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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Ta'anis 23


(a) How does the Tana of the Beraisa initially explain the Pasuk in Bechukosai "ve'Nasati Gishmeichem *be'Itam"*?

(b) Alternatively, it applies to Tuesday night and Friday night. It is easy to understand why people do not go out on Friday night.
But why is it a blessing for rain to fall on Tuesday night more than on any other night of the week?

(c) Why does the Tana need to demonstrate that this blessing actually occurred?

(d) It happened in the days of Shimon ben Shetach, when the wheat grains subsequently grew to the size of kidneys, and the barley grains to the size of olive stones.
To what size did the lentils grow?

(a) What does the above episode teach us?

(b) The same happened in the days of Hurdus (Herod).
What project were the people busy with at that time?

(c) In the morning, the wind would blow and disperse the clouds.
What did they then know for sure?

(a) From whom did Choni ha'Me'agel take his cue when he drew a circle and stood inside it?

(b) When the rain fell excessively, the rain-drops were so large that they were able to fill barrels.
What size were the smallest estimated raindrops that fell on that occasion?

(c) Where did the people go when the rain began to gather in deep pools?

(d) What did Choni ha'Me'agel ...

  1. ... do before he even began to pray for the rain to stop?
  2. ... say to Hashem in his prayer for the rain to stop?
(a) Immediately, the rain stopped and the sun came out.
How did the people know that the rain was a true blessing?

(b) Shimon ben Shetach chided Choni ha'Me'agel for the way he spoke to Hashem.
What does that have to do with Eliyahu ha'Navi?

(c) About whom did Shlomoh write in Mishlei "Yismach Avicha ve'Imecha, ve'Sagel Yoladtecha"?

(d) How does the Beraisa connect with Choni ha'Me'agel the Pasuk in Iyov ...

  1. ... "ve'Sigzar Omer ve'Yakem Lach"?
  2. ... "ve'Al Derachecha Nagah Or"?
(a) What problem did Choni ha'Me'agel have with the Pasuk in Tehilim "Shir ha'Ma'alos be'Shuv Hashem es Shivas Tzi'on, Hayinu ke'Cholmim"?

(b) Why did that old man plant a carob tree, which takes seventy years to grow, and whose fruit he would never taste?

(c) How did Choni realize that he must heve slept for seventy years?

(d) Was Choni's son still alive?

(a) What did he hear the people in the Beis ha'Medrash say?

(b) What was it that saddened him?

(c) What did he subsequently say?

Answers to questions



(a) Who was Aba Chilkiyah? How did he earn his living?

(b) Why did he not greet the Chachamim who had come to ask him to pray for rain?

(c) Why did he ...

  1. ... place the pile of wood on his bare shoulder rather than on top of the coat, which he placed on his other shoulder?
  2. ... walk bare-footed along the way, and put on his shoes when he crossed the river?
  3. ... raise his clothes when he came to brambles and prickly bushes?
(d) When he arrived home too, his behaviour puzzled the Talmidei-Chachamim. Why did he ...
  1. ... allow his wife to greet him heavily made-up (unbecoming for a Talmid-Chacham)?
  2. ... let her enter the house first, and only then enter himself followed by his guests?
  3. ... not invite his guests to join the family when they ate?
  4. ... serve two loaves of bread to his younger son and only one to the older one?
(a) What did Aba Chilkiyah say to his wife after they had eaten?

(b) What did he ask his guests after the rain came and he descended from the attic?

(c) Why is the merit of a woman giving Tzedakah often greater than that of a man?

(d) What is the alternative explanation as to why the clouds came first over Aba Chilkiyah's wife's side?

(a) Who was Chanan ha'Nechba?

(b) He was called by that name because he used to hide himself.
What does that mean?

(c) And what does it mean if we accept the text 'she'Hayah Machbi Atzmo be'Veis ha'Kisei'?

(d) How did he react when the children would grab his cloak and say to him 'Father father, give us rain'!

(a) According to one explanation, the difference between the tough men of Eretz Yisrael and the pious men of Bavel lay in the fact that the former hid their piety, whereas the latter did not.
What is the difference between them, according to the second explanation?

(b) What did Rav Huna and Rav Chisda say to each other, when there was no rain?

(c) Rebbi Yonah the father of Rebbi Mani is referred to as 'the tough men of Eretz Yisrael'.
What did *he* used to do when there was no rain? What did he learn from the Pasuk in Tehilim "mi'Ma'amakim Kerasicha Hashem"?

(d) What did he tell his family when he returned home with his sack still empty, and they asked him whether he had brought any corn?

(a) What did Rebbi Yonah's son Rebbi Mani do when the members of the prince's household constantly molested him?

(b) What was the result of his entreaties?

(c) Ralso possessed great powers. He prayed for the powerful men of Rebbi Mani's father-in-law's household to become poor so that they would leave Rebbi Mani alone.
Why was it later necessary to ask Hashem to reinstate them to their former wealth?

(d) The Gemara tells of a similar story regarding Rebbi Mani's wife Chanah. What happened there?

12) What did Rebbi Yitzchak ben Elyashiv answer two Talmidim who asked him (later in life) to pray that their wisdom should increase?

Answers to questions

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