ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafTa'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
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')?
(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*.
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?
(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
(b) Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan not include in his list
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
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).
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
(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 ...
(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).
- ... asking for rain - as from Minchah of Erev Pesach (when he would no longer ask for it in Birchas ha'Shanim).
- ... mentioning rain - as from Shachris on the following day.
(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
(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.