ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafTa'anis 24
Rebbi Yossi bar Avin left Rebbi Yossi from Yukras to go and learn by Rav Ashi
- because 'if he does not have pity on his own son and daughter, he argued,
'how will he have pity on *Me*'?
(a) When Rav Ashi once quoted Shmuel that if someone draws a fish out of the
sea on Shabbos, the moment the size of a Sela (coin) on it dries, he becomes
Chayav for killing it - Rebbi Yossi bar Avin asked him why he did not add
that this speaks specifically if it dries between its fins.
(b) He would not be Chayav for catching the fish - because it speaks when he
had previously placed it in the sea in a (small) box, where it was already
(c) Rav Ashi replied to his question - that that was the (individual) opinion
of Rebbi Yossi bar Avin (to which Rebbi Yossi replied that he was Rebbi Yossi
(a) Rebbi Yossi from Yukras' son decreed that the fig-tree should produce
fruit before they were due, in order to feed the hungry workers (who were
waiting for his father to bring them food). It greatly displeased his father
- that he caused his Creator to produce fruit outside of its time.
(b) He therefore decreed that he should be removed before his time.
(c) The peeping Tom explained to Rebbi Yossi from Yukras that he had made a
hole in his wall - because, if he could not marry his beautiful daughter, at
least he could look at her.
(d) Upon which - Rebbi Yossi said to his daughter that since she was causing
people such pain, she should return to dust, a curse which materialized.
(a) Rebbi Yossi from Yukras would hire out his donkey. At the end of the day,
it would return by itself to its owner with the exact rental on its back. If
the hirer put slightly more or slightly less on its back, it refused to go.
(b) It happened once that the hirer forgot a pair of shoes on its back - and
it refused to return home until he removed it.
(a) The officers of Tzedakah used to hide from Elazar Ish Birsa - because
whenever he saw them, he would give them whatever money he had with him.
(b) He was once on his way to market to purchase his daughter's trousseau -
when he they saw him. They ran to hide, but he ran after them. When he caught
them he insisted on giving them all the money that he had with him, because
they happened to be collecting for an orphan boy and an orphan girl, and, he
argued, they were a more worthy cause than his daughter (who had parents).
(c) With the one remaining Zuz - he purchased wheat, which he took home and
placed in his storehouse. A miracle occurred, and the storehouse became full
(d) When his daughter came to the Beis Hamedrash, to inform him what 'his
good Friend' had done for him - he told her that the wheat was Hekdesh and
that she was permitted to take from it just like any other poor person (and
no more) because it came through a miracle and, as we have already learned,
one may not derive benefit from something that comes through a miracle.
(a) Rebbi Yehudah Nesi'ah - was the son of Raban Gamliel, Rebbi's son.
(b) When he decreed a fast and nothing happened - he lamented that it was not
such a long time since the days of Shmuel ha'Ramasi, who prayed for rain, and
rain came; so why was rain not forthcoming now?
(c) The rain came - as soon as he felt discouraged (i.e. he realized his own
(a) When the Prince decreed a fast without having informed Rebbi Yochanan and
Resh Lakish, the latter thought that, seeing as they had not accepted the
fast at the previous Minchah, they were not obligated to fast. Rebbi Yochanan
however, told him - that they were obligated to follow the Prince's rulings,
in which case, it was not necessary to accept the fast on the previous day
(in the same way as one does not need to accept a public fast on the previous
(b) Based on the Pasuk in Sh'lach Lecha "ve'Hayah Im me'Einei ha'Eidah
Ne'es'sah li'Shegagah" - the younger Rebbi Oshaya said that the Torah
compares the leaders of the people to their eyes. It is like a bride, he
explained: when a bride's eyes are in good shape, then so is the rest of her
body, but when they are not, then she needs to be examined. This brought on
the ire of the Prince's servants.
(c) The people came to his defense however, when the servants began throwing
things at him - by pointing out that he tended to start up with them too, yet
they forgave him because everything he did, he did for the sake of Heaven. So
the servants should do likewise.
(d) When Rebbi decreed a fast, no rain came. The moment Ilfa (or Rebbi Ilfi)
said 'Mashiv ha'Ru'ach', the wind began to blow, and when he said 'u'Morid
ha'Gashem', it began to rain. Ilfa's outstanding merit was - that he lived in
a poverty-stricken village, where they could not even afford wine for Kidush
and Havdalah; so he went to a lot of trouble to obtain wine and be Motzi them
all with Kidush and Havdalah each week.
(a) The same occurred to Rav and the children's Rebbe as happened to Rebbi
and Ilfa. The three righteous acts that the children's Rebbe used to do when
he learned with his young pupils was - 1. to learn with the children of poor
parents together with the children of the rich (and if they could not afford
to pay, then he would not take any money from them); 2. He owned pools of
fish from which he earned a livelihood. Whenever a child did not want to
learn, he would 'bribe' him by giving him a fish.
(b) Rav Nachman too, decreed a fast and no rain came at first - It was when
he said 'Take Nachman and throw him down from the wall', causing himself to
feel discouraged (and inadequate), that the rain came.
