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Ta'anis 15


1) [line 14] DIVREI CHEVUSHIN - (a) *humbling* (lit. pressing) words (O.F. presse - a press consisting of two long boards between which clothes are put for pressing) (RASHI); (b) words revealing the *hidden* deeds of the people (RABEINU CHANANEL)

2) [line 16] B'KABALAH - in the Prophets

3) [line 30] MITZPAH
After the death of Eli ha'Kohen and the subsequent rule of the Pelishtim, Shmuel ha'Navi instructed Bnei Yisrael to eradicate any form of idol worship from their midst. The people complied and returned to the service of HaSh-m alone. The prophet next gathered Bnei Yisrael to the Mitzpah (= lookout), which was a city on a high peak to the north of Yerushalayim, identified with either Tel A-Natzbah or the village of Nebi Samuel. It contained a Mizbe'ach and a Beis Keneses and served as a frequent place for assemblies and prayer (RADAK to Shmuel I 7:5). Shmuel told the people that if they would sincerely return to HaSh-m, He would save them from the Pelishtim. The people fasted on that day and drew water, pouring it out before HaSh-m in a symbolic act to indicate the submission of the will of the people to the word of HaSh-m. The Pelishtim were then defeated and did not enter the land of Yisrael for the entire life of Shmuel (Shmuel I 7:3-13).


4) [line 10] SHA'AR (alt. Girsa SHA'AREI) MIZRACH UV'HAR HA'BAYIS - the eastern gates of Har ha'Bayis, Sha'ar Shushan; alt. the eastern gates of the Ezras Nashim

5) [line 11] ANSHEI MISHMAR
(a) The Kohanim were divided into 24 shifts according to their families (Mishmaros), each of which served in the Mikdash for two weeks out of a year. The Mishmaros changed on Shabbos, when the outgoing Mishmar did the Avodah in the morning and the incoming Mishmar did the Avodah in the afternoon. Every Mishmar was further divided into six Batei Avos, with the Kohanim of each Beis Av serving on a different day of the week. On Shabbos, all the Batei Avos of the Mishmar did the Avodah together (see also Insights to Shekalim 18:1).
(b) On the Shalosh Regalim (the holidays of Pesach, Shavu'os and Sukos) all of the Mishmaros Kehunah came to Yerushalayim to fulfill the Mitzvah of Aliyah l'Regel. At those times, Kohanim from any Mishmar were permitted to do the Avodah of the Regel.

6) [line 11] MASHLIMIN - to make the fast complete (by fasting until nightfall)

7) [line 22] ANSHEI MA'AMAD
(a) The Mishnah in Ta'anis 26a states that the early prophets divided Bnei Yisrael into twenty-four groups, or Ma'amados. Each Ma'amad consisted of Kohanim, Leviyim and Yisraelim, and it was their duty to make sure that the Korbanos were sacrificed properly. The Ma'amados worked in a rotation and took responsibility for the Korbanos of one week, twice each year.
(b) When each Ma'amad's turn arrived, the Kohanim and Leviyim would travel to the Beis ha'Mikdash to do the divine service. Some of the Yisraelim traveled to Yerushalayim, also, but most of them stayed in their own cities. It was the job of the Yisraelim to pray that the week's Korbanos should be accepted by HaSh-m. They gathered together to fast, read special portions of the Torah and recite the special Shemoneh Esrei of Ta'aniyos (see Background to Shabbos 24:1).

8) [line 26] SHE'LO L'HAFKI'A HA'SHE'ARIM - it will "break" the market value and diminish the amount of produce that a fixed amount of money will purchase. This may happen if the first of a set of fasts is decreed on a Thursday because (a) people will buy on Thursday three times as much food as on a usual day, since they need a large meal for after the fast besides their normal purchases for Shabbos. The merchants will fear that there is a threat of famine and raise their prices (RASHI, see Ritva 15a); (b) The villagers and farmers who bring foodstuffs into the cities on Thursdays will only bring enough for Shabbos, not having heard about the fast. All of the food in the market will be sold that day, causing the price of food for Shabbos to rise. When the set of fasts starts on Monday, they will know by Thursday to bring enough food for after the fast and for Shabbos. (RABEINU GERSHOM); (c) When the set of fasts starts on Thursday, the merchants will hoard their grain, not providing the needed amount for Shabbos, since they fear that a calamity (which we are fasting to forestall) is about to strike. When the fasts start on Monday, the initial anxiety will subside by the end of the week, and there will be no increase in the price of food for Shabbos. (BA'AL HA'TZEROROS)

9) [line 42] ATUN CHASHVISU - you are the most important
10) [line 43] L'MIBA'I ALAN RACHAMEI A"KA - to implore HaSh-m for mercy on behalf of all of the people

11) [line 45] NISHKELU INHU V'NINCHU B'ROSHAIHU - they should take it themselves and place it on their own heads

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