Taanit 11aתענית י״א א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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11aי״א א

דיתיב בארבא אי נמי דקאזיל מאוונא לאוונא

is in a case where he is sitting in a boat. The traveler must be concerned about his food supply, but he need not worry that the jostling of the road might force him to exert himself, which has a tendency to cause digestive problems. Alternatively, the practical difference is in a case where he is traveling from station [avna] to station. Here the exertion of the road might cause digestive problems, but one need not be concerned about running out of food, as he can resupply along the way.

רב פפא כל פרסה ופרסה אכיל חדא ריפתא קסבר משום מעיינא

The Gemara relates that when Rav Pappa traveled, along each and every parasang he would eat one loaf of bread. Rav Pappa did so because he maintained that the prohibition was due to the bowels, and as he was healthy he was not concerned that travel by road would irritate his digestion.

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב כל המרעיב עצמו בשני רעבון ניצל ממיתה משונה שנאמר (איוב ה, כ) ברעב פדך ממות מרעב מיבעי ליה אלא הכי קאמר בשכר שמרעיב עצמו בשני רעבון ניצול ממיתה משונה

Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: Anyone who has food for himself but nevertheless starves himself in years of famine will be saved from an unusual death, as it is stated: “In famine, He will redeem you from death” (Job 5:20). This is derived from the precise wording of the verse. According to its straightforward meaning, instead of “in famine,” it should have said: From famine, as one is delivered from famine. Rather, this is what the verse is saying: As a reward for starving himself in years of famine, Job will be saved from an unusual death.

אמר ריש לקיש אסור לאדם לשמש מטתו בשני רעבון שנאמר (בראשית מא, נ) וליוסף ילד שני בנים בטרם תבוא שנת הרעב תנא חסוכי בנים משמשין מטותיהן בשני רעבון

Similarly, Reish Lakish said: It is prohibited for a person to have conjugal relations in years of famine, so that children not be born during these difficult years. As it is stated: “And to Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came” (Genesis 41:50). It was taught in a baraita: Nevertheless, those without children may have marital relations in years of famine, as they must strive to fulfill the mitzva to be fruitful and multiply.

תנו רבנן בזמן שישראל שרויין בצער ופירש אחד מהן באין שני מלאכי השרת שמלוין לו לאדם ומניחין לו ידיהן על ראשו ואומרים פלוני זה שפירש מן הצבור אל יראה בנחמת צבור

Likewise, the Sages taught in a baraita: When the Jewish people is immersed in distress, and one of them separates himself from the community and does not share their suffering, the two ministering angels who accompany a person come and place their hands on his head, as though he was an offering, and say: This man, so-and-so, who has separated himself from the community, let him not see the consolation of the community.

תניא אידך בזמן שהצבור שרוי בצער אל יאמר אדם אלך לביתי ואוכל ואשתה ושלום עליך נפשי ואם עושה כן עליו הכתוב אומר (ישעיהו כב, יג) והנה ששון ושמחה הרוג בקר ושחוט צאן אכול בשר ושתות יין אכול ושתו כי מחר נמות מה כתיב בתריה ונגלה באזני ה' צבאות אם יכופר העון הזה לכם עד תמותון

A similar idea is taught in another baraita: When the community is immersed in suffering, a person may not say: I will go to my home and I will eat and drink, and peace be upon you, my soul. And if he does so, the verse says about him: “And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen and killing sheep, eating flesh and drinking wine; let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we shall die” (Isaiah 22:13). And the prophecy continues with what is written afterward, in the following verse: “And the Lord of hosts revealed Himself in my ears: Surely this iniquity shall not be expiated by you until you die” (Isaiah 22:14).

עד כאן מדת בינונים אבל במדת רשעים מה כתיב (ישעיהו נו, יב) אתיו אקחה יין ונסבאה שכר והיה כזה יום מחר מה כתיב בתריה הצדיק אבד ואין איש שם על לב כי מפני הרעה נאסף הצדיק

The baraita comments: Up to this point is the attribute of middling people, who merely exclude themselves from the suffering of the community. However, with regard to the attribute of wicked people, what is written about those who hope for more of these days? “Come, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant” (Isaiah 56:12). And what is written afterward? “The righteous perishes, and no man lays it to heart, and godly men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come” (Isaiah 57:1). This verse teaches that righteous people suffer early death to prevent them from witnessing the harm that will befall these evil people.

