THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) ASKING FOR RAIN "NEAR THE TIME OF THE RAINS"
QUESTION: The Mishnah (2a) states that "we only ask (Sho'alin) for rain near
the time of the rains." The Gemara initially assumed that "She'eilah" is the
same as "Hazkarah" (mentioning "Morid ha'Geshem" in the beginning of
Shemoneh Esreh), and thus the Mishnah is saying that "Morid ha'Geshem" is
recited only near the time of the rains. The Gemara says that this statement
of the Mishnah must have been made by Rebbi Yehoshua, who says that the
Hazkarah of rain is recited from the time that the Lulav is placed down (on
the seventh day of Sukos), because that day is near the time that we need
rain, which begins right after the festival.
If the Gemara is looking for an opinion that says we recite the Hazkarah
near the time that we need rain, why does the Gemara quote the statement of
Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa (on 2b) who says that Hazkarah is said at the
time the Lulav is placed down? It would be more appropriate to quote the
Rebbi Yehoshua mentioned earlier in this very Mishnah (2a), who says that we
begin saying Hazkarah on Shemini Atzeres, which is clearly near the time
that we need rain! Whether the opinion of Rebbi Yehoshua in our Mishnah is
the same as that of Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa, or it is the opinion of a
different Tana who argues, makes no difference; there is no point in
mentioning the words of Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa when we could just as
well have cited the Rebbi Yehoshua of this very same Mishnah which the
Gemara is discussing! Why does the Gemara go out of its way to quote an
opinion from a Beraisa?
(a) The GEVURAS ARI explains that Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa argues with
Rebbi Yehoshua of the Mishnah (as we mentioned in Insights to 3a) and holds
that the Hazkarah of rain begins on the seventh day, as opposed to the
eighth day, Shmini Atzeres. When the Mishnah says that the Hazkarah begins
"*near* to the time of the rains," it implies that we begin saying the
Hazkarah for rain *before* the rains are wanted, at a time when we do not
yet need rain. The rains are wanted starting from Shemini Atzeres -- when
the people are no longer sitting in the Sukah. According to Rebbi Yehoshua
of the Mishnah, who says that the Hazkarah begins on the eighth day (on
Shemini Atzeres), the Mishnah should not say that we begin asking for rain
"*near* the time of the rains." The Hazkarah begins *on* the day, and not
before the day, that rain is needed! Therefore, the Gemara understands that
the words of this Mishnah, "near the time of the rains," are alluding to a
different opinion -- that of Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa, who says that
the Hazkarah begins on the seventh day, while we are still sitting in the
The NETZIV suggests that this might be what Rashi means here as well, when
he says that the time of placing down the Lulav is "the eighth day." Rashi
seems to contradict what he wrote earlier (on 2b and 3a), that the time of
Hanachas Lulav is the *seventh* day. Why, here, does he say that it is the
eighth day? The answer is that when Rashi says the eighth day, he is not
explaining when the time of Hanachas Lulav is; rather, he is explaining when
the time of the *rains* is! (This would be more convincing if the words
"d'Hainu Yom Shmini" should actually be three words later, after the words
"Samuch l'Geshamim," and not before them.)
(b) According to where the words of Rashi are placed in our printing, Rashi
does not seem to be referring to the time when rain is needed, as the Netziv
explains. But how can he say that the time of Hanachas Lulav is the eighth
day, when elsewhere he says that it is the seventh day? It could be that the
Beraisa holds that the time of Hanachas Lulav must be the seventh day (as we
proved earlier, see Insights to 3a). Here, though, the Gemara is using the
phrase "mi'She'as Hanachaso" the way the Yerushalmi uses it -- to describe
the *eighth* day, because the Gemara here is referring to Rebbi Yehoshua of
the Mishnah (as the statement quoted is from the Mishnah), and not to Rebbi
Yehoshua of the Beraisa. Therefore, Rashi here is not contradicting what he
wrote earlier, but rather here he is explaining that the Gemara is using the
phrase "mi'She'as Hanachaso" the way that the Yerushalmi uses it.
