Taanit 24aתענית כ״ד א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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24aכ״ד א

יומא חד שמעיה דקא גריס אמר שמואל השולה דג מן הים בשבת כיון שיבש בו כסלע חייב א"ל ולימא מר ובין סנפיריו אמר ליה ולא סבר לה מר דההיא רבי יוסי בן רבי אבין אמרה אמר ליה אנא ניהו

One day Rabbi Yosei bar Avin heard Rav Ashi studying and reciting the following statement. Shmuel said: With regard to one who removes a fish from the sea on Shabbat, when an area on the skin of the fish the size of a sela coin has dried up, he is liable for violating the prohibition against slaughtering an animal on Shabbat. A fish in that condition cannot survive, and therefore one who removed it from the water is liable for killing it. Rabbi Yosei bar Avin said to Rav Ashi: And let the Master say that this is the case provided that the skin that dried is between its fins. Rav Ashi said to him: And doesn’t the Master maintain that Rabbi Yosei ben Rabbi Avin said this ruling? Why didn’t you state it in his name? Rabbi Yosei bar Avin said to him: I am he.

א"ל ולאו קמיה דר' יוסי דמן יוקרת הוה שכיח מר א"ל (הין) א"ל ומ"ט שבקיה מר ואתא הכא אמר ליה גברא דעל בריה ועל ברתיה לא חס עלי דידי היכי חייס

Rav Ashi said to him: And didn’t the Master sit before and frequent the study hall of Rabbi Yosei from Yokrat? Rabbi Yosei bar Avin said to him: Yes. Rav Ashi said to him: And what is the reason that the Master left him and came here? Rabbi Yosei bar Avin said to him: I was concerned and departed because he is so severe and unforgiving. He is a man who has no mercy on his own son, and no mercy on his daughter. How, then, could he have mercy on me?

בריה מאי היא יומא חד הוו אגרי ליה אגירי בדברא נגה להו ולא אייתי להו ריפתא אמרו ליה לבריה כפינן הוו יתבי תותי תאינתא אמר תאנה תאנה הוציאי פירותיך ויאכלו פועלי אבא אפיקו ואכלו

The Gemara asks: What is the incident involving his son? One day Rabbi Yosei from Yokrat hired day laborers to work his field. It grew late and he did not bring them food. The workers said to the son of Rabbi Yosei from Yokrat: We are starving. They were sitting under a fig tree, so the son said: Fig tree, fig tree. Yield your fruits, so that my father’s workers may eat. The fig tree yielded fruit, and they ate.

אדהכי והכי אתא אבוה אמר להו לא תינקטו בדעתייכו דהאי דנגהנא אמצוה טרחנא ועד השתא הוא דסגאי אמרו ליה רחמנא לישבעך כי היכי דאשבען ברך אמר להו מהיכא אמרו הכי והכי הוה מעשה אמר לו בני אתה הטרחת את קונך להוציא תאנה פירותיה שלא בזמנה יאסף שלא בזמנו

In the meantime, his father came and said to the workers: Do not be angry with me for being late, as I was engaged in a mitzva, and until just now I was traveling for that purpose and could not get here any sooner. They said to him: May the Merciful One satisfy you just as your son satisfied us and gave us food. He said to them: From where did he find food to give you? They said: Such-and-such an incident occurred. Rabbi Yosei from Yokrat said to his son: My son, you troubled your Creator to cause the fig to yield its fruit not in its proper time, so too, you will die young. And indeed, his son died before his time.

ברתיה מאי היא הויא ליה ברתא בעלת יופי יומא חד חזיא לההוא גברא דהויא כריא בהוצא וקא חזי לה אמר לו מאי האי אמר ליה רבי אם ללוקחה לא זכיתי לראותה לא אזכה אמר לה בתי קא מצערת להו לברייתא שובי לעפריך ואל יכשלו ביך בני אדם

The Gemara asks: What is the incident involving his daughter? He had a very beautiful daughter. One day Rabbi Yosei from Yokrat saw a certain man piercing a hole in the hedge surrounding his property and looking at his daughter. Rabbi Yosei said to him: What is this? The man said to him: My teacher, if I have not merited taking her in marriage, shall I not at least merit to look at her? Rabbi Yosei said to her: My daughter, you are causing people distress. Return to your dust, and let people no longer stumble into sin due to you.

