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The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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מתני׳ מאימתי מזכירין גבורות גשמים רבי אליעזר אומר מיום טוב הראשון של חג ר' יהושע אומר מיום טוב האחרון של חג

MISHNA: From when, i.e., from which date, does one begin to mention the might of the rains by inserting the phrase: He makes the wind blow and rain fall, in the second blessing of the Amida prayer? Rabbi Eliezer says: The phrase is inserted from the first Festival day of the festival of Sukkot. Rabbi Yehoshua says: From the last Festival day of the festival of Sukkot.

אמר לו ר' יהושע הואיל ואין הגשמים אלא סימן קללה בחג למה הוא מזכיר אמר לו ר' אליעזר אף אני לא אמרתי לשאול אלא להזכיר משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם בעונתו אמר לו א"כ לעולם יהא מזכיר

Rabbi Yehoshua said to Rabbi Eliezer: Since rain is nothing other than a sign of a curse during the festival of Sukkot, as rainfall forces Jews to leave their sukkot, why should one mention the might of rain during this period? Rabbi Eliezer said to him: I too did not say that it is proper to request rain at this time, but it is proper only to mention the phrase: He makes the wind blow and rain fall, in its due time. Rabbi Yehoshua said to him: If so, i.e., if reciting the phrase does not constitute a request for rain, one should always mention rain, even in the summer.

אין שואלין את הגשמים אלא סמוך לגשמים ר' יהודה אומר העובר לפני התיבה ביו"ט האחרון של חג האחרון מזכיר הראשון אינו מזכיר ביו"ט הראשון של פסח הראשון מזכיר האחרון אינו מזכיר

The mishna states a general principle: One requests rain only immediately preceding the rainy season. Rabbi Yehuda says: With regard to the one who passes before the ark as prayer leader on the concluding Festival day of the festival of Sukkot, the Eighth Day of Assembly: The last prayer leader, who leads the additional prayer, mentions rain, whereas the first prayer leader, for the morning prayer, does not mention rain. The opposite is the case at the conclusion of the period for mentioning rain on the first Festival day of Passover: Here, the first prayer leader, who leads the morning prayer, mentions rain, while the last prayer leader, who leads the additional prayer, does not mention rain.

גמ׳ תנא היכא קאי דקתני מאימתי תנא התם קאי

GEMARA: The Gemara asks: Where does the tanna of the mishna stand, that he teaches: From when? The mishna’s opening question indicates that it has already been established that there is an obligation to mention rain at this time of the year. Where is this obligation stated? The Gemara answers: The tanna is standing there, i.e., he bases himself on a mishna in Berakhot.

דקתני מזכירין גבורות גשמים בתחיית המתים ושואלין בברכת השנים והבדלה בחונן הדעת וקתני מאימתי מזכירין גבורות גשמים

As it teaches (Berakhot 33a): One mentions the might of the rains and recites: He makes the wind blow and the rain fall in the second blessing of the Amida prayer, the blessing of the resurrection of the dead. And the request for rain: And grant dew and rain as a blessing, is recited in the ninth blessing of the Amida prayer, the blessing of the years. And the prayer of distinction [havdala] between the sacred and the profane, recited in the evening prayer following Shabbat and Festivals, is recited in the fourth blessing of the Amida prayer: Who graciously grants knowledge. And it is based on that mishna, which establishes the obligation to request for rain, that this mishna teaches: From when does one begin to mention the might of the rains.

וליתני התם מ"ש דשבקיה עד הכא

The Gemara asks: But if so, let the tanna teach this halakha there, in tractate Berakhot, at the beginning of the order of Zera’im. What is different about this case that he left it until here, toward the end of the order of Moed? In other words, if this issue is indeed a continuation of the mishna in Berakhot, why did the tanna neglect it until tractate Ta’anit?

אלא תנא מראש השנה סליק דתנן ובחג נידונין על המים ואיידי דתנא ובחג נידונין על המים תנא מאימתי מזכירין גבורות גשמים

The Gemara answers: Rather, the tanna interrupted a discussion from tractate Rosh HaShana. As we learned in a mishna there: And on the festival of Sukkot all creatures are judged for water. Since the tanna taught: And on the festival of Sukkot all creatures are judged for water, from which it can be inferred that one should request rain near the time of this judgment, he taught here: From when does one mention the might of the rains.

