Taanit 15bתענית ט״ו ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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15bט״ו ב

בימי רבי חלפתא ור' חנניא בן תרדיון שעבר אחד לפני התיבה וגמר את הברכה כולה ולא ענו אחריו אמן תקעו הכהנים ותקעו מי שענה את אברהם אבינו בהר המוריה הוא יענה אתכם וישמע בקול צעקתכם היום הזה הריעו בני אהרן הריעו מי שענה את אבותינו על ים סוף הוא יענה אתכם וישמע בקול צעקתכם היום הזה

in the days of Rabbi Ḥalafta and Rabbi Ḥananya ben Teradyon, that someone passed before the ark as prayer leader and finished the entire blessing of the fast day, but the congregation did not answer amen after him. Instead, the attendant of the synagogue said: Sound the shofar with a long, unwavering sound, priests, blow the shofar. The prayer leader continued: He Who answered Abraham on Mount Moriah, He will answer you and hear the sound of your cry on this day. Once again, the attendant announced: Blast the shofar, with a wavering sound, sons of Aaron, blast. The prayer leader resumed: He Who answered our forefathers by the Red Sea, He will answer you and hear the sound of your cry on this day, and continued in this way.

וכשבא דבר אצל חכמים אמרו לא היינו נוהגין כן אלא בשער מזרח ובהר הבית

And when this matter came before the Sages, and they heard the custom of Rabbi Ḥalafta and Rabbi Ḥananya ben Teradyon, they said: They would act in accordance with this custom only at the Eastern Gate of the Temple and on the Temple Mount. However, this ceremony is never performed outside the Temple.

שלש תעניות הראשונות אנשי משמר מתענין ולא משלימין ואנשי בית אב לא היו מתענין כלל שלש שניות אנשי משמר מתענין ומשלימין ואנשי בית אב מתענין ולא משלימין שבע אחרונות אלו ואלו מתענין ומשלימין דברי רבי יהושע

§ On the first three fasts, the members of the priestly watch, who are in charge of the Temple service that week, fast but do not complete their fast. And the members of the patrilineal family, who perform the Temple service on that particular day, did not fast at all. On the second set of three fast days, the members of the priestly watch fast and complete the fast, and the members of the patrilineal family fast but do not complete their fasts. On the final seven fasts, both groups fast and complete the fasts. This is the statement of Rabbi Yehoshua.

וחכמים אומרים שלש תעניות הראשונות אלו ואלו לא היו מתענין כלל שלש שניות אנשי משמר מתענין ולא משלימין ואנשי בית אב לא היו מתענין כלל שבע אחרונות אנשי משמר מתענין ומשלימין ואנשי בית אב מתענין ולא משלימין

And the Rabbis say: On the first three fasts, the members of both groups do not fast at all. On the second three fast days, the members of the priestly watch fast and do not complete their fast, and the members of the patrilineal family do not fast at all. On the final seven, the members of the priestly watch fast and complete the fast, and the members of the patrilineal family fast but do not complete their fast.

אנשי משמר מותרין לשתות יין בלילות אבל לא בימים ואנשי בית אב לא ביום ולא בלילה אנשי משמר ואנשי מעמד אסורין מלספר ומלכבס ובחמישי מותרין מפני כבוד השבת

The mishna mentions another difference between the members of the priestly watch and the patrilineal family: The members of the priestly watch were permitted to drink wine during the nights, but not during the days, as they might be called upon to assist in the Temple service, which may not be performed after drinking wine. And the members of the patrilineal family, who performed the Temple service, were not permitted to drink wine, neither at night nor during the day, as their tasks were performed at night as well. It is prohibited for both the members of the priestly watch and the members of the non-priestly watch to cut their hair or launder their garments throughout the week, but on Thursday it is permitted for them to cut their hair and launder their clothes in deference to Shabbat.

כל הכתוב במגילת תענית דלא למספד לפניו אסור לאחריו מותר רבי יוסי אומר לפניו ולאחריו אסור

§ The mishna returns to the issue of fasting: Any day concerning which it is written in Megillat Ta’anit not to eulogize on that day, it is also prohibited to eulogize on the day before, but it is permitted to do so on the following day. Rabbi Yosei says: It is prohibited to eulogize both on the day before and on the following day.

דלא להתענאה לפניו ולאחריו מותר ר' יוסי אומר לפניו אסור לאחריו מותר

The mishna continues: With regard to those days concerning which it is written only not to fast, it is permitted to fast on the day before and on the following day. Rabbi Yosei says: Fasting the day before is prohibited, but on the following day it is permitted to fast.

אין גוזרין תענית על הצבור בתחילה בחמישי שלא להפקיע השערים אלא שלש תעניות הראשונות שני וחמישי ושני ושלש שניות חמישי שני וחמישי ר' יוסי אומר כשם שאין הראשונות בחמישי כך לא שניות ולא אחרונות

The mishna continues: One may not decree a fast on the community starting on a Thursday, so as not to cause an increase in prices. If the first of a series of fasts is on a Thursday, then on Friday everyone will come to purchase their food for after the fast and for Shabbat, which will allow the storeowners to take advantage of the crowds and raise their prices. Rather, the first set of three fasts is on a Monday, Thursday, and the following Monday, and the second set of three is on a Thursday, Monday, and the following Thursday. Rabbi Yosei says: Just as the first three fasts do not begin on Thursday, so too, neither the second set nor the last set starts on a Thursday. Instead, all the series of fasts begin on a Monday.

