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Today's Daf Yomi

June 16, 2014 | י״ח בסיון תשע״ד

  • This month's shiurim are sponsored by Shoshana Shur for the refuah Shlema of Meira Bat Zelda Zahava.

Taanit 5

רבא אמר כיון שהתחיל שוב אינו פוסק וכן אמר רב ששת כיון שהתחיל שוב אינו פוסק

Rava said an alternative suggestion: Once one has started to mention rain, he no longer stops, i.e., he continues the mention of rain consistently until the summer. And, so too, Rav Sheshet said: Once one has started to mention rain, he no longer stops. In other words, once one has begun to mention rain in his prayers in the additional prayer on the Eighth Day of Assembly, he continues to do so uninterrupted, even in the Diaspora.

ואף רב הדר ביה דאמר רב חננאל אמר רב מונה עשרים ואחד יום כדרך שמונה עשרה ימים מראש השנה עד יום הכפורים ומתחיל וכיון שהתחיל שוב אינו פוסק והלכתא כיון שהתחיל שוב אינו פוסק

The Gemara adds: And even Rav retracted his previously stated opinion, as Rav Ḥananel said that Rav said: One counts twenty-one days from Rosh HaShana, just as one counts ten days from Rosh HaShana until Yom Kippur. And after the twenty-one days, one starts to mention rain, and once one has started, he no longer stops. The Gemara concludes: And the halakha is in accordance with the opinion that once one has started to mention rain, he no longer stops.

מתני׳ עד מתי שואלין את הגשמים רבי יהודה אומר עד שיעבור הפסח רבי מאיר אומר עד שיצא ניסן שנאמר ויורד לכם גשם מורה ומלקוש בראשון

MISHNA: Until when does one request rain? Rabbi Yehuda says: We request rain until Passover has passed. Rabbi Meir says: Until the month of Nisan has ended, as it is stated: “And He causes to come down for you the rain, the first rain and the last rain, in the first month” (Joel 2:23). Since the verse states that it rains in Nisan, the first month, this indicates that the entire month is considered part of the rainy season.

גמ׳ אמר ליה רב נחמן לרבי יצחק יורה בניסן יורה במרחשון הוא דתנן יורה במרחשון ומלקוש בניסן אמר ליה הכי אמר רבי יוחנן בימי יואל בן פתואל נתקיים מקרא זה דכתיב ביה יתר הגזם אכל הארבה וגו׳ אותה שנה יצא אדר ולא ירדו גשמים ירדה להם רביעה ראשונה באחד בניסן

GEMARA: Rav Naḥman said to Rabbi Yitzḥak: Is the first rain in Nisan? The first rain is in Marḥeshvan, as we learned in a baraita: The first rain is in Marḥeshvan and the last rain is in Nisan. Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said as follows: This verse was fulfilled in the days of the prophet Joel, son of Pethuel, in a year concerning which it is written: “That which the palmer-worm has left, the locust has eaten and that which the locust has left, the canker-worm has eaten; and that which the canker-worm has left, the caterpillar has eaten” (Joel 1:4), when no crops remained. In that year, the month of Adar ended and still no rain had fallen. The rain of the first rainy season fell for them on the first of Nisan.

אמר להם נביא לישראל צאו וזרעו אמרו לו מי שיש לו קב חטים או קבים שעורין יאכלנו ויחיה או יזרענו וימות אמר להם אף על פי כן צאו וזרעו נעשה להם נס ונתגלה להם מה שבכתלין ומה שבחורי נמלים

After the first rain fell, the prophet said to the Jews: Go out and sow. They said to him: One who has one kav of wheat or two kav of barley left, should he eat them and live off them for a while or sow them and die? Given the improbability of the crops’ growth under these circumstances, it appears wasteful to plant them rather than consume that which remains. The prophet said to them: Nevertheless, go out and sow. A miracle occurred for them and they discovered wheat and barley seeds that were hidden in the walls and that were concealed in ant holes.

יצאו וזרעו שני ושלישי ורביעי וירדה להם רביעה שניה בחמשה בניסן הקריבו עומר בששה עשר בניסן נמצאת תבואה הגדילה בששה חדשים גדילה באחד עשר יום נמצא עומר הקרב מתבואה של ששה חדשים קרב מתבואה של אחד עשר יום

They went out and sowed on the second, third, and fourth days of Nisan, and the rain of the second rainy season fell for them on the fifth of Nisan. The crops grew so quickly that they were able to sacrifice the omer offering in its proper time, on the sixteenth of Nisan. Consequently, grain that normally grows in six months grew in eleven days, and consequently, the omer that is generally sacrificed from grain that grows in six months was sacrificed that year from grain that grew in eleven days.

