ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafTa'anis 5
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.
(a) Rebbi Meir learns from the Pasuk in Yoel "va'Yored Lachem Geshem Moreh
u'Malkosh ba'Rishon" - that the rain season extends right until the end of
Nisan (and that one consequently continues to ask for rain until then).
(b) "Moreh" (mentioned in the second paragraph of the Shema as "Yoreh") is
the early rain - which normally occurs in Mar-Cheshvan; and Malkosh, the
late rain - which occurs in Nisan.
(c) Rebbi Yochanan explains that the Pasuk in Yoel, which records that it
occurred in Nisan - referred to that particular year only, when a drought
had racked the country, and this was the first rain that fell that year.
(d) The famine had lasted seven years.
(a) When the Navi instructed them to plant in Nisan - they replied that
surely it made more sense to eat the grain that they had rather than plant
it and live (at least for the present), than plant it and die immediately.
When David wrote ...
(b) But he insisted, and they listened to him. A miracle occurred and they
found grains of corn that the ants and the mice had stored away in their
(c) They sowed on the second, third and fourth of Nisan - and the second
rain fell on the fifth. By the sixteenth of Nisan, the day of the Omer, the
barley had grown (in eleven days instead of six months [including the first
rain]) - and they brought the Omer with it.
(d) It is about that generation that David wrote - "ha'Zor'im be'Dim'ah
1. ... "Haloch Yeilech u'Vacho ... Bo Yavo be'Rinah" - he was referring to
the starving oxen, who walked along the furrows 'crying' (with hunger), but
who rejoiced on their return journey, because they were able to eat the
young shoots that had miraculously already begun growing.
2. ... "Nosei Alumosav" - he was referring to the stalks of corn, which are
normally two thirds stalk, one third corn, but which had now miraculously
grown in the reverse order; one third stalk, two thirds corn.
(a) In the days of Yehoram ben Ach'av, the Pasuk in Melachim speaks of
another seven-year famine. For the first and second year they ate what was
in the houses and what was in the fields respectively.
(b) In the *third* year, they ate the Kasher animals - in the *fourth*, the
(c) In the fifth year, they ate insects - in the sixth year, their children,
and in the seventh, the flesh of their own arms.
(a) Throughout this Sugya, Rav Nachman is asking his Rebbe Kashyos on
Pesukim, and his Rebbe is supplying the answers. The name of his Rebbe is -
(b) Rebbi Yitzchak quoting Rebbi Yochanan, explained the Pasuk in Hoshei'a
"Bekirbecha Kadosh, Lo Avo be'Ir" - that Hasem will not enter the Beis-
Hamikdash shel Ma'alah (the celestial Beis-Hamikdash), before He enters the
Beis Hamikdash shel Matah (the one on earth).
(c) We learn from the Pasuk "Yerushalayim ha'Benuyah, ke'Ir she'Chubrah Lah
Yachdav" - that just as there is a Beis-Hamikdash shel Matah, so too, is
there a Beis-Hamikdash shel Ma'alah.
(d) The connection between the Pasuk in Yirmiyah "u've'Achas Yiv'aru,
ve'Yichsalu, Musar *Havalim*, Eitz Hu", and the Pasuk there "*Hevel* Heimah,
Ma'aseh Ta'atu'im" - is that from the latter, we learn that "Hevel" in the
former means Avodah-Zarah, to teach us that that is the sin which, more than
any other, causes the fire in Gehinom to burn stronger.
(a) Another Pasuk in Yirmiyah writes "Ki *Sh'tayim Ra'os* Asah Ami". In
spite of the fact that they were guilty of the twenty-four sins listed in
Yechezkel (and of contravening the twenty-four Books of T'nach), the Navi
nevertheless refers to just *two* sins - because he wants to stress the sin
of Avodah-Zarah (which, as we just explained, was the one that weighed
heaviest of all their sins), and that was considered like two sins, because
not only did they forsake Hashem, but they also adopted other gods (like
giving up a pit of water in exchange for empty broken pits which cannot hold
water), as the Navi Yirmiyah explains.
(b) This is in contrast with other nations, which would not dream of
swapping their gods (in spite of the fact that they are useless), for other
(equally useless) gods, as the Navi Yirmiyah writes "ha'Heimir Goy Elohim
ve'Heimah Lo Elohim, ve'Ami Heimir Kevodo be'Lo Ho'il"!
