THE NECESSITY TO PROHIBITING FASTING ON CERTAIN DAYS
Question: If we are following R. Yosi's view that the following day is also forbidden, then why did we need the Tamid-victory in order to forbid Hespedim on Adar 29th; it would anyway be forbidden as being the day after the 28th:
The government decreed that Jews may not study Torah or circumcise their sons and that they must transgress Shabbos.
Yehudah b. Shamua and his friends asked advice from a princess who was familiar with all the prominent Romans.
She advised them to make a demonstration at night.
They did so, and said, "We are all brothers, why do you persecute us?"
The decrees were annulled, and that day (the 28th of Adar) became a festival.
Answer #1 (Abaye): The Tamid victory prohibits the last day of Adar when it is a full month.
Answer #2 (R. Ashi): If it only preceded or followed a festive day, it would be only forbidden for fasting, but not Hesped; but since it is sandwiched between two festive days, it attains the status of a festive day and is forbidden for Hespedim.
Question: Why did the Beraisa need to forbid Hespedim from the eighth of Nisan due to the Omer victory - it is anyway forbidden due to the Tamid victory?
Answer: It is necessary in case of a harsh decree annulling the festival of the Tamid victory.
This now provides a third answer to the question above; we forbade Adar 29th based on the Tamid victory in case the festival of the Torah victory were to be annulled.
THE DAYS PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING JOYOUS DAYS
(R. Chiya bar Asi citing Rav): The Halachah follows R. Yosi that both the days preceding and following the days in Megilas Ta'anis are likewise forbidden for fasting.
(Shmuel): The Halachah follows R. Meir that only the preceding day is forbidden.
Question: We see that Shmuel held both days to be permitted:
(R. Shimon b. Gamliel): The double usage of the word Behon (not to fast "on them" or give Hespedim "on them") tells us that only those days are forbidden, but not the preceding or following days.
(Shmuel): The Halachah follows R. Shimon b. Gamliel.
Answer: Originally, Shmuel thought that R. Meir was the most lenient view, so he followed him; when he heard that R. Shimon b. Gamliel was even more lenient, he followed him.
(Bali, citing R. Chiya bar Aba, citing R. Yochanan): The Halachah follows R. Yosi.
(R. Chiya): R. Yochanan only said this regarding the prohibition to fast on the day before, but not regarding the prohibition to give a Hesped on the day after.
Question: We see that R. Yochanan did not hold that the preceding day is forbidden:
(R. Yochanan): The Halachah follows anonymous Mishnayos.
(Mishnah): Those villages which read Megillah before the fifteenth of Adar may fast and have Hespedim on that day.
Question: What is this referring to?
This cannot refer to a walled city reading it on the fourteenth, as it says in Megillas Ta'anis that the 14th and 15th are forbidden for Hespedim everywhere.
Nor can it refer to a village due to read it on the fourteenth which is reading it on the thirteenth, as that is Nikanor Day, which is forbidden for Hespedim and fasting.
Nor can it refer to a village due to read it on the fourteenth which is reading it on the twelfth, as that is Toraynos Day, which is forbidden for Hespedim and fasting.
So it must refer to a village due to read it on the fourteenth which is reading it on the eleventh, and the Mishnah says that it is permitted to have Hespedim and fast even though it is the day preceding Turyanus day!
Answer: It refers to a village due to read it on the fourteenth which is reading it on the twelfth; Turyanus Day was annulled, as it is the day on which Shemayah and Achya were killed.
Likewise, we find that R. Nachman decreed a fast on the twelfth, noting that Turyanus Day had been annulled.
Question: Why wouldn't fasting be forbidden due to it being the day preceding Nikanor Day?
Answer: If the day's own festive nature was annulled, it certainly will not be affected by the following day's nature.
NIKANOR DAY AND TURYANUS (TRAJAN) DAY
The story behind Nikanor Day: Nikanor was a Roman Chieftain who would shake his fist against Judea and Jerusalem, that they should fall in his hands; when the Chashmona'im conquered him, they hung up his amputated extremities on the gates of Jerusalem.
The story behind Turyanus Day: Turyanus took Lulynos and Papus for execution, challenging them to be saved like Chananya, Mishael and Azaryah.
They replied that they were not as worthy to be saved; that he was not as worthy to have a miracle performed through him; that Hash-m had other ways of killing them; and that Hash-m chose this way to exact retribution from him.
He executed them and was promptly brained by Roman officers.
FASTS THAT CLASH WITH FESTIVALS
The Mishnah said that fasts are not decreed upon the community on Rosh Chodesh, Chanukah or Purim; but if a series of fasts had already begun, it is not stopped.
Question: What is counted as "already begun"?
Answer #1 (R. Acha): Three fasts.
Answer #2 (R. Asi): One fast.
(R. Yehudah citing Rav): It is only according to R. Meir that the fasts are not completed through to the end of the day; the Chachamim hold that they are completed.
(Mar Zutra citing R. Huna): The Halachah is that they are completed.
MISHNAH: EVENTS WHICH INVOKE THE FASTS
The aforementioned procedure for fasting is performed if the first rainfall did not transpire; but if the wrong crops grew (or they were malformed), the procedure begins immediately.
The same is done if there was a forty day absence of rain between the first and second rainfalls, as it signifies drought.
The same is also done if rains that benefit only plants, trees, or cisterns fell.
A city which did not receive rain sounds the Shofar and fasts, and the surrounding cities fast but do not sound the Shofar.
(R. Akiva): The surrounding cities should sound the Shofar but not fast.