Taanit 29a:11תענית כ״ט א
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29aכ״ט א

אנת צבית לחרובי ביתא ידך אשלימת ליה

You want to destroy the Temple; I have given you your hand. It is as though one idol said to the other: You are seeking to destroy the Temple by causing Israel to pray to you; I, too, give you a hand to assist you.

בתשעה באב נגזר על אבותינו שלא יכנסו לארץ מנלן דכתיב (שמות מ, יז) ויהי בחדש הראשון בשנה השנית באחד לחדש הוקם המשכן ואמר מר שנה ראשונה עשה משה את המשכן שניה הקים משה את המשכן ושלח מרגלים וכתיב (במדבר י, יא) ויהי בשנה השנית בחדש השני בעשרים בחדש נעלה הענן מעל משכן העדות

§ The mishna taught: On the Ninth of Av, it was decreed upon our ancestors that they would not enter Eretz Yisrael. The Gemara asks: From where do we derive this? As it is written: “And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the Tabernacle was erected” (Exodus 40:17). And the Master said: In the first year after leaving Egypt, Moses built the Tabernacle. At the beginning of the second year, Moses erected the Tabernacle and sent the spies. And it is written: “And it came to pass in the second year in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month, that the cloud was taken up from the Tabernacle of the Testimony” (Numbers 10:11).

וכתיב (במדבר י, לג) ויסעו מהר ה' דרך שלשת ימים אמר רבי חמא בר חנינא אותו היום סרו מאחרי ה' וכתיב (במדבר יא, ד) והאספסוף אשר בקרבו התאוו תאוה וישובו ויבכו גם בני ישראל וגו' וכתיב (במדבר יא, כ) עד חדש ימים וגו' דהוו להו עשרין ותרתין בסיון

And it is further written: “And they set forward from the mount of the Lord three days’ journey” (Numbers 10:33). Rabbi Ḥama bar Ḥanina said: That very day, they turned away from God by displaying their anxiety about leaving Mount Sinai. And it is written: “And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting, and the children of Israel also wept on their part, and said: Would that we were given flesh to eat” (Numbers 11:4). And it is written that the Jews ate the meat “for an entire month” (Numbers 11:20). If one adds to the first twenty days an additional three days’ journey, these are twenty-three days. Consequently, the subsequent month of twenty-nine days of eating meat ended on the twenty-second of Sivan.

וכתיב (במדבר יב, טו) ותסגר מרים שבעת ימים דהוו להו עשרין ותשעה בסיון וכתיב (במדבר יג, ב) שלח לך אנשים

After this, the Jews traveled to Hazeroth, where Miriam was afflicted with leprosy, and it is written: “And Miriam was shut out of the camp for seven days, and the people did not journey until Miriam was brought in again” (Numbers 12:15). Including these seven days, they remained in Hazeroth until the twenty-ninth of Sivan before traveling on to Paran, and it is written immediately afterward: “Send you men, that they may spy out the land of Canaan” (Numbers 13:2).

ותניא בעשרים ותשעה בסיון שלח משה מרגלים וכתיב (במדבר יג, כה) וישובו מתור הארץ מקץ ארבעים יום הני ארבעים יום נכי חד הוו

And this calculation is taught in a baraita: On the twenty-ninth of Sivan, Moses sent the spies. And it is written: “And they returned from spying out the land at the end of forty days” (Numbers 13:25), which means that they came back on the Ninth of Av. The Gemara asks: These are forty days minus one. The remaining days of the days of Sivan, the entire month of Tammuz, and eight days of Av add up to a total of thirty-nine days, not forty.

אמר אביי תמוז דההיא שתא מלויי מליוה דכתיב (איכה א, טו) קרא עלי מועד לשבור בחורי

Abaye said: The month of Tammuz of that year was a full month of thirty days. Accordingly, there are exactly forty days until the Ninth of Av. And this is alluded to in the following verse, as it is written: “He has called an appointed time against me to crush my young men” (Lamentations 1:15). This indicates that an additional appointed day, i.e., a New Moon, was added so that this calamity would fall specifically on the Ninth of Av.

