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Ta'anis 24


1) Rebbi Yossi bar Avin left Rebbi Yossi from Yukras to go and learn by Rav Ashi - because 'if he does not have pity on his own son and daughter, he argued, 'how will he have pity on *Me*'?


(a) When Rav Ashi once quoted Shmuel that if someone draws a fish out of the sea on Shabbos, the moment the size of a Sela (coin) on it dries, he becomes Chayav for killing it - Rebbi Yossi bar Avin asked him why he did not add that this speaks specifically if it dries between its fins.

(b) He would not be Chayav for catching the fish - because it speaks when he had previously placed it in the sea in a (small) box, where it was already considered caught.

(c) Rav Ashi replied to his question - that that was the (individual) opinion of Rebbi Yossi bar Avin (to which Rebbi Yossi replied that he was Rebbi Yossi bar Avin).

(a) Rebbi Yossi from Yukras' son decreed that the fig-tree should produce fruit before they were due, in order to feed the hungry workers (who were waiting for his father to bring them food). It greatly displeased his father - that he caused his Creator to produce fruit outside of its time.

(b) He therefore decreed that he should be removed before his time.

(c) The peeping Tom explained to Rebbi Yossi from Yukras that he had made a hole in his wall - because, if he could not marry his beautiful daughter, at least he could look at her.

(d) Upon which - Rebbi Yossi said to his daughter that since she was causing people such pain, she should return to dust, a curse which materialized.

(a) Rebbi Yossi from Yukras would hire out his donkey. At the end of the day, it would return by itself to its owner with the exact rental on its back. If the hirer put slightly more or slightly less on its back, it refused to go.

(b) It happened once that the hirer forgot a pair of shoes on its back - and it refused to return home until he removed it.

(a) The officers of Tzedakah used to hide from Elazar Ish Birsa - because whenever he saw them, he would give them whatever money he had with him.

(b) He was once on his way to market to purchase his daughter's trousseau - when he they saw him. They ran to hide, but he ran after them. When he caught them he insisted on giving them all the money that he had with him, because they happened to be collecting for an orphan boy and an orphan girl, and, he argued, they were a more worthy cause than his daughter (who had parents).

(c) With the one remaining Zuz - he purchased wheat, which he took home and placed in his storehouse. A miracle occurred, and the storehouse became full of wheat.

(d) When his daughter came to the Beis Hamedrash, to inform him what 'his good Friend' had done for him - he told her that the wheat was Hekdesh and that she was permitted to take from it just like any other poor person (and no more) because it came through a miracle and, as we have already learned, one may not derive benefit from something that comes through a miracle.

(a) Rebbi Yehudah Nesi'ah - was the son of Raban Gamliel, Rebbi's son.

(b) When he decreed a fast and nothing happened - he lamented that it was not such a long time since the days of Shmuel ha'Ramasi, who prayed for rain, and rain came; so why was rain not forthcoming now?

(c) The rain came - as soon as he felt discouraged (i.e. he realized his own inadequacy).

(a) When the Prince decreed a fast without having informed Rebbi Yochanan and Resh Lakish, the latter thought that, seeing as they had not accepted the fast at the previous Minchah, they were not obligated to fast. Rebbi Yochanan however, told him - that they were obligated to follow the Prince's rulings, in which case, it was not necessary to accept the fast on the previous day (in the same way as one does not need to accept a public fast on the previous day).

(b) Based on the Pasuk in Sh'lach Lecha "ve'Hayah Im me'Einei ha'Eidah Ne'es'sah li'Shegagah" - the younger Rebbi Oshaya said that the Torah compares the leaders of the people to their eyes. It is like a bride, he explained: when a bride's eyes are in good shape, then so is the rest of her body, but when they are not, then she needs to be examined. This brought on the ire of the Prince's servants.

(c) The people came to his defense however, when the servants began throwing things at him - by pointing out that he tended to start up with them too, yet they forgave him because everything he did, he did for the sake of Heaven. So the servants should do likewise.

(d) When Rebbi decreed a fast, no rain came. The moment Ilfa (or Rebbi Ilfi) said 'Mashiv ha'Ru'ach', the wind began to blow, and when he said 'u'Morid ha'Gashem', it began to rain. Ilfa's outstanding merit was - that he lived in a poverty-stricken village, where they could not even afford wine for Kidush and Havdalah; so he went to a lot of trouble to obtain wine and be Motzi them all with Kidush and Havdalah each week.

(a) The same occurred to Rav and the children's Rebbe as happened to Rebbi and Ilfa. The three righteous acts that the children's Rebbe used to do when he learned with his young pupils was - 1. to learn with the children of poor parents together with the children of the rich (and if they could not afford to pay, then he would not take any money from them); 2. He owned pools of fish from which he earned a livelihood. Whenever a child did not want to learn, he would 'bribe' him by giving him a fish.

(b) Rav Nachman too, decreed a fast and no rain came at first - It was when he said 'Take Nachman and throw him down from the wall', causing himself to feel discouraged (and inadequate), that the rain came.

