R. YOCHANAN AND RESH LAKISH'S SON
(R. Yochanan): The Pasuk of "Aser t'Aser" teaches us to give Ma'aser so that we should grow wealthy (Ashir).
R. Yochanan asked Reish Lakish's son to tell him the Pasuk that he had just learned, and he replied with this Pasuk.
He asked R. Yochanan to explain it, and he gave this explanation.
When asked to explain how he knew it, R. Yochanan told him to test Hash-m on it.
The boy challenged him with a Pasuk that we may not test Hash-m.
R. Yochanan cited R. Hoshaya that this case is an exception, as seen in a Pasuk.
The boy replied that had he reached that Pasuk, he wouldn't have needed R. Yochanan and R. Hoshaya's explanation.
R. Yochanan found Reish Lakish's son saying a Pasuk from Mishlei about a person sinning, coming to harm, and not acknowledging why it happened.
R. Yochanan mused that there must be a Pasuk in Chumash alluding to this.
Reish Lakish's son replied that the episode of Yosef's brothers in Egypt alludes to it.
R. Yochanan lifted up his eyelids to look at the intelligent boy, whereupon his mother took him away, so that R. Yochanan's look should not kill him as it did his father.
THE MERIT THAT BRINGS RAIN
(R. Yochanan): Rain falls in the merit of an individual, but general sustenance only comes in the merit of many.
Question: We see that general sustenance comes in the merit of an individual:
(R. Yosi b. R. Yehudah) Israel had three good providers: Moshe, in whose benefit there was Man, Aharon, in whose benefit were the Clouds of Glory, and Miriam, in whose benefit there was the well.
When Miriam died, the well disappeared, but it returned in the merit of Moshe and Aharon.
When Aharon died, the Clouds of Glory disappeared.
Canaan heard that Aharon had died and the Clouds of Glory had disappeared, and presumed that he now had a right to fight Israel.
Likewise, the Pasuk about Israel seeing that Aharon died can also be read as them being exposed because Aharon died.
This follows Reish Lakish's teaching that "Ki" can mean if, perhaps, rather, and because.
The Clouds of Glory and the well returned in the merit of Moshe.
When Moshe died, they all disappeared, as we see from a Pasuk speaking about three shepherds being cut off in a single month.
Answer: Moshe is different because he was requesting these things on behalf of many people.
When Rava died, his students went to R. Papa. They would signal to each other when he said something that they disagreed with.
He was disheartened and dreamt of the Pasuk of three shepherds being cut off.
The next day, he told them to go in peace, so that the dream would be harmlessly fulfilled through the farewell greeting.
R. Shimi bar Ashi would ask R. Papa many questions. One day he saw him lying down and praying to be saved from the shame he was causing him, so he kept silent from then on.
Reish Lakish also held that rain falls in the merit of an individual, even if he only needs it for a single field or even a single plant, as learned from a Pasuk.
An example is R. Daniel bar Katina, who would tour his garden daily and say which rows required water, and it would rain on those rows.
Question: The Pasuk says that "Hash-m makes Chazizim" - what does this mean?
Answer: It teaches that Hash-m makes a separate Chaziz for each Tzadik.
Question: What are Chazizim?
Answer: Porchos.; they signify approaching rain.
Question: What are Porchos?
Answer: Light clouds beneath thick clouds.
Fine rain before regular rain means that the rains will last a long time; fine rain after regular rain means that the rains will stop.
The Siman for the former is a sieve; the Siman for the latter is goat dung.
Ula went to Bavel and saw Porchos clouds; he warned people to clear away their goods, but it did not rain.
He noted that just as Babylonians lie, so do their clouds.
Ula went to Bavel and saw a basket of dates for a zuz; he wondered why people were not studying Torah if food was so cheap.
But when he suffered ill effects from eating them, he wondered that they were able to study at all, considering the ill effects of abundant food.
THE BERAISA ABOUT THE SOURCE OF RAIN
(R. Eliezer): The world drinks from the ocean, as we see from the Pasuk that "a mist went up and watered the ground."
Question (R. Yehoshua): Surely seawater is salty?
Answer: It is sweetened in the clouds.
(R. Yehoshua): The world drinks from the Upper Waters, as we see from the Pasuk that it "drinks from the water of the Heavens."
The Pasuk about a mist going up refers to the clouds rising and accepting water from above
They then rain on the ground, a hairsbreadth between each drop.
This teaches that the day of rainfall is as great as the day that the Heavens and Earth were created (as per Daf 2a).
The Pasuk of "He waters the mountains from His upper chambers," explained to refer to the chambers of Hash-m, goes according to R. Yehoshua.
R. Eliezer would counter that when the water rises up there, it is referred to as the upper chambers.
We see that such an explanation exists from the Pasuk about dust and ashes falling from the Heavens.
The Pasuk of Hash-m filling the storehouses with the depths goes according to R. Eliezer.
R. Yehoshua would counter that that is referring to the creation of the world.