ועל אותו הדור הוא אומר הזרעים בדמעה ברנה יקצרו הלוך ילך ובכה נשא משך הזרע וגו׳ מאי הלוך ילך ובכה נשא משך וגו׳ אמר רבי יהודה שור כשהוא חורש הולך ובוכה ובחזירתו אוכל חזיז מן התלם וזהו בא יבא ברנה

And with regard to that generation the verse says: “They who sow in tears shall reap with songs of joy. Though he goes on his way weeping, who bears the measure of seed, he shall come home with joy, bearing his sheaves” (Psalms 126:6). The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the expression: “Though he goes on his way weeping, who bears the measure of seed”? Rabbi Yehuda said: An ox, when it plowed at that time, it went on its way weeping and lamenting its labor; and yet upon its return, through the same furrow, it was able to eat the young shoots [ḥaziz] of crops that had already sprouted from the furrow. And this is the meaning of the phrase: “He shall come home with songs of joy.”

מאי נשא אלמתיו אמר רב חסדא ואמרי לה במתניתא תנא קנה זרת שיבולת זרתים

The Gemara further asks: What is the meaning of the expression: “Bearing his sheaves”? Rav Ḥisda said, and some say this was taught in a baraita: The stalk of that crop was one span, i.e., the distance between the thumb and the little finger, while the ear itself was two spans, i.e., the ears were twice as long as the stalk, whereas usually the stalk is three or four times longer than the ear.

אמר ליה רב נחמן לרבי יצחק מאי דכתיב כי קרא ה׳ לרעב וגם בא אל הארץ שבע שנים בהנך שבע שנים מאי אכול

§ Incidental to the interpretation of these verses, the Gemara cites a series of verses, starting with the topic of hunger, that also involve questions that Rav Naḥman posed to Rabbi Yitzḥak. Rav Naḥman said to Rabbi Yitzḥak: What is the meaning of that which is written: “For the Lord has called upon a famine and it shall also come upon the land seven years” (II Kings 8:1)? Specifically, in those seven years, what did they eat?

אמר ליה הכי אמר רבי יוחנן שנה ראשונה אכלו מה שבבתים שניה אכלו מה שבשדות שלישית בשר בהמה טהורה רביעית בשר בהמה טמאה חמישית בשר שקצים ורמשים ששית בשר בניהם ובנותיהם שביעית בשר זרועותיהם לקיים מה שנאמר איש בשר זרעו יאכלו

Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rabbi Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said as follows: In the first year they ate that which was in their houses; in the second year they ate that which was in their fields; in the third year they ate the meat of their remaining kosher animals; in the fourth year they ate the meat of their remaining non-kosher animals; in the fifth year they ate the meat of repugnant creatures and creeping animals, i.e., any insects they found; in the sixth year they ate the flesh of their sons and their daughters; and in the seventh year they ate the flesh of their own arms, to fulfill that which is stated: “Each man shall eat the flesh of his own arm” (Isaiah 9:19).

ואמר ליה רב נחמן לרבי יצחק מאי דכתיב בקרבך קדוש ולא אבוא בעיר משום דבקרבך קדוש לא אבוא בעיר אמר ליה הכי אמר רבי יוחנן אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא לא אבוא בירושלים של מעלה עד שאבוא לירושלים של מטה

And Rav Naḥman said to Rabbi Yitzḥak: What is the meaning of that which is written: “It is sacred in your midst, and I will not enter the city” (Hosea 11:9)? This verse is puzzling: Because it is sacred in your midst, will God not enter the city? Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said the verse should be understood as follows: The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I shall not enter Jerusalem above, in heaven, until I enter Jerusalem on earth down below at the time of the redemption, when it will be sacred in your midst.

ומי איכא ירושלים למעלה אין דכתיב ירושלים הבנויה כעיר שחברה לה יחדו

The Gemara asks: And is there such a place as Jerusalem above? The Gemara answers: Yes, as it is written: “Jerusalem built up, a city unified together” (Psalms 122:3). The term unified indicates that there are two cities of Jerusalem, a heavenly one and an earthly one, which are bound together.

ואמר ליה רבי נחמן לרבי יצחק מאי דכתיב ובאחת יבערו ויכסלו מוסר הבלים עץ הוא אמר ליה הכי אמר רבי יוחנן אחת היא שמבערת רשעים בגיהנם מאי היא עבודה זרה כתיב הכא מוסר הבלים עץ הוא וכתיב התם הבל המה מעשה תעתעים

§ And Rav Naḥman said to Rabbi Yitzḥak: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And with one they are brutish and foolish, the teaching of their vanity is a stock” (Jeremiah 10:8)? Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rabbi Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said as follows: There is one transgression that causes the wicked to burn in Gehenna. What is this transgression? Idol worship. This can be proven by a verbal analogy. It is written here: “The teaching of their vanity [hevel] is a stock,” and it is written there, with regard to idols: “They are vanity [hevel], a work of delusion” (Jeremiah 10:15).

