POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Avodah Zarah 28
AVODAH ZARAH 28 (8 Nisan) - dedicated by Dovid and Zahava Rubner of Petach
Tikva, l'Iluy Nishmas his mother, Mrs. Seren Rubner. May the light of the
Torah shine in their home and the homes of their children, bringing them joy
and success in all their endeavors!
1) MORTAL DANGER
(a) Version #1 (R. Yochanan): Any wound for which we may
desecrate Shabbos (because there is mortal danger), a
Nochri may not heal it.
2) WOUNDS OF THE MOUTH
(b) Version #2 (R. Yochanan): A Nochri may not heal any
(c) Question: What is the difference between the two
(d) Answer #1: A wound on the back of the hand or foot.
1. (Rav Ada bar Masnah): A wound on the back of the
hand or foot is *like* an internal wound, one may
desecrate Shabbos for it (nevertheless, it is not
internal, Rabah bar bar Chanah permits a Nochri to
(e) (Rav Zutra bar Tuvya): We may desecrate Shabbos for any
wound for which we must estimate (whether or not the
person will live).
(f) (R. Shemen bar Aba): A hot fever is like an internal
wound, one may desecrate Shabbos for it.
(g) Question: What is considered an internal wound?
(h) Answer (R. Ami): From the lips and inside.
(a) Question (R. Elazar): What is the law of a wound on the
Kachi (Rashi - gums; Tosfos - wide teeth) or (Tosfos -
3) OTHER CURES
1. Since they are hard, this is like an external wound;
(b) Answer #1 (Abaye - Mishnah): If one's teeth hurt, he may
not Yigma (Abaye explains, put in his mouth and spit out;
Rava - swallow) vinegar (on Shabbos).
2. Or, since they are internal, is it considered an
1. Inference: If they hurt a lot, this is permitted
(because it is considered an internal wound)!
(c) Rejection: Perhaps the Tana taught 'hurt', and this
includes a great pain.
(d) Answer #2: R. Yochanan contracted Tzafdina (a tooth
disease); he went to a Nochris to cure it, on Thursday
1. R. Yochanan: What should I do tomorrow (I must teach
on Shabbos, I cannot come)!
(e) Rejection (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): Tzafdina is an
exception, it begins in the mouth but spreads to the
2. The Nochris: You need not do anything.
3. R. Yochanan: What if it hurts, and I must cure it?
4. The Nochris would not tell him until he swore not to
reveal it; he swore 'To the G-d of Yisrael, I will
not reveal it'. She told him; he taught it to the
5. Question: But he swore not to reveal it!
6. Answer: He swore not to reveal it *to* the G-d of
Yisrael, he never swore not to reveal it to Yisrael.
7. Question: (She did not realize this,) this was
8. Answer: (Right) after she told him, he explained his
oath to her.
9. Conclusion: Since R. Yochanan would use the cure on
Shabbos, it must be that it is considered an
(f) Question: What are its symptoms?
(g) Answer: If one puts something on the Kachi, the teeth
1. It comes from eating cold wheat products, hot barley
products, or leftover Kisa d'Harsena (fish fried in
its own oil with flour).
(h) Question: What cure did she give?
(i) Answer #1 (Rav Acha brei d.Rava): Water of sourdough,
olive oil, and salt.
(j) Answer #2 (Mar bar Rav Ashi): She melted fat of a goose,
and applied it to his teeth with a wing.
(k) Abaye: None of these worked for me; an Arab told me to
roast pits of unripe olives on a glowing hot shovel and
apply it to my teeth, and this worked.
(l) Question: How could R. Yochanan allow a Nochris to heal
him? He himself said that any wound for which we may
desecrate Shabbos, a Nochri may not heal it!
(m) Answer #1: An important person may be healed by them
(since they are afraid to harm him).
(n) Question: But R. Avahu was important, and Yakov Minah
applied a potion to his thigh that would have cut it off,
had R. Ami and Rav Asi not removed it!
(o) Answer #2: The Nochris who healed R. Yochanan was a
professional (she would not harm him and ruin her
(p) Question: Also Yakov Minah was a professional, and he
sought to harm R. Avahu!
(q) Answer (to both questions): The Minim had an exceptional
hatred of R. Avahu, they were willing to suffer
themselves just to harm him (as Shimshon did to the
Plishtim) - "Tamos Nafshi Im Plishtim".
