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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Ta'anis 9

TA'ANIS 9 (4 Elul) - has been dedicated in honor of the Yarzeit of Chaim Yissachar (ben Yaakov) Smulewitz by his daughter and son in law, Jeri & Eli Turkel of Raanana, Israel



(a) Rebbi Yochanan reads "Aser *Te'Aser*" as if it was written with a 'Shin' (rather than with a 'Sin' - "Aser Tisasher") - meaning 'Give Ma'aser (incorporating Tzedakah) in order to become rich' (See also Rabeinu Chananel).

(b) When Rebbi Yochanan told Resh Lakish's son to test Hashem and see whether He will not repay the Tzedakah that he gives, he asked him in surprise - whether one is permitted to test Hashem.

(c) Quoting the Pasuk in Mal'achi ...

1. ... "Ha'vi'u es Kol ha'Ma'aser el Beis ha'Otzar ... u'Vechanuni Na ba'Zos ... " - Rebbi Yochanan quoting Rebbe Hoshaya, replied that Tzedakah is the one area where testing Hashem is permitted.
2. ... "va'Harikosi Lachem Berachah *Ad B'li Dai*" - he explained that, even in such circumstances, Hashem will lavish the person who gives Tzedakah with so much good, that his lips will whither from saying 'enough'.
(d) The child's reaction to Rebbi Yochanan's answer was - that had he reached that point in T'nach (Mal'achi), he would not have needed Rebbi Yochanan or his Rebbe Rebbi Hoshaya.
(a) On another occasion, Rebbi Yochanan found the same child quoting the Pasuk in Mishlei "Aveles Adam Tesalef Darko, ve'El Hashem Yiz'af Libo" - which means that a person sins and causes Hashem to punish him, then he turns round and asks Hashem in anger why He did that.

(b) When Rebbi Yochanan asked him how it is possible for a Pasuk in Tenach to teach us something that is not even hinted in the Chumash - he replied that it *was* indeed mentioned in the Chumash; when Yosef's brothers discovered the money in their sacks, fearing it to be a libel, they said 'Why did Hashem do this to us'? As if *Hashem* was guilty, and *they* had done nothing wrong.

(c) When Rebbi Yochanan prised his eyes open to see the young prodigee, his mother quickly came and took him away - because she was afraid that he would do to her son the same as he did to her husband (whom he killed with an Ayin ha'Ra).

(a) Rebbi Yochanan learns from the Pasuk ...
  1. ... "Yiftach Hashem *Lecha* es Otzaro ha'Tov"- that Hashem will send rain, if need be, even for one person.
  2. ... "Hineni Mamtir *Lachem* Lechem min ha'Shamayim" - that He will only send Parnasah (in the form of a bountiful produce) for a community, but not for an individual.
(b) The three 'good sustainers' of Yisrael - were Moshe, Aharon and Miriam, who (through their merits) supplied Yisrael with the Man, the Clouds of glory and the roving well (respectively).

(c) "*va'Yir'u* Kol ha'Eidah Ki Gava Aharon" - should be explained as if it was written "*va'Yera'u* Kol ha'Eidah Ki Gava Aharon" - meaning "And the entire community *was seen* *because* Aharon died" (and the Cloud was subsequently removed), rather than "And the entire community *saw* *that* Aharon had died".

  1. When Miriam died, the Well returned on the merit of Aharon and of Moshe.
  2. When Moshe died, all three (the Well, the Clouds and the Man) continued to supply Yisrael with their needs on the merit of Moshe alone.
(b) Consequently, when the Pasuk in Zecharyah refers to the death of the three sustainers in one month (despite the fact that Miriam died in Nisan, Aharon in Av and Moshe in Adar) - it is referring, not to the day on which each of the, died, but to the month in which Moshe died, when the well, the Clouds and the Man ceased to function. That month (it is not clear why the Gemara says month and not day) was considered as if all three died at the same time.

(c) We can reconcile the fact that the source of Yisrael's sustenance came through the merit of Moshe alone, with Rebbi Yochanan's statement (in 3a. 2.) that sustenance only comes for a community [or on their merit]) by pointing out - that Moshe was different, because it was not for him alone that the Man fell, but for the whole of K'lal Yisrael (or that the merit of Moshe is not that of an individual, because Moshe was considered like the whole of Yisrael).

(a) When the three disciples of Rava died, they came before Rav Papa, to learn from him.

(b) After they began to make his life a misery with their questions (in the course of his Shiur), he dreamt about the Pasuk in Zecharyah which we have just been discussing "va'Achchid es Sheloshes ha'Ro'im be'Yerach Echad".

