POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
by R. Nosson Slifkin
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous dafTa'anis 16
TA'ANIS 16 (11 Elul) - dedicated to the memory of Chana (Birnbaum) bas Reb
Chaim, on the day of her Yarzeit.
1) THE ORDER OF THE FAST DAY
(a) Question: Why did everyone go out into the street?
2) THE SPEECH
(b) Answer #1 (R. Chiya bar Aba): To proclaim that we have
cried out in the privacy of Shul and have not been
answered, so now we are demeaning ourselves in public.
(c) Answer #2 (Resh Lakish): To proclaim that we are
undergoing exile as an atonement.
1. The practical difference would be in a case where
they moved from one Shul to another, which would
only be effective according to the second
(d) Question: Why was the Aron taken out into the street?
(e) Answer: To show that our private vessel has become
demeaned through our sins.
(f) Question: Why do the people wear sackcloth?
(g) Answer: To proclaim that we are no better than animals
(and therefore wear animal skins).
(h) Question: Why are ashes placed on the Aron?
(i) Answer: As Hashem is with His people in their distress.
1. (R. Zeira) "When I first saw them place ashes on the
Aron, my whole body trembled."
(j) Question: Why would everybody place ashes on their head?
(k) Answer #1: To proclaim that we are considered before
Hashem as ashes.
(l) Answer #2: To raise the memory of the ashes of Yitzchak.
1. The practical difference is that according to the
first answer, dust would suffice.
(m) Question: Why would everyone go to the cemetary?
(n) Answer #1: To proclaim that we are considered before
Hashem as the dead.
(o) Answer #2: So that the dead should pray for mercy on our
1. The practical difference is that according to the
first answer, a non-Jewish cemetery would suffice.
(p) Question: Why was Har ha'Moriah so called?
(q) Answer #1: It is the mountain from which teachings
(Hora'ah) went out for Israel.
(r) Answer #2: It is the mountain which caused fear (Mora)
for the non-Jews.
(a) The Mishnah said that the oldest present would deliver a
3) THE SHALIACH TZIBUR
(b) (Beraisa) If there is an elder present, he delivers it;
otherwise, a Chacham delivers it; otherwise, a person of
stature should deliver it.
1. Question: Does this mean that the first choice is an
elder even if he is not a Chacham?
(c) He should say that, as we find with the people of Ninveh,
it is not sackcloth and fasting which help, but
repentance and good deeds.
2. Answer: It means that the first choice is an elder
who is also a Chacham.
(d) The people of Ninveh tied up the animals away from their
young, and told Hashem that if He didn't have mercy on
them, they wouldn't have mercy on their animals.
(e) They challenged Hashem that the righteous should sway the
fate of the wicked, rather than vice-versa.
1. What does the Pasuk mean with "they repented from
the violence of their hands"?
2. Answer: A person who stole a beam and built a
building with it destroyed the building to return it
to its owner.
3. A person who has stolen something and repents
without returning it is like someone holding a
Sheretz for whom all the waters in the world won't
work for Tevilah.
i. But as soon as he discards it, forty Se'ah alone
works as a Tevilah.
4. The Pasuk says that we have to place our heart in
our hands i.e. to repent in deed.
(a) The Mishnah says that an elder etc. would act as the
(b) (Beraisa) Even if there is an elder who is a Chacham
present, the Shaliach Tzibur must be someone who is
(c) It must be someone with dependants whom he cannot
support; agricultural concerns; an empty home; a noble
history; humble; beloved to the people; pleasant voiced;
familiar with Tenach, Midrash, Halachah and Aggada; and
familiar with all the Berachos.
(d) R. Yiztchak bar Ami was considered to meet these
(e) Question: Isn't having dependants whom he cannot support
the same as having an empty house?
4) THE EXTRA BERACHOS
(f) Answer: It refers to having a house empty of sin.
(g) "A noble history" means that he didn't get a bad name in
(h) The Pasuk about a lion "roaring against me" refers to an
unsuitable Shaliach Tzibur.
(a) Question: The Mishnah says that six Berachos were added;
yet it lists seven concluding Berachos!?
(b) Answer: The seventh does not conclude a seventh new
Berachah, but rather the seventh Berachah from the one
which was added on to:
1. This is the Berachah of Go'el Yisrael, which is
lengthened and responded to with Amen; the Chazan
then calls for a Tekiyah.
(c) This was only true in the rest of Eretz Yisrael, but not
in the Beis ha'Mikdash, where they do not say Amen.
2. After the next Berachah, he calls for a Teruah, and
alternates in this way for all of them.
(d) We know this as the Pasuk, referring to the Beis
ha'Mikdash, says that when Hashem is blessed, the people
whould respond with Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuso l'Olam
(e) One might think that this response is only said once; the
Pasuk therefore says that it is said in response to every
(f) The Chazan then calls for a Tekiyah, and after the next
Berachah, he calls for a Teruah, and alternates in this
way for all of them.
1. R. Chalafta acted in this way in Tzipori, as did R.
Chananyah b. Tradyon in Sichni.
(g) The Gemara then lists an alternative rendition of the
Beraisa (as cited).
2. The Chachamim responded that the custom was to do so
only in Sha'ar ha'Mizrach and Har ha'Bayis.
(h) R. Yehudah said that Zichronos and Shofaros need not be
amongst the six extra Berachos.
1. His reason is that these are only said on Rosh
Hashanah, Yovel, and during times of war.