THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) EATING BEFORE AND AFTER A "TA'ANIS SHA'OS"
OPINIONS: Rav Chisda states that a Ta'anis Sha'os is a valid Ta'anis only
when the person does not eat anything until nightfall. This implies that in a
Ta'anis Sha'os, one does not eat all day. If so, how does a Ta'anis Sha'os
differ from a regular Ta'anis?
2) ACCEPTING UPON ONESELF TO OBSERVE A "TA'ANIS SHA'OS"
(a) RASHI says that although a person observing a Ta'anis Sha'os indeed does
not eat all day, it differs from a regular Ta'anis in that one was not
Mekabel it upon himself the day before. Only during the day that he was
fasting did he decide to formally accept it upon himself as a day of fasting.
A regular Ta'anis, though, is when one was Mekabel the Ta'anis the day
before. (See Insights to 11:2:a)
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 562:1) cites our Gemara that if one is
Mekabel a Ta'anis only until midday, one does not say Aneinu. He rules
(562:11) like the ROSH (d) and says that although one does not say Aneinu,
one does have to keep his pledge to fast until midday (or from midday until
nightfall), but he may eat the rest of the day.
(b) The RAMBAN and RITVA cite the Yerushalmi that says explicitly that a
person is allowed to observe a Ta'anis Sha'os even after he ate cheese and
drank water. They explain that when our Gemara says that a person may not eat
anything on the day of a Ta'anis Sha'os, it means that one may not eat
anything as a Se'udas Keva, a normal meal. One may, however, taste something,
and then start his Ta'anis Sha'os afterwards. That, too, is what the
When Rav Chisda says that one may not taste anything on a Ta'anis Sha'os
until nightfall, he means that one *may* taste something *before* the Ta'anis
(c) The RAN also rules like the Yerushalmi and says that one may eat before a
Ta'anis Sha'os. In contrast to the Ramban and Ritva, though, he does not
differentiate between tasting food (a snack) and eating a full meal. This is
also the ruling of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Ta'anis 1:13). They contend that Rav
Chisda in our Gemara is only discussing the obligation to fast *after* the
Ta'anis Sha'os until nightfall. He does not mean that one must fast from
daybreak until the Ta'anis Sha'os as well.
(d) The YERUSHALMI cited by the Rishonim adds another point. Not only is it
permitted to eat before the Ta'anis Sha'os, but one may even observe a
Ta'anis Sha'os during the first half of the day, and eat *after* the Ta'anis,
during the second half.
This seems to contradict our Gemara, which says that one must fast until
nightfall. However, the ROSH here (1:12) and TOSFOS (Avodah Zarah 34a)
suggest that perhaps our Gemara and the Yerushalmi do not disagree, and that
our Gemara also maintains that one may eat before nightfall after fasting a
Ta'anis Sha'os. When Rav Chisda says that one must fast until nightfall, he
means that l'Chatchilah, if one wants to experience the severity of a Ta'anis
properly (in order to say Aneinu), he must refrain from eating until
nightfall. But even if one accepts to fast only until midday and afterwards
he will eat, his word is still binding, since a half-day fast is also
considered a fast with regard to obligating him to fast until the time that
he originally designated.
(This is in contrast to what Rashi writes numerous times in our Sugya, that
if one accepts to fast for only part of a day, it is not considered a "Nidrei
Mitzvah" at all, and is not binding -- see Rashi DH Letze'urei Nafshei.)
(e) The TERUMAS HA'DESHEN #157 asserts that when one accepts to fast until
midday and eat afterwards, even Rav Chisda, in our Gemara, would agree that
one must say Aneinu and that the Ta'anis is a full-fledged Ta'anis Sha'os.
Rav Chisda only said that one must fast until nightfall if he accepted upon
himself to fast for an *entire day*. If he only accepted a Ta'anis Sha'os, he
may eat after the Ta'anis Sha'os is over, like the Yerushalmi says.
The REMA (562:1) says that one should take into account the opinion of the
Terumas ha'Deshen (e) as well, who rules that one says Aneinu even if he was
Mekabel to fast only until midday and plans to eat after that. Therefore, the
Rema says, one should say Aneinu in the Berachah of "Shome'a Tefilah" for
such a fast. The MISHNAH BERURAH (562:6) adds that this applies only if one
Davens Minchah before he ends his fast. If one ate before Minchah, he does
not say Aneinu even according to the Terumas ha'Deshen.
