TA'ANIS 11 - Dedicated by Morris and Caroline Massel in loving memory of Morris' grandparents, Ezekiel and Sadie Massel z'l and Moses and Aziza Montefiore, all of whose Yahrzeits are in this season.

[11a - 50 lines; 11b - 33 lines]

1)[line 1]דיתיב בארבאD'YASIV B'ARBA- if one is traveling (lit. sitting) in a boat

2)[line 1]דקאזיל מאוונא לאוונאD'KA'AZIL ME'AVNA L'AVNA- he is going from one merchant's lodge to another

3)[line 9]"וליוסף ילד שני בנים בטרם תבוא שנת הרעב אשר ילדה לו אסנת בת פוטי פרע כהן און""UL'YOSEF YULAD SHNEI BANIM B'TEREM TAVO SHNAS HA'RA'AV ASHER YALDAH LO OSNAS BAS POTI FERA KOHEN ON" - "And to Yosef were born two sons before the years of famine arrived, whom Osnas, the daughter of Potifera the priest of On, bore to him." (Bereishis 41:50) (BORN BEFORE THE FAMINE)

(a)From the fact that the Torah stresses that Yosef bore his children before the years of famine arrived, the Gemara proves that marital relations are prohibited during the years of famine.

This seems to contradict the Gemara's next statement, permitting it for someone who has not yet had children (which in fact, absolves Yosef from the prohibition).

(b)Tosfos however, explains that Yosef was acting "Lifnim mi'Shuras ha'Din" (i.e. he was strict with himself, even though according to the Din, he was permitted to do so, since he had no daughters). That explains why Levi bore Yocheved (as they entered Egypt), even though the same famine was still in progress. The Re'em explains that whereas Yosef took upon himself this stringency, whereas Levi did not. The Gemara nevertheless learns the Halachah from Yosef, who would not have adopted such a stringency if it would not have been prohibited for others to do so.

(c)The Maharsha further refers to a Yerushalmi (cited by the Beis Yosef) who qualifies the prohibition, permitting marital relations even in a time of famine, when the night of Tevilah falls due. In that case, it may well be that Levi conceived Yocheved on Leil Tevilah, while Yosef may have been stringent even in that regard.

(d)He also cites the Pane'ach Razi, who explains that although Yosef was stringent despite not having fulfilled the Mitzvah of Peru u'Revu, the people did not follow him in this matter, since he acted as an individual.

(e)The Maharsha also cites the Beis Yosef who answers that before Matan Torah, the obligation did not exist, and that the verse cited here is merely an Asmachta. He rejects this explanation on the grounds that it is not feasible to state that Levi did not observe before Matan Torah (in Eretz Yisrael, no less) what would later be forbidden once the Torah was given, as the Avos did before him.

4)[line 10]חסוכי בניםCHASUCHEI VANIM- childless couples

5)[line 17]ושלום עליך נפשיV'SHALOM ALECHA NAFSHI- (lit. and my soul will be at peace) and I have nothing to worry about

6)[line 19]"והנה ששון ושמחה הרג בקר ושחט צאן אכל בשר ושתות יין אכול ושתו כי מחר נמות""V'HINEH SASON V'SIMCHAH HAROG BAKAR V'SHACHOT TZON, ACHOL BAKAR V'SHASOS YAYIN, ACHOL V'SHASO KI MACHAR NAMUS" - "And behold joy and happiness, to slaughter cattle and sheep, in order to eat cattle and drink wine; let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. [And this is revealed in the ears of the Lord of Hosts. Therefore I swear that this sin will not be forgiven until you die, says the HaSh-m, the G-d of Hosts.]" (Yeshayah 22:13-14) (EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY, FOR TOMORROW YOU WILL DIE)

(a)With reference to the Churban of the Beis ha'Mikdash, the previous verse describes how HaSh-m announced a day of mourning and of eulogy, of tearing out one's hair and of wearing sackcloth.

(b)Instead of having feelings of remorse and seeking to do Teshuvah, the people's reaction was to rejoice while the going was still good, to enjoy themselves before the opportunity was lost.

(c)That is why HaSh-m answered that not even Galus would atone for their sins, only death.

