ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafTa'anis 18
TA'ANIS 17, 18, 19 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the Dafyomi
publications for these Dafim for the benefit of Klal Yisrael
(a) We just concluded that Chazal included Pesach in the Yom-Tov
de'Rabbanan, in order to prohibit fasting even on the day *after* Pesach -
in which case the author would have to be Rebbi Yossi.
(b) That presents us with a problem with regard to the Reisha, where we
explained that they included Rosh Chodesh Nisan in the Yamim-Tovim
de'Rabbanan in order to forbid fasting on the day before (the twenty-ninth
of Adar). But (now that we just established the Beraisa like Rebbi Yossi)
why is that necessary - seeing as the twenty-ninth of Adar is the day after
the twenty-eighth, which was already a Yom-Tov (and according to Rebbi
Yossi, the day after a Yom-Tov de'Rabbanan is included in the prohibition
(c) The three decrees that were nullified on the twenty-eighth of Nisan were
- those of Torah-study, B'ris Milah and Shabbos.
(d) Acting on the advice of a Roman matron, Yehudah ben Shamu'a and his
colleagues proceeded to have them nullified - by crying out in the night
before Hashem 'Are we not your brothers from both the same father (Yitzchak
Avinu) and the same mother (Rivkah Imeinu)? Then why are we worse than the
other nations, that you issue such evil decrees against us'?
(a) Abaye explains that it was nevertheless necessary to include Rosh
Chodesh Nisan in the Yamim-Tovim de'Rabbanan, because of a leap-year. What
he means (according to Rashi's first explanation) is - that seeing as, in a
leap-year the second Adar is a full month, the day before Rosh Chodesh Nisan
is not the twenty-ninth of Adar, but the thirtieth (on which fasting would
not otherwise be prohibited).
(b) Rav Ashi maintains that it was necessary anyway, even not in a leap-year
- because, when Rebbi Yossi says 'le'Acharav Asur', he normally means that
it is forbidden to *fast*, but not to *eulogize*. Now however, that the
twenty-ninth of Adar is squashed between two Yamim-Tovim, it becomes
forbidden to eulogize, too.
(a) Chazal found it necessary to include the eighth of Nisan in the second
group of days (from the eighth until after Pesach), despite the fact that it
was already included in the first group (from the first until the eighth) -
to reinforce its special status, just in case something happened to nullify
the first group.
(b) We nevertheless needed to specifically include the *eighth* in the
second group of Yamim-Tovim to achieve that; we could not simply institute
the Yom-Tov from the ninth, and then rely on the fact that the eighth is
anyway the day before the ninth, and therefore forbidden to fast - because,
as we shall see later, if a day is nullified from its *intrinsic* status as
a Yom-Tov, how can it retain its less significant status of a day *before* a
(c) We take advantage of this answer to also answer the Kashya that we asked
earlier (in 1b.) with regard to Rosh Chodesh Nisan and the twenty ninth of
Adar - because by the same token, Chazal instituted Rosh Chodesh as a Yom-
Tov, to forbid the twenty-ninth of Adar, just in case, for some reason, the
Yom-Tov of the twenty-eighth was nullified (see Rashash on Rashi 'La'av
(a) Rav rules like Rebbi Yossi (who forbids fasting both the day before and
the day after the Yamim-Tovim mentioned in Megilas Ta'anis) - Shmuel rules
like Rebbi Meir (the Tana Kama of our Mishnah) who permits the day after.
(b) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel in a Beraisa learns from the fact that Chazal
use the expression 'Behon' twice (' ... de'Lo le'His'ana Behon ... u'de'Lo
le'Misped Behon') - that Chazal gave the relevant days exclusively, the Din
of a Yom-Tov, but not the day before and not the day after..
(c) We reconcile Shmuel, who ruled like Rebbi Meir, but who appears to
contradict himself by ruling like Raban Shimon ben Gamliel - by pointing out
that Shmuel disagrees on principle with Rav, who follows the stringent
opinion of Rebbi Yossi (because Shmuel holds that, seeing as these Yamim-
Tovim are purely de'Rabbanan, it is logical to follow the most lenient
opinion in the side Halachos that pertain to them). Consequently, believing
Rebbi Meir to be be the most lenient opinion, Shmuel initially ruled like
him. However, when he later discovered the Beraisa, where Raban Shimon ben
Gamliel is more lenient still, he changed his ruling to rule like *him*.
(d) Ba'ali quoting Rebbi Chiya bar Aba Amar Rebbi Yochanan rules like Rebbi
Yossi (like Rav). Rebbi Chiya bar Aba restricts Rebbi Yochanan's ruling
however - by confining it to those days on which *fasting only* is
prohibited; but as far as eulogizing (on those days when eulogizing is
prohibited too) is concerned, the Halachah is like Rebbi Meir, who prohibits
the day before, but not the day after.
(a) The Mishnah in Megilah says that those people who read the Megilah
early, are nevertheless permitted to eulogize and to fast on that day. This
cannot be referring to ...
