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) WAITING UNTIL THE RAIN OR THE TIME OF THE RAIN
QUESTION: The Gemara cites a Beraisa in which Raban Shimon ben Gamliel states there
is a situation where rain that falls for seven consecutive days counts for both the
first Revi'ah and the second Revi'ah. The Gemara explains that Raban Shimon ben
Gamliel is following the opinion of Rebbi Yosi who says that the date of the first
Revi'ah is the seventeenth of Marcheshvan, and the date of the second Revi'ah is the
twenty-third of Marcheshvan, which are seven days apart. If it rains for the seven
days from the seventeenth until the twenty-third of Marcheshvan, then those rains
count as the first Revi'ah and as the second Revi'ah.
The Gemara seems to cite this statement in the context of a person who makes a Neder
prohibiting wine upon himself "until the rains" ("Ad ha'Geshamim").
However, according to Raban Shimon ben Gamliel, what difference does it make whether
the rain that falls at the end of the seven consecutive days of rainfall is
considered rain of the second Revi'ah or not? In the Mishnah, Raban Shimon ben
Gamliel argues with the Rabanan and says that the person's Neder ("Ad ha'Geshamim")
applies only until the *time* of the second Revi'ah, even if no rain actually
(a) The RAN and the ME'IRI explain that Raban Shimon ben Gamliel's statement was made
from the viewpoint of the Rabanan. Raban Shimon ben Gamliel was saying that even if
you hold that the Neder is in force until it actually rains, when there is one long
rain that lasts for seven days, even the Rabanan must admit that the rain that falls
on the twenty-third of Marcheshvan counts as the second Revi'ah and the Neder becomes
(b) The ROSH and TOSFOS explain that Raban Shimon ben Gamliel's statement was made
not in the context of a Neder of "Ad ha'Geshamim," but in the context of a completely
different Halachah that is not mentioned in our Gemara but in Ta'anis (6a). The
Gemara there says that besides the implication for Nedarim, the second Revi'ah is
significant with regard to other Halachos as well, such as the time after which one
may no longer take shortcuts through private fields. With regard to that Halachah,
Raban Shimon ben Gamliel is saying that the seventh day of rain counts as the second
Revi'ah (because that Halachah depends not on the actual date of the second Revi'ah,
but on the degree of muddiness of the field).
According to this interpretation, the Gemara does not need to mention Raban Shimon
ben Gamliel's ruling in our Gemara, and it was only cited parenthetically because it
is related to the Machlokes Tana'im regarding the dates of the various Revi'os which
the Gemara just quoted.
(c) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Nedarim 10:11) might be understanding Raban Shimon ben
Gamliel in a novel way. The Rambam rules that if a person makes a Neder to prohibit
himself from wine "until the rain" -- "Ad ha'Geshem," then he is prohibited until the
*third* Revi'ah. (Our Gemara (end of 62b) says that he is prohibited until "Zman
Geshamim," which the Rambam defines as the time of the *third* Revi'ah. This is in
contradistinction to the Ran's definition, who explains that "Zman Geshamim" refers
to the *second* Revi'ah, and to the definition of the Rosh and most other Rishonim
who explain that it refers to the *first* Revi'ah.)
The Rambam adds, however, that if it actually rains, then even if the rain comes only
at the *first* Revi'ah, the Neder is no longer in effect. Only when it does not rain
does the Neder remain in effect until the third Revi'ah.
All of the commentators question where the Rambam learned that if it actually rains,
then the "Zman Geshamim" is considered to be earlier. The VILNA GA'ON (Bi'ur ha'Gra
YD 220:18) writes that the Rambam must have had a different Girsa in the Gemara. We
might suggest that his Girsa differed from ours in the last line on 62b, where the
Gemara says, "Ad ha'Geshem, Ad Zman Geshamim." The Rambam's Girsa might have been,
"Ad ha'Geshem, Ad ha'Geshem O' Ad Zman Geshamim," meaning that if one made a Neder
saying "Ad ha'Geshem," the Neder is in effect "until the [first actual] rain, *or*
until the [entire] time of rainfall [has arrived]."