(a) (Shmuel): A wound from a sword is dangerous, we desecrate
Shabbos for it.
1. To stop the bleeding, he should drink (some say -
apply to the wound) cress in vinegar;
(b) (Rav Safra): Large blisters are a precursor to death;
2. To help a scab form, he makes a bandage of a herb
and wood of a bush, or worms (R. Chananel -
1. To cure them, he eats grated rue with honey, or
celery with wine.
(c) (Rava): Boils come on account of a fever;
2. Until this is ready, he should press on the blisters
grapes of the same color (white or black).
1. To cure them, he should snap his finger against them
60 times, and cut them lengthwise and widthwise.
2. This is needed only if the top of the boil is not
i. If it is white, one must merely take out the
(d) R. Yakov had a pain in his rectum; R. Ami told him to
wrap seven red aloe seeds in a certain cloth, tie it with
a certain string, dip it in white stacte (a spice), burn
it, and scatter the ashes on the top of the rectum.
4) AFFLICTIONS OF THE EYE
1. Until this is ready, he should place pits of
shrub-nuts on the rectum;
(e) R. Avahu's ear hurt him; he was told to take the kidney
of a goat, tear it lengthwise and widthwise, put it on
glowing coals, and put the liquid that exudes (when it is
lukewarm) in the ear;
2. For the bottom, he should apply melted Chelev of a
goat that has not given birth; if not, he should
take three dried gourd leaves, and spread them on
it; if not, shells of snails; if not, oil blended
into wax, and he should cover himself with linen
clothing if it is summer, or (warm) cotton clothing
if it is winter.
1. If not, he should apply melted Chelev of a fat
beetle; if not, he should fill the ear with oil,
make seven wicks of fodder, and (one by one) put one
end in a fire, the other end in the ear, and beware
of drafts; (some say, the wicks are rubbed with oil
(f) (Rabah bar Zutra): We may raise drooping ears on Shabbos.
2. If not, he should take unbeaten tufts, and put them
in the ear, facing a fire.
3. If not, he should take a 100 year old reed, salt it,
roast it and stick it to the ear.
i. The liquid remedies help a dry ear, the dry
remedies help a wet ear.
(g) Version #1 (Rav Shmuel bar Yehudah): Only the hand may be
used, not a potion.
(h) Version #2 (Rav Shmuel bar Yehudah): Only a potion may be
used, not the hand.
1. This is because by hand, one makes a wound.
(a) (Rav): If an eye is about to leave the socket, one may
apply a potion to it on Shabbos.
(b) Rabanan assumed, one may not do Melachah for this, e.g.
to grind ingredients for it or carry though a public
domain, rather it must be ready from before Shabbos.
(c) (R. Yakov citing Rav Yehudah): One *may* do Melachah for
(d) (Rav Yehudah): One may apply a potion to an eye on
(e) (Rav Shmuel bar Yehudah): (Rashi - One) who will do as
Rav Yehudah, he desecrates Shabbos!
(f) Rav Shmuel bar Yehudah's eye was hurting; he asked if he
may apply a potion.
(g) Rav Yehudah: It is permitted for everyone *except* you!
1. I did not say the Halachah on my own, I received it
from Shmuel (in addition to being the greatest
Chacham in Bavel (after Rav), Shmuel was a brilliant
(h) Question: For what eye afflictions may one desecrate
2. A slave in Shmuel's house was screaming because she
felt burning in her eye on Shabbos; no one helped
her. Her eye fell out; the next day, Shmuel taught
that one may apply a potion to an eye about to leave
the socket on Shabbos.
3. Question: Why is it permitted?
4. Answer: Nerves connect the eye to the heart
(therefore, this is mortal danger, full desecration
of Shabbos is permitted; Tosfos - sight and
understanding of the heart depend on each other,
therefore we are lenient to allow this (but not
mid'Oraisa desecration of Shabbos)).
(i) Answer (Rav Yehudah): If eye gum drips from it, a
stabbing pain, inflammation and the beginning of
1. He excludes the end of sickness, or to improve
(j) (Rav Yehudah): Going to a bathhouse is dangerous for the
following - one stung by a wasp, cut by a thorn, has a
boil, whose eye hurts, or has a fever;
(k) Radishes are good for sunstroke, beets for chills, but
vice-versa is dangerous;
(l) A scorpion bite should be put in hot water, a wasp bite
should be put in cold water, vice-versa is dangerous;