Are ancient artifacts tamei?

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  • #611375
    Lost1970
    Member

    I am fascinated by some Ancient or Bronze Age tools which can be obtained on ebay for a good price. My concern is that some of these items may come from ancient burials. Are such items unclean/forbidden?

    #989208
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    This would make them unclean but not forbidden. If they were used for Avoda Zara then it would be forbidden, but with the advice of a knowledgeable Rov it can be dealt with. If it was buried with the dead then it gets more complicated.

    #989209
    WIY
    Member

    Lost1970

    Most laws or impurity don’t apply these days. We are all considered tamei meis impure from corpse contact. One exception to that is that a kohen must still avoid becoming “more impure” by coming in contact with a corpse or entering a cemetery however until Moshiach comes and we are all purified we will all retain the status of tamei meis.

    #989210

    No, the man is correct in questioning. They may actually be bones of dead humans, which are assur (I think)

    #989211
    Naftush
    Member

    HaLeiVi, it is my understanding that implements once used for Avoda Zara are OK if the Avoda Zara was discontinued by its practitioners, as would probably be the case for almost anything from the Bronze Age.

    #989212
    Sam2
    Participant

    There should be no Issur whatsoever here. Another non-Jew selling them constitutes Bittul. Meisi Akum aren’t Tofeis things with them as Issurei Hana’ah. There is no issue of Tumas Kohanim because we aren’t Machmir for a Cherev Harei Hu K’chalal by Kohanim (Eizeh Bayis Asher Tivnu Li). Buying these should be completely Muttar.

    #989213
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Thanks Sam. I wasn’t sure about the Meisei Akum. Are you sure that the Bitul is automatic?

    #989214

    The bronze age never happened. It is just a ploy introduced by the secularists to make us think humans developed.

    #989215
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    mho is that theyre not forbidden bc theyre tools (not necessarily for AZ) and theyre not tamei bc tumah doesnt apply to goyim (tumah is the absence of kedusha, something which goyim dont have)

    #989216
    Sam2
    Participant

    HaLeiVi: I’m pretty sure the Rambam in A”Z (Perek 6 or 7 or so) says that a non-Jew selling another non-Jew’s A”Z is an automatic Bittul.

    Coffee addict: Your second point is absolutely wrong and your first point makes an assumption that you don’t know is true.

    #989217
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant
    #989218
    Sam2
    Participant

    Coffee addict: It’s not at all Pashut why those are Muttar. But even if you hold that Meisi Akum aren’t M’tamei B’ohel (P’shat in the Mechaber seems to be that we are Machmir L’chatchilah but it’s just a Chumra), everyone agrees that Min HaTorah they are still M’tamei B’maga Uv’masa. So your logic was incredibly flawed.

    Not to pick on you personally, but this is why it’s bad when people who don’t know the Halachos try to give S’varos. The S’vara might make sense. But it’s completely K’negged Halachah. (Similar to the Chabad reason not to sleep in Sukkah.)

    #989219
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    Sam2

    I’m not paskening any shailos, I try not to.

    anyway, your point is

    But even if you hold that Meisi Akum aren’t M’tamei B’ohel (P’shat in the Mechaber seems to be that we are Machmir L’chatchilah but it’s just a Chumra), everyone agrees that Min HaTorah they are still M’tamei B’maga Uv’masa.

    who said these “tools” are mitamei, since they might not be touched by the meis, and additionally we have a safeik if they’re from a meis to begin with

    we have a sfeik sfeika in metzius here, a safeik if it’s from a meis’s kever and if it is who said it touched the meis (according to the svara that not mitamei B’ohel

    #989220
    Lost1970
    Member

    I am grateful to everyone — I have seen very interesting artifacts on ebay under $25. I will ask a rabbi if I have a chance.

    #989221
    Lost1970
    Member

    >> No, the man is correct in questioning. They may actually

    >> be bones of dead humans, which are assur (I think)

    I am not even thinking of buying anything that spooky.

    #989222
    Lost1970
    Member

    >> HaLeiVi, it is my understanding that implements once

    >> used for Avoda Zara are OK if the Avoda Zara was

    >> discontinued by its practitioners,

    Neo Pagans are active now. But stone arrow heads were just used for hunting 3,500 years ago.

    #989223
    Lost1970
    Member

    >> The bronze age never happened. It is just a ploy

    >> introduced by the secularists to make us think

    >> humans developed.

    Stone knives are mentioned in Torah. The swords were bronze.

    Deluge happened around 2100BCE. Iron Age began around 1200 BCE. Middle ages were Steel Age. Machinery Age is ~1870 up to now. Robotic Age is probably from 2050.

    #989224
    Sam2
    Participant

    coffee addict: You said that Goyim don’t have Tumah because Tumah is the absence of Kedushah, which they don’t have. That’s what I said was horribly incorrect.

    #989225
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Sam, just looked up the Rambam but it’s the other way around. Selling only helps if he is selling it to a Yid who he knows will melt it down. Moreover, it can only become Batul by an Oved Avoda Zara. The fact that the general population stopped practicing Avoda Zara doesn’t help the individual idols or their utensiles. The available idols at the time they gave it up would become Batul if some physical defacing took place.

    Here’s a chance for a good Indian Bittul AZ startup. Just logon and for a small monthly fee we’ll be Mevatel all your artifacts. Disclaimer: it must be done before you buy it.

