ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafTa'anis 7
TA'ANIS 6 & 7 - dedicated by Dovid and Zahava Rubner of Petach Tikva l'Iluy
Nishmas his late mother, Mrs. Seren Rubner. May Hashem grant all of her
offspring with joy, fulfillment, and all that they need!
(a) The day of rain is greater than that of the revival of the dead -
inasmuch as the revival of the dead is confined to Tzadikim (those who merit
it), whereas the day of rain is for everybody regardless of merit.
(b) Rav Yosef disagrees with Rebbi Avahu, the author of the previous
statement. According to him, Chazal inserted 'Mashiv ha'Ru'ach' in the
B'rachah of Techi'as ha'Meisim, because it is *like* Techi'as ha'Meisim (but
(c) Rav Yehudah compares the day of rain to the day on which Torah was given
to Yisrael. Rava disagrees with him - because the Torah writes in ve'Zos
ha'B'rachah "Ya'arof ka'Matar *Likchi*" ("My Lekach will fall like rain" -
and we derive from the Pasuk in Mishlei "Ki *Lekach* Tov Nasati Lachem",
that Lekach pertains to Torah), and a comparison of this nature usually
denotes comparing the *less* significant ("My Torah") to the *more*
significant ("like rain").
(d) Rava explains the two seemingly contradictory phrases "Ya'arof ka'Matar
Likchi" and "Tizal ka'Tal Imrasi" like this: If he is a worthy, respectable
Talmid-Chacham (who will study Torah Lishmah), be gentle with him like dew,
but if not, then turn your back on him (see Agados Maharsha).
(a) Rebbi Ban'ah learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Eitz Chayim Hi la'Machazikim Bah" (Mishlei) - that with regard to
people who study Torah Lishmah (for the sake of fulfilling what is written
in it), Torah becomes a balm of life.
(b) Rebbi Zeira declined to learn Torah with Rebbi Yirmiyah - because he was
2. ... "Ya'arof ka'Matar Likchi" - that if they study it for ulterior
motives, it becomes a source of death (because 'Arifah' means to kill - like
in the Pasuk "*ve'Arfu* Sham es ha'Eglah ba'Nachal").
(c) He did however, condescend to say a piece of Agadah. He explained the
strange Pasuk in Ki Seitzei "Ki ha'Adam Eitz ha'Sadeh" with the seemingly
contradictory Pesukim there "Ki Mimenu Sochel, ve'Oso Lo Sichros" and "Oso
Sashchis ve'Charata" - that if he is a worthy Talmid-Chacham (who learns
Torah Lishmah - Maharsha), then eat from him (learn from him). Otherwise,
destroy him and cut him down.
(a) Rebbi Chama bar Chanina learns from the Pasuk in Mishlei (bearing in
mind that most Pesukim there refer to Torah or Talmidei-Chachamim) "Barzel
be'Barzel Naga'u" - that just as one piece of metal sharpens the other, so
too, does one Talmid-Chacham sharpen the other in Halachah.
(b) Rabah bar bar Chanah learns the same thing from Yirmiyah ha'Navi's
comparison of Torah to fire - because one fire-brand on its own cannot
create a fire. It is only when there are many fire-brands burning together,
that each one helps the next to burn brightly, and it is between them, that
the fire is created.
(c) Rebbi Yossi bar Chanina learns from the Pasuk in Yirmiyah ...
1. ... "Cherev el ha'Badim" - that someone who learns on his own (in the
days when they had no Sefarim), deserves to be put to the sword.
(d) He learns from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "ve'*Noalu*" and "Asher *Noalnu*,
va'Asher Chatanu" - that, on account of that, he will put his mistakes into
practice, causing him to sin.
2. ... "ve'Noalu" - that he becomes foolish (because on his own, he stands
to misconstrue what he learns).
(a) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak learns from the Pasuk in Mishlei (comparing the
words of Torah to wood) "Eitz Chayim Hi" - that in the same way as small
sticks of wood kindle the larger ones, so too, do the smaller Talmidei-
Chachamim sharpen those who are more learned in Halachah.
(b) Rebbi Chanina said that he learned much from his Rebbes, even more from
his colleagues, and most of all from his Talmidim.
(c) One ...
1. ... brings 'water' to the thirsty Talmid (i.e. it is a Mitzvah for the
*Rav* to go and learn with *him*) - if he is worthy (i.e. if he wants to
learn from the Rav); if he is not, then it is *he* (the Talmid) who must go
to the 'water'.
(d) According to Rebbi Chanina bar Idi, Yeshayah compares words of Torah to
water (in the Pasuk "Hoi Kol Tzamei Lechu le'Mayim") - because Torah only
lasts by a person who is humble, just like water will always leave a high
spot to go to a low one.
2. ... teaches (the secrets of) Torah to a Talmid who is worthy; if he is
*not*, then one should best keep them to oneself.
(a) In another Pasuk, he compares Torah to wine and milk as well - because
just as these three liquids will only last in (cheap) earthenware vessels,
but not in (expensive) gold ones, so too will Torah only remain in a person
who is humble.