Why does the Gemara, though, use these words to refer to the eighth day, and
not simply say "the last day of Yom Tov?" The answer could be that the
Gemara wants to explain why the eighth day is considered the time for rain.
It is explaining that the fact that we no longer hold the Lulav indicates
that the Mitzvos of Sukos have passed, including the Mitzvah to live in the
Sukah. Since no one is in the Sukah anymore, it is now the time for rains.
(DIKDUKEI SOFRIM 3a, #400).
(c) RABEINU CHANANEL, RABEINU GERSHOM, and the RITVA have an entirely
different understanding of the Gemara. They say that the inference of the
Gemara is not that we begin saying the Hazkarah for rain near the time that
we need rain, but rather, since the Mishnah mentions the Halachah of
Hazkarah near the Halachah of She'eilah (the petition for rain), it must be
that we begin reciting both of them on the same day.
According to this explanation, the Mishnah cannot be according to Rebbi
Yehoshua of the Mishnah, nor like Rebbi Eliezer of the Mishnah, because
according to both of them, the first time we say the Hazkarah is on Yom Tov
(either the first day of Yom Tov or the last day), and She'eilah is not said
on Yom Tov! Therefore, the Gemara says that the Mishnah must be like Rebbi
Yehoshua of the Beraisa, who says that the first day that we mention
Hazkarah is the seventh day of Sukos, which is Chol ha'Mo'ed (Hoshanah
Rabah), when we recite the weekday Shemoneh Esreh and thus it is possible to
say the She'eilah for rain.
(d) The GILYON HA'SHAS quotes the SEFER HA'MACHRI'A of the RI'AZ, who
deletes the words "mi'She'as Hanachaso" from the Gemara because of this
problem. According to his Girsa, the Gemara is indeed referring to Rebbi
Yehoshua of the Mishnah.
2) "HAZKARAH" AS A "RITZUY" FOR "SHE'EILAH"
QUESTION: The Gemara points out a contradiction in the opinion of Rebbi
Yehudah. In the first Mishnah (2a), he says that we stop saying the Hazkarah
for rain at Musaf of the first day of Pesach. In the next Mishnah (5a),
though, Rebbi Yehudah says that we ask for rain "until Pesach passes," and
if we say the She'eilah for rain through Pesach, then certainly we also say
the Hazkarah. (The Gemara takes it for granted that Hazkarah is said more
frequently than She'eilah, since it is said on the last day of Yom Tov of
Sukos although She'eilah is not said until the following weekday. Therefore,
if She'eilah is said throughout the entire Pesach then certainly Hazkarah
should be said throughout Pesach.)
3) SAYING "HAZKARAH" WHENEVER "SHE'EILAH" IS SAID
Several answers are given to resolve this contradiction. Rabah's answer is
that when Rebbi Yehudah in the second Mishnah says that we ask for rain
until Pesach passes, he means until the time of *Shechitas ha'Pesach*
(slaughtering the Korban Pesach) passes, which is the day before Pesach.
Rebbi Yehudah is saying that Erev Pesach is when we stop asking for rain.
The Hazkarah, though, continues through Shacharis of the first day of Yom
Tov, even though the She'eilah stopped the day before.
Abaye challenges Rabah's answer and says that there is no point in saying
Hazkarah once She'eilah is no longer being said, because the whole purpose
of Hazkarah is to serve as a Ritzuy, a praise of appeasement to Hashem,
before She'eilah in which we ask Hashem for rain. If we are not going to be
asking Hashem for rain, then there is no point in saying the Hazkarah!
From a simple reading of the Gemara, it seems that when Rabah suggests that
She'eilah stops after Erev Pesach, it means that we stop saying She'eilah
*Ma'ariv* of the night following Erev Pesach (that is, Ma'ariv of the first
day of Yom Tov of Pesach), while Hazkarah continues until the following
morning, until the Musaf prayer. This is indeed how RABEINU GERSHOM and
RABEINU CHANANEL explain the Gemara.
