THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question about the Daf
TA'ANIS 16 (11 Elul) - dedicated to the memory of Chana (Birnbaum) bas Reb
Chaim, on the day of her Yarzeit.
1) ASHES OF HUMAN BONE
QUESTION: The Mishnah (15a) says that as part of the Seder Ta'aniyos, they
would place ashes upon the heads of the Nasi and Av Beis Din. TOSFOS (here
and on 15b) writes that these ashes should come from a human bone that was
How can Tosfos suggest using ashes of a human bone? It is prohibited to
mutilate dead bodies. How can it be permitted to disgrace and defile human
remains by burning it for this purpose? In addition, the remains must be
buried, how can they be burned and placed on the heads of the congregants!
2) HAR HA'MORIYAH
(a) RASHI (Berachos 5b) says that a bone less than the size of a barley seed
does not need to be buried. If so, perhaps it may also be burned and it is
not considered a disgrace to the dead.
QUESTION: However, according to all of these answers, Tosfos is saying that a
specific type of ash should be used. How did Tosfos know that a specific type
should be used? If anything, it can be inferred from the Sugya on this Daf
that *any* ashes may be used: The Gemara records an argument between Rebbi
Levi bar Chama and Rebbi Chanina whether the reason for putting ashes is to
remind us of our worthlessness -- we are like ashes -- or to remind us of
Akeidas Yitzchak. The difference between these two opinions, says the Gemara,
is "Afar Stam" -- dirt. According to the opinion that says the point is to
remind us of our worthlessness, we may also use dirt, while according to the
opinion that says that the point is to remind us of Akeidas Yitzchak, dirt
does not suffice.
(b) RAV S. Z. BRAUN in SHE'ARIM HA'METZUYANIM B'HALACHAH cites the MAGEN
AVRAHAM (OC 311:3) who implies (perhaps based on this Tosfos) that the
prohibition of disgracing a Mes does not apply if the body has been burned to
ashes (see also TOSFOS in Chulin 125b, DH Yachol). Presumably, after being
burned to ashes it also becomes a new entity and burial is no required.
Rav Braun, however, points out that many Acharonim do not accept this ruling
of the Magen Avraham.
(c) The Acharonim ask another basic question. Tosfos says that we should use
ashes of human bone to commemorate Akeidas Yitzchak. However, no human was
actually burned at the Akeidah! It would be more appropriate to use ashes
from wood or from a ram, since that is what was burned at the Akeidah. (KEREN
The SHE'ARIM HA'METZUYANIM B'HALACHAH suggests that there is a mistake in the
Tosfos. Instead of saying "Etzem Adam," it should read "Etzem Ayil" -- "the
bone of a *ram*." (He proposes that in an earlier manuscript, the words in
Tosfos read "Etzem *A'*" (Alef), and the printer erred and wrote "Adam"
instead of "Ayil." Another alternative is that Tosfos originally read
"me'Etzem *O Dam*" -- from bone or blood, since one may not waste food by
burning meat for this purpose) Since a ram was burned in Akeidas Yitzchak, a
bone from a ram should be burned to arouse Hashem's mercy by alluding to the
Akeidah. (See Rosh Hashanah 16a "Blow before me the Shofar of a ram, that I
may remember Akeidas Yitzchak.")
If, as Tosfos says, the opinion that connects the ashes to Akeidas Yitzchak
holds that ashes of *bone* are required, the Gemara should have offered that
as the difference between the two opinions as to the reason for placing
ashes. According to the one who says it is reminiscent of the Akeidah, it
must be ashes from *bone*, while according to the other opinion *any* ashes
may be used. Since the Gemara did not offer this as a difference between the
two opinions (but mentioned dirt instead), it seems clear that ashes of bone
are not required! (BIRKEI YOSEF OC 579 and Acharonim)
ANSWER: Tosfos said that the ashes are from bones to answer another question.