QUESTION: Shmuel says that if one does not make a formal Kabalah to fast on
the day before he fasts, his Ta'anis is not a valid Ta'anis. The Gemara
earlier (11b), however, discusses a Ta'anis Sha'os, which, as Rashi explains
there, is a Ta'anis that one observed without being Mekabel it the day
before, and it is a valid Ta'anis! According to Shmuel, it should not be a
valid Ta'anis since there was no Kabalah the day before. How do we reconcile
these two statements of the Gemara?
3) "YE'ASER" OR "YEYASER"?
(a) The RITVA and RAN explain that Shmuel's emphasis is on the *Kabalah* of
the Ta'anis. He is emphasizing that one must be Mekabel the Ta'anis before he
begins fasting, but one does not necessarily have to be Mekabel it the day
before. A Ta'anis Sha'os, too, needs a Kabalah, but it does not have to be
the day before the fast. Shmuel was talking about a regular Ta'anis, when one
is Mekabel to fast the entire day, in which case the Kabalah must be the day
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 562:5) rules like Shmuel, that one must be
Mekabel a Ta'anis the day before. He cites two opinions ((a) and (b) above)
regarding whether a Ta'anis Sha'os requires a Kabalah the day before or not
(562:10). The REMA (562:5) cites the opinion of Rabeinu Tam, who says that
the requirement to be Mekabel the Ta'anis is only l'Chatchilah, and even if
one did not formally accept to fast the next day, he may still say Aneinu.
(The MISHNAH BERURAH adds that one may say Aneinu only if one fasts all day
without a Kabalah, but not if one fasts only part of a day without a Kabalah.
However, he may say Aneinu without the words "Yom Tzom Ta'anisenu").
(b) TOSFOS (Avodah Zarah 34a) and the ROSH (1:12) indeed rule that one must
be Mekabel the Ta'anis Sha'os the day before (see Insights to 11b). This is
easily understood according to the Yerushalmi, that says that a partial
Ta'anis (Ta'anis Sha'os) is acceptable even if one eats on the same day as
the Ta'anis before it starts, or after it finishes. One can be Mekabel, on
the preceding day, to observe a Ta'anis Sha'os on the following day, that
will only last a few hours, and he will eat until the time that it starts.
However, according to those Rishonim (such as Rashi), who explain that a
Ta'anis Sha'os means a full-day fast without a Kabalah the day before, how
can one be Mekabel to fast a Ta'anis Sha'os from the day before? It is only
considered a Ta'anis Sha'os if he does not eat even before it starts or after
it is over. If a preson accepts not to eat the following day for the entire
day, then he has accepted a full-fledged Ta'anis upon himself, and not just a
TOSFOS in Avodah Zarah (34a) explains that even according to this opinion in
can still be construed that a person will make a Kabalah to fast a Ta'anis
Sha'os on the previous day. The person can be Mekabel on the day before that
*if* he does not eat (for whatever reason) the next day until midday, then he
accepts upon himself to fast from midday until the end of the day. In such a
case, he fasts the entire day with a Kabalas Ta'anis, yet he was not Mekabel
to fast the entire day.
(c) TOSFOS and the ROSH cite RABEINU TAM who says that the Kabalah that
Shmuel requires is only l'Chatchilah. It makes his fasting into a full-
fledged Ta'anis. Even without a Kabalah, though, his act of fasting is still
considered a Ta'anis (and it fulfills his obligation to fast, and perhaps it
even enables him to say Aneinu). When the Gemara says that one who fasts
without a Kabalah is like a "blown up sack," it means he has to do Teshuvah
for afflicting himself without accepting the Ta'anis upon himself.
(d) The RIF omits the entire Sugya of Ta'anis Sha'os. The RAN suggests that
he may have learned that Shmuel argues with Rav Huna and with those who say
that a Ta'anis Sha'os is a valid Ta'anis, and he is ruling like Shmuel that
there is no such thing as a Ta'anis Sha'os. One must be Mekabel his Ta'anis
the day before, and there is no partial-day Ta'anis.