ואמר ליה רב נחמן לרבי יצחק מאי דכתיב כי שתים רעות עשה עמי תרתין הוא דהוו עשרין וארבע שביקא להו אמר ליה הכי אמר רבי יוחנן אחת שהיא

And Rav Naḥman said to Rabbi Yitzḥak: What is the meaning of that which is written: “For my people have committed two evils” (Jeremiah 2:13)? Were there only two evils they performed? Were, then, the twenty-four violations listed in the book of Ezekiel abandoned, i.e., pardoned? Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said as follows: They have violated one transgression that is

שקולה כשתים ומאי ניהו עבודה זרה דכתיב כי שתים רעות עשה עמי אתי עזבו מקור מים חיים לחצב להם בארות בארות נשברים וכתיב בהו כי עברו איי כתיים וראו וקדר שלחו והתבוננו מאד וגו׳ ההימיר גוי אלהים והמה לא אלהים ועמי המיר כבודו בלוא יועיל

equivalent to two. And what is this sin? Idol worship, as it is written: “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns” (Jeremiah 2:13), and it is written about the Jewish people: “For pass over the isles of the Kittim and see; and send to Kedar and observe carefully, and see if there has been such a thing. Has a nation exchanged its gods, although they are no gods? But My people has exchanged its glory for that which does not profit” (Jeremiah 2:10–11).

תנא כותיים עובדים לאש וקדריים עובדין למים ואף על פי שיודעים שהמים מכבין את האש לא המירו אלהיהם ועמי המיר כבודו בלוא יועיל

It is taught in a baraita with regard to this verse: Kittites, i.e., the people of the isles of Kittim, worship fire and the people of Kedar worship water, and even though they know that water extinguishes fire, nevertheless they have not exchanged their god: “But My people has exchanged its glory for that which does not profit.”

ואמר ליה רב נחמן לרבי יצחק מאי דכתיב ויהי כאשר זקן שמואל ומי סיב שמואל כולי האי והא בר חמישים ושתים הוה דאמר מר מת בחמישים ושתים שנה זהו מיתתו של שמואל הרמתי

And Rav Naḥman said to Rabbi Yitzḥak: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And it came to pass when Samuel was old” (I Samuel 8:1)? And did Samuel really grow so old? But he was only fifty-two years old when he died, as the Master said in a baraita that deals with the Divine punishment of karet: One who dies at the age of fifty-two years is not considered to have suffered the premature death of karet, as this is the age of the death of Samuel of Rama. This shows that Samuel died at the relatively young age of fifty-two.

אמר ליה הכי אמר רבי יוחנן זקנה קפצה עליו דכתיב נחמתי כי המלכתי את שאול אמר לפניו רבונו של עולם שקלתני כמשה ואהרן דכתיב משה ואהרן בכהניו ושמואל בקראי שמו מה משה ואהרן לא בטלו מעשה ידיהם בחייהם אף אני לא יתבטל מעשה ידי בחיי

Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said as follows: Old age sprang upon Samuel, which caused him to appear older than his actual age, as it is written: “I regret that I made Saul king” (I Samuel 15:11). Samuel said before God: Master of the Universe, You have considered me the equivalent of Moses and Aaron, as it is written: “Moses and Aaron among His priests, and Samuel among those who call upon His Name” (Psalms 99:6). Just as with regard to Moses and Aaron, their handiwork was not annulled in their lifetimes, so too, let my handiwork not be annulled in my lifetime. I anointed Saul; please do not annul his reign.

אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא היכי אעביד לימות שאול לא קא שביק שמואל לימות שמואל אדזוטר מרנני אבתריה לא לימות שאול ולא לימות שמואל כבר הגיעה מלכות דוד ואין מלכות נוגעת בחברתה אפילו כמלא נימא

The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: What shall I do? Shall Saul die now? Samuel will not allow it, as he has petitioned that Saul should not die. Shall Samuel die young, with Saul passing away immediately afterward? The people will murmur about him, and wonder what transgression Samuel committed that caused his early demise. Shall neither Saul nor Samuel die? The time of David’s reign has already arrived, and one kingdom does not overlap with another and subtract from the time allotted to it even by a hairbreadth [nima].

אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא אקפיץ עליו זקנה היינו דכתיב ושאול יושב בגבעה תחת האשל ברמה וכי מה ענין גבעה אצל רמה אלא לומר לך מי גרם לשאול שישב בגבעה שתי שנים ומחצה תפלתו של שמואל הרמתי

Therefore, the Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I will spring old age upon him and everyone will think that Shmuel is elderly. This is the meaning of that which is written: “And Saul dwelled in Gibeah under the tamarisk tree in Rama” (I Samuel 22:6). What does Gibeah have to do with Rama; these are two separate places. Rather, the verse comes to tell you: Who caused Saul to dwell in Gibeah for two and a half years? The prayer of Samuel of Rama.