According to the Rambam, Raban Shimon ben Gamliel's ruling that seven consecutive
days of one rainfall counts as both the first Revi'ah and the second Revi'ah might be
the very point that the Gemara is using to disprove Rebbi Zeira's statement that a
Neder of "Ad ha'Geshem" is prohibited "until the [first actual] rain, or until the
Zman Geshamim." According to the other Rishonim, it is not at all clear why the
Gemara assumes that Raban Shimon ben Gamliel's statement contradicts Rebbi Zeira's
ruling. Where do we see in Raban Shimon ben Gamliel's words, or anywhere in the
Beraisa, that the Beraisa is referring to a person who made a Neder "Ad ha'Geshem" as
opposed to "Ad ha'Geshamim?" The Rishonim are forced to explain that the Gemara is
assuming thought that a normal Neder is made "Ad ha'Geshem" and not "Ad ha'Geshamim"
and therefore we assume that the Beraisa is discussing the normal case of a Neder. We
find no source, though, in the Gemara or the Mishnah to make such assumptions and to
say that a Neder of "Ad ha'Geshem" is more common than "Ad ha'Geshamim."
According to the Rambam, though, the question of the Gemara is clear. Raban Shimon
ben Gamliel cannot be referring to a Neder made "Ad ha'Geshamim" because then it
would not make a difference whether or not it rained, because the Neder depends on
the *date* and not on the actual rainfall according to Raban Shimon ben Gamliel
himself, like we asked. The Gemara is proving from here that Raban Shimon ben Gamliel
must be discussing a Neder of "Ad ha'Geshem" and that is why the duration of the
Neder depends on the actual rainfall. The Gemara's question on Rebbi Zeira is that we
see from Raban Shimon ben Gamliel's statement that it is not enough to have rain at
the time of the first Revi'ah to end the Neder, but there must also be rain at the
time of the second Revi'ah in order to end the Neder, not like Rebbi Zeira rules.
The Gemara answers that Raban Shimon ben Gamliel is discussing a Neder made "Ad
ha'Geshamim" and he is saying that it depends on the rainfall at the time of the
second Revi'ah, and he is speaking from the viewpoint of the Rabanan (like the Ran
If this is correct, then this is also the source for the Rambam's ruling that if it
does not rain, the Neder remains in effect until the third Revi'ah. We see from the
Gemara's original assumption that the arrival of the date of the first and second
Revi'ah will not end the Neder if the Neder was "Ad ha'Geshem." The Gemara's Havah
Amina is that if it does not actually rain, the time of the first and second Revi'ah
is not enough to end the Neder, but rather one must wait until the third Revi'ah.
2) THE REAL "ADAR" IN A LEAP YEAR
HALACHAH: The Gemara cites a Machlokes between Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Yehudah regarding
the nomenclature of the two months of Adar in a leap year. According to Rebbi Meir,
the word "Adar" unqualified refers to the second Adar, and when one wants to refer to
the first Adar one must specifically say "Adar Rishon." According to Rebbi Yehudah,
the word "Adar" unqualified refers to the first Adar, when one wants to refer to the
second Adar one must specifically say "Adar Sheni."
The Mishnah (63a) that says that a Neder which was specified to last "until the
beginning of Adar" lasts until the beginning of Adar Rishon conforms with the opinion
of Rebbi Yehudah. The Gemara explains that the Mishnah can also conform with the
opinion of Rebbi Meir, such as in a case where the person made the Neder before he
was aware that the year was going to be a leap year. Since he thought that there was
only one Adar, he obviously was referring to the beginning of the first Adar (the
month after Shevat).
What is the Halachah?
(a) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Nedarim 10:6) rules like Rebbi Meir. He infers that the
Halachah is like Rebbi Meir from the fact that the Gemara attempts to make our
Mishnah conform with his opinion. Hence, when a person makes a Neder "until Adar," if
he knew that there would be two months of Adar in the year, then he meant until Adar
Sheni, and if he did not know that the year would be a leap year, then he meant until
Adar Rishon. (The SHACH in YD 220:8 infers that TOSFOS at the end of 63b also rules
like Rebbi Meir.)
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH in Yoreh Deah (220:8), regarding the laws of Nedarim,
and in Even ha'Ezer (126:7), regarding the writing of a Get, cites both opinions. He
seems to be Machmir and is concerned for both opinions.
