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Ta'anis 20

TA'ANIS 20 (15 Elul) - dedicated by Yechiel Wachtel l'Iluy Nishmas his father, Reb Shimon Eliezer ben Reb Yechiel Wachtel (who passed away on 15 Elul 5757).


(a) What was the gist of Nakdimon's prayers?

(b) Hashem answered Nakdimon's prayers, and even more rain fell than was needed to fill the twelve water-wells.
How did the aristocrat react to that?

(c) After Nakdimon ben Gurion returned to the Beis Hamikdash to pray a second time, the clouds dispersed and the sun appeared.
What did the aristocrat then say?

(d) Seeing as Nakdimon's real name was Buni, why was he called 'Nakdimon'?

(a) The sun also stood still for two other Tzadikim (besides Nakdimon ben Gurion). We know that the sun stood still for Yehoshua bin Nun from the Pasuk in Yehoshua "va'Yidom ha'Shamesh, ve'Yarei'ach Amad" (whilst he chased the fleeing kings whom he had defeated).
What do we learn from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' *"Acheil* Teis Pachdecha" (Devarim) "Acheil Gadelcha" (Yehoshua) (or from "Acheil *Teis* Pachdecha" "be'Yom *Teis* Hashem es ha'Emori" [Yehoshua], according to Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini)?

(b) How does Rebbi Yochanan learn the same thing from the Pasuk in Devarim "Asher Yishme'un Shim'acha, ve'Ragzu ve'Chalu Mipanecha"?

(a) What major distinction does Rav draw between the Pasuk in Amos (quoted in our Mishnah) "ve'Himtarti al Ir Achas, ve'Al Achas Lo Amtir" and the Pasuk in Eichah "Haysah Yerushalayim le'Nidah Beinehem"?

(b) Rav's Derashah from the Pasuk in Eichah is quoted by Rav Yehudah. According to Rav Yehudah (himself), the following Pesukim all have something in common.
What does he Darshen from the Pasuk ...

  1. ... in Eichah "Haysah *ke*'Almanah"?
  2. ... in Malachi "ve'Gam Ani Nasati Eschem Nivzim u'Shefalim".
  3. ... in Melachim (again in the name of Rav) "ve'Hikah Hashem es Yisrael Ka'asher Yanud ha'Kaneh ba'Mayim"?
(c) Bil'am compared Yisrael to a cedar-tree.
What does Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan learn from the Pasuk in Mishlei "Ne'emanim Pitz'ei Oheiv ve'Ne'etaros Neshikos Sonei"?

(d) What (besides 'heaped up') does *Ne'etaros* mean?

(a) Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan connects the Pasuk in Mishlei with (the previous Derashah from) the Pasuk in Melachim (which was said by Achyah ha'Shiloni) by pointing out the differences between a bamboo- cane and a cedar. As opposed to a bamboo, a cedar does not grow next to water, and when it is cut down it does not re-grow.
What is the third (physical) difference that distinguishes the bamboo from the cedar?

(b) What additional (spiritual) advantage does the bamboo enjoy over the cedar?

(c) Why is the bamboo not blown down by the wind like the cedar is?

(d) Why is it specifically the *south*-wind that blows down the cedar?

5) How can Rebbi Yonasan say that a cedar does not grow next to water, when the Pasuk in Balak specifically writes "ka'Arazim *Alei Mayim*?

Answers to questions



(a) In an unusually jovial mood, Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon was riding his donkey by the river-bank one day feeling quite pleased with himself, when he came across a very ugly man.
What had he done that caused him to feel so jovial (and so proud)?

(b) Besides not returning the man's greeting, what did he say to him?

(c) What was the man's response?

(d) Was the man willing to forgive Rebbi Elazar, when he dismounted and begged him for forgiveness?

(a) The man followed Rebbi Elazar into town.
How did he react when he discovered that the man whom the townspeople were calling 'Rebbe', was none other than the man who had insulted him?

(b) How does the story end? Did he forgive him or not?

(c) What Derashah did Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon subsequently make?

(d) What reward did the bamboo receive for its suppleness?

(a) We learned in our Mishnah that a town whose walls collapsed in the wind must fast and blow the Shofar. But that is only if the walls are strong and not due to collapse, but not if they are weak or due to collapse. Having mentioned 'weak', 'due to collapse' might mean due to its height.
What else might it mean?

(b) Rav and Shmuel were very particular not to pass under 'a weak wall in Neherda'a that was not due to fall'.
Considering that it was a weak wall, what does 'not due to fall' mean?

(c) Why, on one occasion, was Rav not afraid to walk next to it?

(a) What did Rav Huna once do to Rav Ada bar Ahavah that made him angry?

(b) Rav Ada's anger was based on his interpretation of the Pasuk in va'Yishlach "Katonti mi'Kol ha'Chasadim u'mi'Kol ha'Emes".
How did he interpret that Pasuk, and what was it that made him angry?

(c) When they asked him what he had done to merit such long life, he replied with a list of seven points: He said that he had never been cross with his family or walked in front of people who knew more Torah than he did.
What did he never do in dirty alleyways?

(d) He never walked four Amos without Torah and without Tefilin (except in dirty alleyways), or slept in the Beis-Hamedrash no matter what. The next two things that he did, belonged to Mitzvos between man and man.
What were they? What is the difference between 'ba'Hachinaso' and 'ba'Chanichaso'?

(a) When Rava asked (his grand-Talmid) Rafram bar Papa to tell him about the good deeds of Rav Huna (this cannot possibly be referring to Rav Huna, the disciple of Rav, who lived some four generations before Rafram) he replied that he could only re-call things that he had done later in life.
What did Rav Huna used to do ...
  1. ... on every cloudy day?
  2. ... every Friday?
(b) Why did he do that?

(c) Why did he not give the vegetables that he had bought ...

  1. ... to the poor?
  2. ... to the animals? Is it better to throw it away?
(d) And why would he place a bottle of water behind the door for anyone to take?
(a) The final good deed of Rav Huna was the only one that Rava claimed he could not emulate.
What was it?

(b) Why was he unable to emulate it?

Answers to questions

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