REVIEW QUESTIONS ON GEMARA AND RASHI
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
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
(a) What was the gist of Nakdimon's prayers?
(b) Hashem answered Nakdimon's prayers, and even more rain fell than was
needed to fill the twelve water-wells.
How did the aristocrat react to
(c) After Nakdimon ben Gurion returned to the Beis Hamikdash to pray a
second time, the clouds dispersed and the sun appeared.
What did the
aristocrat then say?
(d) Seeing as Nakdimon's real name was Buni, why was he called 'Nakdimon'?
(a) The sun also stood still for two other Tzadikim (besides Nakdimon ben
Gurion). We know that the sun stood still for Yehoshua bin Nun from the
Pasuk in Yehoshua "va'Yidom ha'Shamesh, ve'Yarei'ach Amad" (whilst he chased
the fleeing kings whom he had defeated).
What do we learn from the
'Gezeirah-Shavah' *"Acheil* Teis Pachdecha" (Devarim) "Acheil Gadelcha"
(Yehoshua) (or from "Acheil *Teis* Pachdecha" "be'Yom *Teis* Hashem es
ha'Emori" [Yehoshua], according to Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini)?
(b) How does Rebbi Yochanan learn the same thing from the Pasuk in Devarim
"Asher Yishme'un Shim'acha, ve'Ragzu ve'Chalu Mipanecha"?
(a) What major distinction does Rav draw between the Pasuk in Amos (quoted
in our Mishnah) "ve'Himtarti al Ir Achas, ve'Al Achas Lo Amtir" and the
Pasuk in Eichah "Haysah Yerushalayim le'Nidah Beinehem"?
(b) Rav's Derashah from the Pasuk in Eichah is quoted by Rav Yehudah.
According to Rav Yehudah (himself), the following Pesukim all have something
What does he Darshen from the Pasuk ...
(c) Bil'am compared Yisrael to a cedar-tree.
- ... in Eichah "Haysah *ke*'Almanah"?
- ... in Malachi "ve'Gam Ani Nasati Eschem Nivzim u'Shefalim".
- ... in Melachim (again in the name of Rav) "ve'Hikah Hashem es Yisrael Ka'asher Yanud ha'Kaneh ba'Mayim"?
What does Rebbi Shmuel bar
Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan learn from the Pasuk in Mishlei "Ne'emanim
Pitz'ei Oheiv ve'Ne'etaros Neshikos Sonei"?
(d) What (besides 'heaped up') does *Ne'etaros* mean?
(a) Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan connects the Pasuk in
Mishlei with (the previous Derashah from) the Pasuk in Melachim (which was
said by Achyah ha'Shiloni) by pointing out the differences between a bamboo-
cane and a cedar. As opposed to a bamboo, a cedar does not grow next to
water, and when it is cut down it does not re-grow.
How can Rebbi Yonasan say that a cedar does not grow next to water, when the
Pasuk in Balak specifically writes "ka'Arazim *Alei Mayim*?
What is the third
(physical) difference that distinguishes the bamboo from the cedar?
(b) What additional (spiritual) advantage does the bamboo enjoy over the
(c) Why is the bamboo not blown down by the wind like the cedar is?
(d) Why is it specifically the *south*-wind that blows down the cedar?
Answers to questions
(a) In an unusually jovial mood, Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon was riding his
donkey by the river-bank one day feeling quite pleased with himself, when he
came across a very ugly man.
What had he done that caused him to feel so
jovial (and so proud)?
(b) Besides not returning the man's greeting, what did he say to him?
(c) What was the man's response?
(d) Was the man willing to forgive Rebbi Elazar, when he dismounted and
begged him for forgiveness?
(a) The man followed Rebbi Elazar into town.
How did he react when he
discovered that the man whom the townspeople were calling 'Rebbe', was none
other than the man who had insulted him?
(b) How does the story end? Did he forgive him or not?
(c) What Derashah did Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon subsequently make?
(d) What reward did the bamboo receive for its suppleness?
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that a town whose walls collapsed in the wind
must fast and blow the Shofar. But that is only if the walls are strong and
not due to collapse, but not if they are weak or due to collapse. Having
mentioned 'weak', 'due to collapse' might mean due to its height.
else might it mean?
(b) Rav and Shmuel were very particular not to pass under 'a weak wall in
Neherda'a that was not due to fall'.
Considering that it was a weak wall,
what does 'not due to fall' mean?
(c) Why, on one occasion, was Rav not afraid to walk next to it?
(a) What did Rav Huna once do to Rav Ada bar Ahavah that made him angry?
(b) Rav Ada's anger was based on his interpretation of the Pasuk in
va'Yishlach "Katonti mi'Kol ha'Chasadim u'mi'Kol ha'Emes".
How did he
interpret that Pasuk, and what was it that made him angry?
(c) When they asked him what he had done to merit such long life, he replied
with a list of seven points: He said that he had never been cross with his
family or walked in front of people who knew more Torah than he did.
did he never do in dirty alleyways?
(d) He never walked four Amos without Torah and without Tefilin (except in
dirty alleyways), or slept in the Beis-Hamedrash no matter what. The next
two things that he did, belonged to Mitzvos between man and man.
they? What is the difference between 'ba'Hachinaso' and 'ba'Chanichaso'?
(a) When Rava asked (his grand-Talmid) Rafram bar Papa to tell him about the
good deeds of Rav Huna (this cannot possibly be referring to Rav Huna, the
disciple of Rav, who lived some four generations before Rafram) he replied
that he could only re-call things that he had done later in life.
Rav Huna used to do ...
(b) Why did he do that?
- ... on every cloudy day?
- ... every Friday?
(c) Why did he not give the vegetables that he had bought ...
(d) And why would he place a bottle of water behind the door for anyone to take?
- ... to the poor?
- ... to the animals? Is it better to throw it away?
(a) The final good deed of Rav Huna was the only one that Rava claimed he
could not emulate.
Answers to questions
What was it?
(b) Why was he unable to emulate it?