(c) When they took leave from him - he said to them 'Leizlu Rabanan *bi*'Shlom' (though to a live person one normally says '*li*'Shlom').

(d) When ...

1. ... Rav Shimi bar Ashi pestered Rav Papa with questions, Rav Papa fell on his face and asked Hashem to save him from the embarrassment of Rav Shimi bar Ashi (This can be an ominous sign for the person who is causing a Tzadik trouble, as we learned with regard to Rebbi Eliezer and Raban Gamliel).
2. ... Rav Shimi bar Ashi saw him doing that, he immediately stopped asking him.



(a) Resh Lakish also learns (like Rebbi Yochanan) that Hashem sends rain even for one individual, but from the Pasuk in Zecharyah "Geshem Yitein Lahem, *le'Ish*, Eisev ba'Sadeh". He learns from ...
  1. ... "ba'Sadeh" - that Hashem will even water just one field of his if necessary.
  2. ... "Eisev" - even just one blade of grass (i.e. a vegetable).
(b) Rav Daniel bar Ketina used to survey his vegetable garden each day and say 'This row needs water, that row needs water'. Sure enough, each day, rain would fall and water the designated row.

(c) In the same Pasuk, the Navi writes "Hashem Oseh Chazizim" - thin clouds beneath the thick ones (which presumably hold water for the needs of the individual rainfalls).

(a) 'Nehila' can come before the rain or after it. 'Nehila' - is thin clouds.

(b) Nehila ...

  1. ... before the rain - is a sign that good rain is about to fall.
  2. ... after the rain - that the rain is about to stop.
(c) Nehila before the rain is like a 'Mahulta', after the rain, it is like 'Charya de'Izi'.
  1. 'Mahulta' - is a sieve, through which first, the fine flour falls, and later, the bran.
  2. ... Charya de'Izi' - is the manure of goats, which first comes out thick, and then very thin, before fizzling out.
(a) When after seeing the rain-clouds, and warning the people to take their vessels into the house, no rain came - Ula commented that the Babylonians' rain is just like the Babylonians themselves; it lies! (see Agados Maharsha).

(b) When he saw that, in Bavel, one could obtain a basket-full of dates for a Zuz - he commented that if one could a basket-full of honey for just one Zuz, why did the Babylonians not (all) learn Torah?

(c) He soon changed his mind however - when his stomach began to churn that very same night. He then changed his tune and exclaimed his surprise that anyone in Bavel could learn Torah, seeing as that honey (because it was so cheap, and one ate so much of it) caused so much pain.

1. Rebbi Eliezer learns from the Pasuk "ve'Eid Ya'aleh *min ha'Aretz* ve'Hishkah es Kol P'nei ha'Adamah" - that the rain initially comes from the ground.
2. Rebbi Yehoshua learns from the Pasuk "li'M'tar ha'Shamayim Tishteh Mayim" - that it comes initially from the heaven.
(b) Rebbi Eliezer explains the fact that rain-water is sweet, whereas sea- water is salty (and in any event, the crops will not grow from salty water) - because, he says, the water becomes sweet in the clouds.

(c) Rebbi Yehoshua explains that the Pasuk "ve'Eid Ya'aleh *min ha'Aretz* ve'Hishkah es Kol P'nei ha'Adamah" - refers to the empty clouds, which ascend to the heaven where they receive the rain.

(a) We learn from the Pasuk "*Chashras* Mayim Abei Shechakim" - that the clouds act like a sieve, separating the rain-drops from one another (see Agados Maharsha).

(b) Only a hairsbreadth separates one rain-drop from the other.

(c) Rebbi Yochanan explains that "me'Aliyosav"( in the Pasuk in Tehilim "Mashkeh Harim me'Aliyosav") refers to the attics of Hashem, from where the rain comes. We would otherwise have explained it to mean - that Hashem sits in His attic and waters the mountains from the stock that is here on earth (like Rebbi Eliezer).

(d) We reconcile Rebbi Yochanan's explanation with Rebbi Eliezer - by explaining that, seeing as, when all's said and done, the water goes up to the heavens before coming down in the form of rain, David Hamelech is justified in referring to it as water from the attic.

(a) Rebbi Chanina, explains the Pasuk "Ko'nes ka'Neid Mei ha'Yam, Nosein be'Otzaros Tehomos" - to mean that it is the depths that cause the storehouses to become full of corn (like Rebbi Eliezer).

(b) According to Rebbi Yehoshua - the Pasuk refers to the creation of the world, when the water surrounded the earth, and Hashem collected it all into the area that He then called seas.

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