In the case of a Ta'anis Chalom (a fast for a bad dream), everyone agrees
that no Kabalah is necessary and one may say Aneinu.
QUESTION: The Gemara records an argument between Rav and Shmuel regarding
when must one be Mekabel the Ta'anis. Rav says that one may be Mekabel the
Ta'anis at any time before the day of the Ta'anis. Shmuel says that one must
be Mekabel the Ta'anis in the Tefilas Minchah on the day before the Ta'anis.
The Gemara cites support for Shmuel from a Beraisa in Megilas Ta'anis. After
listing the days on which one may not fast, the Beraisa says that "any person
who accepted upon himself from before those days, Yeyaser." Rashi explains
that "Yeyaser" means that the person must "make himself prohibited" from
eating by being Mekabel the "Ta'anis" again before the day of the Ta'anis.
Even though he already accepted upon himself to fast, his initial Kabalah
does not make the Ta'anis binding enough to override the Yom Tov of Megilas
Ta'anis. Only if he formally accepts upon himself to fast, with the phrasing
of an oath, is his fast considered a Ta'anis to override the Yom Tov. The
Gemara says that from here we see that it must be that one must accept the
Ta'anis during Tefilas Minchah, like Shmuel says.
In defense of Rav, the Gemara cites another version of the Beraisa which
reads "Ye'aser" instead of "Yeyaser." "Ye'aser" means that since the person
accepted upon himself to fast, "he will be prohibited" from eating. The
Gemara asks that according to that version, what is the Beraisa teaching? It
is obvious that he will be prohibited from eating as a result of having
accepted upon himself to fast! The Gemara answers that the Beraisa is
teaching that the status of his Ta'anis depends on when he accepted to fast:
if he accepted to fast *before* that day was pronounced as a Yom Tov by the
Chachamim, then his oath to fast is binding; if he accepted to fast *after*
the Chachamim declared that day to be a Yom Tov, then his oath is not binding
and his fast is not observed.
The Gemara is unclear. First, what was the proof from the Beraisa for
Shmuel's opinion? While we do see from the Beraisa that the Kabalah for the
Ta'anis must be made in advance, how do we see that it has to be made in the
Tefilas Minchah before the Ta'anis?
Second, why does the Gemara explain, according to the version of the Beraisa
that reads "Ye'aser," that the status of the Ta'anis depends on when the
person was Mekabel the Ta'anis? What is wrong with the Beraisa that the
Gemara has to give additional information about it in order to understand it?
Why does it become unclear if it says "Ye'aser" and not "Yeyaser?" It is not
at all obvious that he will be prohibited from eating as a result of having
accepted upon himself to fast; since these days were instituted as days of
celebration, one might think that even if he accepted upon himself to fast
that day he is not obligated to fast -- as the Gemara actually concludes, in
the case that the Ta'anis was accepted after the celebration was instituted.
(a) According to Rav, who says that one does not have to accept the Ta'anis
in the Minchah Shemoneh Esreh, one may accept the Ta'anis at *any time before
the day of the Ta'anis*, even months in advance. Just as Rav is lenient and
does not require accepting the Ta'anis in Shemoneh Esreh, he is lenient and
does not require that one accept the Ta'anis immediately before it starts
According to Shmuel, however, one's decision to observe a fast is never
binding unless he formally accepts the fast in the Minchah before the day of
the fast -- i.e., in Shemoneh Esreh, and immediately before the Ta'anis.
With this assumption, the proof for Shmuel is now clear. If one was Mekabel a
series of fasts, why does the Beraisa say that he must be Mekabel it again
("Yeyaser")? It must be because there is a requirement to be Mekabel the
Ta'anis right before the day of the Ta'anis, like Shmuel says.
The Gemara then cites the version of the Beraisa that says "Ye'aser," and re-
explains the Beraisa based on that change. If the Beraisa is just saying that
the person is prohibited from eating, then why did the Beraisa have to
mention that "if he was Mekabel the Ta'anis *from before*, he becomes
prohibited from eating?" What is the meaning of the words "from before?" From
before what? Those words are irrelevant; the Beraisa should say "if he was
Mekabel the Ta'anis, he becomes prohibited from eating," without the words
According to Shmuel it makes sense why the Beraisa says "from before." Since
he accepted the Ta'anis *long before* the day of the Ta'anis, he must re-
accept it right before the Ta'anis. According to Rav, though, what does "from
The Gemara answers that the Beraisa is saying that one's Kabalah only makes
the day into a Ta'anis if it was made *from before* the day became a Yom Tov.