ומי מידחי גברא מקמי גברא אין דאמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יוחנן מאי דכתיב על כן חצבתי בנביאים הרגתים באמרי פי במעשיהם לא נאמר אלא באמרי פי אלמא מידחי גברא מקמי גברא

The Gemara asks: And is one man set aside before another man? In other words, is Samuel’s life set aside simply because the time for David’s reign has arrived? The Gemara answers: Yes, as Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Therefore I have hewn by the prophets, I have slain them by the words of My mouth” (Hosea 6:5)? It is not stated: By their deeds, but rather: “By the words of My mouth,” i.e., God sometimes ends the life of an individual simply by virtue of His decree. Apparently, one man is indeed set aside before another man.

רב נחמן ורבי יצחק הוו יתבי בסעודתא אמר ליה רב נחמן לרבי יצחק לימא מר מילתא אמר ליה הכי אמר רבי יוחנן אין מסיחין בסעודה שמא יקדים קנה לושט ויבא לידי סכנה

§ In continuation of Rav Naḥman’s questions of Rabbi Yitzḥak, the Gemara relates: Rav Naḥman and Rabbi Yitzḥak were sitting and eating together at a meal. Rav Naḥman said to Rabbi Yitzḥak: Let the Master say a matter, i.e., share a Torah idea with me. Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: One may not speak during a meal, lest the trachea will precede the esophagus. Food is meant to enter the esophagus, and when one speaks his trachea opens and the food might enter there. And therefore, one should not speak during a meal, as he might come into the danger of choking.

בתר דסעוד אמר ליה הכי אמר רבי יוחנן יעקב אבינו לא מת אמר ליה וכי בכדי ספדו ספדניא וחנטו חנטייא וקברו קברייא אמר ליה מקרא אני דורש שנאמר ואתה אל תירא עבדי יעקב נאם ה׳ ואל תחת ישראל כי הנני מושיעך מרחוק ואת זרעך מארץ שבים מקיש הוא לזרעו מה זרעו בחיים אף הוא בחיים

After they had eaten, Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said as follows: Our patriarch Jacob did not die. Rav Naḥman asked him in surprise: And was it for naught that the eulogizers eulogized him and the embalmers embalmed him and the buriers buried him? Rabbi Yitzḥak replied to Rav Naḥman: I am interpreting a verse, as it is stated: “Therefore do not fear, Jacob My servant, says the Lord, neither be dismayed, Israel, for I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity” (Jeremiah 30:10). This verse juxtaposes Jacob to his seed: Just as his seed is alive when redeemed, so too, Jacob himself is alive.

אמר רבי יצחק כל האומר רחב רחב מיד נקרי אמר ליה רב נחמן אנא אמינא ולא איכפת לי אמר ליה כי קאמינא ביודעה ובמכירה

Rabbi Yitzḥak said: Anyone who says: Rahab Rahab, immediately experiences a seminal emission, due to the arousal of desire caused by Rahab’s great beauty. Rav Naḥman said to him: I say Rahab and it does not affect me. Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Naḥman: When I said this I was specifically referring to a man who knew her and to one who recognized her. With regard to anyone who had met Rahab in person, the mere mention of her name would arouse his lust.

כי הוו מיפטרי מהדדי אמר ליה ליברכן מר אמר ליה אמשול לך משל למה הדבר דומה לאדם שהיה הולך במדבר והיה רעב ועיף וצמא ומצא אילן שפירותיו מתוקין וצלו נאה ואמת המים עוברת תחתיו אכל מפירותיו ושתה ממימיו וישב בצילו

The Gemara relates: When they were taking leave of one another, Rav NaḼman said to Rabbi YitzḼak: Master, give me a blessing. Rabbi YitzḼak said to him: I will tell you a parable. To what is this matter comparable? It is comparable to one who was walking through a desert and who was hungry, tired, and thirsty. And he found a tree whose fruits were sweet and whose shade was pleasant, and a stream of water flowed beneath it. He ate from the fruits of the tree, drank from the water in the stream, and sat in the shade of the tree.

וכשביקש לילך אמר אילן אילן במה אברכך אם אומר לך שיהו פירותיך מתוקין הרי פירותיך מתוקין שיהא צילך נאה הרי צילך נאה שתהא אמת המים עוברת תחתיך הרי אמת המים עוברת תחתיך אלא יהי רצון שכל נטיעות שנוטעין ממך

And when he wished to leave, he said: Tree, tree, with what shall I bless you? If I say to you that your fruits should be sweet, your fruits are already sweet; if I say that your shade should be pleasant, your shade is already pleasant; if I say that a stream of water should flow beneath you, a stream of water already flows beneath you. Rather, I will bless you as follows: May it be God’s will that all saplings which they plant from you

  • This month's shiurim are sponsored by Shoshana Shur for the refuah Shlema of Meira Bat Zelda Zahava.