וכתיב (במדבר יד, א) ותשא כל העדה ויתנו את קולם ויבכו העם בלילה ההוא אמר רבה אמר ר' יוחנן (אותו היום ערב) תשעה באב היה אמר להם הקב"ה אתם בכיתם בכיה של חנם ואני קובע לכם בכיה לדורות

And it is further written: “And all the congregation lifted up their voice and cried and the people wept that night” (Numbers 14:1). Rabba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: That night was the night of the Ninth of Av. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to them: You wept needlessly that night, and I will therefore establish for you a true tragedy over which there will be weeping in future generations.

חרב הבית בראשונה דכתיב (מלכים ב כה, ח) ובחדש החמישי בשבעה לחדש היא שנת תשע עשרה [שנה] למלך נבוכדנצר מלך בבל בא נבוזראדן רב טבחים עבד מלך בבל ירושלם וישרוף את בית ה' וגו' וכתיב (ירמיהו נב, יב) ובחדש החמישי בעשור לחדש היא שנת תשע עשרה [שנה] למלך נבוכדנצר מלך בבל בא נבוזראדן רב טבחים עמד לפני מלך בבל בירושלם וגו'

§ The mishna further taught that on the Ninth of Av the Temple was destroyed the first time. The Gemara explains that this is as it is written: “And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the King of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. And he burnt the house of the Lord” (II Kings 25:8–9). And it is also written: “And in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, who served the king of Babylon, came into Jerusalem. And he burnt the house of the Lord” (Jeremiah 52:12–13).

ותניא אי אפשר לומר בשבעה שהרי כבר נאמר בעשור ואי אפשר לומר בעשור שהרי כבר נאמר בשבעה הא כיצד בשבעה נכנסו נכרים להיכל ואכלו וקלקלו בו שביעי שמיני

And it is taught in a baraita: It is impossible to say that the Temple was burned on the seventh of Av, as it has already been stated, in Jeremiah, that it was destroyed on the tenth. And it is also impossible to say that the Temple was burned on the tenth of Av, as it has already been stated that it was destroyed on the seventh, in II Kings 25:8–9. How so; what actually occurred? On the seventh of Av, gentiles entered the Sanctuary, and on the seventh and the eighth they ate there and desecrated it, by engaging in acts of fornication.

ותשיעי סמוך לחשכה הציתו בו את האור והיה דולק והולך כל היום כולו שנאמר (ירמיהו ו, ד) אוי לנו כי פנה היום כי ינטו צללי ערב והיינו דאמר רבי יוחנן אלמלי הייתי באותו הדור לא קבעתיו אלא בעשירי מפני שרובו של היכל בו נשרף ורבנן אתחלתא דפורענותא עדיפא

And on the ninth, adjacent to nightfall, they set fire to it, and it continuously burned the entire day, as it is stated: “Woe unto us, for the day has declined, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out” (Jeremiah 4:6). This verse is interpreted as a prophecy about the evening when the Temple was burned. And this is what Rabbi Yoḥanan meant when he said: Had I been alive in that generation, I would have established the fast only on the tenth of Av because most of the Sanctuary was burned on that day. And the Sages, who established the fast on the ninth, how do they respond to that comment? They maintain that it is preferable to mark the beginning of the tragedy.

ובשניה מנלן דתניא מגלגלין זכות ליום זכאי וחובה ליום חייב

And the mishna further taught that the Temple was destroyed for the second time also on the Ninth of Av. The Gemara asks: From where do we derive that the Second Temple was destroyed on this date? It is taught in a baraita: A meritorious matter is brought about on an auspicious day, and a deleterious matter on an inauspicious day, e.g., the Ninth of Av, on which several tragedies had already occurred.

אמרו כשחרב בית המקדש בראשונה אותו היום ערב תשעה באב היה ומוצאי שבת היה ומוצאי שביעית היתה ומשמרתה של יהויריב היתה והלוים היו אומרי' שירה ועומדין על דוכנם ומה שירה היו אומרים (תהלים צד, כג) וישב עליהם את אונם וברעתם יצמיתם ולא הספיקו לומר יצמיתם ה' אלהינו עד שבאו נכרים וכבשום וכן בשניה

The Sages said: When the Temple was destroyed for the first time, that day was the Ninth of Av; and it was the conclusion of Shabbat; and it was the year after a Sabbatical Year; and it was the week of the priestly watch of Jehoiarib; and the Levites were singing the song and standing on their platform. And what song were they singing? They were singing the verse: “And He brought upon them their own iniquity, and He will cut them off in their own evil” (Psalms 94:23). And they did not manage to recite the end of the verse: “The Lord our God will cut them off,” before gentiles came and conquered them. And likewise, the same happened when the Second Temple was destroyed.

