(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

Previous daf

Ta'anis 4

TA'ANIS 2-5 sponsored by a generous grant from an anonymous donor. Kollel Iyun Hadaf is indebted to him for his encouragement and support and prays that Hashem will repay him in kind.



(a) Rava compares a Tzurva de'Rabbanan to grains below the surface of the ground - because, like grains, which, once they begin to sprout, do not stop until they have grown completely, so too, the budding Talmid-Chacham, once he starts to make a name for himself, he will continue to grow until he reaches the top.


1. Rava says that when a Tzurva de'Rabbanan becomes angry - it is due to the Torah that he has acquired, which is compared to fire. Consequently, one should take this into account and judge him favorably ('Dan le'Kaf Z'chus').
2. Rav Ashi says - that a Talmid-Chacham who is not hard like iron is not a Talmid-Chacham (this probably means that he is intolerant of evil - see next answer) .
1. Rav Ashi learns from the Pasuk in Yirmiyah "u'che'Patish Yefotzetz Sela" - that a Talmid-Chacham should be hard like iron that breaks up the rock (symbolizing the powers of evil) into fragments.
2. Ravina learns from the Pasuk in Koheles "ve'Haser Ka'as mi'Lib'cha - that, in spite of that, he should train himself to overcome the bad characteristic of anger.
(a) Eliezer Eved Avraham, Shaul ben Kish and Yiftach ha'Gil'adi - all made requests or promises that were potentially harmful in their ambiguity.


1. ... Eliezer - prayed to Hashem to send a Shiduch for Yitzchak, in the form of whichever girl responds to his request for water, by watering him and his camels. Now what if she had been lame or blind and he didn't realize it (see Tosfos DH 'Yachol')?
2. ... Shaul - declared that whoever would kill Goli'as would, in addition to other rewards, receive his daughter's hand in marriage. What if he would be a slave or a Mamzer?
3. ... Yiftach - made a vow that, if he won the war against Midian, then, upon his return, he would give to Hashem, the first one to leave the doors of his house to meet him. And what if it would be a non-Kasher animal?
(c) The Pasuk in Yirmiyah "ha'Tzari Ein be'Gil'ad, ha'Rofei Ein Sham" - refers to Pinchas ha'Kohen, who was the Gadol ha'Dor, and to whom *Yiftach* should have turned to ask *him* to release his vow (that resulted in the death of his daughter), but he waited for *Pinchas* to come to *him*. Similarly, when Pinchas saw Yiftach's predicament, *he* should have taken the initiative to go to Yiftach. Instead, he too, waited for *Yiftach* to come to *him*.
(a) Another Pasuk in Yirmiyah writes "Asher Lo Tzivisi, ve'Lo Dibarti ve'Lo Alsah al Libi".
1. "Asher Lo Tzivisi" - refers to Meisha King of Mo'av, who sacrificed his first-born son, albeit in the Name of Hashem (according to one opinion in Sanhedrin).
2. "ve'Lo Dibarti" - refers to the above episode of Yiftach. From the fact that Hashem complained about Yiftach and Pinchas, we see that He was dissatisfied with what Yiftach did. (Note: The Tanchuma switches "Asher Lo Tzivisi" and "ve'Lo Dibarti", because it is to Yiftach (a Jew) that Hashem issued commandments (though not *this* particular one), not to Meisha (a Nochri).
3. "ve'Lo Alsah al Libi" - refers to Akeidas Yitzchak, which Hashem never intended Avraham to carry through to the end (only as a test, to see how far he was willing to go).
(b) Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan not include in his list ...
1. ... Kaleiv, who promised his daughter to whoever would capture Kiryas Sefer (even a slave, even a Mamzer!) - because he explains the capture of Kiryas Sefer as a reference to the restoration of the three thousand Halachos that were forgotten during the mourning period of Moshe Rabeinu.
2. ... Gid'on, who asked Hashem to remove dew from the earth for a whole night - because dew not falling for one night cannot cause much harm.
(a) According to Rebbi Berechyah, K'lal Yisrael did not ask correctly, either. In their quest to know Him, they asked that He should come to them like rain - but rain is not always needed (as we learned earlier, in the summer, it is a sign of curse).

(b) Hashem therefore answered them - that He would be for them (not like rain, but) like dew, which is always needed.

(c) Asking Hashem to place them like a seal next to His heart on His arm was not a wise request either - because that is a part of the body which is not always visible (when a person is dressed, one does not see his arm next to the heart), implying that Hashem would not always see their troubles.

(d) Hashem answered them - that He would place them like a seal on the palm of His Hand (a spot which is always visible).

(a) 'One only asks for rain close to the rain season'. If the Tana of our Mishnah is referring to 'Mashiv ha'Ru'ach', the author of the Mishnah will have to be Rebbi Yehoshua - because it is *he* who says in the Beraisa that we mention rain as soon as we put down the Lulav (but not earlier, like Rebbi Eliezer does).

(b) So we explain that, when the Tana says '*asks* for rain', that is exactly what he means - in that case, the Tana could even be Rebbi Eliezer, who will agree that, although one *mentions* rain from the beginning of Sukos, one only *asks* for it closer to the rain season.




(a) According to Rebbi Meir in the next Mishnah, one continues to ask for rain until the end of Nisan. Rebbi Yehudah says - until the *end of Pesach*.

(b) Rebbi Yehudah seemingly contradicts his ruling in the first Mishnah - where he said that the *Ba'al Musaf on the *first* day of Pesach no longer says 'Mashiv ha'Ru'ach ... '.