    #989226
    YW Moderator-42
    Moderator

    Sam, do you have a source for what you wrote that kohanim nowadays don’t worry about cherev k’chalal? What does “aize bayis” have to do with it? (I’m not questioning your psak, just wondering where it is because someone asked me about it recently)

    #989227
    scroller
    Member
    #989228
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    42, why should it apply? We learn from a Pasuk that the strength of the Tuma of Cherev is like the Meis, but what does that have to do with the Issur of Tuma, where the Issur is not about being Tammei only about being Mitamme?

    #989229
    Sam2
    Participant

    42: There is a famous Tosfos (I think in Niddah) that, in response to the possibility of saying Cherev Harei Hu K’chalal by Tumas Kohanim, R’ Chaim HaKohen says, “Eizeh Hu Bayis Asher Tivnu Li”. Any metal utensil that was in an Ohel HaMeis would then be Assur for a Kohen to be in an Ohel with. This is brought down in the Nosei Keilim in Hilchos Aveilus (don’t remember exactly where).

    HaLeiVi: The Rambam says any Goy can be M’vatel an A”Z. The word “Ovdeha” (which is what I assume you are referring to) does not appear in most Girsaos of the Rambam and doesn’t make sense because it contradicts what the Rambam says a few Perakim later. I guess it would be very Achronish to try and be M’chalek between a Goy Oved Avodah Zarah and a Stam Goy, but that’s untenable because the Rambam holds that, from our perspective, all Goyim are Ovdei Avodah Zarah (because he says we can’t be M’kabel Ger Toshav anymore so there is no way for an AKU”M to get rid of his Chezkas Oveid Avodah Zarah).

    #989230
    scroller
    Member

    Found it, very interesting. tosfos nazir 54b:

    ?”? ???? ??’ ???’ ??? ???? ???? ????? ???? ?”?. ????? ???? ??????? ???”? ???? ?’ ??’ ????? ????? ?? ?? ???? ???? ???? ???? ????? ??? ????? ????? ??? ??? ?????? ???? ?’ ??’ ????? ?? ???? ????? ?”? ?????? ?????? ????? ??????? ??? ??? ???? ??? ???? ?????. ???? ???? ??? ????? ??? ?? ????? ??? ??? ????? ?’ ??? ?”? ????? ????? ??? ?????? ???? ??? ????? ????? ??? ???? ?? ?????? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ??? ????? ???? ?? ????? ??? ???? ???? ??? ?”? ????? ??”? ?????? ??? ???? ???? ???? ????? ????? ???? ????? ??? ??? ????? ?’ ???? ???? ?’ ??’ ???? ???? ????”? ??”? ?? ?????? ????’ ???? ????? ??”? ????? ???? ???? ??? ??? ????. ???? ?? ????? ???? ??? ???? ??? ??? ???? ?? ?] ???? ???? ???? ???? ?”? ???? ????? ???? ???? ?? ??? ???? ?? ??? ??? ????? ???? ???? ??? ?? ??? ???? ??????’ ???’ ????? (?”? ??’ ??) ?? ????? ?????? ???? ???? ??? ????? ???? ??? ?????? ???…..?

    #989231
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    The Rambam in Perek 8, Halacha 16 writes:

    ????? ???? ???? ?????, ???? ????? ???. ??? ?? ????? ????, ??? ?????? ?????

    This is what it says in the Frankel Rambam and on MTR (of Mechon Mamrei). This is a whole sentence, not a word, that can be transformed.

    I don’t see why you consider this tremendous difference, splitting hairs. In order for him to be Mevatel an Avoda Zara he has to be in the Parsha. It is not his Zchus Avos that gives him this privilege. (By the way, Achronim didn’t invent Lomdus. They only define much more, like every generation who uses many words to explain the natural talk of their predecessors.)

    #989232
    Sam2
    Participant

    HaLeiVi: Right, I read that line to exclude a Ger Toshav, who the Rambam says can’t exist nowadays. Anyway, we should see what it says in the SH”A. (L’ma’aseh, if the seller is a Christian there’s no issue either.)

    #989233
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Come to thiink of it, a Ra’aya to you is Itay Hagiti. He surely didn’t believe in Avoda Zara right before he was about to be Megayer, and yet he was Mevatel one for David. It’s odd, though, that he wouldn’t have the status of a Ger Toshav at that point.

    #989234
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    The Beis Yosef includes Muslims in the exception. The Tur and Mechaber use the term Yada Betiv AZ. That would answer my question about Itay. Since he just decided to drop it all he is still a Yodea Betivan.

    I don’t know the percentage of athiests in this field, but I assume that an athiest is Lo Kol Shechein not a Yodea Betivan.

    Selling it does not help, unless it is being sold for scrap metal. In this case it is being sold as something special. The seller knows it is being cared for. However, being that we probably aren’t talking about the idol itself, only its utensils, even disregarding it orally helps, without defacinng it.

    There is a concept of Bitul by abandonment. Naftush is applying this Bitul when he says that AZ was dropped. The simple Halacha is about a specific idol, though. Also, it depends how idol worship was dropped. If it was one day to the next then that can be considered abandoned. But if it was a gradual process then it is not necessarily so. In order to apply this Bitul you’d have to say that there was sort of a class action dropping of idols. And then you will have to make the stretch to buried items Delo Chazitei Udelo Chamitei.

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