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Ta'anis 16

TA'ANIS 16 (11 Elul) - dedicated to the memory of Chana (Birnbaum) bas Reb Chaim, on the day of her Yarzeit.


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 burned. 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!


(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.

(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 ORAH, YA'AVETZ)

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.")

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.

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, RASHASH)

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 Beraisa.

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. Kornfeld)

(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 above reason.

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!


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.

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 the Mikdash?

(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 -- M. Kornfeld)

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 Berachah.

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 -- Ritva.)

(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.

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