נלכדה ביתר גמרא

The mishna teaches that Beitar was captured on the Ninth of Av. The Gemara explains that this is known by tradition.

נחרשה העיר תניא כשחרב טורנוסרופוס הרשע את ההיכל נגזרה גזרה על רבן גמליאל להריגה בא אדון אחד ועמד בבית המדרש ואמר בעל החוטם מתבקש בעל החוטם מתבקש שמע רבן גמליאל אזל טשא מינייהו

§ The mishna taught that on the Ninth of Av the city of Jerusalem was plowed. It is taught in a baraita: When the wicked Turnus Rufus plowed the Sanctuary, a decree was issued against Rabban Gamliel for execution. A certain Roman officer came and stood in the study hall and said surreptitiously: The man with the nose is wanted; the man with the nose is wanted. This was a hint that Rabban Gamliel, who stood out in his generation like a nose protruding from a face, was sought by the government. Rabban Gamliel heard and went into hiding.

אזל לגביה בצנעא א"ל אי מצילנא לך מייתית לי לעלמא דאתי א"ל הן א"ל אשתבע לי אשתבע ליה סליק לאיגרא נפיל ומית וגמירי דכי גזרי גזירתא ומית חד מינייהו מבטלי לגזרתייהו יצתה בת קול ואמרה אדון זה מזומן לחיי העולם הבא

The Roman officer went to him in private, and said to him: If I save you from death, will you bring me into the World-to-Come? Rabban Gamliel said to him: Yes. The officer said to Rabban Gamliel: Swear to me. He swore to him. The officer ascended to the roof, fell, and died. And the Romans had a tradition that when they issued a decree and one of their advisors died, they would cancel the decree. The officer’s sacrifice saved Rabban Gamliel’s life. A Divine Voice emerged and said: That officer is designated for the life of the World-to-Come.

תנו רבנן משחרב הבית בראשונה נתקבצו כיתות כיתות של פרחי כהונה ומפתחות ההיכל בידן ועלו לגג ההיכל ואמרו לפניו רבונו של עולם הואיל ולא זכינו להיות גזברין נאמנים יהיו מפתחות מסורות לך וזרקום כלפי מעלה ויצתה כעין פיסת יד וקיבלתן מהם והם קפצו ונפלו לתוך האור

The Sages taught: When the Temple was destroyed for the first time, many groups of young priests gathered together with the Temple keys in their hands. And they ascended to the roof of the Sanctuary and said before God: Master of the Universe, since we did not merit to be faithful treasurers, and the Temple is being destroyed, let the Temple keys be handed to You. And they threw them upward, and a kind of palm of a hand emerged and received the keys from them. And the young priests jumped from the roof and fell into the fire of the burning Temple.

ועליהן קונן ישעיהו הנביא (ישעיהו כב, א) משא גיא חזיון מה לך איפוא כי עלית כולך לגגות תשואות מלאה עיר הומיה קריה עליזה חלליך לא חללי חרב ולא מתי מלחמה אף בהקב"ה נאמר (ישעיהו כב, ה) מקרקר קיר ושוע אל ההר:

And the prophet Isaiah lamented over them: “The burden of the Valley of Vision. What ails you now that you have all gone up to the roofs? You that were full of uproar, a tumultuous city, a joyous town, your slain are not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle” (Isaiah 22:1–2). This is referring to the young priests who died by throwing themselves off the roof into the fire. And even with regard to the Holy One, Blessed be He, it is stated: “For it is a day of trouble, and of trampling, and of confusion for the Lord of hosts, in the Valley of Vision; a shouting over walls and a cry to the mountain” (Isaiah 22:5). This verse indicates that even God shouts over the destruction of the Temple.

משנכנס אב ממעטין בשמחה כו' אמר רב יהודה בריה דרב שמואל בר שילת משמיה דרב כשם שמשנכנס אב ממעטין בשמחה כך משנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה

§ The mishna teaches that from when the month of Av begins, one decreases acts of rejoicing. Rav Yehuda, son of Rav Shmuel bar Sheilat, said in the name of Rav: Just as when Av begins one decreases rejoicing, so too when the month of Adar begins, one increases rejoicing.