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Ta'anis 3

TA'ANIS 2-5 sponsored by a generous grant from an anonymous donor. Kollel Iyun Hadaf is indebted to him for his encouragement and support and prays that Hashem will repay him in kind.


QUESTION: RASHI (DH Ela Rebbi Yehoshua) quotes Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa (on 2b), who says that we mention Gevuros Geshamim in the Shemoneh Esreh "at the time when the Lulav is placed down" (mi'She'as Hanachaso). Rashi explains this to be the *seventh day* of Sukos, which is the last day that we hold the Lulav. This is also what Rashi writes in two other places (2b, DH mi'She'as Hanachaso, and 3a, DH ha'Amar mi'She'as Hanachaso).

At the end of Rashi's words, though, he writes that according to the conclusion of the Gemara, the Mishnah in Sukah (42b) which states that Nisuch ha'Mayim is performed all seven days of Sukos could be the opinion of Rebbi Yehoshua, who says that we mention Gevuros Geshamim "on the *last day of Yom Tov*" -- implying that it is said only on the eighth day (Shemini Atzeres)! Rashi, within the same comment, first says that Rebbi Yehoshua (of the Beraisa) holds that the Hazkarah of Geshamim begins on the seventh day, and then he says that it begins on the eighth day! (KEREN ORAH)

In another place as well we find Rashi (4a, DH Rebbi Yehoshua) saying that "the day that the Lulav is placed down" means the *eighth* day of Sukos, once again contradicting the three comments listed above in which he asserts that it means the seventh day. What does Rashi mean to say -- do we begin to mention rain on the seventh day or the eighth day, according to Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa? (GEVURAS ARI and others)


(a) TOSFOS (2b, DH mi'She'as) says that when Rebbi Yehoshua in the Beraisa says that we mention Geshamim "at the time when the Lulav is put down" he is referring to the eighth day. Support for Tosfos' explanation can be found in the Mishnah (2a), in which Rebbi Yehoshua himself states that the Hazkarah of Geshamim begins "on the last day of Yom Tov," meaning the eighth day. It would seem logical for Rebbi Yehoshua of the Mishnah and Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa to be expressing one and the same opinion. Further support for Tosfos is found in the Yerushalmi, which says clearly that the time of Hanachas Lulav refers to the day *after* the seventh day, since the entire seventh day is fit for performing the Mitzvah of Lulav.

This is in accordance with what Rashi wrote in the latter two glosses quoted above (4a, and in the end of DH Ela on 3a) that the day of "Hanachas Lulav" is the eighth day. What does Rashi mean, though, when he says that it refers to the seventh day?

RAV BETZALEL RENSBURG (2b, based on MAHARSHA 3a) suggests that when Rashi says "the seventh day," he is not referring to the day on which we begin saying the Hazkarah of Geshamim. Rather, he means that the seventh day is the last day of the Mitzvah of Lulav, and *after* that day (on the eighth) we begin saying the Hazkarah.

(b) Although this explanation resolves the first two comments of Rashi in which he says that the time of Hanachas Lulav is the seventh day, Rav Betzalel Rensburg does not address the third comment of Rashi (3a, DH Ha Amar mi'She'as Hanachaso), in which Rashi clearly implies that the *Hazkarah itself* is on seventh day and not on the eighth day. Furthermore, Rav Betzalel's explanation of Rashi will not conform to Tosfos' explanation which is based on the Yerushalami, because according to the Yerushalmi, the *time of Hanachas Lulav* is also the *eighth* day, since the Lulav is not put down permanently through the entire seventh day. (It is not likely that Rashi is creating a new way to explain how the Beraisa refers to the eight day of Sukos, counter to the Yerushalmi.)

The GEVUROS ARI (2b) says that (according to the Bavli) the time of Hanachas Lulav could indeed mean the seventh day (not like Tosfos says), and that Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa is arguing with Rebbi Yehoshua of the Mishhnah. He proves that they are arguing from the Gemara (end of 3a) that asks which Rebbi Yehoshua was Rebbi Yehudah quoting -- the Rebbi Yehoshua of the Mishnah or the Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa. This clearly implies that they are two different opinions. He adduces further proof that they are arguing from the Gemara at the beginning of this Daf (3a), which initially suggests that according to Rebbi Yehoshua, Nisuch ha'Mayim should be only one day during Sukos, just like Hazkarah of Geshamim is only one day during Sukos. If Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa is of the same opinion as Rebbi Yehoshua of the Mishnah, and he holds that the Hazkarah begins on the eighth day (Shemini Atzeres), then what implication is there that the Nisuch ha'Mayim should only be for one day? At this point, the Gemara is assuming that there is no such thing as Nisuch ha'Mayim on the eighth day. If the Hazkarah is on the eighth day, it must have nothing to do with Nisuch ha'Mayim and no conclusions can be drawn about Nisuch ha'Mayim from the Hazkarah of Geshamim. Rather, it must be that the Gemara is referring to Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa and understands that he holds that the Hazkarah is said on the *seventh* day, and thus it deduces that he holds Nisuch ha'Mayim is also done only on that day.

