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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Ta'anis 12



(a) Rav Chisda says that, even those who hold that a part-time (morning) fast is considered a fast, that is only provided he then goes on to fast all day - on which Abaye asks, in that case, why should that not be considered a real fast?

(b) We answer that it speaks when he changed his mind - meaning that initially, he had not even meant to fast during the first half of the day either, but that, after something happened to prevent him from eating, he decided that he may as well turn the day into a fast-day.

(a) Rav Chisda requires one to fast until the end of sunset (i.e. nightfall).

(b) According to Rav Chisda ...

1. ... when the Mishnah in the second Perek states that the Kohanim and Levi'im who were serving in the Beis-Hamikdash fasted, but did not complete their fast - it is referring, not to the Mitzvah of fasting (from which they were absolved), but to the obligation of sharing in the suffering of the community at least to some extent.
2. ... the Beraisa, which quotes Rebbi Eliezer b'Rebbi Tzadok, whose family once fasted on Tish'ah be'Av that was postponed until Sunday, (because they descended from San'av ben Binyamin), but did not complete their fast - means exactly the same as we explained in the previous answer (that they wanted to share in the suffering of the community at least to some extent).
(c) Rebbi Eliezer b'Rebbi Tzadok's family was a descendent of San'av ben Binyamin - for whom the tenth of Av was a Yom-Tov, due to the fact that that was their day to donate fire-wood to the Beis-Hamikdash.

(d) In spite of the futility of fasting for part of the day only, Rebbi Yochanan would sometimes undertake to fast until he arrived home (even if that was in the middle of the day) - in order to avoid having to eat with the Nasi, who would invite him to join him for a meal (and for whatever reason, it did not suit him to do so).

(a) According to Shmuel, a fast that one did not undertake the day before, is not considered a fast. If one nevertheless went ahead and fasted - it is about as valuable as the air in a blown-up pair of bellows.

(b) According to Rav, one must accept the fast at the previous Minchah-time. Shmuel says - that one must actually accept it during Tefilas Minchah, at the end of the Amidah (or during 'Shomei'a Tefilah).

(c) Rav Yosef initially interprets the words (describing which fast over- rides the Yamim-Tovim listed in Megilas Ta'anis and which one does not) 'Mekadmas D'na Yeisir' - to mean that if one accepted the Neder to fast during Minchah (like Shmuel).

(d) Rav (who reads the word 'Ye'aser') - explains it to mean that he undertook to fast, whether it was during Tefilas Minchah or not.

(a) According to Rebbi, on all fast-days that begin in the morning, one is permitted to eat and drink until dawn-break; according to Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon - until the cock crows (even if this occurs before dawn- break).

(b) According to Abaye (or Rava), even Rebbi will agree - that once he has finished his meal, he is forbidden to eat again.

(c) The Beraisa, which says 'Gamar ve'Amad (from his meal), Harei Zeh Ochel' - speaks when he may have finished eating, but the table has not yet been removed (bearing in mind that, in former times, each person would eat by his own little table).

(d) Others quote Rava as saying that once he has *slept*, he is forbidden to eat when he wakes up. The Beraisa, which says 'Yashan ve'Amad (from his sleep), Harei Zeh Ochel' - speaks when he awoke from a doze, rather than from a sleep.

5) 'Misnamnem' means someone who is 'half-asleep', 'half-awake', who answers when he is called and can even answer simple questions regarding what he did, but who is not yet sufficiently wide-awake to give reasons as to why he did it.




(a) Someone who undertakes to fast a private fast is forbidden to wear shoes - because it is not certain whether he accepted to fast a Ta'anis Yachid (a private fast) or a Ta'anis Tzibur (i.e. with the stringencies of a Ta'anis Tzibur).

(b) One avoids this dilemma - by specifically undertaking to fast *a Ta'anis Yachid* (rather than just *to fast*).

(c) When the Rabbanan told Rav Sheishes that other Rabbanan wore shoes during a Ta'anis Tzibur - he was angry. 'Perhaps they also eat', he exclaimed!

