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TA'ANIS 19 (3 Av) - dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Reb Aharon Dovid ben Elimelech Shmuel Kornfeld (Muncasz/Israel/New York), who passed away on 3 Av 5761, by his daughter, Diane Koenigsberg, and family. May his love for Torah and for Eretz Yisrael be preserved in all of his descendants.


1. The Mishnah discusses fasting when plagues occur.
2. The Mishnah discusses when must special prayers must be said even if the calamity is not happening in that country.
3. When a fast is declared and it rains on the fast day, there is dispute about whether the fast should continue.
4. There is a dispute about whether fasts are instituted for the threat of loss of fruit during the Shemitah year.
5. Rebbi Elazar ben Parta lamented the fact that the rains no longer bring blessing in the way that they did before the Beis ha'Mikdash was destroyed.


1. The Mishnah teaches that a plague is defined by how many people in the city are dying at one time. The Mishnah also discusses whether surrounding cities must fast or pray due to a plague in a neighboring city.
2. For example, when there is a plague of locusts or a war in Jewish countries, Jews in other places must recite the special Aneinu ("Elokei Avraham...") prayer. This is because these are things that commonly spread to neighboring countries.
3. Tana Kama: The fast day is not applicable if it rains before sunrise of the fast day; otherwise, people should complete the fast. Rebbi Eliezer: If it rains before midday on the fast day, people may stop fasting.
4. Tana Kama: Fasts are not instituted in such a case since, anyway, we are not allowed to plant and harvest the fruits during the Shemitah year. Raban Gamliel: Fasts are instituted, because poor people rely on these fruits for their sustenance.
5. Rebbi Elazar ben Parta says that when the Beis ha'Mikdash stood, the rain would always be plentiful (when Bnei Yisrael followed the Torah), as opposed to nowadays when it is sometimes plentiful and sometimes scant.

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