ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafTa'anis 12
(a) Rav Chisda says that, even those who hold that a part-time (morning)
fast is considered a fast, that is only provided he then goes on to fast all
day - on which Abaye asks, in that case, why should that not be considered a
(b) We answer that it speaks when he changed his mind - meaning that
initially, he had not even meant to fast during the first half of the day
either, but that, after something happened to prevent him from eating, he
decided that he may as well turn the day into a fast-day.
(a) Rav Chisda requires one to fast until the end of sunset (i.e.
(b) According to Rav Chisda ...
1. ... when the Mishnah in the second Perek states that the Kohanim and
Levi'im who were serving in the Beis-Hamikdash fasted, but did not complete
their fast - it is referring, not to the Mitzvah of fasting (from which they
were absolved), but to the obligation of sharing in the suffering of the
community at least to some extent.
(c) Rebbi Eliezer b'Rebbi Tzadok's family was a descendent of San'av ben
Binyamin - for whom the tenth of Av was a Yom-Tov, due to the fact that that
was their day to donate fire-wood to the Beis-Hamikdash.
2. ... the Beraisa, which quotes Rebbi Eliezer b'Rebbi Tzadok, whose family
once fasted on Tish'ah be'Av that was postponed until Sunday, (because they
descended from San'av ben Binyamin), but did not complete their fast - means
exactly the same as we explained in the previous answer (that they wanted to
share in the suffering of the community at least to some extent).
(d) In spite of the futility of fasting for part of the day only, Rebbi
Yochanan would sometimes undertake to fast until he arrived home (even if
that was in the middle of the day) - in order to avoid having to eat with
the Nasi, who would invite him to join him for a meal (and for whatever
reason, it did not suit him to do so).
(a) According to Shmuel, a fast that one did not undertake the day before,
is not considered a fast. If one nevertheless went ahead and fasted - it is
about as valuable as the air in a blown-up pair of bellows.
(b) According to Rav, one must accept the fast at the previous Minchah-time.
Shmuel says - that one must actually accept it during Tefilas Minchah, at
the end of the Amidah (or during 'Shomei'a Tefilah).
(c) Rav Yosef initially interprets the words (describing which fast over-
rides the Yamim-Tovim listed in Megilas Ta'anis and which one does not)
'Mekadmas D'na Yeisir' - to mean that if one accepted the Neder to fast
during Minchah (like Shmuel).
(d) Rav (who reads the word 'Ye'aser') - explains it to mean that he
undertook to fast, whether it was during Tefilas Minchah or not.
(a) According to Rebbi, on all fast-days that begin in the morning, one is
permitted to eat and drink until dawn-break; according to Rebbi Elazar
b'Rebbi Shimon - until the cock crows (even if this occurs before dawn-
'Misnamnem' means someone who is 'half-asleep', 'half-awake', who answers
when he is called and can even answer simple questions regarding what he
did, but who is not yet sufficiently wide-awake to give reasons as to why he
(b) According to Abaye (or Rava), even Rebbi will agree - that once he has
finished his meal, he is forbidden to eat again.
(c) The Beraisa, which says 'Gamar ve'Amad (from his meal), Harei Zeh Ochel'
- speaks when he may have finished eating, but the table has not yet been
removed (bearing in mind that, in former times, each person would eat by his
own little table).
(d) Others quote Rava as saying that once he has *slept*, he is forbidden to
eat when he wakes up. The Beraisa, which says 'Yashan ve'Amad (from his
sleep), Harei Zeh Ochel' - speaks when he awoke from a doze, rather than
from a sleep.
(a) Someone who undertakes to fast a private fast is forbidden to wear shoes
- because it is not certain whether he accepted to fast a Ta'anis Yachid (a
private fast) or a Ta'anis Tzibur (i.e. with the stringencies of a Ta'anis
(b) One avoids this dilemma - by specifically undertaking to fast *a Ta'anis
Yachid* (rather than just *to fast*).