How can one opinion insist that ashes are put on the people's heads to show
that "we are worthless as ash," and therefore dirt may be used as well as
ash, when the Mishnah clearly seems to contradict this assertion. The Mishnah
mentions specifically that "Efer Makleh" (ashes) was used, adding the word
Makleh to exclude dirt, as Rashi explained in the Mishnah? (KEREN ORAH,
In addition, the Amora'im that discuss the source for placing ashes seem to
be arguing over a subject that is already debated by the Tana'im. On Daf 15b
the Gemara brought a Beraisa in which the Tana Kama writes that plain "ashes"
were used, leaving out the word "Makleh" (and thereby including dirt). Rebbi
Nasan argues and says "they would bring Efer *Makleh*," meaning specifically
ashes. Why didn't the Gemara just say that the debate of the Amora'im over
why ashes are used was already debated by these Tana'im?
Because of these questions, Tosfos understood that when the Gemara says that
the difference between the two opinions is "Afar Stam," it is not referring
to dirt. The word "Afar" here means *ashes* (as in "Afar Serefas ha'Parah,"
see Rashi in the Mishnah). *Both* opinions among the Amora'im permit only
ashes to be used. The argument between them is whether a *specific type* of
ash must be used, or any type of ash may be used. The opinion that says that
the point is to remind us of Akeidas Yitzchak holds that only the ashes of
bones may be used, while the other opinion allows any ashes. If so, both
opinions concur with the ruling of the Mishnah, and with Rebbi Nasan of the
In fact, this is clearly implied in the wording of the Gemara, as we have it
in our texts. The Gemara says that they argue whether "Afar Setam' may be
used (plain ashes). Rashi (DH Afar) says that the word "Setam" is extra and
should be erased, since it makes no sense for the Gemara to refer to "plain
dirt" as opposed to some other type of dirt -- what other dirt is there?
Tosfos, on the other hand, makes a point of saying that the Girsa Afar
*Setam* is correct. He explains that the word Afar means ashes, and not dirt.
When the Gemara says that the Amora'im argue whether "*plain* ashes" may be
used, it means as opposed to a specific type of ashes; ashes from bones. (M.
(According to the other Rishonim, who learn that *dirt* may be used according
to the Amora who says ashes are placed on the head to make a person feel
worthless, how can this opinion be reconciled with the Mishnah, which says
specifically "Efer Makleh" is used?
1. They might explain that the reason it says "Makleh" (ashes that come from
a furnace or from a normal fire) is to exclude the ashes of a Parah Adumah,
as one opinion in the ME'IRI learns. (This is apparently the opinion of
RASHBAM in Bava Basra 60b, DH Efer Makleh.) . One might have thought that
ashes of a Parah Adumah must be applied to be Metaher everyone, so the
Mishnah emphasizes that any Efer can be used. The Mishnah does not write
Makleh to exclude dirt, and dirt may also be used. The Tana Kama of the
Beraisa, though, insists that ashes of a Parah Adumah are applied, for the
2. Rashi, who does not explain like the Rashbam, offers a different solution
(15a DH Efer), as the LECHEM MISHNAH (Ta'aniyos 3:1) KEREN ORAH and RASHASH
explain. Rashi implies that even if dirt may be used, since it also denotes
worthlessness, nevertheless it is better to use ashes, which display even
more worthlessness (since they are not fertile).)
QUESTION: The Gemara explains the implications of the name "Har ha'Moriyah."
Either it means the mountain from which Torah was taught, or the mountain
from which fear [to the nations] emanated. RASHI and TOSFOS suggest two
possibilities for which mountain this is. Either it is referring to
Yerushalayim and the site of the Mikdash, or to Mount Sinai.
The verse which discusses "Eretz ha'Moriyah" (Bereishis 22:2, see Rashi) and
"Har ha'Moriyah" (Divrei Hayamim II:3:1) are clearly referring to the site of
the Mikdash, and not to Mount Sinai, which wasn't in Eretz Yisrael at all.
How can Rashi and Tosfos suggest that it is Har Sinai! (Maharsha)
(a) The KEREN ORAH and others point out that the Yalkut Shimoni on Shir
ha'Shirim 4:6, on the verse "I will go to Har ha'Mor," brings the argument of
our Gemara. It is not discussing ha'Moriyah but ha'Mor, which could indeed be
Mount Sinai. Perhaps our Gemara should be emended accordingly. (According to
this Girsa, the Gemara only mentions this here because the same Amora'im that
argued earlier argue about this as well. It is not brought in because the
Mishnah refers to "Avraham on Har ha'Moriyah." In fact, this is what Rashi
writes (at the beginning of DH Mai Har -- although the rest of his words
clearly show that his Girsa was ha'Moriyah, as it appears in our texts).
