12TH CYCLE DEDICATION
 
TA'ANIS 24 (13 Shevat) - dedicated by the Farber family l'Iluy Nishmas Esther (bas Moshe) Farber of Riverdale, NY, who passed away on 13 Shevat 5763. A descendant of the Chasam Sofer, Esther was a courageous woman whose dedication to Torah ideals affected the lives of many students and friends.

1)

(a)Why did Rebbi Yosi bar Avin leave Rebbi Yosi from Yukras to go and learn by Rav Ashi?

(b)What did Rebbi Yosi bar Avin ask Rav Ashi, when the latter once quoted Shmuel that if someone draws a fish out of the sea on Shabbos, the moment the size of a Sela (coin) on it dries, he becomes Chayav for killing it?

(c)Why would he not be Chayav for catching the fish?

(d)What did Rav Ashi reply to his question?

1)

(a)Rebbi Yosi bar Avin left Rebbi Yosi from Yukras to go and learn by Rav Ashi - because 'if he does not have pity on his own son and daughter', he argued, 'How will he have pity on me?' (as we shall see shortly).

(b)When Rav Ashi once quoted Shmuel that if someone draws a fish out of the sea on Shabbos, the moment the size of a Sela (coin) on it dries, he becomes Chayav for killing it - Rebbi Yosi bar Avin asked him why he did not add that this speaks specifically if it dries between its fins.

(c)He would not be Chayav for catching the fish - because it speaks when he had previously placed it in the sea in a (small) box, where it was already considered caught.

(d)Rav Ashi replied to his question - that that was the (individual) opinion of Rebbi Yosi bar Avin (to which Rebbi Yosi replied that he was Rebbi Yosi bar Avin).

2)

(a)What did Rebbi Yosi from Yukras' son do that displeased his father?

(b)What did the latter decree on him?

(c)What reason did a certain peeping Tom once give for making a hole in Rebbi Yosi from Yukras' wall?

(d)What did Rebbi Yosi ... subsequently react?

2)

(a)Rebbi Yosi from Yukras' son decreed that the fig-tree should produce fruit before they were due, in order to feed the hungry workers (who were waiting for his father to bring them food). It greatly displeased his father - that he caused his Creator to produce fruit outside of its time.

(b)He therefore decreed that he should be removed before his time.

(c)A certain peeping Tom explained to Rebbi Yosi from Yukras that he had made a hole in his wall - because, if he was not able to marry his beautiful daughter, at least he could look at her.

(d)Rebbi Yosi reacted by telling his daughter that since she was causing people such pain, she should return to dust, a curse which materialized.

3)

(a)What was special about Rebbi Yosi from Yukras' donkey?

(b)What happened once when the person who hired it forgot a pair of shoes on its back?

3)

(a)The same Rebbi Yosi from Yukras would hire out his donkey. At the end of the day, it would return by itself to its owner with the exact rental on its back. If the hirer put slightly more or slightly less on its back, it refused to budge until the error was rectified.

(b)It happened once that the hirer forgot a pair of shoes on its back - and it refused to return home until he removed it.

4)

(a)Why did the officers of Tzedakah used to hide from Elazar Ish Birsa?

(b)What happened once when he was on his way to market to purchase his daughter's trousseau?

(c)What did he buy with his one remaining Zuz? What happened to that purchase?

(d)What did he tell his daughter when she came to the Beis ha'Midrash, to inform him what 'his good Friend' had done for him?

4)

(a)The officers of Tzedakah used to hide from Elazar Ish Birsa - because whenever he saw them, he would give them whatever money he had with him.

(b)He was once on his way to market to purchase his daughter's trousseau - when they saw him. They ran to hide, but he ran after them. When he caught them he insisted on giving them all the money that he had with him, because they happened to be collecting for an orphan boy and an orphan girl, and, he argued, they were a more worthy cause than his daughter (who had parents).