(c) When the Rabbanan told Rav Sheishes that other Rabbanan wore shoes
during a Ta'anis Tzibur - he was angry. 'Perhaps they also eat', he
(d) Rav Sheishes disagrees with Shmuel - who says that, with the exception
of Tish'ah-be'Av, there is no Ta'anis Tzibur in Bavel (though nowadays we
hold like Shmuel).
(a) Abaye and Rava used to wear lightweight shoes on a Ta'anis Tzibur -
Mereimar and Mar Zutra used to switch their right and left shoes.
(b) The Rabbanan of Rav Ashi's Beis Hamedrash wore their shoes in the normal
manner - because they held like Shmuel.
(a) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav said 'Loveh Adam Ta'aniso u'Porei'a' - meaning that
someone who took upon himself a voluntary fast (though not particularly on
*that* day), may eat in the course of the day and fulfill his obligation to
fast on another day instead.
(b) When Shmuel heard this, according to ...
1. ... the first Lashon - he expressed surprise at Rav Yehudah Amar Rav's
Din. Is it a Neder, he asked? The person undertook to cause himself pain;
if he is able to do so, well and good; but if he is not, then why should he
not be able to eat?
(c) Rav Yehoshua Brei de'Rav Idi declined to eat by Rav Asi, because he had
undertaken to fast. He did not 'borrow his fast' like Rav said - because the
fast in question was a Ta'anis Chalom (due to a bad dream that he had dreamt
the night before), and such a fast is effective only if one fasts
immediately on the following day, but not if one postpones it.
2. ... the second Lashon - he expressed surprise that it even needed to be
said, since there is no reason for it to be any worse than a Neder, which a
person may fulfill whenever it suits him.
(d) If he had the dream on Friday night - then he must fast immediately on
Shabbos (for the fast to be effective).
(a) If the first set of public fast-days (after Rosh Chodesh Kislev) passed
and no rain came, Beis-Din initiated three more public fasts. Besides the
fact that they began already at night, the five other differences between
the two sets of fasts are - that by the second set, work is forbidden, as is
bathing anointing, wearing shoes and marital relations.
(b) If there was still no rain, they decreed seven more fast-days. On these
- they also blew the Shofar and closed the shops.
(c) They partially-opened the shops close to nightfall - on Monday, but
completely on Thursday (because of Kavod Shabbos).
(a) If, after these thirteen public fasts, there was still no rain, they
initiated various stringencies. Besides cutting down on business ventures,
building and planting trees (which will be explained later) - they also
forbade betrothals, weddings and greeting people.
(b) The Yechidim continue to fast until the end of Nisan (if necessary).
(c) They also extended the prohibition of greeting until then - like people
who are scolded by Hashem.
(d) The Tana say that rain that comes after the termination of Nisan is a
curse (as Shmuel ha'Navi indicated).
(a) It seems strange to include work among the prohibitions of the last set
of fasts - seeing as work is not a physical pleasure.
(b) We learn that it is nevertheless prohibited from the Pasuk "Kadshu
*Tzom* Kir'u *Atzarah* Isfu Zekeinim ka'Atzeres", where the Navi compares
fast-days to Yom-Tov (Atzeres), to teach us that, just as Melachah is
forbidden on Yom-Tov, so too, is it forbidden on fast-days.
(c) The fast nevertheless begins only in the morning, and not at night-time
(like Yom-Tov) - because the Navi adds "Isfu Zekeinim", and the elders
gathered only in the day?
(d) In that case, we would have thought, the fast ought to begin at mid-day
- however this is a proof for Rav Huna, who says that it is in the *morning*
of a fast that the elders would gather, to look into the spiritual affairs
of the town, and not in the afternoon.
(a) Seeing as they would spend the *morning* of a Ta'anis Tzibur looking
into the spiritual affairs of the community (see Rosh, Si'man 18), they
would then spend ...
1. ... the first half of the *afternoon* - Leining in the Torah and in the
Navi (the Haftarah).
(b) We know that they did self-introspection in the morning, and Lein and
pray for Divine mercy in the afternoon, and not the reverse - from Ezra, who
'got up from his fast' and Davened at Minchah Gedolah (half an hour after
2. ... the second half of the *afternoon*- crying out to Hashem for mercy.