1. ... someone from a walled city (who normally reads the Megilah on the
fifteenth of Adar), who spends the day in an open town (and who therefore
reads it on the fourteenth) - because as we shall see in Megilah, both the
fourteenth and the fifteenth are considered Yamim-Tovim for everyone, and
fasting and eulogizing are therefore forbidden.
(b) Assuming therefore, that the Tana must be referring to someone from an
open town who spends the day in a village on the eleventh of Adar (and who
therefore reads the Megilah then), this presents us with a Kashya on Rebbi
Yochanan (who, we just saw, rules like Rebbi Yossi), seeing as the eleventh
is the day before Yom Terainus, yet the Mishnah specifically permits fasting
and eulogizing on it, like Rebbi Meir? And that Mishnah must be Halachah,
seeing as Rebbi Yochanan himself has taught that the Halachah is always like
a S'tam Mishnah?
2. ... someone from an open town who is in a village on the thirteenth (and
who therefore reads it then) - because the thirteenth is 'Yom Nikanor', and
what we wrote in a. will apply there too.
3. ... someone from an open town who is in a village on the twelfth - for
the same reason again, because the twelfth of Adar is 'Yom Terainus'.
(a) So we establish the Mishnah by people from an open town who spent the
day in a village on the twelth. There is no problem with the fact that it is
1. ... Yom Terainus - because Yom Terainus was nullified.
(b) Yom Terainus was absolved because Sh'mayah and Achyo were killed on that
day. We do not know who Sh'mayah and Achyo were. It was Ido ha'Navi who was
eaten by a lion (and not Sh'mayah and Achyo - see Agados Maharsha).
2. ... the day before Yom Nikanor - because, if the intrinsic status of a day is nullified, then how much more so its status as the day before a Yom-
(c) Yom Nikanor was instituted following the downfall of Nikanor - a Greek
general who used to wave his hand over Yehudah and Yerushalayim and state
his intention of destroying it and trampling it underfoot. But when the
Chashmona'im defeated the Greeks, they cut off his thumbs and big toes and
hung them on the gates of Yerushalayim, declaring that 'The mouth that spoke
with arrogance and the hands that waved over Yerushalayim shall be avenged'.
(a) Terainus told Lulinus and Papus prior to killing them - that if they
were from the same people as Chananyah, Mishael and Azaryah, then let their
G-d come and save *them*, in the same way as He saved Chananyah, Mishael and
(b) They answered him - that Chananyah, Mishael and Azaryah were more worthy
of a miracle than they were, and so too, was Nevuchadnetzar (a worthy king)
more worthy for a miracle to be performed through him than Terainus (who was
not even a king). Furthermore, they concluded, Hashem could have had them
killed through any of His many emissaries, but that He chose him, in order
to subsequently punishment him for having killed them.
(c) He killed them anyway. Immediately after that - two princes came from
Rome and literally bashed his brains in (which resulted in Chazal fixing
that day as a Yom-Tov).
(d) Lulinus and Papus are referred elsewhere as 'Harugei Lud' (because Ludki
- the town in which this incident took place - is equivalent to Lud). The
Gemara writes about them that no-one can stand in their place - because
(according to one version of the story), in order to save their fellow-Jews,
they admitted at having killed the king's daughter who was found murdered,
and for whose death the Jews were blamed and were placed on trial - even
though they had not really done it.
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that, once they have begun fasting, they
continue fasting even on Rosh Chodesh, Chanukah and Purim. According to
Rav Acha, by 'begun', the Tana means three times - according to Rebbi Yossi
(an Amora), it means even once.
***** Hadran Alach, Seder Ta'aniyos Keitzad *****
(b) We also learned in our Mishnah that, in the opinion of Rebbi Meir,
although Raban Gamliel holds that, once one has begun to fast, he continues
fasting even on the three Yamim-Tovim, nevertheless he does not complete the
fast - the Chachamim however, hold, that, in the opipnion of Raban Gamliel,
he must finish the fast.
(c) The Halachah is like Raban Gamliel according to the Chachamim.
***** Perek Seder Ta'aniyos Eilu *****
(a) The Seider of fasts that we learned until now (first the Yechidim, and
then the Tzibur, who first fast three fasts, then three and then seven etc.)
applies only if no rain fell by the end of the first rainfall (which will be
explained later in the Sugya) - but not if the plants failed to grow as they
were planted (e.g. if thorns grew instead of wheat), in which case one
begins fasting immediately.
(b) The same applies if the rain began falling and then stopped (which is
called a drought) for a significant period before the next fall (since it
signififies a drought). The length of that significant period - is thirty
(c) If rain did fall ...
1. ... but only sufficient for the plants and not for the trees or in a way
that the trees were watered but not the plants - one begins fasting
immediately, and the same applies ...
(d) If sufficient water fell for the needs of one town but not for its
neighbor, the inhabitants of the ...
2. ... if sufficient rain fell to water the plants and the trees, but not to
fill the water-pits.
1. ... town for which sufficient rain fell - must fast and blow the Shofar,
too, because, seeing as the inhabitants of the other town will all come to
them for food, they are in as much danger of starving as their neighbors.
2. ... surrounding districts - must fast but not blow the Shofar (according
to the Tana Kama).