(d) Rav Sheishes disagrees with Shmuel - who says that, with the exception of Tish'ah-be'Av, there is no Ta'anis Tzibur in Bavel (though nowadays we hold like Shmuel).

(a) Abaye and Rava used to wear lightweight shoes on a Ta'anis Tzibur - Mereimar and Mar Zutra used to switch their right and left shoes.

(b) The Rabbanan of Rav Ashi's Beis Hamedrash wore their shoes in the normal manner - because they held like Shmuel.

(a) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav said 'Loveh Adam Ta'aniso u'Porei'a' - meaning that someone who took upon himself a voluntary fast (though not particularly on *that* day), may eat in the course of the day and fulfill his obligation to fast on another day instead.

(b) When Shmuel heard this, according to ...

1. ... the first Lashon - he expressed surprise at Rav Yehudah Amar Rav's Din. Is it a Neder, he asked? The person undertook to cause himself pain; if he is able to do so, well and good; but if he is not, then why should he not be able to eat?
2. ... the second Lashon - he expressed surprise that it even needed to be said, since there is no reason for it to be any worse than a Neder, which a person may fulfill whenever it suits him.
(c) Rav Yehoshua Brei de'Rav Idi declined to eat by Rav Asi, because he had undertaken to fast. He did not 'borrow his fast' like Rav said - because the fast in question was a Ta'anis Chalom (due to a bad dream that he had dreamt the night before), and such a fast is effective only if one fasts immediately on the following day, but not if one postpones it.

(d) If he had the dream on Friday night - then he must fast immediately on Shabbos (for the fast to be effective).

(a) If the first set of public fast-days (after Rosh Chodesh Kislev) passed and no rain came, Beis-Din initiated three more public fasts. Besides the fact that they began already at night, the five other differences between the two sets of fasts are - that by the second set, work is forbidden, as is bathing anointing, wearing shoes and marital relations.

(b) If there was still no rain, they decreed seven more fast-days. On these - they also blew the Shofar and closed the shops.

(c) They partially-opened the shops close to nightfall - on Monday, but completely on Thursday (because of Kavod Shabbos).

(a) If, after these thirteen public fasts, there was still no rain, they initiated various stringencies. Besides cutting down on business ventures, building and planting trees (which will be explained later) - they also forbade betrothals, weddings and greeting people.

(b) The Yechidim continue to fast until the end of Nisan (if necessary).

(c) They also extended the prohibition of greeting until then - like people who are scolded by Hashem.

(d) The Tana say that rain that comes after the termination of Nisan is a curse (as Shmuel ha'Navi indicated).

(a) It seems strange to include work among the prohibitions of the last set of fasts - seeing as work is not a physical pleasure.

(b) We learn that it is nevertheless prohibited from the Pasuk "Kadshu *Tzom* Kir'u *Atzarah* Isfu Zekeinim ka'Atzeres", where the Navi compares fast-days to Yom-Tov (Atzeres), to teach us that, just as Melachah is forbidden on Yom-Tov, so too, is it forbidden on fast-days.

(c) The fast nevertheless begins only in the morning, and not at night-time (like Yom-Tov) - because the Navi adds "Isfu Zekeinim", and the elders gathered only in the day?

(d) In that case, we would have thought, the fast ought to begin at mid-day - however this is a proof for Rav Huna, who says that it is in the *morning* of a fast that the elders would gather, to look into the spiritual affairs of the town, and not in the afternoon.

(a) Seeing as they would spend the *morning* of a Ta'anis Tzibur looking into the spiritual affairs of the community (see Rosh, Si'man 18), they would then spend ...
1. ... the first half of the *afternoon* - Leining in the Torah and in the Navi (the Haftarah).
2. ... the second half of the *afternoon*- crying out to Hashem for mercy.
(b) We know that they did self-introspection in the morning, and Lein and pray for Divine mercy in the afternoon, and not the reverse - from Ezra, who 'got up from his fast' and Davened at Minchah Gedolah (half an hour after mid-day).
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