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Taanit 5

רבא אמר כיון שהתחיל שוב אינו פוסק וכן אמר רב ששת כיון שהתחיל שוב אינו פוסק

Rava said an alternative suggestion: Once one has started to mention rain, he no longer stops, i.e., he continues the mention of rain consistently until the summer. And, so too, Rav Sheshet said: Once one has started to mention rain, he no longer stops. In other words, once one has begun to mention rain in his prayers in the additional prayer on the Eighth Day of Assembly, he continues to do so uninterrupted, even in the Diaspora.

ואף רב הדר ביה דאמר רב חננאל אמר רב מונה עשרים ואחד יום כדרך שמונה עשרה ימים מראש השנה עד יום הכפורים ומתחיל וכיון שהתחיל שוב אינו פוסק והלכתא כיון שהתחיל שוב אינו פוסק

The Gemara adds: And even Rav retracted his previously stated opinion, as Rav Ḥananel said that Rav said: One counts twenty-one days from Rosh HaShana, just as one counts ten days from Rosh HaShana until Yom Kippur. And after the twenty-one days, one starts to mention rain, and once one has started, he no longer stops. The Gemara concludes: And the halakha is in accordance with the opinion that once one has started to mention rain, he no longer stops.

מתני׳ עד מתי שואלין את הגשמים רבי יהודה אומר עד שיעבור הפסח רבי מאיר אומר עד שיצא ניסן שנאמר ויורד לכם גשם מורה ומלקוש בראשון

MISHNA: Until when does one request rain? Rabbi Yehuda says: We request rain until Passover has passed. Rabbi Meir says: Until the month of Nisan has ended, as it is stated: “And He causes to come down for you the rain, the first rain and the last rain, in the first month” (Joel 2:23). Since the verse states that it rains in Nisan, the first month, this indicates that the entire month is considered part of the rainy season.

גמ׳ אמר ליה רב נחמן לרבי יצחק יורה בניסן יורה במרחשון הוא דתנן יורה במרחשון ומלקוש בניסן אמר ליה הכי אמר רבי יוחנן בימי יואל בן פתואל נתקיים מקרא זה דכתיב ביה יתר הגזם אכל הארבה וגו׳ אותה שנה יצא אדר ולא ירדו גשמים ירדה להם רביעה ראשונה באחד בניסן

GEMARA: Rav Naḥman said to Rabbi Yitzḥak: Is the first rain in Nisan? The first rain is in Marḥeshvan, as we learned in a baraita: The first rain is in Marḥeshvan and the last rain is in Nisan. Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said as follows: This verse was fulfilled in the days of the prophet Joel, son of Pethuel, in a year concerning which it is written: “That which the palmer-worm has left, the locust has eaten and that which the locust has left, the canker-worm has eaten; and that which the canker-worm has left, the caterpillar has eaten” (Joel 1:4), when no crops remained. In that year, the month of Adar ended and still no rain had fallen. The rain of the first rainy season fell for them on the first of Nisan.

אמר להם נביא לישראל צאו וזרעו אמרו לו מי שיש לו קב חטים או קבים שעורין יאכלנו ויחיה או יזרענו וימות אמר להם אף על פי כן צאו וזרעו נעשה להם נס ונתגלה להם מה שבכתלין ומה שבחורי נמלים

After the first rain fell, the prophet said to the Jews: Go out and sow. They said to him: One who has one kav of wheat or two kav of barley left, should he eat them and live off them for a while or sow them and die? Given the improbability of the crops’ growth under these circumstances, it appears wasteful to plant them rather than consume that which remains. The prophet said to them: Nevertheless, go out and sow. A miracle occurred for them and they discovered wheat and barley seeds that were hidden in the walls and that were concealed in ant holes.

יצאו וזרעו שני ושלישי ורביעי וירדה להם רביעה שניה בחמשה בניסן הקריבו עומר בששה עשר בניסן נמצאת תבואה הגדילה בששה חדשים גדילה באחד עשר יום נמצא עומר הקרב מתבואה של ששה חדשים קרב מתבואה של אחד עשר יום

They went out and sowed on the second, third, and fourth days of Nisan, and the rain of the second rainy season fell for them on the fifth of Nisan. The crops grew so quickly that they were able to sacrifice the omer offering in its proper time, on the sixteenth of Nisan. Consequently, grain that normally grows in six months grew in eleven days, and consequently, the omer that is generally sacrificed from grain that grows in six months was sacrificed that year from grain that grew in eleven days.

