POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
by R. Nosson Slifkin
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous dafTa'anis 4
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) THE NATURE OF A TORAH SCHOLAR
(a) (Rava) If a young Torah scholar is hot-tempered, it is
the Torah which boils within him, as we see from a Pasuk
which refers to the Torah as fire.
2) INAPPROPRIATE REQUESTS
(b) (R. Ashi) Any Torah scholar who is not as hard as iron is
not a true Torah scholar, as a Pasuk refers to the Torah
as a hammer smashing rocks.
1. (R. Aba) We derive this instead from a Pasuk
speaking of the Avneha which are iron - it is not
read as Avneha (stones) but Boneha, builders.
(c) (Ravina) Even so, they should conduct themselves softly,
as the Torah tells us to avoid anger.
(a) Three people asked for things inappropriately; two were
answered appropriately, and one was answered
3) ASKING FOR RAIN
1. Eliezer said that he would pick the first girl to
give him water - it could have been someone lame or
blind, but it turned out to be Rivkah.
(b) A Pasuk speaks of that which Hashem "did not command, did
not speak of, and did not think of."
2. Shaul promised wealth and his daughter to whoever
would kill Goliath - it might have been a slave or
mamzer, but it turned out to be David..
3. Yiftach said that he would bring as a Korban
whatever would come out of his house first - it
might have been something Tamei, and it turned out
to be his daughter.
i. The prophet bemoans that he didn't go to have
his oath annuled.
1. "Did not command" refers to the son of Misha king of
Moav, who was brought as a Korban
(c) (R. Birchiya) The Jewish People also asked for something
inappropriately, and were answered appropriately.
2. "Did not speak of" refers to Yiftach.
3. "Did not think of" refers to bringing Yitzchak as a
1. They asked that Hashem should be as the rain for
them, and Hashem said that since rain is not always
desirable, He will be as dew instead.
2. They also asked that they be as a seal on Hashem's
heart and arm; He said that since these are not
always visible, they shall be on His palms instead.
(a) The Mishnah said that we only ask for rain close to the
time of rain.
(b) Assuming that asking for rain and mentioning it are the
same thing, who does this follow?
(c) (Rava) It follows R. Yehoshua, who said that we mention
the rain from when the Lulav is put away.
(d) (Abaye) Even R. Eliezer could agree to this; asking for
rain is different from mentioning it.
1. In some versions, this is phrased as a question that
it can only follow R. Yehoshua, and an answer that
it could even follow R. Eliezer.
4) STOPPING ASKING FOR RAIN
(a) R. Yehudah said that on the first day of Pesach, the
Shaliach Tzibur of Shacharis mentions rain, but not that
5) BEGINNING MENTIONING RAIN
(b) Question: We see otherwise in a Beraisa:
1. (R. Yehudah) We ask for rain until Pesach has
(c) Answer (R. Chisda): Mentioning it stops on the first day
of Pesach, but asking for it continues.
2. (R. Meir) We ask for it until the end of Nisan.
1. Objection (Ulla): That is problematic - if we
mention rain at times when we can't ask for it, we
should certainly mention it at times when we can!
(d) Alternate answer (Ulla): It is a dispute between Tannaim
as to R. Yehudah's opinion; each holds consistently
regarding mentioning it and asking for it.
(e) Alternate answer (R. Yosef): When R. Yehudah said that
we ask for rain until Pesach has passed, he meant until
the Shaliach Tzibur of Shacharis on the first day has
1. Question (Abaye): Surely we don't say the Amidah
which contains requests on Yom Tov!
(f) Alternate answer (Rabah): "Until Pesach has passed" means
until the time for slaughtering the Korban Pesach has
passed (midday on the fourteenth):
2. Answer (R. Yosef): The person delivering the
Derashah mentioned the request.
3. Question: But it would be inappropraiate to ask for
it at this time!
i. Ulla's answer must therefore be the correct
1. Just as he begins by mentioning rain (on the last
day of Sukos) and not asking for it (until the next
day), so too he concludes by mentioning rain (until
Musaf of the first day of Pesach) and not asking for
it (which ended on the previous morning).
2. Question (Abaye): At the beginning, it makes sense
to mention it without asking for it, as mentioning
it sets the tone for the future request; but what
purpose would it serve at the end?
i. Ulla's answer must therefore be the correct
(a) (R. Asi, citing R. Yochanan): The Halachah follows R.
Yehudah (that on the last day of Sukos, the Shaliach
Tzibur for Musaf mentions rain, but not that of
6) ASKING FOR RAIN NOWADAYS
(b) Question (R. Zeira): We see that we begin asking for rain
at a later time:
1. (Mishnah) We begin asking for rain on the third of
(c) Answer (R Asi): You cannot ask a question from R.
Gamliel's view to R. Yochanan's view.
2. (R. Gamliel) We begin on the seventh.
3. (R. Elazar) The Halachah follows R. Gamliel.
(d) Alternate answer: R. Yochanan was speaking about
mentioning it, while R. Gamliel was speaking about asking
1. Question: Surely R. Yochanan said that mentioning
rain follows when we ask for it?
(e) New answer: R. Gamliel was referring to Bavel (who still
have produce in the fields until the end of Tishrei),
while R. Yochanan was referring to Eretz Yisrael.
2. Answer: That referred to *stopping* them both at the
3. Question: R. Yochanan said that they also begin
1. Question: Just as Bavel has produce in the fields,
Eretz Yisrael has pilgrims from Yom Tov, so they
should also begin asking for rain later?
(f) Alternate answer: We can now also resolve the original
difficulty by saying that R. Gamliel was referring to
Eretz Yisrael at the time of the Beis ha'Mikdash, and R.
Yochanan was referring to it when there was no Beis
2. Answer: R. Yochanan was referring to periods when
there is no Beis ha'Mikdash.
(a) Question: When should we, who have two days of Safek Yom
Tov, begin asking for rain?
(b) Answer (Rav): We mention it on the seventh day of Sukos
at Musaf, then we don't mention it again until the Musaf
of the eighth day.
1. Question (Shmuel): After mentioning it on the
seventh day at Musaf, thereby showing it to be Yom
Tov, how can we then revoke that by not mentioning
it at Minchah?
(c) Answer (Shmuel): We mention it at Musaf and Minchah on
the seventh day, then we don't mention it again until
Musaf of the eighth day.
(d) (Rava and R. Sheshes) Once we have started mentioning it,
we don't stop.
(e) Rav also came around to this view, as he said that one
counts twenty-one days from Rosh Hashanah until the
seventh day of Sukos and then begins to mention it, and
once one has started, one doesn't stop.
1. The Halachah is that once we have started mentioning
it, we don't stop.