(Regarding how Tosfos will answer these proofs against his explanation that Rebbi Yehoshua in the Beraisa and Rebbi Yehoshua in the Mishnah are of the same opinion, the DIKDUKEI SOFRIM (#400) writes that Tosfos' text of the Gemara did not include the line "Iy Rebbi Yehoshua Hi," and indeed there are indeed manuscripts of the Gemara that do not have that Girsa. The Dikdukei Sofrim writes at length to resolve the explanation of Tosfos through all of the Sugyos.)

Rashi's source (in the three places quoted above) for asserting that Rebbi Yehoshua holds that the Hazkarah is said on the seventh day of Sukos is from these inferences in the Gemara.

How, though, do we resolve the contradiction in Rashi's words? What does Rashi mean when he says that the Hazkarah is on the eighth day?

When Rashi here (in the end of his comments in DH Ela Rebbi Yehoshua) says that the Mishnah, which says that Nisuch ha'Mayim is performed all seven days, is following the opinion of Rebbi Yehoshua who says that the Hazkarah is said on the last day of Yom Tov (the eighth day), he means that the Mishnah of Nisuch ha'Mayim all seven days could work out according to *both* Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa and Rebbi Yehoshua of the Mishnah, since Nisuch ha'Mayim is a Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai and has no connection to the Hazkarah of Geshamim. The Hazkarah is said at the end of Sukos because it would be a Siman Klalah (an foreboding omen) to mention rain at the beginning of the festival. Nevertheless, on the seventh or eighth day we do mention the Hazkarah, for that late in the festival it is no longer considered a Siman Klalah. When Rashi says that Rebbi Yehoshua holds that the Hazkarah is said on the last day of Yom Tov (the eighth day), he is referring to Rebbi Yehoshua of the Mishnah, because the Gemara is discussing at this point both Rebbi Yehoshua of the Mishnah and of the Beraisa. At the beginning of his comments, Rashi mentions Rebbi Yehoshua of the Beraisa, because the Mishnah of Nisuch ha'Mayim could also be according to that Rebbi Yehoshua. Rashi is mentioning in his explanation the two different opinions of Rebbi Yehoshua, because the Mishnah of Nisuch ha'Mayim will work out equally well according to both of them. (See Insights to 4a regarding Rashi's words there.)


QUESTION: The Gemara says that we do not have to mention Tal (dew), Avim (clouds), and Ru'ach (wind) in the Shemoneh Esreh, because they are things that are always present and do not stop, and thus we do not have to ask for them. The Gemara adds that one is permitted to add mention of them in the Shemoneh Esreh, but there is no obligation to do so. It seems that in the time of the Gemara, they did not mention any of these three items in the Shemoneh Esreh.

Our practice nowadays is difficult to understand, because it seems inconsistent.

1. Nowadays, we mention Tal in (*Hazkarah*) in the beginning of the Shemoneh Esreh in summertime ("Morid ha'Tal"), but not in the wintertime. In addition, we mention Tal in the wintertime in *She'eilah* in Birchas ha'Shanim ("v'Sen Tal u'Matar l'Vrachah"). Sephardim mention Tal in She'eilah throughout the entire year, "... Talelei Verachah."

Why do we mention Tal at all, if there is no obligation to do so? And if we are going to mention it, why do we mention it only during specific parts of the year?

2. We mention Ru'ach in the beginning of Shemoneh Esreh in the wintertime ("Mashiv ha'Ru'ach u'Morid ha'Geshem"), but not in the summertime. Why?

3. We do not mention Avim at all. If we are mentioning the other optional items, Tal and Ru'ach, then why do we not mention Avim as well?

(a) The RITVA offers an approach to understanding our practice, based on the rule that we mention anything which provides irreplaceable benefit to the world, even if it is not essential for the world's survival.

1. He explains that we mention Tal in the summertime in Hazkarah because without it, we would not be mentioning anything and the blessing of "Atah Gibor" would seem to be lacking. Since we cannot mention Geshem in the summertime, we mention Tal.

In Birchas ha'Shanim (She'eilah), we mention Tal because we ask Hashem for Tal of blessing ("v'Sen Tal...* l'Verachah*"). The Tal of blessing is something that sometimes does not come, and therefore we specifically ask for it in the Shemoneh Esreh. We do not mention it in Hazkarah (in the wintertime), because the Gevurah of Hashem is not recognizable in Tal since both types of Tal -- Tal of blessing and Tal which is not of blessing -- look exactly the same (the blessing is a spiritual one, embodied within the Tal of blessing).