(c) They were more advanced in their learning in the days of Rabah than in the days of Rav Yehudah (despite the fact that Rabah lived one generation later) - because in his time they were fully conversant in all six Sedarim (of Mishnayos), whereas in the days of Rav Yehudah, it seems, they were only expert in Seder Nezikin.

(d) In spite of that, when Rabah decreed a fast or even if he were to Daven all day, no-one would take any notice; whereas all Rav Yehudah had to do was to remove one shoe, and the rain came down in torrents. That was not because they were more righteous then - but because the people were on a higher level in Rav Yehudah's generation than they were in Rabah's. (Note: Interestingly, the Gemara in Berachos and in Sanhedrin offer two different explanations.)




(a) Rav Yehudah found Maseches Uktzin particularly difficult - whereas in the times of Rabah, there were thirteen Yeshivos studying it.

(b) Even though normally, the 'handle' of food transmits Tum'ah to the food, the 'handles' of dried vegetables and the leaves of dried olives, do not - because once the vegetables have been dried - the respective 'handles' and stalks will no longer serve as handles, because they either break or fall off.

(a) When Rav Yehudah saw two men throwing bread to each other - he commented that there must be too much food around and by putting an Ayin ha'Ra (on the food or on the people), he caused a drought.

(b) the Rabbanan got him to reverse the situation - by getting his Shamash to lure him outside to the vicinity of the market-place, where he noticed large crowds gathering looking for food. That was when he asked his Shamash to take off his shoes to prepare to Daven for rain.

(c) No sooner had his Shamash removed one shoe, than it began to rain. He was about to remove the other shoe - when Eliyahu ha'Navi came and informed that, if he did, Hashem would destroy the world (for troubling Hashem more than is necessary - see Agados Maharsha).

(a) Rav Mari, the son of Shmuel's daughter, saw angels (disguised as sailors) piling sand into a boat which immediately turned into flour. Rav Yehudah advise the people not to purchase that flour from them - because it was miracle-flour, and we have already learned that it is not advisable to benefit from miracles.

(b) They managed to survive the hunger - because the following day, boatloads of wheat arrived from Parzina.

(c) Rava too, decreed a fast in Hagrunya, and no rain came. After extending the fast overnight, he asked whether anyone had had a dream that night. Rebbi Elazar from Hagrunya had indeed been informed in a dream - 'Shalom Tav le'Rav Tav, me'Ribon Tav de'mi'Tuvei Meitiv le'Alma'.

(d) Reading this to mean that it was a time of goodwill - Rava Davened, and it rained.

(a) Shavur Malka (King of Persia) wanted to punish Rava - because his Beis- Din, administering Malkos to a man who had had relations with a Nochri woman, accidently killed him (and the Persians were particularly stringent when it came to murder, as we shall see at the end of Bava Kama).

(b) Ifra Hurmiz, Shavur Malka's mother, stopped him from actually doing so - by warning him that he would be better off not starting up with a man who could produce rain even in mid-summer.

(c) To prove her point, she sent Rava a message that he should pray for rain. At first, Rava's prayers went unheeded. But when, based on a Pasuk in Tehilim - he reminded Hashem that they had heard so many stories from their fathers about the many miracles He had performed for Yisrael, and suggested that perhaps now was the time to behold them with their own eyes, Hashem 'relented' and bucketsful of rain fell in the middle of summer.

(d) Nevertheless, Rava was placed in Cherem for troubling Hashem to change the laws of nature. His father (who was no longer alive) saved him from the wrath of the demons - by appearing to him and warning him to sleep somewher else (other than in his bed) that night. He followed his father's advice, and sure enough, the following morning, his bed was bristling with knives.

13) When Rav Papa decreed a fast, no rain came initially. Feeling faint, he tasted a ladle of porridge before proceeding to Daven. The rain came - when someone made fun of him and suggested that a second ladle of porridge might just do the trick. This made him embarrased and he fainted. That is when the rain came!


(a) Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa asked when ...
1. ... the rain came and disturbed his travels - that, seeing as everyone was happy, and he was sad, it should stop raining.
2. ... he arrived home - that, now that everyone was sad and he alone was happy, the rain should continue.
(b) Rav Yosef says that - so powerful was Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa's Tefilah that, even the Tefilah of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kipur was ineffective in face of it.

(c) The Kohen Gadol Davened a short Tefilah in the Kodesh Kodshim on Yom Kipur.

1. 'Geshumah u'Shechunah' means - that if it is hotter than usual, it should at least rain (and the dew should fall).
2. Rav Acha Brei de'Rava in the name of Rav Yehuda adds - that the rulership should not depart from Beis Yehudah, and that Yisrael should not need to come onto each other for sustenance.
(d) Every day in the life-time of Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa - a Heavenly Voice announced 'the whole world is sustained on the merit of Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa, yet Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa makes do with a Kav (twenty-four egg- volumes) of carobs from Friday to Friday.
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