However, RASHI (DH Ad sh'Ya'avor) explains that what Rabah meant was that
She'eilah stops after *Shacharis* of Erev Pesach; at Minchah of Erev Pesach
we no longer say She'eilah. Why did Rashi not explain simply that She'eilah
continues through Minchah of Erev Pesach and stops only at Ma'ariv? Why
should She'eilah stop at Minchah of Erev Pesach? (GEVUROS ARI)
(a) The GEVUROS ARI suggests that Rashi's source for asserting that,
according to Rabah, we stop She'eilah at Minchah of Erev Pesach is as
follows. If we continue She'eilah right until the Ma'ariv of the first day
of Pesach, why did Rebbi Yehudah say that She'eilah is said "until [the time
for Shechitah of the] Pesach passes?" He should have said simply, "Until the
first day of Yom Tov Pesach!" Why did Rebbi Yehudah make the time of the
Korban Pesach, and not the day of Yom Tov itself, the reference for when we
stop saying She'eilah? It must be that he holds that we stop She'eilah even
before Yom Tov arrives -- at Minchah of Erev Pesach.
(b) We might add that there is clear support in the Gemara for Rashi's
explanation of the Sugya.
What exactly does it mean that Hazkarah is a "Ritzuy" (praise of
appeasement) for She'eilah? There are two ways to understand it. First, it
could be that the Hazkarah is preparatory to the She'eilah which we will ask
at a later date. As such, we must say Hazkarah only if there is She'eilah on
the *following* day. Alternatively, it could mean that Hazkarah is a Ritzuy
for the She'eilah that we will ask *on that very day* -- that is, each day's
Hazkarah is an appeasement for that day's She'eilah. If so, even if there is
no She'eilah on the following day but there is She'eilah today, Hazkarah may
be said as appeasement.
Second, is it appropriate to mention Hazkarah as an appeasement only if one
is actually going to *say* the Berachah of She'eilah and ask for rain, or is
it an appeasement for Hashem to send rain during the rainy season, whether
or not we actually ask for rain on that day (for instance on Shabbos and Yom
Tov, when we cannot ask for rain)?
We can deduce from our Gemara that the latter two choices are correct.
Hazkarah is an appeasement even for the same day's She'eilah, and it is
appropriate to mention appeasement even if we do not actually *ask* for
rain, but we need rain that day. This is evident from the Gemara's
conclusion, which accepts Ula's suggestion that Rebbi Yehudah in the first
Mishnah argues with Rebbi Yehudah in the second Mishnah, and that he holds
that Hazkarah is continued until after Shacharis of the first day of Pesach.
She'eilah, though, has not been mentioned since the last weekday Minchah
before that (Minchah of Erev Pesach). How can we mention Hazkarah after
She'eilah is no longer said -- Hazkarah is only mentioned as "Ritzuy
She'eilah," an appeasement for asking for rain! It must be that since we
*would have* asked for rain today had it not been Yom Tov, it is appropriate
to mention Hazkarah as appeasement. In the same vein, it is evident from
here that even though we will not need rain any more tomorrow (the first day
of Chol ha'Mo'ed), it is appropriate to mention Hazkarah today.
If this is true (that a Ritzuy may be said if there exists the potential to
say She'eilah), then what is the Gemara's question when it asks on Rabah
(who says that Hazkarah is until after the passing of the Korban Pesach)
that there is no point in saying Hazkarah on the first day of Yom Tov since
there is no She'eilah on that day? Since the first day of Yom Tov is a day
that we still need rain, and potentially could have She'eilah (had it not
been Yom Tov), we should certainly mention Hazkarah as appeasement! What,
then, is the Gemara's question on Rabah?
From here Rashi deduced that according to Rabah, the first day of Yom Tov is
*not* a time of potential She'eilah, since *we already stopped saying
She'eilah* before Yom Tov, during Minchah of Erev Yom Tov. This is Rashi's
proof that according to Rabah She'eilah stops the Minchah before Yom Tov.
Because we have stopped asking for rain even on a weekday, we have made it
clear that it is no longer a time that is *fit* for She'eilah! (This is
explanation is implicit in Rashi DH Aval Sofo.)
