Taanit 3bתענית ג׳ ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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3bג׳ ב

דלא מיעצר וכי מאחר דלא מיעצר אליהו אשתבועי למה ליה הכי קא"ל אפילו טל דברכה נמי לא אתי וליהדריה לטל דברכה משום דלא מינכרא מילתא

is not withheld, and therefore it continued even during this time of drought. The Gemara asks: And since dew is not withheld, why did Elijah swear that there would be no dew as well as no rain? The Gemara explains that this is what Elijah said to Ahab: Not only will there be no rainfall, but even the dew of blessing, which helps crops grow, will not come. This prediction was indeed fulfilled. The Gemara asks: But if so, let God restore the dew of blessing when He ended the drought of rain, in the aforementioned verse. The Gemara answers: This was not necessary, because the matter is not recognizable, i.e., people cannot distinguish between dew of blessing and the regular dew which is always present.

(אלא) רוחות מנא לן דלא מיעצרי א"ר יהושע בן לוי דאמר קרא (זכריה ב, י) כי כארבע רוחות השמים פרשתי אתכם נאם ה' מאי קאמר להו אילימא הכי קאמר להו הקב"ה לישראל דבדרתינכו בארבע רוחי דעלמא אי הכי כארבע בארבע מיבעי ליה אלא הכי קאמר כשם שאי אפשר לעולם בלא רוחות כך א"א לעולם בלא ישראל

The Gemara asks: However, with regard to winds, from where do we derive that it is not withheld but perpetually blows? Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said that the verse states: “For I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, says the Lord” (Zechariah 2:10). He clarifies: What is God saying to them? If we say that this is what the Holy One, Blessed be He, is saying to the Jewish people: I have scattered you to the four winds of the world; if so, why did He say “as the four winds”? He should have said: To the four winds. Rather, this is what God is saying: Just as the world cannot exist without winds, so too, the world cannot exist without the Jewish people. This interpretation of the verse is based on the claim that the winds never cease.

א"ר חנינא הלכך בימות החמה אמר משיב הרוח אין מחזירין אותו אמר מוריד הגשם מחזירין אותו

Rabbi Ḥanina said: Therefore, since wind and dew are always present, if during the summer one recited: He makes the wind blow, we do not require him to return and repeat the blessing since the wind blows during the summer as well. However, if one recited during the summer: He makes the rain fall, we require him to return and repeat the blessing, because rain in the summer is a curse.

בימות הגשמים לא אמר משיב הרוח אין מחזירין אותו לא אמר מוריד הגשם מחזירין אותו ולא עוד אלא אפילו אמר מעביר הרוח ומפריח הטל אין מחזירין אותו

Conversely, in the rainy season, if one did not recite: He makes the wind blow, we do not require him to return to the beginning, because the wind blows regardless. If one did not recite: He makes the rain fall, we require him to return and repeat the blessing. And not only that, but even if one mistakenly recited: He removes the wind and lifts the dew, i.e., that there should be no wind or dew, we do not require him to return and repeat the blessing, because wind and dew are always present.

תנא בעבים וברוחות לא חייבו חכמים להזכיר ואם בא להזכיר מזכיר מ"ט משום דלא מיעצרי

It was taught in a similar baraita: With regard to clouds and with regard to wind, the Sages did not obligate one to mention them, but if one wishes to mention them, he may mention them. The Gemara asks: What is the reason? The Gemara answers, as above: Because clouds and winds are constant and are not withheld.

ולא מיעצרי והתני רב יוסף (דברים יא, יז) ועצר את השמים מן העבים ומן הרוחות אתה אומר מן העבים ומן הרוחות או אינו אלא מן המטר כשהוא אומר ולא יהיה מטר הרי מטר אמור הא מה אני מקיים ועצר את השמים מן העבים ומן הרוחות

The Gemara asks: And are they not withheld? But didn’t Rav Yosef teach in a baraita that the verse: “And He will close up the heavens” (Deuteronomy 11:17), means that God will stop up the heavens from the clouds and from the winds? Do you say that “close up the heavens” means from the clouds and from the winds, or perhaps it is only referring to the absence of rainfall? When the same verse says: “So that there will be no rain,” rain is already mentioned explicitly. How then do I uphold the meaning of the verse: “And He will close up the heavens”? This must mean from the clouds and from the winds.