(b) Most Rishonim (RAN, ROSH, RA'AVAD, TERUMAS HA'DESHEN 294, and others) rule like
Rebbi Yehudah and understand our Mishnah according to the straightforward
understanding, that "Adar" unqualified always refers to Adar Rishon, regardless of
whether the person knew that it was a leap year or not. They rule this way because of
the well-known rule (Eruvin 46b) that when Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Yehudah argue, the
Halachah follows the view of Rebbi Yehudah.
According to these Rishonim, when the Gemara attempts to make the Mishnah conform
with the opinion of Rebbi Meir, the Gemara does that only because of the rule that an
unattributed Mishnah (that mentions no names) is the view of Rebbi Meir, but not
because the Halachah follows Rebbi Meir.
However, elsewhere, in Choshen Mishpat (43:28), regarding writing the date in a
contract, the Shulchan Aruch cites only the ruling of the *Ran*, who rules like Rebbi
Yehudah, that the *first* Adar is called "Adar" unqualified! It seems that the
Shulchan Aruch considers the Ran's ruling to be the more conclusive ruling, but when
it comes to matters that involve an Isur (such as Get and Neder), the Shulchan Aruch
is Machmir to follow both opinions. The REMA consistently rules like the Ran, that
the first Adar is the "real" one (OC 568:7 and end of YD 402 regarding the observance
of a Yahrtzeit, OC 427 regarding dating contracts, and EH 126:7 regarding the writing
of a Get).
However, regarding the observance of a Yahrtzeit (OC 568:7), the Shulchan Aruch cites
only the opinion of the *Rambam*, who rules like Rebbi Meir, that the *second* Adar
is what is referred to by "Adar" unqualified!
The MAGEN AVRAHAM and VILNA GA'ON explain that although the Shulchan Aruch considers
the Ran's ruling to be the more conclusive opinion, and that is why he rules like
Rebbi Yehudah that the first Adar is "Adar," that is only with regard to the way
people speak (Lashon Bnei Adam). However, as far as the nature of the month is
concerned, the "real" Adar is the second Adar, as Tosfos here points out when he
shows that regarding the reading of the Megilah on Purim we consider the second Adar
to be the "real" one. (See also Rosh Hashanah 19b, where RASHI DH Kamah and TOSFOS DH
Adar point out that the Gemara calls the first Adar the "Chodesh ha'Ibur," the extra
In practice, the SHACH (YD 220:7) writes that even regarding Nedarim and contracts we
should be Machmir out of doubt and take into account the opinion of the Rambam, since
there are a number of other Rishonim who rule like him.
Regarding the observance of a Yahrtzeit, which does not depend on the way people
speak, the Magen Avraham and the Vilna Ga'on conclude that we should be Machmir not
only out of doubt but m'Ikar ha'Din and consider both months of Adar to be the real
Adar, because the Mishnah in Megilah (6b) says that "there is *no* difference between
the first and second Adar except for the reading of Megilah and Matanos la'Evyonim."
Therefore, one should observe the Yahrtzeit and fast (if he has accepted upon himself
such a practice) in *both* months of Adar.
One exception to this rule is regarding the age at which a boy becomes Bar Mitzvah.
The REMA (OC 55:10) writes that a child born in Adar of a regular year, who becomes
thirteen years old in a leap year, only becomes Bar Mitzvah in Adar *Sheni*. The Rema
implies that this is not just because of a doubt, but because we only consider him to
be an adult in the second Adar. Why does the Rema rule like this, when the Rema
himself rules regarding Yahrtzeit and Nedarim that the *first* Adar is the main
The ARUCH HA'SHULCHAN (OC 55:14) explains that the age of Bar Mitzvah does not depend
on the age determined by a given date. Rather, it depends on the count of years that
must pass before the child is considered an adult. Even if the first Adar is called
"Adar," nevertheless, when counting thirteen years from his birth, we must include
the added month, the Chodesh ha'Ibur, like the Mishnah says regarding a Neder (that
is, if someone makes a Neder prohibiting wine upon himself for "a year," in which
case the Chodesh ha'Ibur is included in the Neder and he is prohibited from wine for
thirteen months). Hence, the boy's final year of childhood only concludes after
thirteen months have passed, included the final year's Chodesh ha'Ibur.