(c) The connection between this and the Kuti'im and the Keidari'im - is that
these two nations are the prime example of what we are discussing, inasmuch
as the former used to worship fire, and the latter, water, and, even though
the Kuti'im knew full-well that water extinguishes fire, they did not
exchange their god for that of the Keidari'im.
(a) Shmuel was fifty-two when he died. We know this because he was two years
old (immediately following his weaning) when his mother dedicated him to
serve in the Mishkan "Ad Olam", and in terms of a ben Levi, that means fifty
(b) Rav Yitzchak explain the Pasuk "Vayehi Ki Zakein Shmuel" - to mean that,
although he was not really old - old age 'sprang on him' prematurely.
(c) Shmuel requested from Hashem that - just as Yehoshua, who was appointed
to leadership by Moshe but who was also the disciple of Aharon (see also
Agados Maharsha) did not die during their life-time, so too, should Shaul,
who was anointed by him, should not die in his life-time.
(d) Shmuel compared himself to Moshe and Aharon - because Hashem (echoed in
the Pasuk in Tehilim - "Moshe ve'Aharon be'Kohanav, u'Sh'muel be'Kor'ei
She'mo) had already done so.
(a) Hashem's subsequent dilemma - was that He could not now kill Shaul as
long as Shmuel was alive, whilst on the other hand, if He would kill Shmuel
first, people would ascribe his premature death to his having sinned. Nor
could He kill neither, because David's time had arrived to rule, and one
king does not have the right to encroach on the reign of another.
(b) Hashem got round it - by making Shmuel look old, so that nobody would
have any misgivings about his dying young (because they would take him to be
older than he really was.
(c) Ramah (Shmuel's home-town) is mentioned in a Pasuk which speaks about
Shaul living in Giv'ah - because it was thanks to Shmuel's Tefilah that
Shaul lived for an extra two and a half years (otherwise, he would have died
immediately after his sin).
(d) We learn from the Pasuk in Hoshei'a "Al-Kein Chatzavti bi'Nevi'im
Haragtim *be'Imrei Fi*" - that Hashem removed Shmuel (one wonders whether
the Rashi did not perhaps write 'Shaul' rather than 'Shmuel') from before
David (meaning that He killed Shmuel because of His decree that David should
now take over from Shaul, and not because he had sinned).
(a) Rav Yitzchak initially declined to say a D'var Torah, when Rav Nachman
asked him once to say something during the meal - because of Rebbi Yochanan,
who said that one should not speak whilst eating (to avoid the food goes
down the wrong pipe and choking).
(b) When he eventually said that Ya'akov Avinu never died - Rav Nachman
objected - because how can the Pasuk then go on to relate how they eulogized
and embalmed him?
(c) Rav Yitzchak learns from the Pasuk in Yirmiyah "ve'Atah Al Tira Avdi
Ya'akov ... Ki Hineni Moshi'acha me'Rachok, ve'es Zar'acha me'Eretz Shivyam"
- that just as *his children* were alive at that time, so was *he*.
(d) According to Rav Yitzchak - they eulogized and embalmed Ya'akov, because
they *took* him for dead, but not because he really *was* (though it is not
clear how they could possibly have embalmed him).
(a) Rav Yitzchak explained the fact that Rav Nachman said 'Rachav Rachav',
and remained physically unaffected (even though he had told Rav Nachman that
whoever mentioned her name twice, would have an emission) - because *he* was
only referring to someone who actually knew her, but not to someone who,
like Rav Nachman, did not.
(b) When Rav Nachman asked him for a Berachah before parting company - Rav
Yitzchak compared him to a man walking in the desert, who was hungry,
thirsty and tired, when he came across a tree whose fruit was sweet, whose
shade was pleasant and underneath which a river flowed. After eating from
its fruit, drinking from the water of the river and resting under the tree's
shade, he got up to leave. 'How can I bless you', he said to the tree? 'Your
fruit is already sweet, your shade is already pleasant and there is already
a river flowing beneath you. May it be Hashem's will that all the saplings
that one plants from you, should be like you'.
(c) Rav Nachman was already blessed - with Torah, wealth and children
(corresponding to the fruit, the shade and the water - see Agados Maharsha).
(d) So Rav Nachman bestowed upon his Talmid the blessing - that his children
should be like him.