(c)With the one remaining Zuz - he purchased wheat, which he took home and placed in his storehouse. A miracle occurred, and the storehouse became full of wheat.

(d)When his daughter came to the Beis ha'Midrash, to inform him what 'his good Friend' had done for him - he told her that the wheat was Hekdesh and that she was permitted to take from it just like any other poor person (and no more) because it came through a miracle and, as we have already learned, one may not derive benefit from something that comes through a miracle.

5)

(a)Who was Rebbi Yehudah Nesi'ah?

(b)What did he lament when he decreed a fast and nothing happened?

(c)When did the rain come?

5)

(a)Rebbi Yehudah Nesi'ah - was the son of Raban Gamliel, Rebbi's son.

(b)When he decreed a fast and nothing happened - he lamented that it was not such a long time since the days of Shmuel ha'Ramasi, who prayed for rain, and rain came; so why was rain not forthcoming now?!

(c)The rain came - as soon as he felt discouraged (i.e. he realized his own inadequacy).

6)

(a)When the Prince decreed a fast without having informed Rebbi Yochanan and Resh Lakish, the latter thought that, seeing as they had not accepted the fast at the previous Minchah, they were not obligated to fast. What did Rebbi Yochanan say to him?

(b)Based on the Pasuk in Shelach Lecha "v'Hayah Im me'Einei ha'Eidah Ne'esah li'Shegagah", what did the younger Rebbi Oshaya say that brought on the ire of the Prince's servants?

(c)What did the people say to them in his defense, when the servants began throwing things at him?

(d)When Rebbi decreed a fast, no rain came. The moment Ilfa (or Rebbi Ilfi) said 'Mashiv ha'Ru'ach', it clouded over, and when he said 'u'Morid ha'Gashem', it began to rain. Why was that? What outstanding merit did Ilfa possess?

6)

(a)When the Prince decreed a fast without having informed Rebbi Yochanan and Resh Lakish, the latter thought that, seeing as they had not accepted the fast at the previous Minchah, they were not obligated to fast. Rebbi Yochanan however, told him - that they were obligated to follow the Prince's rulings, in which case, it was not necessary to accept the fast on the previous day (in the same way as one does not need to accept a public fast on the previous day).

(b)Based on the Pasuk in Shelach Lecha "v'Hayah Im me'Einei ha'Eidah Ne'es'sah li'Shegagah" - the younger Rebbi Oshaya said that the Torah compares the leaders of the people to their eyes. It is like a bride, he explained: when a bride's eyes are in good shape, then so is the rest of her body, but when they are not, then she needs to be examined. This brought on the ire of the Prince's servants.

(c)The people came to his defense however, when the servants began throwing things at him - by pointing out that he tended to start up with them too, yet they forgave him because everything he did, he did for the sake of Heaven. So the servants should do likewise.

(d)When Rebbi decreed a fast, no rain came. The moment Ilfa (or Rebbi Ilfi) said 'Mashiv ha'Ru'ach', the wind began to blow, and when he said 'u'Morid ha'Gashem', it began to rain. Ilfa's outstanding merit was - that he lived in a poverty-stricken village, where they could not even afford wine for Kidush and Havdalah; so he went to a lot of trouble to obtain wine and to be Motzi all the villagers with Kidush and Havdalah each week.

7)

(a)The same occurred to Rav and the children's Rebbe as happened to Rebbi and Ilfa. What two righteous acts did the children's Rebbe used to do when he learned with his young pupils?

(b)Rav Nachman too, decreed a fast and no rain came at first. When did the rain come?

(c)In whose days were they more advanced in learning, in the days of Rabah or of Rav Yehudah?

(d)How did Rabah then explain why it was that when he decreed a fast or even if he Davened all day, no-one would take any notice; whereas all Rav Yehudah had to do was to remove one shoe, and the rain came down in torrents?