2. We do not mention (Hazkarah) or ask for (She'eilah) Ru'ach in the summertime because the main benefit of the Ru'ach is when it accompanies the rain, and since we do not ask for rain in the summertime, we do not ask for Ru'ach either.

The reason we mention Ru'ach in the winter, even though it is something that does not stop, is because we need a specific type of Ru'ach -- a Ru'ach sh'Einah Metzuyah, a strong, infrequent type of wind. Even though the Gemara says that we do not have to mention it since it is not absolutely necessary (for we can use some other instrument to do the winnowing), nevertheless we mention it because it is beneficial in two ways. First, such winds bring the rains (see also Rashi 3a, DH l'Fi sh'Einan). Second, such causes the grass and vegetation to grow. Therefore, even though we are not obligated to mention something which is not essential, we nevertheless mention anything that is beneficial that has no substitute, even though it is not essential to the world. We only mention Ru'ach in the winter, because that is the only time we benefit from it in these two ways.

3. Clouds are beneficial only when they accompany rain (as the Gemara says at the end of this Daf, describing clouds that follow rain). Therefore, we do not mention clouds in the summertime, when we do not ask for rain. Why, though, do we not mention clouds in the wintertime, if clouds are beneficial when they accompany the rain?

The Ritva explains that clouds enhance the rain only when the rain is a poor, weak rain. If the rain is heavy and strong, then the clouds do not enhance it at all. (After a strong rain, "sun that follows the rain is beneficial..." as the Gemara continues). Since we want heavy rains, we do not ask for clouds, because the type of rain which the clouds are good for is not the type of rain that we want.

(b) The RAN uses a different approach. He says that the general principle is that we mention whatever has any benefit to the world at all, even though there is no obligation to do so.

1. We mention Tal in the summertime in Hazkarah and in wintertime in She'eilah. We do not mention Tal in Hazkarah in the wintertime only because we want to put more emphasis on our mention and request for rain, which is something that we are required to pray for, while the Tal is something that we will receive anyway and we are not required to pray for. In order to give the rain more attention (by mentioning it in both places, Hazkarah and She'eilah), we leave out Tal from Hazkarah.

2. We mention Ru'ach in the winter in Hazkarah since we mention whatever is at all beneficial to the world, as stated above. We leave it out of our She'eilah, once again, in order to give more attention to the request for rain (by mentioning it in both places, Hazkarah and She'eilah) than to the Ru'ach.

Why do we not mention Ru'ach in the summertime at all? The Ran answers that Ru'ach is something that we do not need at all in the summer. Its only benefit is in the winter, when it dries out the soil.

3. We do not mention clouds at all, even though they are beneficial in the wintertime when they accompany rain, because most people do not recognize the benefit of clouds and thus it will look awkward if we mention or ask for clouds, which seemingly do not provide any benefits to the world, in the Shemoneh Esreh.

QUESTION: In the wintertime, we mention the praise of Hashem who brings rain -- "Morid ha'Geshem" -- in the blessing of Gevuros ("Atah Gibor..."). The custom among Sefardic Jews (the Edot ha'Mizrach), as well as those who Daven according to Nusach Sefard (such as those of Chasidic descent) is to mention in the summertime "Morid ha'Tal" in the blessing of Gevuros (see previous Insight). This is also the practice in Eretz Yisrael, based on the common practice of the Vilna Ga'on and the Ba'al ha'Tanya. Most other Ashkenazic communities (those outside of Eretz Yisrael) do not make this addition to the Shemoneh Esreh in the summertime.

Our Sidurim vowelize the word "Morid ha'*Geshem*" with a Segol (the "eh" sound), and not with a Kamatz (the "aw" or "ah" sound). This is grammatically proper, because it is only at the end of a sentence or at an Esnachta semi-sentence break that the Segol under the Gimel is replaced with a Kamatz. Morid ha'Geshem appears in the middle of a sentence and thus it should keep its Segol. That the word "ha'Geshem" is not at an Esnachta break in the blessing is evident from the TUR (OC 114), who says that the reason we recite "Morid ha'Geshem" right before the words "Mechalkel Chayim" (at not at another point in the Berachah) is because rain is also a form of Kalkalah (sustenance) and Parnasah. Hence our mention of rain, Geshem, is part of the prayer for Kalkalah.

