POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
by R. Nosson Slifkin
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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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.
1) MISHNAH: MENTIONING THE RAINS
(a) The might of the rains is mentioned:
2) THE ROOTS OF THE MISHNAH
1. (R. Eliezer) From the first day of Sukos.
(b) We only ask for rain close to its time.
2. (R. Yehoshua) From the last day of Sukos.
i. Since rain on Sukos is a bad sign, why mention
ii. (R. Eliezer) I did not say to ask for it, only
to mention that it happens at its proper time.
iii. (R. Yehoshua) If so, it should be mentioned all
(c) (R. Yehudah) On the last day of Sukos, the Shaliach
Tzibur for Musaf mentions rain, but not that of
1. On the first day of Pesach, the Shaliach Tzibur for
Shacharis mentions rain, but not that of Musaf.
(a) Question: Where have we learned that there is an
obligation to mention rain, leading the Mishnah to
discuss when this begins?
1. Suggested answer: In Maseches Berachos, we learned
that the might of the rains is mentioned in the
Berachah of the Resurrection of the Dead.
(b) New answer: Our Tana is continuing from Rosh Hashanah,
where we learned that on Sukos, judgment is passed for
2. Question: Why wasn't the date of when it begins
(c) Question: Why does the Mishnah speak of "the might of"
(d) Answer: Because they descend with might, as we see from
the following Derashah:
1. A Pasuk describes the rain as being "without
comprehension" and another Pasuk uses the same term
to describe the creation of the world, which is also
described as being done with might.
(e) Question: How do we know that this should be mentioned
1. The Pasuk states that we are to serve Hashem with
our hearts, which refers to prayer, and it is
followed by a reference to the rain.
(f) (R. Yochanan) Hashem has three keys that are not
entrusted to an intermediary: those of rain, childbirth,
and resurrection of the dead, as derived from Pesukim.
3) MENTIONING RAIN
1. In Eretz Yisrael, they added: also the key of
2. R. Yochanan held that that was included in rain.
(a) The Mishnah quoted R. Eliezer that mention of rainfall
begins on the first day of Sukos.
(b) Question: Did he learn it from Lulav, and like Lulav, it
begins by day, or did he learn it from Nisuch haMayim,
and it begins from the evening.
(c) Answer: R. Avahu said that he learned it from Lulav.
(d) Some say he received this as a tradition, and some say he
derived it from the following Mishnah:
1. From when do we mention the rains?
(e) Question: What is R. Yehoshua's response to R. Eliezer's
2. (R. Eliezer) From the day that Lulav is taken.
3. (R. Yehoshua) From the day that the Lulav is put
i. (R. Eliezer) The Four Species are taken as an
appeasement for water; like them, the world
cannot survive without water (and therefore we
should mention the rains on Sukos.)
4. (R. Yehudah b. Beseirah) The rains are mentioned
from the second day of Sukos.
ii. (R. Yehoshua) But rain on Sukos is a bad sign!
iii. (R. Eliezer) I did not say to ask for rain,
only to mention it, just as Techiyas ha'Meisim
is mentioned all year yet only happens at its
proper time; therefore, if a person wants to
mention the rains all year, he can.
iv. (Rebbi) From the day that we stop asking for
rain, we should also stop mentioning it.
5. (R. Akiva) They are mentioned from the sixth day of
6. (R. Yehudah, citing R. Yehoshua) On the last day of
Sukos (Shemini Atzeres), the Shaliach Tzibur for
Musaf mentions the rain, but not that of Shacharis;
on the first day of Pesach, the Shaliach Tzibur of
Shacharis mentions the rain, but not that of Musaf.
(f) Answer: Techiyas ha'Meisim would be welcomed at any time,
but a Mishnah teaches that rain after Nisan is a bad
(g) Question: What is the reason of R. Yehudas b. Beseirah?
(h) Answer: The letters of MaYiM are spelled out in the
Torah, beginning on the second day, alluding to the
(i) R. Akiva's reason is that the Pasuk of the sixth day
alludes to two Nisuchim, that of wine and that of water.
1. Question: Perhaps they both refer to wine?
2. Answer: R. Akiva holds of R. Yehudah b. Beseira's
acronym of MaYiM.
3. Question: Why does he not also hold that it begins
on the second day?
4. Answer: As the superfluous mention of Nisuch is on
the sixth day.