אוֹתָהּ הָעִיר מִתְעַנָּה וּמַתְרַעַת וְכׇל סְבִיבוֹתֶיהָ מִתְעַנּוֹת וְלֹא מַתְרִיעוֹת רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמֵר מַתְרִיעוֹת וְלֹא מִתְעַנּוֹת וְכֵן עִיר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ דֶּבֶר אוֹ מַפּוֹלֶת אוֹתָהּ הָעִיר מִתְעַנָּה וּמַתְרַעַת וְכׇל סְבִיבוֹתֶיהָ מִתְעַנּוֹת וְלֹא מַתְרִיעוֹת רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמֵר מַתְרִיעוֹת וְלֹא מִתְעַנּוֹת In a case of this kind, that city fasts and cries out by blowing the shofar, and all of its surrounding areas join them in their fast, but they do not cry out. Rabbi Akiva disagrees and says: They cry out but they do not fast. The mishna continues: And likewise, if a city is afflicted by pestilence or collapsing buildings, that city fasts and cries out, and all of its surrounding areas fast but they do not cry out. Rabbi Akiva says: They cry out but they do not fast.
אֵיזֶהוּ דֶּבֶר עִיר הַמּוֹצִיאָה חֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת רַגְלִי וְיָצְאוּ מִמֶּנָּה שְׁלֹשָׁה מֵתִים בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים זֶה אַחַר זֶה הֲרֵי זֶה דֶּבֶר פָּחוֹת מִכָּאן אֵין זֶה דֶּבֶר The mishna inquires: What is considered a plague of pestilence? When is a series of deaths treated as a plague? The mishna answers: If a city that sends out five hundred infantrymen, i.e., it has a population of five hundred able-bodied men, and three dead are taken out of it on three consecutive days, this is a plague of pestilence, which requires fasting and crying out. If the death rate is lower than that, this is not pestilence.
עַל אֵלּוּ מַתְרִיעִין בְּכׇל מָקוֹם עַל הַשִּׁדָּפוֹן וְעַל הַיֵּרָקוֹן וְעַל הָאַרְבֶּה וְעַל הֶחָסִיל וְעַל הַחַיָּה רָעָה וְעַל הַחֶרֶב מַתְרִיעִין עָלֶיהָ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא מַכָּה מְהַלֶּכֶת For the following calamities they cry out in every place: For blight; for mildew; for locusts; for caterpillars, a type of locust that comes in large swarms and descends upon a certain place; for dangerous beasts that have entered a town; and for the sword, i.e., legions of an invading army. The reason that they cry out about these misfortunes in every place is because these are calamities that spread.
מַעֲשֶׂה שֶׁיָּרְדוּ זְקֵנִים מִירוּשָׁלַיִם לְעָרֵיהֶם וְגָזְרוּ תַּעֲנִית עַל שֶׁנִּרְאָה כִּמְלֹא פִי תַנּוּר שִׁדָּפוֹן בְּאַשְׁקְלוֹן וְעוֹד גָּזְרוּ תַּעֲנִית עַל שֶׁאָכְלוּ זְאֵבִים שְׁנֵי תִינוֹקוֹת בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן רַבִּי יוֹסֵי אוֹמֵר לֹא עַל שֶׁאָכְלוּ אֶלָּא עַל שֶׁנִּרְאוּ: An incident occurred in which Elders descended from Jerusalem to their cities throughout Eretz Yisrael and decreed a fast throughout the land because there was seen in the city of Ashkelon a small amount of blight, enough to fill the mouth of an oven. This fast was observed throughout Eretz Yisrael, as blight spreads quickly. And furthermore, they decreed a fast because wolves had eaten two children in Transjordan. Rabbi Yosei says: This fast was decreed not because they ate the children, but because these wolves were merely seen in an inhabited area.
עַל אֵלּוּ מַתְרִיעִין בְּשַׁבָּת עַל עִיר שֶׁהִקִּיפוּהָ נׇכְרִים אוֹ נָהָר וְעַל הַסְּפִינָה הַמִּיטָּרֶפֶת בַּיָּם רַבִּי יוֹסֵי אוֹמֵר לְעֶזְרָה וְלֹא לִצְעָקָה שִׁמְעוֹן הַתִּימְנִי אוֹמֵר אַף עַל הַדֶּבֶר וְלֹא הוֹדוּ לוֹ חֲכָמִים: For the following calamities they cry out even on Shabbat: For a city that is surrounded by gentile troops, or for a place in danger of being flooded by a river that has swelled its banks, or for a ship tossed about at sea. Rabbi Yosei said: One may cry out on Shabbat to summon help, but it may not be sounded for crying out to God. Shimon the Timnite says: One may cry out on Shabbat even for pestilence, but the Rabbis did not agree with him.