הויא ליה ההוא חמרא כדהוו אגרי לה כל יומא לאורתא הוו משדרי לה אגרה אגבה ואתיא לבי מרה ואי טפו לה או בצרי לה לא אתיא יומא חד אינשו זוגא דסנדלי עלה ולא אזלה עד דשקלונהו מינה והדר אזלה

§ The Gemara relates another story involving Rabbi Yosei from Yokrat. He had a certain donkey that people hired each day for work. In the evening they would send it back with the money for its hire on its back, and the animal would go to its owner’s house. But if they added or subtracted from the appropriate sum, the donkey would not go. One day someone forgot a pair of sandals on the donkey, and it did not move until they removed the sandals from its back, after which it went off.

אלעזר איש בירתא כד הוו חזו ליה גבאי צדקה הוו טשו מיניה דכל מאי דהוה גביה יהיב להו יומא חד הוה סליק לשוקא למיזבן נדוניא לברתיה חזיוהו גבאי צדקה טשו מיניה

The Gemara cites more stories about miracles that occurred to righteous individuals. Whenever the charity collectors would see Elazar of the village of Birta, they would hide from him, as any money Elazar had with him he would give them, and they did not want to take all his property. One day, Elazar went to the market to purchase what he needed for his daughter’s dowry. The charity collectors saw him and hid from him.

אזל ורהט בתרייהו אמר להו אשבעתיכו במאי עסקיתו אמרו ליה ביתום ויתומה אמר להן העבודה שהן קודמין לבתי שקל כל דהוה בהדיה ויהב להו פש ליה חד זוזא זבן ליה חיטי ואסיק שדייה באכלבא

He went and ran after them, saying to them: I adjure you, tell me, in what mitzva are you engaged? They said to him: We are collecting money for the wedding of an orphan boy and an orphan girl. He said to them: I swear by the Temple service that they take precedence over my daughter. He took everything he had with him and gave it to them. He was left with one single dinar, with which he bought himself wheat, and he then ascended to his house and threw it into the granary.

אתא דביתהו אמרה לה לברתיה מאי אייתי אבוך אמרה לה כל מה דאייתי באכלבא שדיתיה אתיא למיפתח בבא דאכלבא חזת אכלבא דמליא חיטי וקא נפקא בצינורא דדשא ולא מיפתח בבא מחיטי אזלא ברתיה לבי מדרשא אמרה ליה בא וראה מה עשה לך אוהבך אמר לה העבודה הרי הן הקדש עליך ואין לך בהן אלא כאחד מעניי ישראל

Elazar’s wife came and said to her daughter: What has your father brought? She said to her mother: Whatever he brought he threw into the granary. She went to open the door of the granary, and saw that the granary was full of wheat, so much so that it was coming out through the doorknob, and the door would not open due to the wheat. The granary had miraculously been completely filled. Elazar’s daughter went to the study hall and said to her father: Come and see what your He Who loves You, the Almighty, has performed for you. He said to her: I swear by the Temple service, as far as you are concerned this wheat is consecrated property, and you have a share in it only as one of the poor Jews. He said this because he did not want to benefit from a miracle.

ר' יהודה נשיאה גזר תעניתא בעי רחמי ולא אתא מיטרא אמר כמה איכא משמואל הרמתי ליהודה בן גמליאל אוי לו לדור שכן נתקע אוי לו למי שעלתה בימיו כך חלש דעתיה ואתא מיטרא

The Gemara returns to the topic of fasting for rain. Rabbi Yehuda Nesia decreed a fast and prayed for mercy, but rain did not come. He said, lamenting: How great is the difference between the prophet Samuel of Rama, for whom rain fell even when he prayed for it in summer, and myself, Yehuda ben Gamliel. Woe to the generation that is stuck with this leadership; woe to him in whose days this has occurred. He grew upset, and rain came.

דבי נשיאה גזר תעניתא ולא אודעינהו לרבי יוחנן ולריש לקיש לצפרא אודעינהו אמר ליה ריש לקיש לרבי יוחנן הא לא קבילנא עלן מאורתא אמר ליה אנן בתרייהו גררינן

The Gemara relates another story involving a Nasi’s decree of a fast for rain. In the house of the Nasi a fast was declared, but they didn’t inform Rabbi Yoḥanan and Reish Lakish of the fast the day before. In the morning they informed them. Reish Lakish said to Rabbi Yoḥanan: What are we to do? We did not accept this fast upon ourselves the evening before, and a fast must be accepted in the afternoon service of the day preceding the fast. Rabbi Yoḥanan said to him: We are drawn after the community, and therefore, when the Nasi declares a public fast there is no need for an individual to accept it upon himself the day before.

דבי נשיאה גזר תעניתא ולא אתא מיטרא תנא להו אושעיא זעירא דמן חברייא (במדבר טו, כד) והיה אם מעיני העדה נעשתה לשגגה

The Gemara further states that on another occasion, a fast was declared in the house of the Nasi, but rain did not come. Oshaya, the youngest member of the group of Sages, taught them a baraita. It is written: “Then it shall be, if it shall be committed in error by the congregation, it being hidden from their eyes” (Numbers 15:24). This verse indicates that the leaders are considered the eyes of the congregation.