ועל אותו הדור הוא אומר הזרעים בדמעה ברנה יקצרו הלוך ילך ובכה נשא משך הזרע וגו׳ מאי הלוך ילך ובכה נשא משך וגו׳ אמר רבי יהודה שור כשהוא חורש הולך ובוכה ובחזירתו אוכל חזיז מן התלם וזהו בא יבא ברנה

And with regard to that generation the verse says: “They who sow in tears shall reap with songs of joy. Though he goes on his way weeping, who bears the measure of seed, he shall come home with joy, bearing his sheaves” (Psalms 126:6). The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the expression: “Though he goes on his way weeping, who bears the measure of seed”? Rabbi Yehuda said: An ox, when it plowed at that time, it went on its way weeping and lamenting its labor; and yet upon its return, through the same furrow, it was able to eat the young shoots [ḥaziz] of crops that had already sprouted from the furrow. And this is the meaning of the phrase: “He shall come home with songs of joy.”

מאי נשא אלמתיו אמר רב חסדא ואמרי לה במתניתא תנא קנה זרת שיבולת זרתים

The Gemara further asks: What is the meaning of the expression: “Bearing his sheaves”? Rav Ḥisda said, and some say this was taught in a baraita: The stalk of that crop was one span, i.e., the distance between the thumb and the little finger, while the ear itself was two spans, i.e., the ears were twice as long as the stalk, whereas usually the stalk is three or four times longer than the ear.

אמר ליה רב נחמן לרבי יצחק מאי דכתיב כי קרא ה׳ לרעב וגם בא אל הארץ שבע שנים בהנך שבע שנים מאי אכול

§ Incidental to the interpretation of these verses, the Gemara cites a series of verses, starting with the topic of hunger, that also involve questions that Rav Naḥman posed to Rabbi Yitzḥak. Rav Naḥman said to Rabbi Yitzḥak: What is the meaning of that which is written: “For the Lord has called upon a famine and it shall also come upon the land seven years” (II Kings 8:1)? Specifically, in those seven years, what did they eat?

אמר ליה הכי אמר רבי יוחנן שנה ראשונה אכלו מה שבבתים שניה אכלו מה שבשדות שלישית בשר בהמה טהורה רביעית בשר בהמה טמאה חמישית בשר שקצים ורמשים ששית בשר בניהם ובנותיהם שביעית בשר זרועותיהם לקיים מה שנאמר איש בשר זרעו יאכלו

Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rabbi Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said as follows: In the first year they ate that which was in their houses; in the second year they ate that which was in their fields; in the third year they ate the meat of their remaining kosher animals; in the fourth year they ate the meat of their remaining non-kosher animals; in the fifth year they ate the meat of repugnant creatures and creeping animals, i.e., any insects they found; in the sixth year they ate the flesh of their sons and their daughters; and in the seventh year they ate the flesh of their own arms, to fulfill that which is stated: “Each man shall eat the flesh of his own arm” (Isaiah 9:19).

ואמר ליה רב נחמן לרבי יצחק מאי דכתיב בקרבך קדוש ולא אבוא בעיר משום דבקרבך קדוש לא אבוא בעיר אמר ליה הכי אמר רבי יוחנן אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא לא אבוא בירושלים של מעלה עד שאבוא לירושלים של מטה

And Rav Naḥman said to Rabbi Yitzḥak: What is the meaning of that which is written: “It is sacred in your midst, and I will not enter the city” (Hosea 11:9)? This verse is puzzling: Because it is sacred in your midst, will God not enter the city? Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said the verse should be understood as follows: The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I shall not enter Jerusalem above, in heaven, until I enter Jerusalem on earth down below at the time of the redemption, when it will be sacred in your midst.

ומי איכא ירושלים למעלה אין דכתיב ירושלים הבנויה כעיר שחברה לה יחדו

The Gemara asks: And is there such a place as Jerusalem above? The Gemara answers: Yes, as it is written: “Jerusalem built up, a city unified together” (Psalms 122:3). The term unified indicates that there are two cities of Jerusalem, a heavenly one and an earthly one, which are bound together.

ואמר ליה רבי נחמן לרבי יצחק מאי דכתיב ובאחת יבערו ויכסלו מוסר הבלים עץ הוא אמר ליה הכי אמר רבי יוחנן אחת היא שמבערת רשעים בגיהנם מאי היא עבודה זרה כתיב הכא מוסר הבלים עץ הוא וכתיב התם הבל המה מעשה תעתעים

§ And Rav Naḥman said to Rabbi Yitzḥak: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And with one they are brutish and foolish, the teaching of their vanity is a stock” (Jeremiah 10:8)? Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rabbi Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said as follows: There is one transgression that causes the wicked to burn in Gehenna. What is this transgression? Idol worship. This can be proven by a verbal analogy. It is written here: “The teaching of their vanity [hevel] is a stock,” and it is written there, with regard to idols: “They are vanity [hevel], a work of delusion” (Jeremiah 10:15).