7)[line 22]"אתיו אקחה יין ונסבאה שכר והיה כזה יום מחר גדול יתר מאד""ESAYU EKCHA YAYIN V'NISBA'AH SHECHAR V'HAYAH KAZEH YOM MACHAR GADOL YESER ME'OD" - "Come, they say to each other, I will bring wine, and we will guzzle strong drink together; and tomorrow will also be like this, and even much greater!" (Yeshayah 56:12)


(a)The Navi earlier compared the people to dogs, who seek only immediate gratification and can never be satisfied. Their entire lives were centered around pleasure-seeking, as they went from one party to another.

(b)So busy were the people in their pursuit of pleasure that they did not even notice the Tzadikim (such as Yeshayah), whom HaSh-m removed before the evil struck, so that they should not see it happening, precisely so that the people should realize what is going on, or so that they should not warn the people of the imminent danger.

8) [line 22] ונסבאה V'NISBE'AH - and we will guzzle

9a)[line 23]"כי מפני הרעה נאסף הצדיק""KI MIPNEI HA'RA'AH NE'ESAF HA'TZADIK"- "The righteous one perishes, and no man takes it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, with no one considering that because of the impending evil the righteous one was taken away. (Yeshayah 57:1)

b)[line 23]כי מפני הרעהKI MIPNEI HA'RA'AH- (a) because of the wicked person's sinfulness, the evil decree becomes definite. HaSh-m begins to take the Tzadikim away from the world in preparation for the implementation of the evil decree (RASHI); (b) the sinful people do not realize that the Tzadik is in distress ("Avad") because he sees the evil decree that will come because of their sins, and they heed him not (RASHI on the RIF)

10)[line 25]"וידי משה כבדים ויקחו אבן וישימו תחתיו וישב עליה ואהרון וחור תמכו בידיו מזה אחד ומזה אחד ויהי ידיו אמונה עד בא השמש""VI'YEDEI MOSHE KEVEDIM, VA'YIKCHU EVEN VA'YASIMU TACHTAV VA'YESHEV ALEHA V'AHARON V'CHUR TAMCHU B'YADAV MI'ZEH ECHAD UMI'ZEH ECHAD, VA'YEHI YADAV EMUNAH AD BO HA'SHEMESH" - "And Moshe's arms were heavy, so they took a stone and placed it underneath him, and he sat on it. And Aharon and Chur supported his arms, one on this side and one on the other side, and he remained with his hands in faithful prayer until sunset." (Shemos 17:12) (MOSHE'S ARMS BECAME HEAVY)

(a)Unimpressed by the miracles in Egypt and at Yam Suf, Amalek attacked Yisrael, following Yisrael's questioning as to whether HaSh-m was in their midst or not.

(b)After appointing Yehoshua to mobilize troops and fight Amalek, Moshe, accompanied by Aharon and Chur, ascended the hilltop facing the battleground. He soon discovered that whenever he raised his hands, Yisrael (who followed suit and raised their eyes heavenwards) gained the upper hand; whereas whenever he lowered them, Amalek gained the upper hand. After a while, Moshe had difficulty in keeping his hands raised.

(c)The commentaries ascribe Moshe's decision to send Yehoshua to fight Amalek to the tradition that Esav will only fall into the hands of Rachel's children (see Bava Basra 123b; see, however, Rashi on the verse).

11a)[line 26]כרKAR- bolster, mattress

b)[line 26]כסתKESES- pillow

12)[line 29]"כי אבן...""KI EVEN..."- "For the stone shall cry out from the wall, and a sliver shall answer it from the beam." (Chabakuk 2:11)

13)[line 32]"משכבת חיקך שמר פתחי פיך""MI'SHOCHEVES CHEIKECHA SHEMOR PISCHEI PICHA"- "[Do not trust your friend; do not trust a prince.] Guard the words of your mouth even from your own wife. [For a son speaks lewdly to his father, a daughter insults her mother and a daughter-in-law her mother in law; a man's enemies are the members of his household.]" (Michah 7:5/6) - The Navi was speaking in an age when nobody could be trusted, as the verse stated earlier; even the judiciary and the royalty were concerned only in making a profit, and were not concerned with finding out the truth.

14)[line 33]"אתם עדי נאם ה' ועבדי אשר בחרתי למען תדעו ותאמינו לי ותבינו כי אני הוא לפני לא נוצר אל ואחרי לא יהיה""ATEM EIDAI NE'UM HASH-M, V'AVDI ASHER BACHARTI LEMA'AN TED'U V'TA'AMINU LI V'TAVINU KI ANI HU LEFANAI LO NOTZAR AL V'ACHARAI LO YIHEYEH" - "You are my witnesses, says HaSh-m, and My servant whom I chose so that you will know and believe in Me, and understand that I am He, before Me nothing was created by a god nor will there be after Me." (Yeshayah 43:10) (WE ARE HASH-M'S WITNESSES)

(a)The nations of the world (such as the Greeks) told wondrous stories about their gods' history, totally divorced from the truth, and none of them were able to foretell the future.