(b) The Gemara in Megilah 29a says that Mount Tabor and Mount Carmel came to
the desert, to the area of Sinai, at the time the Torah was given. YALKUT
RE'UVENI (Parashat Yitro, DH Bish'as) suggests that in the same manner, the
Temple Mount temporarily "jumped" to the Sinai desert in order for the Torah
to be given upon it!
1) THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE "MIKDASH" AND "GEVULIN" REGARDING THE PRAYERS
ON A TA'ANIS
OPINIONS: The Mishnah relates an incident that happened on a public fast day
in the times of Rebbi Chalafta and Rebbi Chananya ben Teradyon. Once, on a
Ta'anis, the Tefilos for the Ta'anis were conducted in an unusual way, and
when the Chachamim heard about it they objected and said that we do not pray
in such a way outside of the Mikdash.
2) "AND SOME SAY" -- THE SECOND BERAISA'S VERSION OF THE TEFILOS AND TEKI'OS
ON A TA'ANIS
What exactly did they do to cause the Chachamim to object? And why is their
mistaken practice supposed to be done only in the Mikdash and not outside of
(a) RASHI (15b, DH v'Lo Anu) explains that they did not answer "Amen" after
hearing the Berachah, but rather they said, "Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuso
l'Olam va'Ed" after each Berachah. Rashi's Girsa of the incident in the
Mishnah (third line on 15b) reads, "... and they did *not* answer 'Amen'
after him" (which is the Girsa in our texts as well).
The Chachamim objected because the only place where we do not say "Amen"
after a Berachah is in the Mikdash, where we say "Baruch Shem Kevod..." after
a Berachah instead of "Amen." The reason for the difference is that in the
Mikdash, the four letter name of Hashem was pronounced "k'Kesivaso," as it is
written (RITVA). Since the more holy name of Hashem is used, a special ending
was instituted for the Berachos, reflecting the Kedushah of the Holy Name
that was uttered. Instead of saying, "Baruch Atah Hashem...," one says,
"Baruch Hashem... *Min ha'Olam v'Ad ha'Olam*," as the Gemara here mentions.
Since the blessing itself is different, the response after the blessing is
also different, reflecting the change in the blessing itself ("Baruch Shem
Kevod Malchuso *l'Olam va'Ed*"). (See also Insights to Yoma 37:1)
The Rishonim disagree with Rashi's explanation. How could Rebbi Chalafta have
made such a mistake and let the people say "Baruch Shem Kevod" and not "Amen"
after the Berachos? Everyone knows that only in the Mikdash do we say "Baruch
Shem Kevod" after a Berachah! The Rishonim therefore assert that this was not
the mistake that took place. (Their Girsa of the incident as recorded in the
Mishnah reads, "... and they *answered* 'Amen' after him." This is also the
Girsa in the Yerushalmi and in the Dikdukei Sofrim.)
(It could be that this question is based on another difference in the Girsa
of the Mishnah. The text of the Mishnah as recorded in the RITVA is, "An
incident occurred *involving* Rebbi Chalafta," whereas our Girsa, which is
the Girsa that Rashi had, reads, "An incident occurred *in the days of* Rebbi
Chalafta." According to Rashi's Girsa, it could be that Rebbi Chalafta was
not involved in the incident, and it was the lay people who erred. -Y. Shaw)
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Ta'aniyos 4:17, according to the MAGID MISHNAH ibid.
4:3 and the RITVA here) explains that they blew the Shofar during the
recitation of the Berachos of the Tefilah of the Ta'anis. The Chachamim
objected, because the Shofar is blown during the Berachos of a Ta'anis only
in the Mikdash, and not outside of the Mikdash. (The source for this ruling
might be the verse in Bamidbar 10:9 which relates that when you blow the
Shofar in a time of trouble, "You will be remembered *before Hashem* and you
will be saved from your enemies." "Before Hashem" implies in the Mikdash --
RASHI (15b) questions this explanation and says that it cannot be that the
Chachamim objected on those grounds, because we find throughout the Masechta
that the Shofar is blown during times of trouble even outside of the Mikdash.