וליתני מאימתי מזכירין על הגשמים מאי גבורות גשמים א"ר יוחנן מפני שיורדין בגבורה שנאמר (איוב ה, ט) עושה גדולות עד אין חקר ונפלאות עד אין מספר וכתיב (איוב ה, י) הנותן מטר על פני ארץ ושולח מים על פני חוצות

§ The Gemara asks a question with regard to the language of the mishna: And let the tanna simply teach: From when does one mention the rains. What is the meaning of the phrase: The might of the rains? Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Because the rains fall with might. The might of the rain displays God’s power in the world, as it is stated: “Who does great things beyond comprehension, marvels without number” (Job 9:10). And it is also written: “Who gives rain upon the earth, and sends water upon the fields” (Job 5:10).

מאי משמע אמר רבה בר שילא אתיא חקר חקר מברייתו של עולם

The Gemara asks: From where may it be inferred that these verses indicate that rainfall is considered a mighty act of God? Rabba bar Sheila said: This is derived by means of a verbal analogy between the term “comprehension” here and the term “comprehension” from a passage that deals with the creation of the world.

כתיב הכא עושה גדולות עד אין חקר וכתיב התם (ישעיהו מ, כח) הלא ידעת אם לא שמעת אלהי עולם ה' בורא קצות הארץ לא ייעף ולא ייגע אין חקר לתבונתו וכתיב (תהלים סה, ז) מכין הרים בכחו נאזר בגבורה

Rabba bar Sheila elaborates on this verbal analogy. It is written here: “Who does great things that are beyond comprehension,” and it is written there, with regard to the creation of the world: “Have you not known? Have you not heard that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not grow faint or weary? His discernment is beyond comprehension” (Isaiah 40:28). This shows that both creation and rainfall are beyond comprehension. And concerning the creation of the world, it is written elsewhere: “Who sets firm the mountains with Your strength; Who is girded with might” (Psalms 65:7). From this verse it can be inferred that rainfall, like the creation of the world, reflects God’s might.

ומנא לן דבתפלה דתניא (דברים יא, יג) לאהבה את ה' אלהיכם ולעבדו בכל לבבכם איזו היא עבודה שהיא בלב הוי אומר זו תפלה וכתיב בתריה (דברים יא, יד) ונתתי מטר ארצכם בעתו יורה ומלקוש

The Gemara asks: And from where do we derive that rain must be mentioned specifically in the Amida prayer? The Gemara answers: As it was taught in a baraita with regard to the verse: “To love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart” (Deuteronomy 11:13). Which is the service of God that is performed in the heart? You must say that this is referring to prayer. And, afterward, it is written: “And I shall give the rain of your land in its due time, the first rain and the last rain” (Deuteronomy 11:14). This juxtaposition teaches that it is appropriate to request rain while engaged in the service of the heart, i.e., prayer.

אמר ר' יוחנן ג' מפתחות בידו של הקב"ה שלא נמסרו ביד שליח ואלו הן מפתח של גשמים מפתח של חיה מפתח של תחיית המתים

§ The Gemara cites related statements concerning the idea that rainfall provides evidence of God’s might. Rabbi Yoḥanan said: There are three keys maintained in the hand of the Holy One, Blessed be He, which were not transmitted to an intermediary, i.e., God tends to these matters Himself. And they are: The key of rain, the key of birthing, and the key of the resurrection of the dead.

מפתח של גשמים דכתיב (דברים כח, יב) יפתח ה' לך את אוצרו הטוב את השמים לתת מטר ארצך בעתו מפתח של חיה מנין דכתיב ויזכור אלהים את רחל וישמע

Rabbi Yoḥanan cites verses in support of his claim. The key of rain, as it is stated: “The Lord will open for you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its due time” (Deuteronomy 28:12), indicates that rainfall is controlled by God Himself. From where is it derived that the key of birthing is maintained by God? As it is written: “And God remembered Rachel and listened