RABEINU GERSHOM and RABEINU CHANANEL, who argue with Rashi on this point (as
mentioned above). According to their explanation of the Sugya, that Rabah
also says there is She'eilah until Yom Tov, why is Ula's answer for Rebbi
Yehudah any better than Rabah's? According to Ula, also, there is still
Ritzuy on a day when no She'eilah is said (or will be said), since the last
Hazkarah is on Yom Tov morning!
Rabeinu Gershom says that although the Gemara concludes like Ula that the
two Mishnayos argue about the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah, nevertheless Rebbi
Yehudah of the first Mishnah (2a) holds that there *is* She'eilah on the
first day of Chol ha'Mo'ed Pesach, and that is why there is Ritzuy on the
first day of Pesach -- it is for the She'eilah of the following day. (If so,
when the Gemara said "if we begin saying Hazkarah before She'eilah (at the
end of Sukos), then certainly whenever we say She'eilah we should also say
Hazkarah," it did not mean that we must say Hazkarah every day that we say
She'eilah, including the last day of She'eilah. Rather, it means that we say
Hazkarah until the day *before* the last day of She'eilah. But on the last
day of She'eilah there is no Kal v'Chomer binding us to say Hazkarah,
because no Ritzuy is necessary on the last day (since there will be no
She'eilah on the following day). (M. Kornfeld)
QUESTION: Rebbi Yochanan says that the Halachah is like Rebbi Yehudah -- we
begin saying the Hazkarah for rain on the last day of Yom Tov (Shemini
Atzeres), at Musaf. The Gemara asks how can Rebbi Yochanan rule like Rebbi
Yehudah, when Rebbi Elazar rules like Raban Gamliel, who says that we begin
reciting the She'eilah for rain on the seventh of Marcheshvan (and not at
Musaf of Shemini Atzeres).
The Gemara first answers that there is no question, because the two rulings
were stated by two different people -- we cannot ask a question on the
ruling of Rebbi Yochanan from a ruling of Rebbi Elazar.
The Gemara gives a second answer and says that Rebbi Elazar's ruling does
not contradict Rebbi Yochanan's, because the topic of Rebbi Elazar's ruling
is She'eilah, while Rebbi Yochanan's ruling is dealing with Hazkarah. In
response, the Gemara asks that Rebbi Yochanan says elsewhere that whenever
we say She'eilah, we also say Hazkarah.
The simple understanding of the Gemara's question is that the Gemara is
asking how can Rebbi Yochanan rule like Raban Gamliel with regard to
She'eilah, that we begin saying She'eilah on the seventh of MarCheshvan, and
at the same time rule like Rebbi Yehudah, that we begin saying Hazkarah on
the last day of Yom Tov, two weeks earlier? Rebbi Yochanan holds that
Hazkarah and She'eilah are always said together! Therefore, the Gemara is
rejecting the answer that Rebbi Yochanan agrees with Rebbi Elazar, and that
Rebbi Elazar was referring to She'eilah while Rebbi Yochanan was referring
to Hazkarah. This is indeed the approach of RABEINU GERSHOM and RABEINU
RASHI, however, explains the Gemara differently. Rashi says that the
Gemara's question is how can Rebbi Yochanan rule that we start saying
Hazkarah at Musaf on the last day of Yom Tov, if we cannot say She'eilah on
Yom Tov (since we do not recite the weekday Shemoneh Esreh then).
Rashi's explanation is difficult to understand for a number of reasons.
First, why does Rashi not explain simply that the Gemara is challenging the
previous answer of the Gemara, which tried to show how Rebbi Yochanan could
agree with Rebbi Elazar's ruling? According to Rashi's explanation, the
Gemara's question has nothing to do with the previous answer, or with Rebbi
Elazar's ruling. The Gemara is ignoring Rebbi Elazar altogether and asking
on Rebbi Yochanan's own ruling -- how can he rule like Rebbi Yehudah if we
cannot say She'eilah on Yom Tov, on the day that we say Hazkarah. Why does
Rashi veer from the simple explanation?