However, there is an apparent inconsistency in this respect. In *all* Sidurim which include the text "Morid ha'Tal" (for the summertime), the word "Tal" is spelled with a *Kamatz* (pronounced "ha'Tawl" in the Ashkenazic pronounciation) and not with a Patach ("ha'Tahl"). According to the rules of grammar, it should have a Patach and not a Kamatz. The word "Tal" as it appears in the Torah usually has a Patach under the letter "Tes," which is changed to a Kamatz only when it is at the end of a sentence or at an Esnachta pause (see, for example, Shemos 11:9; Devarim 32:2). Since "Morid ha'Tal" is recited in place of "Morid ha'Geshem" and is in the middle of a sentence, why do the Sidurim write "Tal" with a Kamatz? It should have a Patach! And if those Sidurim consider "Morid ha'Tal" (with a Kamatz") to be the end of the sentence, then they should spell "Morid ha'Gashem" with a Kamatz as well!


(a) RAV MOSHE FEINSTEIN zt'l (IGROS MOSHE OC 4:40) writes that the Kamatz of "Tal" is correct, because this phrase is indeed at the end of the sentence, as we see in most Sidurim which place a period after "Morid ha'Tal." Likewise, it is proper to say "Morid ha'Gashem" with a Kamatz as well, contrary to almost all commonly used Sidurim. Such an opinion is cited by the LIKUTEI MAHARICH, and this is the way the word is punctuated ("ha'Gashem") in the authoritative Redelheim Sidur.

(b) Others, however, point out that the text of "ha'Geshem" (with a Segol) appears in *all* early Sidurim, of all the Edot, as well as almost all current Sidurim (except for those Sidurim based on the Redelheim Sidur). Furthermore, as mentioned above, the logical flow of the sentence makes it clear that "Morid ha'Geshem" is *not* the end of the sentence (regardless of whether or not the printer placed dots there). According to SEFER MECHALKEL CHAYIM, Rav Moshe Feinstein himself changed his mind. Why, then, do all of the Sidurim spell "Morid ha'Tal" with a Kamatz and not a Patach?

SEFER SHA'AR HA'KOLEL, printed in the back of the SHULCHAN ARUCH HA'RAV (who explains the Nusach of the Sidur of the Ba'al ha'Tanya) suggests that we say "Tal" with a Kamatz because it is not part of the regular text of the Shemoneh Esreh as established by the Anshei Kneses ha'Gedolah (as we find that Ashkenazic communities do not say it, and the Gemara says that it is not obligatory). Rather, it was added by the Mekubalim. As such, it is a separate insertion that stands by itself and does not continue into the next sentence, and therefore it has a Kamatz and not a Patach.

(c) RAV YAKOV KAMINETZKY (IYUNIM B'MIKRA, p. 26) suggests that "Morid ha'Geshem" is part of the sentence which continues with "Mechalkel Chayim," as the TUR says, because rain brings Kalkalah and Parnasah. When "Morid ha'Tal" is recited, though, it is not mentioned because of the Parnasah- aspects of Tal, but rather it refers to the Tal of Techiyas ha'Mesim, the Tal which will resurrect the dead. It is mentioned at this point because it follows the phrase *Mechayeh Mesim* Atah Rav l'Hoshi'a. As such, it is actually a continuation of the previous sentence and it does not flow into the following sentence. Therefore, there should be an Esnachta semi-sentence pause after "Morid ha'Tal" before the phrase "Mechalkel Chayim," which is discussing a different topic. "Morid ha'Tal" is the end of the *previous* sentence which discusses Techiyas ha'Mesim, while "Morid ha'Geshem" flows into the *following* sentence which discusses Parnasah! (Even though the verse in Tehilim 68:10 refers to *Geshem* Techiyah -- see Targum there -- that is not the Geshem that we intend to mention in the Shemoneh Esreh.)

(d) Grammarians point out that this might not be an inconsistency at all. Although the Segol of "Geshem" becomes a Kamatz only when the word is at a full stop in a verse (either at the end of a verse, or at an "Esnachta"), the Patach of "Tal" is different. It becomes a Kamatz even at a "semi-stop," such as when the word "Tal" has the cantillation "Zakef-Katan" (see, for example, Shemos 16:13 and Devarim 33:13 -- it is easier to turn a Patach into a Kamatz than a Segol into a Kamatz). Since the point in the Berachah at which "Morid ha'Tal" is recited is followed by a slight pause (a "comma"), even though it is not a full stop, the word "Tal" acquires a Kamatz.

(It is also possible that the Rabbinic pronunciation of the word may differ from the biblical pronunciation slightly. Perhaps in Mishnaic times the word "Tal" was commonly pronounced with a Kamatz, like "Par" or "Har," unless it was associated with the word that followed it, such as "Tal ha'Shamayim" or "Tal Techiyah.")

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