(b)HaSh-m has witnesses: The Jewish people can testify about their own relationship with HaSh-m (six hundred thousand stood at Har Sinai and heard "Anochi" and "Lo Yiheyeh Lecha"). As for the future, the Nevi'im ("My servant whom I chose") foretold it constantly and accurately.

15)[line 34]"הצור תמים פעלו כי כל דרכיו משפט קל אמונה ואין עול צדיק וישר הוא""HA'TZUR TAMIM PA'ALO, KI CHOL DERACHAV MISHPAT, KEL EMUNAH V'EIN AVEL, TZADIK V'YASHAR HU"- "The Rock, Whose work is perfect, for all His ways are just, He is a faithful G-d in Whom there is no injustice, He is righteous and upright." (Devarim 32:5) - The Targum Yonasan describes how, when Moshe Rabeinu ascended Har Sinai, he discovered that HaSh-m divided the day into four parts: During the first quarter, He studies Torah; during the second, He judges; during the third, He is involved in making Shiduchim; during the fourth, He sustains the world. These correspond to the four traits mentioned in the verse.

16)[line 39](נפטרין) [נפרטין](NIFTARIN) [NIFRATIN]- are individually recounted

17)[line 41]יפה דנתוניYAFEH DANTUNI- you have correctly judged me

18)[line 41]"למען תצדק בדברך...""L'MA'AN TITZDAK B'DAVRECHA..."- "[Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done this evil in your eyes;] so that you are justified in your sentence, and clear in your judgment." (Tehilim 51:6)

19)[line 49]דסאיב נפשיהD'SA'IV NAFSHEI- he made himself Tamei, came in contact with a corpse

20)[last line]ימודYAMUD- consider himself, assess himself


21)[line 1]כאילו קדוש שרוי בתוך מעיוK'ILU KADOSH SHARUY B'SOCH ME'AV- (a) as if holiness is dwelling inside his intestines, i.e. as if his intestines are holy (and should not be weakened) (RASHI); (b) as if the Holy One is dwelling in his intestines (TOSFOS)

22)[line 1]"לא אעשה חרון אפי לא אשוב לשחת אפרים כי קל אנכי ולא איש בקרבך קדוש ולא אבוא בעיר""LO E'ESEH CHARON API LO ASHUV L'SHACHAS EFRAYIM KI KEL ANOCHI V'LO AVO B'IR"- "I will not give vent to My burning anger, I will not go back on My word to destroy Efrayim, for I am G-d and not a man; I will be Holy in your midst and I will come to another city." (Hoshe'a, 11:9) - HaSh-m assures the ten tribes that, despite His anger, He will not destroy them (as He promised in the Torah, in Parshas Bechukosai), since He is a G-d who keeps His word, and — unlike a human king, who may be gone by tomorrow — He is in no hurry to punish. He promised to rest His Shechinah in Yerushalayim, and thus He will never do so in another city.

23a)[line 5]"גומל נפשו איש חסיד""GOMEL NAFSHO ISH CHASED"- (a) "One who does good to his soul (and eats) is a man of loving kindness" (RABEINU CHANANEL, TOSFOS); (b) "One who holds himself back (from eating) is a man of loving kindness" (RABEINU GERSHOM)

b)[line 5]"ועוכר שארו אכזרי""V'OCHER SHE'EIRO ACHZARI"- "but he who is cruel troubles his flesh." (Mishlei 11:17)

24)[line 7]ליכול כלבא לשירותיהLEICHUL KALBA L'SHEIRUSEI- a dog should eat his meal, i.e. his fast should be of the same value as one who does not eat because his meal was eaten by a dog

25)[line 17]אין מתענין לשעותEIN MIS'ANIN L'SHA'OS (TA'ANIS SHA'OS)

See Insights for an explanation of Ta'anis Sha'os.

26)[line 23]לגינזקGINZAK- a city in the north of Media Atropatene, near the Caspian Sea

27)[line 25]קנקניןKANKANIN- utensils in which wine is stored

28)[last line]אימראIMRA- hem