ואמר ליה רב נחמן לרבי יצחק מאי דכתיב כי שתים רעות עשה עמי תרתין הוא דהוו עשרין וארבע שביקא להו אמר ליה הכי אמר רבי יוחנן אחת שהיא

And Rav Naḥman said to Rabbi Yitzḥak: What is the meaning of that which is written: “For my people have committed two evils” (Jeremiah 2:13)? Were there only two evils they performed? Were, then, the twenty-four violations listed in the book of Ezekiel abandoned, i.e., pardoned? Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said as follows: They have violated one transgression that is

שקולה כשתים ומאי ניהו עבודה זרה דכתיב כי שתים רעות עשה עמי אתי עזבו מקור מים חיים לחצב להם בארות בארות נשברים וכתיב בהו כי עברו איי כתיים וראו וקדר שלחו והתבוננו מאד וגו׳ ההימיר גוי אלהים והמה לא אלהים ועמי המיר כבודו בלוא יועיל

equivalent to two. And what is this sin? Idol worship, as it is written: “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns” (Jeremiah 2:13), and it is written about the Jewish people: “For pass over the isles of the Kittim and see; and send to Kedar and observe carefully, and see if there has been such a thing. Has a nation exchanged its gods, although they are no gods? But My people has exchanged its glory for that which does not profit” (Jeremiah 2:10–11).

תנא כותיים עובדים לאש וקדריים עובדין למים ואף על פי שיודעים שהמים מכבין את האש לא המירו אלהיהם ועמי המיר כבודו בלוא יועיל

It is taught in a baraita with regard to this verse: Kittites, i.e., the people of the isles of Kittim, worship fire and the people of Kedar worship water, and even though they know that water extinguishes fire, nevertheless they have not exchanged their god: “But My people has exchanged its glory for that which does not profit.”

ואמר ליה רב נחמן לרבי יצחק מאי דכתיב ויהי כאשר זקן שמואל ומי סיב שמואל כולי האי והא בר חמישים ושתים הוה דאמר מר מת בחמישים ושתים שנה זהו מיתתו של שמואל הרמתי

And Rav Naḥman said to Rabbi Yitzḥak: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And it came to pass when Samuel was old” (I Samuel 8:1)? And did Samuel really grow so old? But he was only fifty-two years old when he died, as the Master said in a baraita that deals with the Divine punishment of karet: One who dies at the age of fifty-two years is not considered to have suffered the premature death of karet, as this is the age of the death of Samuel of Rama. This shows that Samuel died at the relatively young age of fifty-two.

אמר ליה הכי אמר רבי יוחנן זקנה קפצה עליו דכתיב נחמתי כי המלכתי את שאול אמר לפניו רבונו של עולם שקלתני כמשה ואהרן דכתיב משה ואהרן בכהניו ושמואל בקראי שמו מה משה ואהרן לא בטלו מעשה ידיהם בחייהם אף אני לא יתבטל מעשה ידי בחיי

Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said as follows: Old age sprang upon Samuel, which caused him to appear older than his actual age, as it is written: “I regret that I made Saul king” (I Samuel 15:11). Samuel said before God: Master of the Universe, You have considered me the equivalent of Moses and Aaron, as it is written: “Moses and Aaron among His priests, and Samuel among those who call upon His Name” (Psalms 99:6). Just as with regard to Moses and Aaron, their handiwork was not annulled in their lifetimes, so too, let my handiwork not be annulled in my lifetime. I anointed Saul; please do not annul his reign.

אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא היכי אעביד לימות שאול לא קא שביק שמואל לימות שמואל אדזוטר מרנני אבתריה לא לימות שאול ולא לימות שמואל כבר הגיעה מלכות דוד ואין מלכות נוגעת בחברתה אפילו כמלא נימא

The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: What shall I do? Shall Saul die now? Samuel will not allow it, as he has petitioned that Saul should not die. Shall Samuel die young, with Saul passing away immediately afterward? The people will murmur about him, and wonder what transgression Samuel committed that caused his early demise. Shall neither Saul nor Samuel die? The time of David’s reign has already arrived, and one kingdom does not overlap with another and subtract from the time allotted to it even by a hairbreadth [nima].

אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא אקפיץ עליו זקנה היינו דכתיב ושאול יושב בגבעה תחת האשל ברמה וכי מה ענין גבעה אצל רמה אלא לומר לך מי גרם לשאול שישב בגבעה שתי שנים ומחצה תפלתו של שמואל הרמתי

Therefore, the Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I will spring old age upon him and everyone will think that Shmuel is elderly. This is the meaning of that which is written: “And Saul dwelled in Gibeah under the tamarisk tree in Rama” (I Samuel 22:6). What does Gibeah have to do with Rama; these are two separate places. Rather, the verse comes to tell you: Who caused Saul to dwell in Gibeah for two and a half years? The prayer of Samuel of Rama.

