POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
by R. Nosson Slifkin
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous dafTa'anis 20
TA'ANIS 20 (15 Elul) - dedicated by Yechiel Wachtel l'Iluy Nishmas his
father, Reb Shimon Eliezer ben Reb Yechiel Wachtel (who passed away on 15
1) THE STORY OF NAKDIMUN (Cont.)
(a) Nakdimon prayed that he had taken the water only to
benefit the pilgrims, and the rain promptly fell.
2) WHEN THE SUN STOOD STILL
(b) When Nakdimon asked for the surplus water to be returned,
the Roman replied that it was too late anyway, as it
was after sunset.
(c) Nakdimon prayed again, and the sun came out.
(d) Nakdimon was really Buni; he was so called because the
sun shone for him (Nikdarah Chama).
(a) (Beraisa) Three people merited that the sun changed its
course for them: Moshe, Yehoshua, and Nakdimun.
3) CURSES AND BLESSINGS
(b) Question: Nakdimun is as we have said, Yehoshua is
learned from a Pasuk, but how do we know that it happened
(c) Answer #1 (R. Elazar): It is learned from Yehoshua by way
of a Gezerah Shaveh with the word Achel.
(d) Answer #2 (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): The Gezerah Shaveh is
with the word Tes.
(e) Answer #3 (R. Yochanan): The Pasuk says that the nations
trembled, which refers to the sun stopping for Moshe.
(a) The Pasuk which speaks of one city receiving rain, and
another not, means both as a curse; the one receiving
rain receives too much.
4) AS EASYGOING AS A REED
(b) The Pasuk referring to Jerusalem as a Niddah is a
blessing; just as a Niddah is eventually permitted, so
too does Jerusalem eventually regain its status.
(c) The Pasuk says that Jerusalem is like a widow; only
*like* a widow, but not actually as a widow; as a woman
whose husband is overseas but will return.
(d) It speaks of Hashem making the Jews despised, which is a
blessing in that they won't be appointed as
tax-collectors or oppressive officers.
(e) The Pasuk which says that Hashem shall smite Israel as a
reed in the water is a blessing:
1. Achiya ha'Shiloni's curse is better than Bilam's
2. Achiya cursed Israel as a reed, which stands in the
water, renews its stem, has many roots, and sways
with the wind.
3. Bilam blessed Israel as a cedar, which does not
stand in the water, does not renew its stem, does
not have many roots, and breaks in the southerly
4. Furthermore, the reed merits that it is used as a
quill for writing a Torah.
(a) (Beraisa) A person should always be as easygoing as a
reed rather than as stiff (haughty) as a cedar.
1. R. Elazar b. R. Shimon was once riding and feeling
proud of himself for having learned much Torah.
5) COLLAPSING BUILDINGS
2. He happened across an ugly person, who greeted him.
3. R. Elazar responded by saying, "Good-for-nothing! Is
everyone in your town as ugly as you?"
4. The man responded, "I don't know; why don't you ask
the Craftsman Who made me?"
5. Contrite, R. Elazar bowed and begged forgiveness,
but the man wouldn't be swayed.
6. R. Elazar followed the man to his town, whereupon
his townsfolk came out and greeted R. Elazar as a
7. The man said that if R. Elazar is a rabbi, there
shouldn't be too many other such people.
8. The townsfolk urged him to forgive R. Elazar, which
he did on the condition that he should not make a
habit of such an attitude.
9. R. Elazar promptly expounded that a person should
always be as easygoing as a reed rather than as
stiff (haughty) as a cedar, and therefore the reed
merits that it is used as a quill for writing a
Torah, tefillin and mezuzos.
(a) The Mishnah said that a city which suffered pestilence or
collapsing buildings sounds the Shofar and fasts.
6) THE GOOD DEEDS OF RAV HUNA
(b) (Beraisa) This refers to buildings which were sound but
not to those which are shaky; it refers to those which
were not due to collapse, but not to those which were
bound to collapse.
1. Question: Aren't sound buildings and building which
are not due to collapse the same thing?
(c) There was a ruinous wall in Neharda'a which Rav and
Shmuel would not pass beneath, even though it had been
standing for twelve years.
2. Answer #1: Buildings that are too tall might be
sound but are bound to collapse.
3. Answer #2: Buildings that are situated on riverbanks
might be sound but are bound to collapse.
1. When Rav Ada bar Ahava passed that way, Rav told
Shmuel that it was safe, as his merit would protect
(d) R. Huna made use of R. Ada b. Ahava's merit to retrieve
his wine from a ruined building.
1. R. Ada b. Ahava was angry; he held that a person
should not rely on a miracle, and even if one
transpires, it detracts from his merits.
(e) R. Ada b. Ahava's merit was that, as he said when asked
about his longevity, that he never grew angry at home,
walked in front of a greater person, thought about Torah
in unclean places, walked four Amos without Torah or
Tefillin, slept or napped in a Beis ha'Midrash, rejoiced
in another's downfall, or called someone by a derogatory
nickname (other learn: a family nickname).
i. The Pasuk speaks of Yaakov's merits having
decreased due to the miracles that Hashem did
(a) Rava asked Rafram bar Papa about R. Huna's good deeds of
(b) He replied that on a cloudy day, R. Huna would ride
around town in a golden carriage, and demolish all the
dangerous walls. If the owner could not afford to rebuild
it, he would pay for it himself.
(c) Every Friday he would send people to buy all the leftover
vegetables from the market and throw them into the river.
1. Question: Why didn't he give the vegetables to the
(d) When he had a medical problem, he would place a bottle of
water at the gate for anyone to take.
2. Answer: As then they would rely on him for their
vegetables, which would be disastrous if he had
3. Question: Why didn't he give them to animals?
4. Answer: As he held that one is not permitted to give
food that is fit for humans to animals.
5. Qustion: Why did he buy them at all?
6. Answer: So that they would not be discouraged from
bringing vegetables for Shabbos.
1. Some say he did this to avoid their being harmed by
Shivsa, the demon who attacks anyone who eats
without washing his hands.
(e) When he ate bread, he would open his door wide and invite
anyone who wished to come and join him.
(f) (Rava) I could emulate all his deeds except that one, as
there are too many poor people in my town.