Second, the Gemara answers its question on Rebbi Yochanan by saying that
"b'Hafsakah Itmar." When Rebbi Yochanan said that Hazkarah and She'eilah
must be said together, he was referring to when we *stop* saying them (on
Erev Pesach). According to Rashi, this must mean that we stop saying the
Hazkarah for rain in the last Shemoneh Esreh of Erev Pesach (which is
Minchah) according to Rebbi Yochanan, and we no longer saying Hazkarah at
Ma'ariv that night, the first night of Yom Tov (because there is no
She'eilah on Yom Tov).
According to this answer of the Gemara, even though Rebbi Yochanan rules
like Rebbi Yehudah, he only meant to rule like Rebbi Yehudah concerning when
to *start* saying the Hazkarah, but not when to *stop* saying it, because
Rebbi Yochanan maintains that we stop saying Hazkarah a day earlier (at
Minchah on Erev Pesach) than Rebbi Yehudah holds (at Shacharis on Pesach).
This is an original opinion, and there is no Tana that holds of such an
opinion! Why does Rashi force himself to create a new opinion? (REBBI AKIVA
EIGER; see also RASHASH)
According to the simple explanation (that of Rabeinu Chananel), the first
day of Pesach is considered a day on which She'eilah is said (at least in
potential), and thus it fulfills Rebbi Yochanan's requirement of saying
Hazkarah whenever She'eilah is said (since it is a potential day of
She'eilah, for it is only the fact that it is Yom Tov and no weekday
Shemoneh Esreh is recited that prevents us from saying She'eilah in
practice). The Gemara's question is that Rebbi Yochanan rules that we say
Hazkarah on the last day of Yom Tov (Sukos), but we only begin saying
She'eilah on the *seventh of Marcheshvan*.
ANSWER: Rashi does not explain like Rabeinu Chananel because he found the
question of the Gemara to be very perplexing. How could the Gemara consider
it to be a contradiction if Rebbi Yochanan rules one way and Rebbi Elazar
rules another way? There is no reason why their two views have to agree, and
they may argue like any other Machlokes! The Gemara's first response to this
question is correct -- we cannot ask a question on Rebbi Yochanan's ruling
from a ruling of Rebbi Elazar!
In addition, the second answer that the Gemara gives is also an obviously
correct statement: Rebbi Elazar is discussing only She'eilah, and not
Hazkarah. But the Gemara's next question does not make sense, when it asks
how can Rebbi Yochanan say that we must say Hazkarah on the same day that we
say She'eilah, if he holds like Rebbi Elazar that She'eilah begins only on
the seventh of Marcheshvan (two weeks after we start saying Hazkarah). What
is the Gemara asking? The Gemara seems to be doubted its assertion a few
lines earlier that we cannot ask a contradiction on Rebbi Yochanan's ruling
from Rebbi Elazar! Yet there is no apparent reason for the Gemara to be
concerned that the two opinions be in agreement.
For this reason, Rashi explains that the Gemara is asking a question on
Rebbi Yochanan from his own statement, and not from Rebbi Elazar's
statement. The Gemara is asking how can Rebbi Yochanan rule like Rebbi
Yehudah, if Rebbi Yochanan himself maintains that Hazkarah and She'eilah
must always be said together? According to Rebbi Yehudah, Hazkarah begins a
day before She'eilah! (M. Kornfeld)
Rabeinu Chananel, on the other hand, holds that it makes sense to ask a
contradiction from a statement of Rebbi Elazar to a statement of Rebbi
Yochanan, because Rebbi Elazar was a close disciple of Rebbi Yochanan and it
is assumed all of his rulings reflected those of his mentor (as the Gemara
says of Rebbi Elazar in Yevamos 96b, Shekalim 11a). This is indeed the way
the RITVA (10a) explains our Sugya. Rashi, though, does not follow this
approach, either because his Girsa was that the Gemara asked a contradiction
between Rav *Chisda* and Rebbi Yochanan, not Rebbi Elazar and Rebbi Yochanan
(see Ritva, ibid.) or else because the Gemara here does not mention that
Rebbi Elazar was a disciple of Rebbi Yochanan and that he should have ruled
like his teacher. (See MITZPEH EISAN and MAR'EH KOHEN. See also REBBI AKIVA
EIGER who explains how what Rashi wrote earlier on the page DH b'Makom
she'Eino Sho'el is based on his opinion here as well.)