משל לכלה שהיא בבית אביה כל זמן שעיניה יפות אין כל גופה צריכה בדיקה עיניה טרוטות כל גופה צריכה בדיקה

Oshaya continued: There is a parable that illustrates this, involving a bride who is in her father’s home and has not yet been seen by her bridegroom. As long as her eyes are beautiful, her body need not be examined, as certainly she is beautiful. However, if her eyes are bleary [terutot], her entire body requires examination. So too, if the leaders of the generation are flawed, it is a sign that the entire generation is unworthy.

אתו עבדיה ורמו ליה סודרא בצואריה וקא מצערו ליה אמרו (ליה) בני מאתיה שבקיה דהא נמי מצער לן כיון דחזינן דכל מיליה לשום שמים לא אמרי ליה מידי ושבקינן ליה אתון נמי שבקוהו

By means of this parable, Oshaya was hinting that rain was withheld from the entire nation due to the evil committed by the household of the Nasi. The servants of the Nasi came and placed a scarf around his neck and tormented him as punishment for insulting the house of the Nasi. His townsmen said to them: Let him be, as he also causes us pain with his harsh reproof, but since we see that all his actions are for the sake of Heaven we do not say anything to him and let him be. You too should let him be.

רבי גזר תעניתא ולא אתא מיטרא נחית קמיה אילפא ואמרי לה רבי אילפי אמר משיב הרוח ונשא זיקא מוריד הגשם ואתא מיטרא אמר ליה מאי עובדך אמר ליה דיירנא בקוסטא דחיקא דלית ביה חמרא לקידושא ואבדלתא טרחנא ואתינא חמרא לקידושא ואבדלתא ומפיקנא להו ידי חובתייהו

§ The Gemara relates: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi declared a fast but rain did not come. Ilfa descended to lead the service before him, and some say it was Rabbi Ilfi. He recited: He Who makes the wind blow, and the wind indeed blew. He continued to recite: And Who makes the rain come, and subsequently, the rain came. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to him: What are your good deeds, in the merit of which your prayers are answered so speedily? He said to him: I live in an impoverished city, in which there is no wine for kiddush or havdala. I go to the effort of bringing the residents wine for kiddush and havdala, and I thereby enable them to fulfill their duty. In reward for this mitzva, my prayers for rain were answered.

רב איקלע לההוא אתרא גזר תעניתא ולא אתא מיטרא נחית קמיה שליחא דצבורא אמר משיב הרוח ונשב זיקא אמר מוריד הגשם ואתא מיטרא אמר ליה מאי עובדך אמר ליה מיקרי דרדקי אנא ומקרינא לבני עניי כבני עתירי וכל דלא אפשר ליה לא שקלינא מיניה מידי ואית לי פירא דכוורי וכל מאן דפשע משחדינא ליה מינייהו ומסדרינן ליה ומפייסינן ליה עד דאתי וקרי

The Gemara relates a similar incident. Rav happened to come to a certain place where he decreed a fast but rain did not come. The prayer leader descended to lead the service before him and recited: He Who makes the wind blow, and the wind blew. He continued and said: And Who makes the rain fall, and the rain came. Rav said to him: What are your good deeds? He said to him: I am a teacher of children, and I teach the Bible to the children of the poor as to the children of the rich, and if there is anyone who cannot pay, I do not take anything from him. And I have a fishpond, and any child who neglects his studies, I bribe him with the fish and calm him, and soothe him until he comes and reads.

רב נחמן גזר תעניתא בעא רחמי ולא אתא מיטרא אמר שקלוה לנחמן חבוטו מן גודא לארעא חלש דעתיה ואתא מיטרא

The Gemara further relates: Rav Naḥman decreed a fast, prayed for mercy, but rain did not come. In his misery, he said: Take Naḥman and throw him from the wall to the ground, as the fast he decreed has evidently had no effect. He grew upset, and rain came.

רבה גזר תעניתא בעי רחמי ולא אתא מיטרא אמרו ליה והא רב יהודה כי הוה גזר תעניתא אתא מיטרא אמר להו מאי אעביד אי משום תנויי אנן עדיפינן מינייהו דבשני דרב יהודה כל תנויי

The Gemara relates: Rabba decreed a fast. He prayed for mercy, but rain did not come. They said to him: But when this Rav Yehuda decreed a fast, rain would come. He said to them: What can I do? If the difference between us is due to Torah study, we are superior to the previous generation, as in the years of Rav Yehuda all of their learning