ומי מידחי גברא מקמי גברא אין דאמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יוחנן מאי דכתיב על כן חצבתי בנביאים הרגתים באמרי פי במעשיהם לא נאמר אלא באמרי פי אלמא מידחי גברא מקמי גברא

The Gemara asks: And is one man set aside before another man? In other words, is Samuel’s life set aside simply because the time for David’s reign has arrived? The Gemara answers: Yes, as Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Therefore I have hewn by the prophets, I have slain them by the words of My mouth” (Hosea 6:5)? It is not stated: By their deeds, but rather: “By the words of My mouth,” i.e., God sometimes ends the life of an individual simply by virtue of His decree. Apparently, one man is indeed set aside before another man.

רב נחמן ורבי יצחק הוו יתבי בסעודתא אמר ליה רב נחמן לרבי יצחק לימא מר מילתא אמר ליה הכי אמר רבי יוחנן אין מסיחין בסעודה שמא יקדים קנה לושט ויבא לידי סכנה

§ In continuation of Rav Naḥman’s questions of Rabbi Yitzḥak, the Gemara relates: Rav Naḥman and Rabbi Yitzḥak were sitting and eating together at a meal. Rav Naḥman said to Rabbi Yitzḥak: Let the Master say a matter, i.e., share a Torah idea with me. Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: One may not speak during a meal, lest the trachea will precede the esophagus. Food is meant to enter the esophagus, and when one speaks his trachea opens and the food might enter there. And therefore, one should not speak during a meal, as he might come into the danger of choking.

בתר דסעוד אמר ליה הכי אמר רבי יוחנן יעקב אבינו לא מת אמר ליה וכי בכדי ספדו ספדניא וחנטו חנטייא וקברו קברייא אמר ליה מקרא אני דורש שנאמר ואתה אל תירא עבדי יעקב נאם ה׳ ואל תחת ישראל כי הנני מושיעך מרחוק ואת זרעך מארץ שבים מקיש הוא לזרעו מה זרעו בחיים אף הוא בחיים

After they had eaten, Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Naḥman that Rabbi Yoḥanan said as follows: Our patriarch Jacob did not die. Rav Naḥman asked him in surprise: And was it for naught that the eulogizers eulogized him and the embalmers embalmed him and the buriers buried him? Rabbi Yitzḥak replied to Rav Naḥman: I am interpreting a verse, as it is stated: “Therefore do not fear, Jacob My servant, says the Lord, neither be dismayed, Israel, for I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity” (Jeremiah 30:10). This verse juxtaposes Jacob to his seed: Just as his seed is alive when redeemed, so too, Jacob himself is alive.

אמר רבי יצחק כל האומר רחב רחב מיד נקרי אמר ליה רב נחמן אנא אמינא ולא איכפת לי אמר ליה כי קאמינא ביודעה ובמכירה

Rabbi Yitzḥak said: Anyone who says: Rahab Rahab, immediately experiences a seminal emission, due to the arousal of desire caused by Rahab’s great beauty. Rav Naḥman said to him: I say Rahab and it does not affect me. Rabbi Yitzḥak said to Rav Naḥman: When I said this I was specifically referring to a man who knew her and to one who recognized her. With regard to anyone who had met Rahab in person, the mere mention of her name would arouse his lust.

כי הוו מיפטרי מהדדי אמר ליה ליברכן מר אמר ליה אמשול לך משל למה הדבר דומה לאדם שהיה הולך במדבר והיה רעב ועיף וצמא ומצא אילן שפירותיו מתוקין וצלו נאה ואמת המים עוברת תחתיו אכל מפירותיו ושתה ממימיו וישב בצילו

The Gemara relates: When they were taking leave of one another, Rav NaḼman said to Rabbi YitzḼak: Master, give me a blessing. Rabbi YitzḼak said to him: I will tell you a parable. To what is this matter comparable? It is comparable to one who was walking through a desert and who was hungry, tired, and thirsty. And he found a tree whose fruits were sweet and whose shade was pleasant, and a stream of water flowed beneath it. He ate from the fruits of the tree, drank from the water in the stream, and sat in the shade of the tree.

וכשביקש לילך אמר אילן אילן במה אברכך אם אומר לך שיהו פירותיך מתוקין הרי פירותיך מתוקין שיהא צילך נאה הרי צילך נאה שתהא אמת המים עוברת תחתיך הרי אמת המים עוברת תחתיך אלא יהי רצון שכל נטיעות שנוטעין ממך

And when he wished to leave, he said: Tree, tree, with what shall I bless you? If I say to you that your fruits should be sweet, your fruits are already sweet; if I say that your shade should be pleasant, your shade is already pleasant; if I say that a stream of water should flow beneath you, a stream of water already flows beneath you. Rather, I will bless you as follows: May it be God’s will that all saplings which they plant from you

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