Sunday, February 24, 2008

Daf Yomi Nedarim 62: Sold for Flame, Or to a Fire-Temple?

From Nedarim 62, from my Rif translation:
רב אשי ה"ל ההוא אבא זבניה לנורא
א"ל רבינא לר"א והא איכא לפני עור לא תתן מכשול
א"ל רוב עצים להסקה ניתנו:
Rav Ashi had a forest which he sold for flame. {Our gemara: a fire-temple.}
Ravina said to Rav Ashi: But there is the injunction of "place not a stumbling-block before a blind man."
He said to him: Most wood is for heating {rather than idolatry}.
It seems to me there is a potentially great halachic difference which could come out of these variant girsaot. If as our gemara, that he sold it to a Bei Nura, a fire-temple, then this would be permission even for this, for even they might well use it not for their idolatry. If it is just Nura, as the Rif seems to have it, then this is not necessarily permission to sell it to a temple which specifically often makes use of exactly this for their idolatry. Perhaps the idea was that one could sell firewood to the general populace, because even though there are probably some fire-worshipers out there, who is to say that you sold it to one. And only in such a situation would it not be an issue of lifnei iver. Perhaps.

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