(c) Rav Chisda tries to reconcile Rebbi Yehudah's two statements by differentiating between *asking* for rain (until the end of Nisan) and just *mentioning* it (which one stops already at Musaf of the first day). Ula however, describes Rav Chisda's words as being "like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes" - because, if, when one does *not* yet ask for rain (on Shemini Atzeres - since Birchas ha'Shanim is not said), one nevertheless mentions it, how much more so when one *does* ask, that one should also mention it.

(d) Ula therefore reconciles Rebbi Yehudah's two statements - by establishing a Machlokes Tana'im in what Rebbi Yehudah actually said.

(a) Rav Yosef tries to answer that when Rebbi Yehudah in the next Mishnah says that one asks for rain 'Ad she'Ya'avor Pesach', he means until the first Shatz (the Ba'al Shachris) passes before the Amud on the first day of Pesach. Abaye objects on the grounds that one does not say Birchas ha'Shanim on the first day of Pesach, so how can the Ba'al Shachris ask for rain then?

(b) And he also rejects the suggestion that it is the translator who asks for rain - because, he contends, why would the translator ask for something that the community does not need.

(c) Rabah answers that by 'after Pesach', Rebbi Yehudah means until after the time of the *Shechitas* ha'Pesach. According to him, one would stop ...

  1. ... asking for rain - as from Minchah of Erev Pesach (when he would no longer ask for it in Birchas ha'Shanim).
  2. ... mentioning rain - as from Shachris on the following day.
(d) Abaye however, refutes that answer too (leaving us with only the answer of Ula to reconcile Rebbi Yehudah's two statements) - because what is the point of *mentioning* rain if we are no longer going to *ask* for it (seeing as the mention of rain is a sort of prelude to asking for it; it may well precede it - like it does on Shemini Atzeres, but can under no circumstances be said once one no longer asks for it).
(a) According to the Tana Kama in a Mishnah later, one begins to ask for rain on the third of Mar-Cheshvan - Raban Gamliel says on the seventh.

(b) Rebbi Elazar rule in this regard - like Raban Gamlilel.

(c) We ask on this from Rebbi Asi Amar Rebbi Yochanan, who rules like Rebbi Yehudah (that one begins mentioning rain at Musaf of Shemini Atzeres at the first possible opportunity - immedaitely after the Chag). Rebbi Asi refutes the Kashya on the grounds of 'Gavra a'Gavra ka'Ramis'? (How can one ask from a ruling of Rebbi Elazar on a ruling of Rebbi Yochanan)?

(d) We initially try to reconcile Rebbi Elazar's ruling with that of Rebbi Asi Amar Rebbi Yochanan by establishing the *former* with regard to *asking* for rain (which we begin on the seventh of Mar-Cheshvan - like Raban Gamliel), and the *latter* to *mentioning* it (which we begin at Musaf of Shemini Atzeres - like Rebbi Yehudah).

(a) We refute the previous explanation on the basis of Rebbi Yochanan, who said 'be'Makom she'Sho'eil, Mazkir', which we know, he said with regard to Tishri as well as to Nisan - because, in another statement, he specifically said that when one begins to mention one begins to ask, and when one stops asking, one stops mentioning.

(b) So we reconcile Rebbi Elazar's ruling (like Rebbi Yehudah) with that of Rebbi Yochanan, who rules like Raban Gamliel, with the words 'Ha Lan, Ha Lehu' - meaning that Rebbi Yochanan was referring to the B'nei Bavel, who had produce and fruit lying in the fields for the entire month of Tishri. Therefore one only begins mentioning rain as well asking for it on the seventh of Mar-Cheshvan (when rain will no longer be a threat to them). Whereas Rav Yehudah Amar Rav is speaking about the B'nei Eretz Yisrael, who gather their fruit into the barn in the month of Tishri. They can therefore begin mentioning rain already on Shemini Atzeres (and Rebbi Yochanan too, agrees with this ruling).

(c) Even if it were to rain, the B'nei Eretz Yisrael would have no problem with the people going home after Yom-Tov (as the B'nei Bavel with the fruit in their fields) - because Rav Yehudah Amar Rav's ruling refers to *after* the Churban Beis-Hamikdash.

(d) In that case, we may as well establish even Rebbi Yochanan in Eretz Yisrael - but whereas *he* is speaking about the time when the Beis- Hamikdash stood, Rav speaks about when it is destroyed.

(a) Rav maintains that, according to Rebbi Yehudah, in Chutz la'Aretz, one begins to say 'Mashiv ha'Ru'ach' at Musaf of Shemini Atzeres, and stops at Minchah, to start saying it permanently on Simchas Torah.

(b) Shmuel objects on the grounds that - once one has declared Shemini Atzeres, Kodesh (the eighth day - by saying Mashiv ha'Ruach at Musaf), how can retract and call it Chol (by not saying it at Minchah, as if it was the *seventh* day)?

(c) Shmuel therefore says that one should say Mashiv ha'Ru'ach at Minchah too, and then stop saying it from Ma'ariv of Simchas Torah until Musaf (in the same way as they did on Shemini Atzeres).

(d) Rava however, concludes, that once one has begun saying 'Mashiv ha'Ru'ach', one does not stop. Consequently, they begin saying it at Musaf of Shemini Atzeres and continue saying it until Pesach. Rav actually retracted form his original opinion, and said that one counts twenty-one days from Rosh Hashanah (i.e. until Hashanah Rabah and then one begins saying 'Mashiv ha'Ru'ach'), and, having begun, one does not stop.

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,