The Rishonim answer Rashi's question on the Rambam's explanation by saying
that the Rambam agrees that the Shofar is blown outside of the Mikdash, as
Rashi says. However, it is supposed to be blown *after* the Berachos. Only in
the Mikdash is the Shofar blown *during* the Berachos. The Chachamim objected
to blowing the Shofar *during* the Berachos outside of the Mikdash.
(c) The RE'AH, quoted by the RITVA and RAN, answers that the mistake was that
they changed the order of the Berachos. Instead of first saying the
supplication of "Mi sh'Anah..." and then saying the Chasimah (closing words
of "Baruch Atah Hashem...") of the Berachah, they said the Chasimah first and
then they said (or repeated) "Mi sh'Anah." The Chachamim objected to this
practice being done outside of the Mikdash for the following reason.
The blowing of the Shofar must be done *with* the Berachah. When Davening
outside of the Mikdash, the people who hear the Berachah answer only "Amen."
When the Shofar is blown afterwards, it is considered as though it is being
blown immediately after the Berachah that was just recited, with no
interruption, since Amen is not a new theme, but relates to the Berachah that
was recited. In contrast, the people in the Mikdash answer "Baruch Shem
Kevod..." to the Berachah that they hear. "Baruch Shem" itself is a new and
separate Berachah from the one that was recited. Consequently, the Shofar
cannot be blown after "Baruch Shem" because it will not be connected to the
Berachah of Shemoneh Esreh that was recited; "Baruch Shem" intervenes between
the Berachah and the blowing of the Shofar. Therefore, in the Mikdash, while
the Kohanim were preparing to blow the Shofar, the Chazan would repeat "Mi
sh'Anah" so that the blowing of the Shofar would be connected to the
This seems to be how the VILNA GA'ON (Hagahos ha'Gra #1) understood the
Gemara. He deletes the words "v'Chozer v'Omer" from the Gemara when it
describes how the Berachos are recited outside of the Mikdash, but he leaves
those words in when it describes how it is down in the Mikdash. Hence, the
Gemara is saying that the Chazan repeated the "Mi sh'Anah" that he had
already said ("v'Chozer v'Omer"), while out of the Mikdash the Chazan simply
went on to the next Berachah without repeating anything. (The Rambam, ibid..,
seems to also have learned like the Re'ah.)
(d) The RITVA quotes, in the name of some commentators that the mistake here
is identical to the one made "in the times of Rebbi Chalafta etc." in the
Gemara in Rosh Hashanah (27a). There the Gemara records that in the times of
Rebbi Chalafta and Rebbi Chanina ben Teradyon the congregation blew both
Shofaros and Chatzotzeros (as opposed to Shofaros alone) outside of the
Mikdash. The Chachamim told him that we blow with both only in the Mikdash,
and elsewhere we blow only with Shofaros. This difference is based on the
verse, "With Chatzotzeros and the sound of the Shofar, blow a Teru'ah *before
the King, Hashem*" (Tehilim 98:6), which implies that the only place where
both are used is "before the King, Hashem" -- in the Beis ha'Mikdash, while
elsewhere we blow only with the Shofar. Our Mishnah, they explain, is
referring to the same incident. (According to this suggestion, though, the
main part of the incident is missing from our Mishnah.)
OPINIONS: The Gemara records a Beraisa which describes at length the manner
of reciting the Tefilos and blowing the Teki'os on a Ta'anis in the Mikdash
and outside of the Mikdash. The Gemara then says "and some say..." ("v'Is
d'Amri") and cites another version of the Beraisa, which describes how the
Tefilos and Teki'os were done in the Mikdash.
What is the difference between the two versions of the Beraisa? They seem to
be saying the same thing, but we know that when the Gemara introduces a
second version of a statement with the words "some say," it usually means
that there is some point of difference. What is that difference?
(a) RASHI (DH v'Is d'Amri) says that the two Beraisos are not arguing at all.
The Gemara, when it says, "and some say," means only that some said the
Beraisa in a slightly different wording, but they both mean the same thing.
It is not like an "Ika d'Amri" ("there are those who say") which always means
that the Gemara is introducing a second opinion that argues with the first.
Here, they both agree.
