ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafTa'anis 10
(a) The Tana learns from the Pasuk in Mishlei "Ad Lo Asah *Eretz ve'Chutzos*
- that Eretz Yisrael was created before the rest of the world.
(b) Besides the fact that Eretz Yisrael receives its rain directly from
Hashem, and the rest of the world through a Sh'li'ach - Eretz Yisrael also
enjoys the advantage of drinking the rain-water, and of receiving its
rainfall first (at such times that Eretz Yisrael and other countries are due
to receive rain at the same time) whereas other countries drink the
leftovers of the rain that Eretz Yisrael received, and they also receive
their rain only *after* Eretz Yisrael has received its quota.
(c) We compare these three things - to someone who mixes a dough, who takes
the food and leaves over the waste (see Agados Maharsha).
(a) Rebbi Yochanan learns from a combination of the two Pesukim "Cheshchas
Mayim" (Tehilim) and "Chashras Mayim" (Shmuel) that (according to Rebbi
Eliezer) the water becomes sweet in the clouds - by taking the 'Chaf' (from
"Cheshchas") and joining it to the 'Shin' (in "Chashras"), (and, bearing in
mind that a 'Ches' and a 'Hey' are interchangeable) to make 'Hachsharas
Mayim' (meaning 'the preparation of water in the clouds').
(b) *Rebbi Yehoshua* explains the two Pesukim to mean - that when the clouds
are light, then the rain comes down in a drizzle (like through a sieve -
which is what "Chashras" means - see Agados Maharsha), and when the clouds
are heavy, then there is a lot of rain.
(c) The Beraisa, which explains that the waters of the heaven are held there
by the word of Hashem, and that the Pasuk in Tehilim "mi'P'ri Ma'asecha
Tisba ha'Aretz" refers to the rain that emanates from them, goes like Rebbi
Yehoshua. According to Rebbi Eliezer - the Pasuk is not referring to rain at
all, but to the word (commands) of Hashem.
(d) According to Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi, the entire world is watered from
the remains of the water of Gan Eden. When the Beraisa says 'mi'Tamtzis
Beis Kur Shisah Tarkav' - it means that, just as, with the remains of the
water in a vessel that can water a Beis Kur (thirty Sa'ah), one can water a
Tarkav (three Kav = half a Sa'ah = one sixtieth of a Kur), so too, with the
remains of the water in the clouds that water the 'Garden' (of Eden), one
can water the world (which is one sixtieth of the 'Garden').
(a) The area of Egypt is four hundred Parsah by four hundred Parsah.
(b) The Tana gives it as one sixtieth of Kush (Ethiopia);
(c) Some say that Gehinom has no Shiur; others - that it is Eden that has no
Shiur. (Note: Needless to say, this Sugya cannot be taken literally).
- Kush as - one sixtieth of the world.
- The world as - one sixtieth of the 'Garden'.
- The 'Garden' as - one sixtieth of Eden.
- Eden as - one sixtieth of Gehinom.
(a) The abundance of corn in the storehouses of Bavel - is due to the fact
that it is situated in very low country, with the result that all the water
flows from the surrounding mountains into it, and it is always well-
(b) What makes Bavel a 'rich' country - is the fact that one is able to
harvest the corn even when there has been no rain.
(c) Abaye says - that too much rain is preferable to insufficient rain.
(a) Raban Gamliel gives the date for asking for rain as the seventh of Mar-
Cheshvan - because that is fifteen days after the termination of Sukos, just
enough time for the last of the Olei Regel to have returned to Bavel,
before the rain season begins.
(b) According to Chananyah in a Beraisa - the B'nei Golah ask for rain sixty
days after the Tekufah (on the fourth or fifth of December).
(c) We can easily reconcile Shmuel's ruling like Chananyah, with his own
statement that gives the date for asking for rain in Bavel as from the time
that one brings fire-wood into the store-house (in preparation for winter) -
because the two are one and the same.
(a) Rav says that the sixtieth day is like after the sixtieth day - and that
they already begin to ask for rain then.
(b) Shmuel says - that the sixtieth day is like the days that precede it,
and they do not ask for rain until the sixty-*first*.
(c) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak gave a Si'man by which to remember who said
what: 'The upper ones *need* water, the lower ones do *not*' - by which he
meant that Rav, who came from Eretz Yisrael, where they require more rain,
is the one who says that they begin already on the sixtieth day; whereas
Shmuel, who was from Bavel, which needed less rain, said that they should
begin only on the sixty-first day. (See also Rabeinu Chanan'el).
(d) Rav Papa rules that the sixtieth day is like the sixty-first.