Otherwise, one does not have to fast because the celebration overrides the
Ta'anis. (Based on the RAN.)
(b) TOSFOS seems to have had the opposite Girsa in the Gemara. Tosfos asserts
that the version of the Beraisa that says "Ye'aser" (with an Alef) is proof
for Shmuel's opinion, because "Ye'aser" means that one has succeeded in
prohibiting himself from eating (by making a Kabalah to fast). That is a
proof for Shmuel, Tosfos says. "Yeyaser," on the other hand, implies that he
is "removed" from having to fast -- his Ta'anis is pushed aside by the Yom
Tov and he may eat! What does the Beraisa mean to say by this, asks the
Gemara? The Gemara answers that the Beraisa means that it depends when he
made his Kabalah; if it was before the Chachamim enacted the day as a Yom
Tov, then he must fast, and if it was after the Chachamim enacted the day as
a Yom Tov, then he does not fast and "Yeyaser" -- he is removed from the
obligation to fast.
According to Tosfos, though, how is the Beraisa proof for Shmuel's opinion
that one must be Mekabel the Ta'anis in Tefilas Minchah the day before? The
Beraisa says only that he is prohibited from eating ("Ye'aser"), and it says
nothing about when he has to be Mekabel the Ta'anis! Furthermore, what is the
Gemara's question about the version that says "Yeyaser?" Perhaps that version
of the Beraisa is simply teaching that one's Kabalah to observe a Ta'anis
Yachid cannot override a Yom Tov of Megilas Ta'anis?
Tosfos can be understood with the comments of the HAGAHOS MAIMONIYOS (Hilchos
Ta'anis 1:7), who gives the opposite explanation than that of Rashi. Whereas
Rashi says that the Kabalah for a Ta'anis is better when it is made *closer*
to the Ta'anis, the Hagahos Maimoniyos says that the Kabalah for a Ta'anis is
better the *earlier* that it is made. The Hagahos Maimoniyos quotes the
RA'AVYAH who says that it is better to make the Kabalah long before the day
of the Ta'anis. Shmuel says that even a weaker Kabalah -- one which is made
close to the Ta'anis -- suffices, *even* if it is done right before the
Ta'anis, in the Minchah Shemoneh Esreh of the day before. Rav, though, is
more stringent and requires that the Kabalah be made before the Tefilah of
Minchah on the day before the Ta'anis.
The inference from the Beraisa in Megilas Ta'anis might be based on the words
"if he is Mekabel *from before*...." Why does it have to say "from before?"
It implies that from *any time* before the day of the Ta'anis, the Kabalah is
valid, like Shmuel says, even if it is only a very short time before the
Ta'anis. Thus, the Beraisa supports Shmuel.
The Gemara then cites the version of the Beraisa that reads "Yeyaser,"
meaning that one does *not* have to fast. It asks that according to this text
of the Beraisa, what do the words "from before" mean? If the Beraisa is
teaching that the fast never overrides the Yom Tov, what difference does it
make that the Kabalah was made immediately before the Ta'anis? Even if the
Kabalah was made earlier, it would not override the Yom Tov!
The Gemara answers that the Beraisa is teaching that if one is Mekabel to
fast *shortly before* the day of the Yom Tov arrives, and thus the Chachamim
had already instituted that day to be a Yom Tov before his Kabalah, then
"Yeyaser" -- his Ta'anis is removed. But if he was Mekabel the Ta'anis long
before the Yom Tov -- i.e. before the Yom Tov was even instituted -- the
Ta'anis remains binding. (M. Kornfeld)
4) "BORROWING" A TA'ANIS AND "PAYING IT BACK"
QUESTION: Rav says that one may "borrow" a Ta'anis from one day and "pay it
back" to another day ("Loveh u'Pore'a"). That is, if one had pledged to fast
and was unable to fast, for some reason, on the day that he had intended, he
may make it up on another day.