עַל כׇּל צָרָה שֶׁלֹּא תָּבוֹא עַל הַצִּבּוּר מַתְרִיעִין עֲלֵיהֶן חוּץ מֵרוֹב גְּשָׁמִים מַעֲשֶׂה שֶׁאָמְרוּ לוֹ לְחוֹנִי הַמְעַגֵּל הִתְפַּלֵּל שֶׁיֵּרְדוּ גְּשָׁמִים אָמַר לָהֶם צְאוּ וְהַכְנִיסוּ תַּנּוּרֵי פְסָחִים בִּשְׁבִיל שֶׁלֹּא יִמּוֹקוּ הִתְפַּלֵּל וְלֹא יָרְדוּ גְּשָׁמִים § The mishna adds: In general, they cry out on account of any trouble that should not befall the community, a euphemism for trouble that may befall the community, except for an overabundance of rain. Although too much rain may be disastrous, one does not cry out over it, because rain is a sign of a blessing. The mishna relates: An incident occurred in which the people said to Ḥoni HaMe’aggel: Pray that rain should fall. He said to them: Go out and bring in the clay ovens used to roast the Paschal lambs, so that they will not dissolve in the water, as torrential rains are certain to fall. He prayed, and no rain fell at all.
מָה עָשָׂה עָג עוּגָה וְעָמַד בְּתוֹכָהּ וְאָמַר לְפָנָיו רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם בָּנֶיךָ שָׂמוּ פְּנֵיהֶם עָלַי שֶׁאֲנִי כְּבֶן בַּיִת לְפָנֶיךָ נִשְׁבָּע אֲנִי בְּשִׁמְךָ הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁאֵינִי זָז מִכָּאן עַד שֶׁתְּרַחֵם עַל בָּנֶיךָ הִתְחִילוּ גְּשָׁמִים מְנַטְּפִין אָמַר לֹא כָּךְ שָׁאַלְתִּי אֶלָּא גִּשְׁמֵי בּוֹרוֹת שִׁיחִין וּמְעָרוֹת הִתְחִילוּ לֵירֵד בְּזַעַף אָמַר לֹא כָּךְ שָׁאַלְתִּי אֶלָּא גִּשְׁמֵי רָצוֹן בְּרָכָה וּנְדָבָה What did he do? He drew a circle on the ground and stood inside it and said before God: Master of the Universe, Your children have turned their faces toward me, as I am like a member of Your household. Therefore, I take an oath by Your great name that I will not move from here until You have mercy upon Your children and answer their prayers for rain. Rain began to trickle down, but only in small droplets. He said: I did not ask for this, but for rain to fill the cisterns, ditches, and caves with enough water to last the entire year. Rain began to fall furiously. He said: I did not ask for this damaging rain either, but for rain of benevolence, blessing, and generosity.
יָרְדוּ כְּתִקְנָן עַד שֶׁיָּצְאוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל מִירוּשָׁלַיִם לְהַר הַבַּיִת מִפְּנֵי הַגְּשָׁמִים בָּאוּ וְאָמְרוּ לוֹ כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהִתְפַּלַּלְתָּ עֲלֵיהֶם שֶׁיֵּרְדוּ כָּךְ הִתְפַּלֵּל שֶׁיֵּלְכוּ לָהֶן אָמַר לָהֶם צְאוּ וּרְאוּ אִם נִמְחֵית אֶבֶן הַטּוֹעִין Subsequently, the rains fell in their standard manner but continued unabated, filling the city with water until all of the Jews exited the residential areas of Jerusalem and went to the Temple Mount due to the rain. They came and said to him: Just as you prayed over the rains that they should fall, so too, pray that they should stop. He said to them: Go out and see if the Claimants’ Stone, a large stone located in the city, upon which proclamations would be posted with regard to lost and found articles, has been washed away. In other words, if the water has not obliterated the Claimants’ Stone, it is not yet appropriate to pray for the rain to cease.
שָׁלַח לוֹ שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן שָׁטַח אִלְמָלֵא חוֹנִי אַתָּה גּוֹזְרַנִי עָלֶיךָ נִידּוּי אֲבָל מָה אֶעֱשֶׂה לְּךָ שֶׁאַתָּה מִתְחַטֵּא לִפְנֵי הַמָּקוֹם וְעוֹשֶׂה לְךָ רְצוֹנְךָ כְּבֵן שֶׁהוּא מִתְחַטֵּא עַל אָבִיו וְעוֹשֶׂה לוֹ רְצוֹנוֹ וְעָלֶיךָ הַכָּתוּב אוֹמֵר יִשְׂמַח אָבִיךָ וְאִמֶּךָ וְתָגֵל יוֹלַדְתֶּךָ: Shimon ben Shetaḥ, the Nasi of the Sanhedrin at the time, relayed to Ḥoni HaMe’aggel: Were you not Ḥoni, I would have decreed that you be ostracized, but what can I do to you? You nag [mitḥatei] God and He does your bidding, like a son who nags his father and his father does his bidding without reprimand. After all, rain fell as you requested. About you, the verse states: “Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her who bore you rejoice” (Proverbs 23:25).
