prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler of Kollel Iyun Hadaf
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
(a) We just learned that, according to the Tana Kama, if one town has sufficient rain, but its neighbor does not, then, apart from the fact that both towns must fast and blow the Shofar, all the surrounding towns must fast too, but not blow the Shofar. What does Rebbi Akiva say?
(b) By which two other calamities do Rebbi Akiva and the Chachamim engage in the same Machlokes?
(c) In a town of five hundred inhabitants, what constitutes a plague of pestilence?
(a) If 'Shidafon' and 'Yerakon' (plagues that affect the produce), or a plague of locusts, occurred in one town, one fasts and blows the Shofar everywhere. Why is that?
(b) To which two other calamities does this Halachah apply?
(c) Does the obligation of fasting and blowing the Shofar even extend to other countries?
(d) The Tana Kama relates how they decreed a fast in Eretz Yisrael because wolves devoured two children in Eiver ha'Yarden. What does Rebbi Yosi say?
(a) By which three calamities does one cry out (by reciting 'Anenu') even on Shabbos?
(b) What does Rebbi Yosi say?
(c) Which third calamity does Shimon ha'Teimani add to this list, though the Rabanan do not agree with him?
(a) Which is the only calamity for which one does not fast or blow the Shofar?
(b) What did Choni ha'Me'agel ...
1. ... instruct the people to do when they asked him to pray for rain?
2. ... do when, initially no rain came?
3. ... point out, when only a trickle came?
4. ... say, when it came down in angry torrents?
(c) He was loathe to pray for the rain to stop. What did he instruct the people to do before he did so?
(d) What message did Shimon ben Shetach subsequently send him?
(a) According to the Tana Kama, if it began to rain only after sunrise, they would nevertheless continue fasting. What does Rebbi Eliezer say?
(b) What did Rebbi Tarfon once rule in Lud when, during a fast for rain, it began to rain before mid-day?
(c) And what did they do after they had eaten?
(a) How does Rav Yehudah (or Rav Huna, emend and) explain our Mishnah 'Seder Ta'aniyos Elu ha'Amur bi'Revi'ah Rishonah' in order to avoid clashing with a Beraisa?
(b) Then why did the Tana mention the first fall of rain at all?
(c) Rav Nachman establishes our Mishnah (which says that if the produce changes from what was originally planted, one fasts immediately) specifically in a case when it actually changed, but not when the produce dried up. Why not?
(d) We explain Rav Nachman's Chidush to be in a case 'd'Hadar Ikun'. What does this mean? What is the Chidush?
(a) The Tana of our Mishnah rules that, if the rain began to fall in good time, but then stopped, one fasts and blows, because it is Makas Batzores (scarcity). This is not technically correct. What does he really mean?
(b) What is the difference between having to transport grain down the river from one town to another (which has no food of its own), on the one hand, and having to transport it from one country to another by donkey, on the other?
(a) Rebbi Chanina describes a case of 'a Se'ah for a Sela, but it is available', as Batzores. Why is that?
(b) How does he then go on to describe famine?
(c) What did Rebbi Yochanan comment on the latter case? What did he remember from his early days in Teverya?
(a) Elaborating on our Mishnah, we conclude that a light rain is good for the plants but not for the trees. What kind of rain is good for ...
1. ... the trees but not for the plants?
2. ... the trees and the plants but not for the water-pits?
3. ... the water-pits but not for the trees and the plants (according to Rashi's first explanation)?
(b) When does one start blowing the Shofar if there is insufficient water for ...
1. ... the trees?
2. ... to fill the pits?
3. ... to drink?
(c) Can 'immediately' be taken literally?
(d) Do the neighboring towns need to blow Shofar and fast, too?
(a) The Beraisa discusses two kinds of Askara (croup). For which one does one fast and blow the Shofar, and for which one does one not?
(b) What is the difference between Guva'i and Chagav (two kinds of locusts)? What are the ramifications of that difference, according to the Tana Kama?
(c) What does Raban Shimon ben Elazar say?
(a) Does one fast and blow the Shofar for ...
1. ... water to fill the water pits in the Shemitah (bearing in mind that the rain will also water the earth)?
2. ... for the trees (according to the Tana Kama)?
(b) What does Raban Shimon ben Gamliel say about fasting for the trees and the wild seeds in the Shemitah?
(c) Rebbi Elazar ben Prata says 'mi'Yom she'Charav Beis Hamikdash, Na'aseh Geshamim Tzimukin', meaning that sometimes there is plenty of rain, sometimes there is a shortage; sometimes the rain falls in its time, sometimes it does not. To what does he compare a year when...
1. ... the rain falls in its time?
2. ... it does not?
(d) According to the first Lashon, he compares a year when there is sufficient rain, to a slave who receives his sustenance all in one go, so that only one lot of flour gets lost in the mill (and similarly, the rain-water is absorbed by the earth and the wind only once); and a year when there is insufficient rain to a slave who received his sustenance little by little, so that each time he kneads, he loses more flour (and so it is with the rain-water). What second Mashal does he give?
(a) The Beraisa tells the story of Nakdimon ben Gurion. What did Nakdimon ben Gurion ask from the Roman aristocrat, and what did he promise to give him in return, should it not have rained by a certain date?
(b) What did he reply to the aristocrat when, first the morning of the given date arrived, then noon, then late afternoon, and no rain was forthcoming?
(c) What was that aristocrat's reaction the third time that Nakdimon gave him that answer?
(d) Where was a sad-looking Nakdimon going when he met a happy-looking aristocrat going to the bathhouse? What did Nakdimon do there?
(a) What was the gist of Nakdimon's prayers?
(b) Hash-m answered Nakdimon's prayers, and even more rain fell than was needed to fill the twelve water-wells. How did the aristocrat react to that?
(a) What did Nakdimon say after returning to the Beis Hamikdash to pray a second time?
(b) In response to his prayers, the clouds dispersed and the sun appeared. What did the aristocrat then say?
(c) Seeing as Nakdimon's real name was Buni, why was he called 'Nakdimon'?
(d) What did Nakdimon demand from the aristocrat?