According to the Gemara's first version of the dialogue, Shmuel disagrees and
says that if a person accepted upon himself to fast and then found himself
unable to fast, then he does not have to fast, nor does he have to make it up
on another day, because he never made a Neder (a vow) to fast. According to
the Gemara's second version, Shmuel agrees with Rav that one must make up the
fast on another day if he does not fast on the day that he had accepted as a
If a person made a Kabalah to fast, why is it not considered a Neder? It
should be binding like a Neder, and he should not be able to delay it and
fast on another day if he made an oath to fast on this day!
Moreover, how can Shmuel (of the Gemara's first version) say that if one
finds it difficult to fast, he does not have to fast and he does not have to
make it up at all. What happened to the person's Kabalah to fast?
(a) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Nedarim 4:16), based on the Yerushalmi cited by the
Ran, explains that Rav's statement refers only to a case where one was
Mekabel to fast a certain number of fasts, but he did not specify on what
days those fasts would apply. He started fasting on a day that he thought
would be a good day to fulfill one of his fasts, and then as the day
progressed he discovered that it was not a good day to fast (for example, it
became very hot and he was very weak, or he was invited to a Se'udas
Mitzvah). In such a case he may "borrow and pay back," because he never
accepted upon himself to observe his fast specifically on this day.
(According to the Rambam, being Mekabel to fast without specifying the day is
still considered a valid Kabalah for the Ta'anis.)
HALACHAH: The Halachah follows Rav, as in any argument between Rav and Shmuel
concerning a non-monetary matter. The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 568:2) rules like
the Rambam' s understanding of Rav, that one who accepted upon himself to
fast a certain number of days, but did not specify which days, may change his
mind on a day that he begins to fast if he realizes that he will not be able
to fast that day, and make it up on another day. However, one may do this
only if there was a strong reason not to fast; for example, one was invited
to a Bris Milah or to a Siyum, or a Gadol invited him to eat with him. If his
friends invited him to eat with them, the Acharonim conclude that this is not
a good enough reason to push off his fast (MISHNAH BERURAH 568:9).
This explains Rav's opinion. How do we understand Shmuel, though? Shmuel says
that if one cannot fast on the day that he intended, he does not have to fast
nor does he have to make it up. Why not? He made an oath to fast for a
certain number of fast days, and he did not fast on this day, and thus he has
not fulfilled the pledged number of fasts! What happened to his Neder to
observe a certain number of fast days?
The answer is that the Rambam learns like the BA'AL HA'TZEROROS (see also
RABEINU CHANANEL), who says that the case is when the person fasted part of
the day before he had to stop, and the physical distress that he experienced
from that partial fast counts as a day of Ta'anis to fulfill his Neder. Rav
argues and says that he must make up his fast on another day, because the
person's Kabalah was to fast a full day.
(b) The ROSH explains that according to Rav, when a person originally
accepted to fast, he did not accept it with an explicit phraseology of a
Neder or Shevu'ah. Rather, he just said that he is Mekabel to fast. He is
obligated to fast not because of a Neder, but because of the Kabalas Mitzvah.
For a Kabalas Mitzvah, we assume that the person is interested in fulfilling
the Mitzvah of fasting whenever he wants, and he leaves himself the option to
choose a day to make it up if the day he originally intended turns out to be
The Rosh cites the RA'AVAD who quotes the Gemara in Erchin (7a) that if one
makes a Neder to give money to a certain Tzedakah, one may change his mind
and give different money until the treasurer comes and takes the actual money
that he promised to give. The NIMUKEI YOSEF here explains that this is based
on the same principle -- for Nidrei Mitzvah, it is assumed that the person
had intention when he made the Neder to retain for himself the right to do
the Mitzvah at a different time or with a different object than initially
According to the Rosh, Rav is discussing even a case where one specified a
specific date for the Ta'anis (in contrast to the opinion of the Rambam). He
may still "borrow" the Ta'anis from that day and "pay it back" on another
day, because that was his original intention.
Shmuel takes this condition further and says that if a person sees that it is
too difficult for him to fast on this day, he does not have to fast, nor does
he have to make up the fast. His reason is because we assume that he had in
mind at the time of his Neder to fast only if he would be able to fast.
The permission to push off a fast to another day applies only to a Ta'anis
Yachid, but not to Ta'anis Chalom, nor to a Ta'anis Tzibur (REMA 568:2).