הָיוּ מִתְעַנִּין וְיָרְדוּ לָהֶם גְּשָׁמִים קוֹדֶם הָנֵץ הַחַמָּה לֹא יַשְׁלִימוּ לְאַחַר הָנֵץ הַחַמָּה יַשְׁלִימוּ רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר קוֹדֶם חֲצוֹת לֹא יַשְׁלִימוּ לְאַחַר חֲצוֹת יַשְׁלִימוּ The mishna teaches another halakha with regard to fast days: If they were fasting for rain, and rain fell for them before sunrise, they need not complete their fast until the evening. However, if it fell after sunrise, they must complete their fast. Rabbi Eliezer says: If rain fell before midday, they need not complete their fast; but if it rains after midday, they must complete their fast.
מַעֲשֶׂה שֶׁגָּזְרוּ תַּעֲנִית בְּלוֹד וְיָרְדוּ לָהֶם גְּשָׁמִים קוֹדֶם חֲצוֹת אֲמַר לָהֶם רַבִּי טַרְפוֹן צְאוּ וְאִכְלוּ וּשְׁתוּ וַעֲשׂוּ יוֹם טוֹב וְיָצְאוּ וְאָכְלוּ וְשָׁתוּ וְעָשׂוּ יוֹם טוֹב וּבָאוּ בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם וְקָרְאוּ הַלֵּל הַגָּדוֹל: The mishna relates: An incident occurred in which the court decreed a fast in Lod due to a lack of rain, and rain fell for them before midday. Rabbi Tarfon said to the people: Go out, and eat, and drink, and treat this day as a Festival. And they went out, and ate, and drank, and treated the day as a Festival, and in the afternoon they came to the synagogue and recited the great hallel, to thank God for answering their prayers.
גְּמָ׳ סֵדֶר תַּעֲנִיּוֹת הָאֵלּוּ הָאָמוּר בִּרְבִיעָה רִאשׁוֹנָה וּרְמִינְהִי רְבִיעָה רִאשׁוֹנָה וּשְׁנִיָּה לִשְׁאוֹל שְׁלִישִׁית לְהִתְעַנּוֹת GEMARA: The mishna taught: The order of these fasts is stated only when the fast concerns the first rainfall. And the Gemara raises a contradiction between this statement and the following baraita: If the periods of the first and second rainfall pass without rain, this is the time to ask and pray for rain; if the third passes without rain, this is the time to fast.
אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה הָכִי קָאָמַר סֵדֶר תַּעֲנִיּוֹת הָאָמוּר אֵימָתַי בִּזְמַן שֶׁיָּצְאָה רְבִיעָה רִאשׁוֹנָה וּשְׁנִיָּה וּשְׁלִישִׁית וְלֹא יָרְדוּ גְּשָׁמִים אֲבָל יָרְדוּ גְּשָׁמִים בִּרְבִיעָה רִאשׁוֹנָה וְזָרְעוּ וְלֹא צָמְחוּ אִי נָמֵי צָמְחוּ וְחָזְרוּ וְנִשְׁתַּנּוּ מַתְרִיעִין עֲלֵיהֶן מִיָּד Rav Yehuda said that this is what the mishna is saying: When does the order of these fasts that is stated apply? When the periods of the first, second, and third rainfall have passed and rain has not fallen. However, if rain fell in the time of the first rainfall, and the people sowed but the plants did not sprout, or, alternatively, if they sprouted a little, but their appearance changed back for the worse, as no rain fell after the first rainfall, they cry out about it immediately.
אָמַר רַב נַחְמָן דַּוְקָא נִשְׁתַּנּוּ אֲבָל יָבְשׁוּ לָא פְּשִׁיטָא נִשְׁתַּנּוּ תְּנַן לָא צְרִיכָא דַּאֲקוּן מַהוּ דְּתֵימָא אֲקַנְתָּא מִילְּתָא הִיא קָמַשְׁמַע לַן: Rav Naḥman said: This applies specifically if their appearance changed. However, if they dried out entirely, they do not cry out, as this condition cannot be improved. The Gemara asks: It is obvious that this is the case, because in the mishna we learned the word changed. The Gemara answers: No, it is necessary for Rav Naḥman to issue his statement with regard to a case where they produced stalks after they dried out. Lest you say that producing stalks is a matter of significance, as it is a sign of strengthening, and the crops might be saved through prayer, Rav Naḥman therefore teaches us that this is not the case.
וְכֵן שֶׁפָּסְקוּ גְּשָׁמִים בֵּין גֶּשֶׁם לְגֶשֶׁם כּוּ׳ מַאי מַכַּת בַּצּוֹרֶת אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר רַב מַכָּה הַמְּבִיאָה לִידֵי בַּצּוֹרֶת אָמַר רַב נַחְמָן נַהֲרָא אַנַּהֲרָא The mishna further taught: And likewise, if rain ceased for a period of forty days between one rainfall and another, they cry out about this, because it is a plague of drought. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase: A plague of drought? Isn’t this simply a drought? Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: The mishna means that a period of forty days between one rainfall and the next is a plague that may cause a drought. In this regard, Rav Naḥman said: When crops do not grow in one place due to lack of rain and must be imported by means of one river to another river,