קשיא רוחות ארוחות קשיא עבים אעבים עבים אעבים לא קשיא הא בחרפי הא באפלי

The Gemara summarizes its question: This is difficult due to the contradiction between the statement about wind in the first baraita and the statement about wind in the second baraita, and is similarly difficult due to the contradiction between the statement about clouds in the first baraita and the statement about clouds in the second baraita. The Gemara answers: The contradiction between one statement about clouds and the other statement about clouds is not difficult, as this first baraita is referring to early clouds that precede the rain, which come whether or not rain actually falls, whereas this second baraita is referring to late clouds, which materialize after rainfall. These late clouds are sometimes withheld by God as a punishment.

רוחות ארוחות לא קשיא הא ברוח מצויה הא ברוח שאינה מצויה רוח שאינה מצויה חזיא לבי דרי אפשר בנפוותא

Likewise, the contradiction between the first statement about wind and the second statement about wind is not difficult, as this first baraita is referring to a typical wind, which is never withheld, while this second baraita is referring to an atypical wind, which may be withheld. The Gemara asks: An atypical wind is fit for winnowing grain on the threshing floor. Since this wind is also a necessity, one should pray for it as well. The Gemara answers: Since it is possible to winnow grain with sieves when there is no wind, there is no great need for these winds.

תנא העבים והרוחות שניות למטר היכי דמי אמר עולא ואיתימא רבי יהודה דבתר מיטרא למימרא דמעליותא היא והכתיב (דברים כח, כד) יתן ה' את מטר ארצך אבק ועפר ואמר עולא ואיתימא רב יהודה זיקא דבתר מטרא

§ It was taught in a baraita: Clouds and winds are so significant that, in terms of their benefit, they are secondary only to rain. The Gemara asks: What are the circumstances in which this claim is correct? Ulla, and some say Rav Yehuda, said: The baraita is referring to the clouds and winds that come after rainfall. The Gemara asks: Is this to say that clouds and winds that come after rain are beneficial? But isn’t it written in the chapter of the curses: “The Lord will make the rain of your land powder and dust” (Deuteronomy 28:24), and Ulla, and some say Rav Yehuda, said: This curse is referring to winds that come after rain, as they raise up powder and dust?

לא קשיא הא דאתא ניחא הא דאתא רזיא (ואי בעית אימא) הא דמעלה אבק הא דלא מעלה אבק

The Gemara answers: This is not difficult, since this first statement of Ulla is referring to beneficial wind that comes gently, whereas this second statement of Ulla is referring to harmful wind that comes forcefully [razya], raises up powder and dust, and reduces the effectiveness of the rain. And if you wish, say instead: This, Ulla’s second statement, is referring to wind that raises dust; whereas this, Ulla’s first statement, is referring to wind that does not raise dust.

ואמר רב יהודה זיקא דבתר מיטרא כמיטרא עיבא דבתר מיטרא כמיטרא שימשא דבתר מיטרא כתרי מטרי למעוטי מאי למעוטי גילהי דליליא ושמשא דביני קרחי

And on a related topic, Rav Yehuda said: Wind that blows after rain is as beneficial to the earth as rain itself. Clouds that appear after rain are as beneficial as rain, while sunlight that follows after rain is as beneficial as two rainfalls. The Gemara asks: If wind, clouds, and sun are all beneficial after rainfall, what does Rav Yehuda’s statement serve to exclude? The Gemara answers: He comes to exclude the glow of the evening and the sun that shines between the clouds, appearing only in patches. These phenomena are harmful after rain.

אמר רבא מעלי תלגא לטורי כחמשה מטרי לארעא שנאמר (איוב לז, ו) כי לשלג יאמר הוא ארץ וגשם מטר וגשם מטרות עוזו

On a related note, Rava said: Snow is as beneficial to the mountains as five rainfalls to the earth of the plains, as it is stated: “For He says to the snow: Fall on the earth, likewise to the shower of rain, and to the showers of His mighty rain” (Job 37:6). This verse compares snow to rain by means of five allusions to types of rainfall: The word “rain,” which appears twice; the word “shower”; and the plural “showers,” which indicates two rainfalls. This teaches that snow is as beneficial as five rainfalls.

ואמר רבא תלגא לטורי מטרא רזיא לאילני מטרא ניחא לפירי

And on the same topic, Rava said: Snow brings benefits to the mountains; strong rain provides benefits to trees; light rain brings benefit to fruit;