אלא יצער אדם עם הצבור שכן מצינו במשה רבינו שציער עצמו עם הצבור שנאמר (שמות יז, יב) וידי משה כבדים ויקחו אבן וישימו תחתיו וישב עליה וכי לא היה לו למשה כר אחת או כסת אחת לישב עליה אלא כך אמר משה הואיל וישראל שרויין בצער אף אני אהיה עמהם בצער וכל המצער עצמו עם הצבור זוכה ורואה בנחמת צבור

The baraita continues: Rather, a person should be distressed together with the community. As we found with Moses our teacher that he was distressed together with the community, as it is stated during the war with Amalek: “But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat upon it” (Exodus 17:12). But didn’t Moses have one pillow or one cushion to sit upon; why was he forced to sit on a rock? Rather, Moses said as follows: Since the Jewish people are immersed in suffering, I too will be with them in suffering, as much as I am able, although I am not participating in the fighting. The baraita adds: And anyone who is distressed together with the community will merit seeing the consolation of the community.

ושמא יאמר אדם מי מעיד בי אבני ביתו של אדם וקורות ביתו של אדם מעידים בו שנאמר (חבקוק ב, יא) כי אבן מקיר תזעק וכפיס מעץ יעננה דבי רבי שילא אמרי שני מלאכי השרת המלוין לו לאדם הן מעידין עליו שנאמר (תהלים צא, יא) כי מלאכיו יצוה לך

The baraita further states: And lest a person say, I have acted in secret; who will testify against me on the Day of Judgment? The tanna explains that the stones of a person’s house and the beams of a person’s house will testify against him, as it is stated: “For a stone shall cry out from the wall, and a beam out of the timber shall answer it” (Habakkuk 2:11). In the school of Rabbi Sheila they say: The two ministering angels who accompany a person will testify against him, as it is stated: “For He will give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways” (Psalms 91:11).

רבי חידקא אומר נשמתו של אדם היא מעידה עליו שנאמר (מיכה ז, ה) משוכבת חיקך שמור פתחי פיך ויש אומרים אבריו של אדם מעידים בו שנאמר (ישעיהו מג, י) אתם עדי נאם ה'

Rabbi Ḥidka said: A person’s soul will testify against him, as it is stated: “Keep the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your bosom” (Micah 7:5). And some say: A man’s limbs will testify against him, as it is stated: “You are My witnesses, says the Lord” (Isaiah 43:10).

(דברים לב, ד) אל אמונה ואין עול אל אמונה כשם שנפרעין מן הרשעים לעולם הבא אפילו על עבירה קלה שעושין כך נפרעין מן הצדיקים בעולם הזה על עבירה קלה שעושין

The baraita cites another verse that deals with judgment. “A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, He is just and righteous” (Deuteronomy 32:4). The baraita interprets “a God of faithfulness” to mean that just as punishment is exacted from the wicked in the World-to-Come even for a light transgression that they commit, so too, punishment is exacted from the righteous in this world for a light transgression that they commit. The righteous suffer their punishment in this world to purify them so they can enjoy the World-to-Come.

ואין עול כשם שמשלמין שכר לצדיקים לעולם הבא אפילו על מצוה קלה שעושין כך משלמין שכר לרשעים בעולם הזה אפילו על מצוה קלה שעושין

The baraita turns to the second section of the verse: “And without iniquity.” This teaches that just as reward is paid to the righteous in the World-to-Come even for a minor mitzva that they fulfill, so too, reward is paid to the wicked in this world for even a minor mitzva that they fulfill, to give the wicked all the reward they deserve for the performance of mitzvot in this world, and deprive them of any share in the World-to-Come.