אין גוזרין תענית על הצבור בראשי חדשים בחנוכה ובפורים ואם התחילו אין מפסיקין דברי רבן גמליאל אמר רבי מאיר אף על פי שאמר רבן גמליאל אין מפסיקין מודה היה שאין משלימין וכן תשעה באב שחל להיות בערב שבת:

The mishna further states: One may not decree a fast on the community on New Moons, on Hanukkah, or on Purim. And if they decreed and began a set of fasts, and only afterward realized that one of the fasts would occur on one of these days, they do not interrupt the sequence. This is the statement of Rabban Gamliel. Rabbi Meir said: Although Rabban Gamliel said that they do not interrupt the sequence, he concedes that on these days, which are days with special observances, they do not complete the fast. And similarly, when the Ninth of Av occurs on Shabbat eve, the fast is not completed and one eats before the start of Shabbat, so as not to enter Shabbat while fasting.

גמ׳ סדר תעניות כיצד מוציאין את התיבה כו' ואפילו בקמייתא ורמינהו שלש תעניות ראשונות ושניות נכנסים לבית הכנסת ומתפללין כדרך שמתפללין כל השנה כולה

GEMARA: The mishna teaches: What is the order of fast days? They remove the ark. The Gemara asks: And is this ritual performed even on the first set of fasts? And the Gemara raises a contradiction from a baraita: On the first and second sets of three fasts, everyone enters the synagogue and they pray in the manner that they pray throughout the entire year.

ובשבע אחרונות מוציאין את התיבה לרחובה של עיר ונותנין אפר על גבי התיבה ובראש הנשיא ובראש אב בית דין וכל אחד ואחד נוטל ונותן בראשו רבי נתן אומר אפר מקלה הן מביאין אמר רב פפא כי תנן נמי מתניתין אשבע אחרונות תנן:

The baraita continues: And on the final seven fasts they remove the ark to the main city square and place ashes upon the ark, and on the head of the Nasi, and on the head of the deputy Nasi, and each and every member of the community takes ashes and places them upon his head. Rabbi Natan says: They would bring specifically burnt ashes. This baraita indicates that the full ritual is performed only on the final set of fasts. Rav Pappa said in explanation: When we taught the mishna as well, it was taught only with regard to the final set of seven fasts, not the earlier series of fasts.

ובראש הנשיא והדר תני כל אחד ואחד (נוטל ונותן) בראשו איני (והתנן) רבי אומר בגדולה מתחילין מן הגדול ובקללה מתחילין מן הקטן

§ And the mishna further states that ashes are placed on the head of the Nasi and on the head of the deputy Nasi. And then it teaches that each and every member of the community places ashes upon his head. The Gemara asks: Is that so? Is this the proper order? Isn’t it taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: With regard to matters of greatness, where it is a mark of honor and distinction to be treated first, one begins with the greatest member of the group, but for any matter involving a curse or dishonor, one begins with the least important member of the group.

בגדולה מתחילין מן הגדול שנאמר (ויקרא י, ו) ויאמר משה אל אהרן ולאלעזר ולאיתמר ובקללה מתחילין מן הקטן (דאמר מר) בתחלה נתקלל נחש ואחר כך נתקללה חוה ואח"כ נתקלל אדם

The Gemara cites a baraita which provides the sources for this principle. With regard to matters of greatness one begins with the greatest member, as it is stated: “And Moses said to Aaron, and to Elazar and to Itamar, his sons” (Leviticus 10:6). Moses first addresses the most important person, Aaron, and this was a matter of distinction, as the verse continues: “For the anointing oil of the Lord is upon you” (Leviticus 10:7). And for any matter involving a curse, one begins with the least important member of a group, as the serpent was cursed first, and afterward Eve was cursed and afterward Adam was cursed.

הא חשיבותא לדידהו דאמרי להו אתון חשיביתו למיבעי עלן רחמי אכ"ע:

Why, then, are the leaders of the community, its most important members, the first to perform these fast day expressions of mourning, which are a response to a curse? The Gemara answers: The reason is that this leadership role in the performance of these acts is considered a distinction and an honor for them, as it is as though the community is saying to them: You are worthy of requesting compassion on behalf of everyone.

(כל אחד ואחד (נוטל ונותן) בראשו אמר רב אדא) וכל אחד ואחד (נוטל ונותן) בראשו נשיא ואב בית דין נמי נשקלו אינהו ונינחו בראשייהו מאי שנא דשקיל איניש אחרינא ומנח להו אמר רבי אבא דמן קסרי אינו דומה מתבייש מעצמו

§ The mishna teaches: Each and every member of the community places ashes upon his head. The Gemara asks: Let the Nasi and the deputy Nasi also take ashes themselves and place them upon their own heads. What is different with regard to them, that someone else takes the ashes and places them on their heads? Rabbi Abba of Caesarea said: This is done intentionally, as one who humiliates himself, in this case by placing ashes upon his own head, is not similar to