7)

(a)The same occurred to Rav and the children's Rebbe as happened to Rebbi and Ilfa. The three righteous acts that the children's Rebbe used to do when he learned with his young pupils was - 1. to learn with the children of poor parents together with the children of the rich (and if they could not afford to pay, then he would not take any money from them); 2. He owned pools of fish from which he earned a livelihood. Whenever a child did not want to learn, he would 'bribe' him by giving him a fish.

(b)Rav Nachman too, decreed a fast and no rain came at first - It was when he said 'Take Nachman and throw him down from the wall', causing himself to feel discouraged (and inadequate), that the rain came.

(c)They were more advanced in their learning in the days of Rabah than in the days of Rav Yehudah (despite the fact that Rabah lived one generation later) - because in his time they were fully conversant with all six Sedarim (of Mishnayos), whereas in the days of Rav Yehudah, it seems, they were only expert in Seder Nezikin.

(d)In spite of that, when Rabah decreed a fast or even if he were to Daven all day, no-one would take any notice; whereas all Rav Yehudah had to do was to remove one shoe, and the rain came down in torrents. That was not because he was more righteous - but because the people in his generation were on a higher level than they were in Rabah's. (See also Mesores ha'Shas' reference to Berachos and Sanhedrin).

24b----------------------------------------24b

8)

(a)Which Masechta did Rav Yehudah find particularly difficult? How many Yeshivos studied that Masechta in Rabah's time?

(b)Considering that normally, the 'handle' of a food transmits Tum'ah to the food, why is it that the 'handles' of dried vegetables and the leaves of dried olives, do not?

8)

(a)Rav Yehudah found Maseches Uktzin particularly difficult - whereas in the times of Rabah, there were thirteen Yeshivos studying it.

(b)Even though normally, the 'handle' of food transmits Tum'ah to the food, the 'handles' of dried vegetables and the leaves of dried olives, do not - because once the vegetables have been dried - the respective 'handles' and stalks will no longer serve as handles, because they either break or fall off.

9)

(a)What did Rav Yehudah comment when he saw two men throwing bread to each other?

(b)What happened as a result?

(c)How did the Rabanan, via his Shamash, get him to reverse the situation?

(d)No sooner had his Shamash removed one shoe, than it began to rain. What happened as he was about to remove the other shoe?

9)

(a)When Rav Yehudah saw two men throwing bread to each other - he commented that there must be too much food around.

(b)By saying that, he placed an Ayin ha'Ra (on the food or on the people), he caused a drought.

(c)The Rabanan, via his Shamash, got him to reverse the situation - by getting his Shamash to lure him outside to the vicinity of the market-place, where he noticed large crowds gathering, looking for food. That was when he asked his Shamash to take off his (Rav Yehudah's) shoes to prepare to Daven for rain.

(d)No sooner had his Shamash removed one shoe, than it began to rain. He was about to remove the other shoe - when Eliyahu ha'Navi came and informed that, if he did, Hash-m would destroy the world for troubling Him excessively (see Agados Maharsha).

10)

(a)What did Rav Mari, the son of Shmuel's daughter, see angels (disguised as sailors) doing on that occasion?

(b)Why did Rav Yehudah advise the people not to purchase that flour from them?

(c)How did they then manage to survive the hunger?

(d)Rava too, decreed a fast in Hagrunya, and no rain came. After extending the fast overnight, he asked whether anyone had a dream that night. What dream had Rebbi Elazar from Hagrunya dreamt that comprised four times 'Tav'?

(e)How did Rava react to that dream?

10)

(a)Rav Mari, the son of Shmuel's daughter, saw angels (disguised as sailors) piling sand into a boat which immediately turned into flour.

(b)Rav Yehudah advised the people not to purchase that flour from them - because it was miracle-flour, and we have already learned that it is not advisable to benefit from miracles.

(c)They managed to survive the hunger - because the following day, boatloads of wheat arrived from Parzina.

(d)Rava too, decreed a fast in Hagrunya, and no rain came. After extending the fast overnight, he asked whether anyone had had a dream that night. Rebbi Elazar from Hagrunya had indeed been informed in a dream - 'Shalom Tav l'Rav Tav, me'Ribon Tav d'mi'Tuvei Meitiv l'Alma'.

