Audio by Shimi Berger

Mishnah Avodah Zarah 3:10: How does one annul [the idolatrous status of an <i>asherah</i>]? If one trims or prunes, removes a branch or a stick, or even a leaf, it is annulled. If [after picking from it] one smooths it over for its tree's [aesthetic] sake, it is prohibited, but if not for its sake, then it is permitted.

כיצד מבטלה. קרסם, וזרד, נטל ממנה מקל או שרביט, אפלו עלה, הרי זו בטלה. שפיה לצרכה, אסורה. שלא לצרכה, מתרת.

Mishnah Avodah Zarah 4:1: Rabbi Yishmael says: Three stones side by side beside a Markulis [an idol worshiped by placing stones beside it] are prohibited; two [stones] are permitted. And the Sages say: Those that appear to be with it [and which may have fallen from idol] are prohibited, but those that do not appear to be with it are permitted.

רבי ישמעאל אומר, שלש אבנים זו בצד זו בצד מרקוליס, אסורות. ושתים, מתרות. וחכמים אומרים, שנראות עמו, אסורות. ושאין נראות עמו, מתרות.

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