from them (issur hanaah). The sugya ended by answering why R.Yehoshua did not answer R.Yishmael’s last question (why non-Jewish cheese is only forbidden to eat, but not forbidden be-hanaah) simply, by applying the same reason that is given for מורייס in the mishna. Please review this material, and if you have any questions, we will discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will begin with seeing one last comment of Tosafot on the previous sugya.  Then we will move on to the next segment of the gemara, which discusses reasons why R.Yehoshua changed the subject and did not want to answer R.Yishmael, and also what was the actual reason for the prohibition of cheese.

July 16, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we learned the Tosafot that showed how R.Yehoshua was not really seriously answering R.Yishmael. Then we began learning piece by piece the new sugya that discusses why R.Yehoshua tried to evade the questions. Please review and if there are questions we will discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will continue to progress through this sugya and see different–some surprising–explanations for the prohibition of non-Jewish cheese.  Avodah Zarah 35a .

July 21, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we learned and discussed the first answer offered in the gemara regarding the reason for the gezeira against eating cheese produced by non-Jews. Then we read a second answer. Please review this; if there are questions we will discuss them before we proceed further.

In this shiur, we will further discuss this latter answer, and we will also study Tosafot’s explanation of the gemara at this juncture. Then we will continue on to yet another approach offered by the amoraim. This will take us down to the bottom of Avodah Zarah 35a .

July 23, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we saw how differently Tosafot understands the previous segment of gemara from Rashi and we discussed the implications. We then moved on to the next lines, where Shmuel is offering a reason for the gezeirah of non-Jewish cheese.

In this shiur, we will discuss Shmuel’s suggestion in depth, as well as the conclusion of the discussion here, which relates back to  our own mishna. At the top of Avodah Zarah 35b.

July 28, 2020 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Gemara Avoda Zara Perek ב: Lesson
Class description

In the previous shiur, we saw how the sugya that brings the position of Shmuel regarding the reason for the gezeira of cheese produced by non-Jews concludes by clarifying that R.Yehoshua is actually understood to have changed his position regarding קיבה, the contents of a dead animal’s stomach, as a result of the objection raised by R.Yishmael.

In this shiur, we will finish the sugya about cheese, seeing the final three answers of amoraim as to what was the reason for the gezeira. This material is found on Avodah Zarah 35b. The sugya concludes with drashot on the third verse of Shir haShirim.

This shiur will be our final shiur for this semester before we break for Tisha beAv.  We will be back in Elul. Watch the WebYeshiva website for information about the topic to be covered, and for information about the gemara shiur next year as well.

Rabbi Yitzhak Zuriel has been enjoying guiding students in how to learn and understand Talmud at WebYeshiva.org since its founding. He began his teaching career as a teacher and educational director at Michlelet Bruria in the 1980s. For over 20 years, he has been working as a software engineer in Jerusalem, and during that time has been an editor and contributor to the company NDS's Torah journal, Chiddushei Torah@NDS, that was published annually from 1996-2014 . He and his wife reside in Ma'ale Adumim and are parents to five children and have many grandchildren.