צדיק וישר הוא (אמרו בשעת) פטירתו של אדם לבית עולמו כל מעשיו (נפטרין) לפניו ואומרים לו כך וכך עשית במקום פלוני ביום פלוני והוא אומר (הין) ואומרים לו חתום וחותם שנאמר (איוב לז, ז) ביד כל אדם יחתום ולא עוד אלא שמצדיק עליו את הדין ואומר להם יפה דנתוני לקיים מה שנאמר (תהלים נא, ו) למען תצדק בדברך

With regard to the third section of the verse: “He is just and righteous,” the Sages said: At the hour of a person’s departure to his eternal home, all his deeds are enumerated before him and are rendered visible to him once again, and the deeds themselves say to him: You did such and such, in such and such a place, on such and such a day, and he says: Yes, that is exactly what happened. And they say to him: Sign a statement that this is correct, and he signs it, as it is stated: “He makes the hand of every man sign” (Job 37:7). And not only that, but after a one has been shown all his deeds, he justifies the judgment upon himself, and says to them: You have judged me well. This response serves to fulfill that which is stated: “That You may be justified when You speak and be right when You judge” (Psalms 51:6).

אמר שמואל כל היושב בתענית נקרא חוטא סבר כי האי תנא דתניא ר' אלעזר הקפר ברבי אומר מה תלמוד לומר (במדבר ו, יא) וכפר עליו מאשר חטא על הנפש וכי באיזה נפש חטא זה אלא שציער עצמו מן היין

§ The Gemara returns to the primary topic of the tractate, the issue of fasts. Shmuel said: Whoever sits in observance of a fast is called a sinner, as it is inappropriate to take unnecessary suffering upon oneself. The Gemara comments: Shmuel holds in accordance with the opinion of the following tanna, as it is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Elazar HaKappar the Great says: What is the meaning when the verse states, with regard to a nazirite: “And he will atone for him for that he sinned by the soul [nefesh]” (Numbers 6:11). But with what soul did this nazirite sin? Rather, the nazirite sinned by the distress he caused himself when he abstained from wine, in accordance with the terms of his vow.

והלא דברים קל וחומר ומה זה שלא ציער עצמו אלא מן היין נקרא חוטא המצער עצמו מכל דבר ודבר על אחת כמה וכמה

And are these matters not inferred a fortiori? And if this nazirite, who distressed himself by abstaining only from wine, is nevertheless called a sinner and requires atonement, then with regard to one who distresses himself by abstaining from each and every matter of food and drink when he fasts, all the more so should he be considered a sinner.

ר' אלעזר אומר נקרא קדוש שנאמר (במדבר ו, ה) קדוש יהיה גדל פרע שער ראשו ומה זה שלא ציער עצמו אלא מדבר אחד נקרא קדוש המצער עצמו מכל דבר על אחת כמה וכמה

Conversely, Rabbi Elazar says: One who accepts a fast upon himself is called sacred, as it is stated with regard to the nazirite: “He shall be sacred, he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow long” (Numbers 6:5). Here too, one can apply an a fortiori inference: And if this nazirite, who distressed himself by abstaining from only one matter, wine, is nevertheless called sacred, then with regard to one who distresses himself by abstaining from every matter, all the more so should he be considered sacred.

ולשמואל הא איקרי קדוש ההוא אגידול פרע קאי ולר' אלעזר הא נקרא חוטא ההוא דסאיב נפשיה

The Gemara asks: And according to the opinion of Shmuel, the nazirite is indeed called sacred, as stated by Rabbi Elazar. The Gemara answers: That verse is referring to the sanctity of the growth of the locks, as the nazirite’s hair does possess an element of sanctity, but it does not refer to the nazirite himself. The Gemara reverses the question: And according to the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, the nazirite is called a sinner. The Gemara answers: That verse refers specifically to a nazirite who rendered himself ritually impure by coming into contact with a dead body, an act that is prohibited for him. This particular nazirite must bring an offering to atone “for that he sinned by the soul.”

ומי אמר רבי אלעזר הכי והאמר ר' אלעזר לעולם ימוד אדם עצמו

The Gemara asks: And did Rabbi Elazar actually say this, that fasting is a virtuous act? But didn’t Rabbi Elazar say: A person should always consider himself