(e)Reading this to mean that it was a time of goodwill - Rava Davened, and it rained.

11)

(a)Why did Shavur Malka (King of Persia) want to punish Rava?

(b)How did Ifra Hurmiz, his mother, stop him from actually doing so?

(c)To prove her point, she sent Rava a message that he should pray for rain. At first, Rava prayers went unheeded. What did he say, based on a Pasuk in Tehilim, that caused his Tefilos to be answered, and bucketsful of rain fell, even though it was the middle of summer?

(d)Nevertheless, Rava was placed in Cherem for troubling Hash-m to change the laws of nature. How did his father (who was no longer alive) save him from the wrath of the demons?

11)

(a)Shavur Malka (King of Persia) wanted to punish Rava - because his Beis Din, administering Malkus to a man who had had relations with a Nochri woman, accidentally killed him (and the Persians were particularly stringent when it came to murder, as we learn at the end of Bava Kama).

(b)Ifra Hurmiz, Shavur Malka's mother, stopped him from actually doing so - by warning him that he would be better off not starting up with a man who could produce rain even in mid-summer.

(c)To prove her point, she sent Rava a message that he should pray for rain. At first, Rava's prayers went unheeded. But when, based on a Pasuk in Tehilim - he reminded Hash-m that they had heard so many stories from their fathers about the many miracles He had performed for Yisrael, and suggested that perhaps now was the time to behold them with their own eyes, Hash-m 'relented' and bucketsful of rain fell, even though it was the middle of summer.

(d)Nevertheless, Rava was placed in Cherem for troubling Hash-m to change the laws of nature. His father (who was no longer alive) saved him from the wrath of the demons - by appearing to him and warning him to sleep somewhere else (other than in his bed) that night. He followed his father's advice, and sure enough, the following morning, his bed was bristling with knives.

12)

(a)When Rav Papa decreed a fast, no rain came initially. Feeling faint, he tasted a ladle of porridge before proceeding to Daven. When did the rain come?

(b)What did Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa ask when ...

1. ... the rain came and disturbed his travels?

2. ... he arrived home?

(c)What did Rav Yosef say about Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa and the Kohen Gadol's Tefilah?

12)

(a)When Rav Papa decreed a fast, no rain came initially. Feeling faint, he tasted a ladle of porridge before proceeding to Daven. The rain came - when someone made fun of him and suggested that a second ladle of porridge might just do the trick. This made him embarrassed and he fainted. That is when the rain came!

(b)Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa asked when ...

1. ... the rain came and disturbed his travels - that, seeing as everyone was happy, and he was sad, it should stop raining.

2. ... he arrived home - that, now that everyone was sad and he alone was happy, the rain should continue.

(c)Rav Yosef says that - so powerful was Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa's Tefilah that, even the Tefilah of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur was ineffective in face of it.

13)

(a)The Kohen Gadol Davened a short Tefilah in the Kodesh Kodashim on Yom Kippur. What does 'Geshumah u'Shechunah' mean?

(b)Which two extra pieces does Rav Acha Brei d'Rava in the name of Rav Yehudah add?

(c)What did a Heavenly Voice announce every day in the life-time of Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa?

13)

(a)The Kohen Gadol Davened a short Tefilah in the Kodesh Kodashim on Yom Kippur. 'Geshumah u'Shechunah' means - that if it is hotter than usual, it should at least rain (and the dew should fall).

(b)Rav Acha Brei d'Rava in the name of Rav Yehudah adds - that the rulership should not depart from Beis Yehudah, and that Yisrael should not need to come onto each other for sustenance.

(c)Every day in the life-time of Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa - a Heavenly Voice announced 'The whole world is sustained on the merit of Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa, yet Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa makes do with a Kav (twenty-four egg-volumes) of carobs from Friday to Friday'.

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