(b) The RITVA (15a) explains that instead of the words "v'Is d'Amri" ("and
some say"), the text of the Gemara should be "Rebbi Yehudah Omer." (See also
DIKDUKEI SOFRIM.) The Ritva says that the difference between Rebbi Yehudah
and the Tana Kama is whether we blow only a single Teki'ah for each Berachah,
or whether we blow a full set of Teki'ah-Teru'ah-Teki'ah for each Berachah.
Rebbi Yehudah is consistent with his opinion elsewhere, for he says in Sukah
(53a) that the three sounds of Teki'ah-Teru'ah-Teki'ah cannot be interrupted
by any other sounds and they must be blown together, in one breath. Rebbi
Yehudah holds that the three sounds of the set are actually one long sound,
and thus they can never be divided. That is why he says here that after each
Berachah, we must blow a complete set of Teki'ah-Teru'ah-Teki'ah. According
to the Tana Kama, though, each sound is a separate, independent sound, and
thus they maintain that we blow a Teki'ah with the first Berachah, a Teru'ah
with the second Berachah, and a Teki'ah with the third, and so on. That
serves as a proper set of Teki'ah-Teru'ah-Teki'ah, for it does not matter
that there are Berachos in between them. (The RITVA is Gores on 12a that
there were a total of 7, and not 18, Teki'os in each Shemoneh Esreh. This is
also the Girsa of Rabeinu Chananel.)
The Ritva also does not have the words "Tanu Rabanan" that appear later (five
lines after "v'Is d'Amri"). According to the Ritva, the entire discussion is
all part of one long Beraisa, and there are not two separate Beraisos (as the
KEREN ORAH points out).
However, if the Beraisa is Rebbi Yehudah, as the Ritva asserts, why does the
Beraisa say that the second Berachah is *Zichronos*? Rebbi Yehudah holds that
Zichronos are not said, as he states in our Mishnah (15a)! It must be that
either the Ritva's text of the Beraisa did not say that the second Berachah
is Zichronos, or, as the Hagahos of the Dikdukei Sofrim suggests, Rebbi
Yehudah does not argue about the Chasimah (end) of the Berachah -- he agrees
that it is "Zocher ha'Nishkachos." This is why the Mishnah does not tell us
how Rebbi Yehudah ended his Berachos, a point about which the RAN wonders.
Rebbi Yehudah only argues that we do not recite all of the verses of
Zichronos, which the Tana Kama holds that we say. He agrees, though, that we
recite the Berachah of Zichronos.
Why does the Beraisa say that in some Berachos, the Kohanim are told to blow
the Shofar with the command "Tik'u" ("blow a Teki'ah"), while in other
Berachos they are commanded, "Heri'u" ("blow a Teru'ah")? In both cases, both
Teki'ah and Teru'ah are blown! RASHI and the RAMBAM explain that the command
"Heri'u" means that they should blow a set of Teru'ah-Teki'ah-Teru'ah (as the
text of our Gemara reads, four lines from the bottom), whereas "Tik'u" means
blow a set of Teki'ah-Teru'ah-Teki'ah. The RITVA, though, explains that Rebbi
Yehudah holds that Teki'ah-Teru'ah-Teki'ah is one long sound, and that the
proper Girsa in the second Berachah is also "Teki'ah-Teru'ah-Teki'ah" (with
Teki'ah first, and then Teru'ah). This is also the Girsa of the Dikdukei
Sofrim. According to the Ritva, then, why do we command the Kohanim to blow
with the word "Heri'u?" The reason is because we want the Kohanim to blow the
Teru'ah slightly longer than the Teki'ah. When we command them with the word
"Tik'u," they blow the Teki'ah slightly longer than the Teru'ah. (On a
Ta'anis, it is alright for the Teru'ah to be longer than the Teki'ah --
(c) The RAMBAM writes that outside of the Mikdash, the Shofaros are not blown
during the Berachos (as we saw in the previous Insight). The KEREN ORAH
comments that according to the Rambam, this might be what the "v'Is d'Amri"
means to say. The two Beraisos are arguing whether the Shofar is blown
outside of the Mikdash. The second Beraisa ("v'Is d'Amri") describes what
they did outside of the Mikdash, and it leaves out the Teki'os. While
describing what they did in the Mikdash, it includes the Teki'os! It must
hold that there were no Teki'os in Gevulin, and thus there is nothing to
describe. The earlier Beraisa, though, holds that there were Teki'os outside
of the Mikdash as well.