(b) Rebbi Yehoshua was not a good-looking man. When the emperor's daughter
expressed surprise that so much wisdom should exist in such an ugly
receptacle - he responded by suggesting that she move all her father's wine
from the earthenware vessels where they were being stored, to gold and
silver ones (as befits such a precious commodity as wine).
(c) When the wine turned sour, and the emperor demanded an explanation as to
why he had instructed his daughter to move the wine to gold and silver
barrels - Rebbi Yehoshua replied that it was his daughter herself who had
expressed the theory that the more precious a commodity, the more expensive
the container ought to be.
(d) Rebbi Yehoshua then explained that it is not because a person is good-
looking that he cannot learn - but that if he would be ugly, he would learn
still better (because good looks breeds vanity).
(a) The second reason for the Navi's comparison of words of Torah to water,
wine and milk - is that, in the same way as one only needs to turn away for
a moment, and these liquids will become spoilt, by means of a foreign
element falling into them, so too, one only needs to turn away from Torah
for a brief moment, and one's Torah will become spoilt, contaminated by
Rav Tanchum bar Chanilai learns from the Pasuk in Tehilim "Ratzisa Hashem
Artzecha (with rain) ... Nasasa Avon Amecha ... " - that Hashem only sends
rain after having forgiven Yisrael's sins.
(b) He compare them to those three liquids rather than to oil or honey -
because oil or honey, due to their density, do not spoil so easily; when a
foreign element falls into them, it remains on top, from where it can be
(c) Rav Chama b'Rebbi Chanina learns from the Pasuk in Yeshayah where, in
the same Pasuk in which he refers to the creation of heaven and earth, the
Navi writes "Ani Hashem Berasi*v*" (in the singular) - that Hashem is happy
with the creation of the rain (to which "Berasi*v*" refers, like He was with
the creation of heaven and birth).
(d) It is salvation - that sprouts and flourishes on the day of rain.
(a) Rav Tanchum B'rei de'Rebbi Chiya Ish K'far Ako learns from a Pasuk in
Iyov, and Ze'iri from Dihavas from the Pasuk in Eikev "ve'Atzar es
ha'Shamayim ... va'Avadtem Meheirah" - that if Hashem withholds rain from
the world, it is because Yisrael deserve to be destroyed.
(b) Tana de'Bei Rebbi Yishmael explains the Pasuk in Iyov "Tziyah Gam Chom
Yigzalu mi'Yemei Sheleg" - to mean that Hashem stops the rain ("Yemei
Sheleg" refers to the rain season) because they nullified the Terumos and
Ma'asros that Hashem had commanded them in the summer.
(c) According to Rebbi Shimon ben Pazi - the north-wind cancels the rain
when the faces are angry (because of the Lashon ha'Ra that was spoken about
them - "Lashon Seiser").
1. Rav Hamnuna learns (the fourth reason) from the Pasuk "va'Yimna Revivim,
u'Malkosh Lo Hayah Lach, u'Metzach Ishah Zonah Hayah Lach, *Me'anta
Hikalem*" - that the rain is stopped only because of Chutzpah.
(b) Rav Huna adds that one is permitted to hate someone who has Chutzpah
(despite the injunction of "ve'Ahavta le'Rei'acha Kamocha"). Rav Nachman bar
Yitzchak goes even further - he even permits calling him a Rasha (even
though one would normally be permitted to retaliate by interfering with his
2. He learns from "va'Yimna Revivim, u'Malkosh Lo Hayah Lach, *u'Metzach
Ishah Zonah Hayah Lach* ... " - that Chutzpah leads to adultery.
3. Rav Nachman learns from the fact that Yirmiyah uses the past tense
("Hayah Lach") - that if someone has Chutzpah, then we can be sure that he
already committed adultery.
1. Rav Ketina explains the Pasuk in Koheles "ba'Atzaltayim Yimach
ha'Mekareh" to mean - that when Yisrael are lazy and fail to study Torah
(the fifth reason), they make Hashem poor (Kevayachol), depriving Him of the
ability of sending rain.
2. Tana de'Bei Rebbi Yishmael explains the Pasuk in Iyov "ve'Atah Lo Ra'u Or
(Torah), Bahir Hu ba'Shechakim ve'Ru'ach Avrah u'Tehartem" to mean - that
when Yisrael fail to study Torah, then, even when there are clouds in the
sky, the wind will come and blow them away.
(a) Rav Ami learns from a Pasuk in Iyov that the rain is stopped, is because
of the sin of theft (the sixth reason). The antidote is written there too.
"ve'Yatz'u Aleha be'Mafgi'a" - Tefilah.
(b) The seventh reason, based on the Pasuk "ve'Hu Lo Panim Kilkel" - is
because of the many sins of the generation.
(c) The antidote, based on the continuation of the Pasuk "ve'Chayalim
Yigaber" - is Tefilas Rabim (communal prayer - see Agados Maharsha).
(d) We learn from the final words in the Pasuk "ve'Yisron Hachsher Chochmah"
- that, had they not sinned in the first place, it would have been better
still (there would have been even more rain).