(c) They were more advanced in their learning in the days of Rabah than in
the days of Rav Yehudah (despite the fact that Rabah lived one generation
later) - because in his time they were fully conversant in all six Sedarim
(of Mishnayos), whereas in the days of Rav Yehudah, it seems, they were only
expert in Seder Nezikin.
(d) In spite of that, when Rabah decreed a fast or even if he were to Daven
all day, no-one would take any notice; whereas all Rav Yehudah had to do was
to remove one shoe, and the rain came down in torrents. That was not because
they were more righteous then - but because the people were on a higher level
in Rav Yehudah's generation than they were in Rabah's. (Note: Interestingly,
the Gemara in Berachos and in Sanhedrin offer two different explanations.)
(a) Rav Yehudah found Maseches Uktzin particularly difficult - whereas in the
times of Rabah, there were thirteen Yeshivos studying it.
(b) Even though normally, the 'handle' of food transmits Tum'ah to the food,
the 'handles' of dried vegetables and the leaves of dried olives, do not -
because once the vegetables have been dried - the respective 'handles' and
stalks will no longer serve as handles, because they either break or fall
(a) When Rav Yehudah saw two men throwing bread to each other - he commented
that there must be too much food around and by putting an Ayin ha'Ra (on the
food or on the people), he caused a drought.
(b) the Rabbanan got him to reverse the situation - by getting his Shamash to
lure him outside to the vicinity of the market-place, where he noticed large
crowds gathering looking for food. That was when he asked his Shamash to take
off his shoes to prepare to Daven for rain.
(c) No sooner had his Shamash removed one shoe, than it began to rain. He
was about to remove the other shoe - when Eliyahu ha'Navi came and informed
that, if he did, Hashem would destroy the world (for troubling Hashem more
than is necessary - see Agados Maharsha).
(a) Rav Mari, the son of Shmuel's daughter, saw angels (disguised as sailors)
piling sand into a boat which immediately turned into flour. Rav Yehudah
advise the people not to purchase that flour from them - because it was
miracle-flour, and we have already learned that it is not advisable to
benefit from miracles.
(b) They managed to survive the hunger - because the following day, boatloads
of wheat arrived from Parzina.
(c) Rava too, decreed a fast in Hagrunya, and no rain came. After extending
the fast overnight, he asked whether anyone had had a dream that night. Rebbi
Elazar from Hagrunya had indeed been informed in a dream - 'Shalom Tav le'Rav
Tav, me'Ribon Tav de'mi'Tuvei Meitiv le'Alma'.
(d) Reading this to mean that it was a time of goodwill - Rava Davened, and
(a) Shavur Malka (King of Persia) wanted to punish Rava - because his Beis-
Din, administering Malkos to a man who had had relations with a Nochri woman,
accidently killed him (and the Persians were particularly stringent when it
came to murder, as we shall see at the end of Bava Kama).
When Rav Papa decreed a fast, no rain came initially. Feeling faint, he
tasted a ladle of porridge before proceeding to Daven. The rain came - when
someone made fun of him and suggested that a second ladle of porridge might
just do the trick. This made him embarrased and he fainted. That is when the
(b) Ifra Hurmiz, Shavur Malka's mother, stopped him from actually doing so -
by warning him that he would be better off not starting up with a man who
could produce rain even in mid-summer.
(c) To prove her point, she sent Rava a message that he should pray for rain.
At first, Rava's prayers went unheeded. But when, based on a Pasuk in Tehilim
- he reminded Hashem that they had heard so many stories from their fathers
about the many miracles He had performed for Yisrael, and suggested that
perhaps now was the time to behold them with their own eyes, Hashem
'relented' and bucketsful of rain fell in the middle of summer.
(d) Nevertheless, Rava was placed in Cherem for troubling Hashem to change
the laws of nature. His father (who was no longer alive) saved him from the
wrath of the demons - by appearing to him and warning him to sleep somewher
else (other than in his bed) that night. He followed his father's advice, and
sure enough, the following morning, his bed was bristling with knives.
(a) Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa asked when ...
1. ... the rain came and disturbed his travels - that, seeing as everyone was
happy, and he was sad, it should stop raining.
(b) Rav Yosef says that - so powerful was Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa's Tefilah
that, even the Tefilah of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kipur was ineffective in
face of it.
2. ... he arrived home - that, now that everyone was sad and he alone was
happy, the rain should continue.
(c) The Kohen Gadol Davened a short Tefilah in the Kodesh Kodshim on Yom
1. 'Geshumah u'Shechunah' means - that if it is hotter than usual, it should
at least rain (and the dew should fall).
(d) Every day in the life-time of Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa - a Heavenly Voice
announced 'the whole world is sustained on the merit of Rebbi Chanina ben
Dosa, yet Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa makes do with a Kav (twenty-four egg-
volumes) of carobs from Friday to Friday.
2. Rav Acha Brei de'Rava in the name of Rav Yehuda adds - that the rulership
should not depart from Beis Yehudah, and that Yisrael should not need to come
onto each other for sustenance.