(a) If no rain had fallen by the seventeenth of Mar-Cheshvan (according to
Rebbi Meir), the Talmidei-Chachamim would begin fasting - seven fasts,
Monday, Thursday, Monday, Thursday, etc.
(b) Each fast began only in the morning.
(c) The prohibitions of Tish'ah be'Av (washing, anointing, wearing shoes and
marital relations) - did not apply to them.
(d) If no rain had fallen by Rosh Chodesh Kislev - then Beis-Din fixed three
fasts for everyone, under exactly the same conditions as those that
pertained to the Yechidim before them.
(a) The Mishnah later will teach us that a series of fasts cannot begin on
Thursday (only on Monday) - because the store-keepers might misconstrue the
reason for the fast. They may believe that there is s shortage of food, and
raise the prices of the food that people are purchasing for Shabbos.
(b) The Tana need to tell us the same thing in the case of the fasts of the
'Yechidim' in our Mishnah - because we might otherwise have thought that the
reasoning there does not apply to Yechidim, since why would the store-
keepers raise the prices just because of a few individuals.
(c) Should Rosh Chodesh or any of the Yamim-Tovim mentioned in Megilas
Ta'anis occur during the fasts of which we are speaking - then one stops
(a) A Yachid is someone who is fit to be appointed leader of a community; a
Talmid is someone whom one can ask anything on the Masechta that he is
learning, and he is able to answer it (see Tosfos DH 'Eizehu').
(b) This Beraisa says that a Talmid should not abstain from fasting together
with the Yechidim, on the grounds that he is not worthy of joining their
ranks - 'because all Talmidei-Chachamim are Yechidim (in this regard)'.
(c) This Beraisa follows the opinion of Rebbi Yossi (and Raban Shimon ben
Gamliel) in other Beraisos. Rebbi Meir (and Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar)
maintain that not everyone is permitted to adopt the customs of a Talmid, or
of a Yachid (not even a Talmid of a Yachid, and not even as regards
(a) If someone is fasting on account of a particular problem or for a sick
person, and the problem passes, or the sick person gets better (or dies), he
is obligated to continuing fasting, so as not to convey the impression that
he is making conditions with Hashem (This Halachah does not apply to a
community. See Rosh, Si'man 20).
(b) Someone who goes from a place where they have ...
1. ... *not* undertaken to fast to a place where they *have* - is obligated
to fast with them.
(c) If he forgot and began to eat, he is nevertheless forbidden to eat in
front of the residents of that town. Similarly - he is forbidden to indulge
in luxuries, but may eat only basic foods.
2. ... *undertaken* to fast (and he is in the middle of his fast) to a place
where they have *not* - must continue fasting (see Tosfos DH 'ha'Holech').
(d) We learn the former - from Ya'akov Avinu, who sent his sons down to
Egypt to purchase corn, even though they had sufficient stocks, only to
avoid appearing different than the rest of the community (that the community
are starving, whilst they have sufficient to eat).
(a) When Yosef instructed his brothers (who were on their way back to their
father - in Parshas Vayigash) "Al Tirgezu ba'Darech" - he meant that they
should not get involved in Halachic issues on the way, so as not to delay
their journey home.
(b) The fire that descended to divide between Eliyahu and Elisha did not
burn them - because they were learning Torah.
(c) We can reconcile this with Yosef's instructions to his brothers - by
differentiating between two types of Torah-learning: learning deeply is
inadvisable whilst traveling, whereas revising texts is essential.
(a) The Beraisa interprets the Pasuk "Al Tirgezu ba'Darech" differently. One
should not ...
1. ... take large footsteps (even if it is) in order to arrive early at
one's destination - because we have learned in Pesachim that this causes one
to lose one five hundredth of one's eyesight.
(b) There are two possible reasons why a traveler (on foot) should not eat
more than he would in a time of famine; *one* of them is because food,
combined with the extensive walking, will cause him stomach trouble. the
*other* - because he may run out of food.
2. ... leave town before sunrise or arrive at one's destination after sunset
- either because of robbers, or because of pitfalls of which one is unaware
or because one might be accused of being a spy or a thief.
(c) *One* difference between the reasons is a traveler in a boat (or in a
car, who is not walking extensively) - the other, someone who is traveling
from one inn to another, where he will have no problem with food.
(d) Rav Papa used to eat a loaf of bread after every Parsah (four Mil -
seventy-two minutes walking distance) that he traveled - because he agreed
with the first of the above reasons; and *he* had no reason to worry about
stomach trouble, because he was extremely fat.