web analytics
October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Daf Yomi

Daf-Yomi-logo

An Art Collector’s Dilemma!
‘Rabban Gamaliel Had The Form Of Various Moon Shapes…’
(Rosh Hashanah 24a)

The Gemara reports that Rabban Gamliel kept images of the moon on a tablet, which he used when interrogating unlearned witnesses who came to testify regarding the new moon. He would show them various shapes and positions of the moon and ask them to describe how the new moon appeared in the sky, in order to determine the veracity of their testimony.

‘You Shall Not Make With Me’

The Gemara questions the permissibility of making images of the moon since Shemos 20:20 states, “You shall not make with me,” which teaches us that it is forbidden to form or sculpt celestial images – even if not for the purposes of idol worship.

The Gemara answers that Rabban Gamliel did not make the images himself, but rather used images that were formed by a non-Jew.

The Gemara is not satisfied with this answer, though, because there is a rabbinic issur against keeping celestial images in one’s possession, even if made by a non-Jew, because people may suspect the owner of practicing idolatry.

Living In A Fishbowl

The Gemara answers that since Rabban Gamliel was a nasi whose house was always full of visitors, the concern of suspicion did not apply because people would not suspect a person of worshiping idols publicly.

Different Views As To What Is Forbidden

The Rambam (Hilchos Avodas Kochavim u’Mazzalos, end of chapter 3) writes that it is only forbidden to manufacture (and maintain) the images mentioned in the Gemara, which include the sun, moon and stars; the four faces that are on the heavenly chariot as described in Yecheskel 1:10 (i.e., of a man, lion, ox and eagle); and the mazalos and angels. Images of other things, such as animals and trees, are permitted.

The Ramban (as cited by Tur, Yoreh De’ah 141) disagrees and asserts that the concern of suspicion applies to all types of images (Taz, Yoreh De’ah, ad loc., opines that one should be stringent in light of the Ramban’s view). The Ran (R.H. loc. cit.), while agreeing with the Ramban, limits the concern of suspicion to images that gentiles sometimes worship.

Images: Protruding Vs. Recessed

The Gemara distinguishes between an image that protrudes and an image that is recessed. The Rambam (Hilchos Avodas Kochavim, ad loc.) writes that it is prohibited to make or maintain a protruding image of a man, but it is permitted to engrave or paint a recessed picture of a man. This distinction, however, does not apply to images of celestial beings. Tosafot (43b, s.v. “Veha Rabban Gamaliel”) explain that since the sun and moon always appear to us as two-dimensional figures, it is prohibited to paint even a two-dimensional picture of them. However, it is permitted to maintain a two-dimensional picture of a human being since its appearance is different from that of an actual human (which is viewed in real life as three-dimensional).

Maintaining Art In The Home

The Ramban contends that one is permitted to maintain any type of picture in one’s home, even one of the sun and moon, as long as it is not one that protrudes.

The Ramban asserts, though, that the distinction between raised and recessed images pertains only to the rabbinic issur of maintaining images due to suspicion, but the biblical issur to form celestial images applies even to recessed images.

In any event, we see from the above that producing and maintaining non-protruding pictures or paintings of non-celestial images is permitted according to everyone.

Synagogue Art, Public Art

The Mabit (vol. 1:30) rules that due to the concern of suspicion, it is forbidden to have paintings of celestial beings in a synagogue. Even though the Gemara says that we need not be so concerned about such images in public places, a synagogue is different because one must be particularly careful to avoid the appearance of idolatry in our houses of worship (Orach Chayim 90:23).

About the Author: RABBI YAAKOV KLASS, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com. RABBI GERSHON TANNENBAUM, rav of Congregation Bnai Israel of Linden Heights, Boro Park, Brooklyn, is the Director of Igud HaRabbanim – The Rabbinical Alliance of America.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Daf Yomi”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jan Morgan, owner of the Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range.
Arkansas Shooting Range Declares Itself Muslim-Free Zone’
Latest Judaism Stories
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

The call of the shofar is eternal. It is not musical. Its magnetic allurement cannot be explained.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Ba’al Shem Tov: “Hashem, too, is crying; as much as He is looking for us, we rarely look for Him.”

Rabbi Sacks

When we cry from the heart, someone listens; When we cry on Yom Kippur, God hears us.

Duxvielfalt_2011

Contrary to popular belief, the Talmud never explicitly limits the ban on footwear to leather shoes.

On Sunday, Jews will be refraining from food and drink from dawn until sunset to commemorate the Fast of Gedaliah. Following Nebuchadnetzar’s destruction of the First Temple and exile of most of the Jews, the Babylonians appointed Gedaliah ben Achikaam as governor of Judea. Under Gedaliah’s leadership, Judea and the survivors began to recover. On […]

As we enter the Days of Awe, we must recognize that it is a joy to honor and serve true royalty.

On Rosh Hashanah we are taught that true self-analysis involves the breaking down of walls

When we hear the words “Rosh Hashana is coming” it really means Hashem Himself is coming!

Who am I? What are the most important things in my life? What do I want to be remembered for? If, as a purely hypothetical exercise, I were to imagine reading my own obituary, what would I want it to say? These are the questions Rosh Hashanah urges us to ask ourselves. As we pray […]

We recently marked the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 – that terrible day when the symbols of man’s power and achievement crumbled before our eyes and disappeared in fire and smoke. For a very brief moment we lost our smugness. Our confidence was shaken. Many of us actually searched our ways. Some of us even learned […]

Why am I getting so agitated? And look how we’re treating each other!

While women are exempt from actually learning Torah, they are obligated in a different aspect of the mitzvah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

We must eat, sleep, work, and care for our dependants. How much time is left over after all that?

Once we recognize that our separation from God is our fault, how do we repair it?

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass and Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum
Daf-Yomi-logo

Chatzitzah And Its Applications
‘Greater Stringency Applies To Hallowed Things…’
(Chagiga 20b-21a)

Daf-Yomi-logo

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

An Astonishing Miracle
‘Why Bring the Infants to Hakhel?’
(Chagigah 3a)

A Blast At A Funeral?
“R. Hamnuna Came To Daramutha…”
(Moed Kattan 27b)

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Discretion
‘Vendors Of Fruits And Clothing…May Sell In Private’
(Mo’ed Katan 13b)

An Outcast
‘He Shall Dwell Outside His Tent’
(Moed Katan 7b)

Pondering A Kapandria
“It Should Not Be Used As A Shortcut”
(Megillah 29a)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-130/2014/05/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: