נֶאֶמְרָה עֲצִירָה בְּאִשָּׁה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר כִּי עָצֹר עָצַר ה׳ בְּעַד כׇּל רֶחֶם וְנֶאֶמְרָה עֲצִירָה בִּגְשָׁמִים דִּכְתִיב וְעָצַר אֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם Reish Lakish elaborates: Closing up is stated with regard to a woman who cannot give birth, as it is stated: “For the Lord has fast close up all the wombs” (Genesis 20:18), and closing up is stated with regard to rains, as it is written: “And He will close up the heavens” (Deuteronomy 11:17).
נֶאֱמַר לֵידָה בְּאִשָּׁה וְנֶאֱמַר לֵידָה בִּגְשָׁמִים נֶאֱמַר לֵידָה בְּאִשָּׁה דִּכְתִיב וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וְנֶאֱמַר לֵידָה בִּגְשָׁמִים דִּכְתִיב וְהוֹלִידָהּ וְהִצְמִיחָהּ Likewise, an expression of giving birth is stated with regard to a woman, and an expression of giving birth is also stated with regard to rain. Specifically, giving birth is stated with regard to a woman, as it is written in the case of Rachel, when God had mercy on her: “And she conceived and gave birth to a son” (Genesis 30:23). And giving birth is stated with regard to rain, as it is written: “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and does not return there, except it waters the earth and causes it to give birth and bud” (Isaiah 55:10).
נֶאֱמַר פְּקִידָה בְּאִשָּׁה וְנֶאֱמַר פְּקִידָה בִּגְשָׁמִים נֶאֱמַר פְּקִידָה בְּאִשָּׁה דִּכְתִיב וַה׳ פָּקַד אֶת שָׂרָה וְנֶאֱמַר פְּקִידָה בִּגְשָׁמִים דִּכְתִיב פָּקַדְתָּ הָאָרֶץ וַתְּשֹׁקְקֶהָ רַבַּת תַּעְשְׁרֶנָּה פֶּלֶג אֱלֹהִים מָלֵא מָיִם Lastly, an expression of remembering is stated in connection with a woman, and an expression of remembering is also stated in connection to rain. Remembering is stated in connection with a woman, as it is written: “And the Lord remembered Sarah” (Genesis 21:1), and remembering is stated in connection to rain, as it is written: “You have remembered the earth and have watered it; greatly enriching it, with the pool of God that is full of water” (Psalms 65:10).
מַאי פֶּלֶג אֱלֹהִים מָלֵא מַיִם תָּנָא כְּמִין קוּבָּה יֵשׁ בָּרָקִיעַ שֶׁמִּמֶּנָּה גְּשָׁמִים יוֹצְאִין The Gemara asks a question with regard to this verse. What is the meaning of the phrase: “With the pool of God that is full of water”? The Gemara answers that it was taught in a baraita: There is a kind of vault [kuba] in the sky, out of which the rain falls.
אָמַר רַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר נַחְמָנִי מַאי דִּכְתִיב אִם לְשֵׁבֶט אִם לְאַרְצוֹ אִם לְחֶסֶד יַמְצִאֵהוּ אִם לְשֵׁבֶט בְּהָרִים וּבִגְבָעוֹת אִם לְחֶסֶד יַמְצִאֵהוּ לְאַרְצוֹ בְּשָׂדוֹת וּבִכְרָמִים Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Whatever he commands them upon the face of the habitable world, whether it is for correction, or for His earth, or for mercy that He causes it to come” (Job 37:12–13)? The phrase “whether it is for correction” means that if the people are judged unfavorably, the rain will fall on the mountains and on the hills. The phrase “or for His earth” indicates that if they have been judged “for mercy,” He will cause it to come “for His earth,” on the fields and on the vineyards.
אִם לְשֵׁבֶט לְאִילָנוֹת אִם לְאַרְצוֹ לִזְרָעִים אִם לְחֶסֶד יַמְצִאֵהוּ בּוֹרוֹת שִׁיחִין וּמְעָרוֹת Alternatively, the phrase “whether it is for correction” means that the rain will provide benefit only for the trees; “or for His earth” indicates that rain will fall solely for the benefit of seeds; and “or for mercy that He causes it to come” means that rain will fill the cisterns, ditches, and caves with enough water to last the dry season.
בִּימֵי רַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר נַחְמָנִי הֲוָה כַּפְנָא וּמוֹתָנָא אָמְרִי הֵיכִי נַעֲבֵיד נִיבְעֵי רַחֲמֵי אַתַּרְתֵּי לָא אֶפְשָׁר אֶלָּא לִיבְעֵי רַחֲמֵי אַמּוֹתָנָא וְכַפְנָא נִיסְבּוֹל אֲמַר לְהוּ רַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר נַחְמָנִי נִיבְעֵי רַחֲמֵי אַכַּפְנָא דְּכִי יָהֵיב רַחֲמָנָא שׂוּבְעָא לְחַיֵּי הוּא דְּיָהֵיב דִּכְתִיב פּוֹתֵחַ אֶת יָדֶךָ וּמַשְׂבִּיעַ לְכׇל חַי רָצוֹן § The Gemara relates: In the days of Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani there was a famine and a plague. The Sages said: What should we do? Should we pray for mercy for two troubles, both the famine and the plague? This is not possible, as it is improper to pray for the alleviation of two afflictions at once. Rather, let us pray for mercy for the plague, and as for the famine, we must bear it. Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said to them: On the contrary, let us pray for mercy for the famine, as when the Merciful One provides plenty, He gives it for the sake of the living, i.e., if God answers this prayer then he will certainly bring an end to the plague as well, as it is written: “You open Your hand and satisfy every living thing with favor” (Psalms 145:16).
וּמְנָלַן דְּלָא מְצַלִּינַן אַתַּרְתֵּי דִּכְתִיב וַנָּצוּמָה וַנְּבַקְשָׁה מֵאֱלֹהֵינוּ עַל זֹאת מִכְּלָל דְּאִיכָּא אַחֲרִיתִי בְּמַעְרְבָא אָמְרִי מִשְּׁמֵיהּ דְּרַבִּי חַגַּי מֵהָכָא וְרַחֲמִין לְמִבְעֵא מִן קֳדָם אֱלָהּ שְׁמַיָּא עַל רָזָא דְּנָה מִכְּלָל דְּאִיכָּא אַחֲרִיתִי The Gemara explains: And from where do we derive that one should not pray for two troubles simultaneously? As it is written: “So we fasted and beseeched our God for this” (Ezra 8:23). From the fact that the verse states: “For this,” it may be inferred that there is another trouble about which the people did not pray. In the West, Eretz Yisrael, they say in the name of Rabbi Ḥaggai that this idea comes from here: “That they might ask mercy of the God of Heaven concerning this secret” (Daniel 2:18). From the fact that the verse states: “This secret,” it may be inferred that there is another trouble about which they did not pray.
בִּימֵי רַבִּי זֵירָא גְּזוּר שְׁמָדָא וּגְזוּר דְּלָא לְמֵיתַב בְּתַעֲנִיתָא אֲמַר לְהוּ רַבִּי זֵירָא נְקַבְּלֵיהּ עִילָּוַון וּלְכִי בָּטֵיל שְׁמָדָא לֵיתְבֵיהּ In a similar vein, the Gemara relates: In the days of Rabbi Zeira a decree of religious persecution was decreed against the Jews. And as the decree was that they were not allowed to fast, the Jews were certainly unable to fast and pray for the nullification of the decree itself. Rabbi Zeira said to the people: Let us take a fast upon ourselves, despite the fact that in practice we cannot observe it, and when the decree of religious persecution is annulled we will observe the fast.
אָמְרִי לֵיהּ מְנָא לָךְ הָא אֲמַר לְהוּ דִּכְתִיב וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי אַל תִּירָא דָנִיֵּאל כִּי מִן הַיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן אֲשֶׁר נָתַתָּ אֶת לִבְּךָ לְהָבִין וּלְהִתְעַנּוֹת לִפְנֵי אֱלֹהֶיךָ נִשְׁמְעוּ דְבָרֶיךָ They said to him: From where do you know this, the fact that one may take a fast upon himself that he cannot observe? Rabbi Zeira said to them that the reason is as it is written: “Then he said to me: Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to fast before your God, your words were heard” (Daniel 10:12). This verse indicates that from the moment one turns his heart to fast, his prayers are heard.
אָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק אֲפִילּוּ שָׁנִים כִּשְׁנֵי אֵלִיָּהוּ וְיָרְדוּ גְּשָׁמִים בְּעַרְבֵי שַׁבָּתוֹת אֵינָן אֶלָּא סִימַן קְלָלָה הַיְינוּ דְּאָמַר רַבָּה בַּר שֵׁילָא קָשֶׁה יוֹמָא דְמִיטְרָא כְּיוֹמָא דְּדִינָא אָמַר אַמֵּימָר אִי לָא דִּצְרִיךְ לִבְרִיָּיתָא בָּעֵינַן רַחֲמֵי וּמְבַטְּלִינַן לֵיהּ The Gemara returns to the topic of rain. Rabbi Yitzḥak said: Even in years like the years of Elijah, when God decreed that no rain would fall, if rain falls on Shabbat eves it is nothing other than a sign of a curse, as the rain disrupts the preparations for Shabbat. This is the same as that which Rabba bar Sheila said: A rainy day is as difficult as a judgment day. Ameimar even said: Were it not for the fact that rain is needed by people, we would pray for mercy and to annul it, due to the nuisances that rain causes.
וְאָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק שֶׁמֶשׁ בְּשַׁבָּת צְדָקָה לַעֲנִיִּים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְזָרְחָה לָכֶם יִרְאֵי שְׁמִי שֶׁמֶשׁ צְדָקָה וּמַרְפֵּא וְאָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק גָּדוֹל יוֹם הַגְּשָׁמִים שֶׁאֲפִילּוּ פְּרוּטָה שֶׁבַּכִּיס מִתְבָּרֶכֶת בּוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר לָתֵת מְטַר אַרְצְךָ בְּעִתּוֹ וּלְבָרֵךְ אֵת כׇּל מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶךָ And Rabbi Yitzḥak said: Sun on Shabbat is charity for the poor, who are then able to enjoy the outdoors without suffering from cold. As it is stated: “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in its wings” (Malachi 3:20). And Rabbi Yitzḥak further said: The day of the rains is great, as even a peruta in one’s pocket is blessed on it, as it is stated: “To give the rain of your land in its due time, and to bless all the work of your hand” (Deuteronomy 28:12).
וְאָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק אֵין הַבְּרָכָה מְצוּיָה אֶלָּא בְּדָבָר הַסָּמוּי מִן הָעַיִן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר יְצַו ה׳ אִתְּךָ אֶת הַבְּרָכָה בַּאֲסָמֶיךָ תָּנָא דְּבֵי רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל אֵין הַבְּרָכָה מְצוּיָה אֶלָּא בְּדָבָר שֶׁאֵין הָעַיִן שׁוֹלֶטֶת בּוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר יְצַו ה׳ אִתְּךָ אֶת הַבְּרָכָה בַּאֲסָמֶיךָ And apropos blessings, Rabbi Yitzḥak said: A blessing is found only in an object that is hidden [samui] from the eye, not in an item visible to all, as public miracles are exceedingly rare. As it is stated: “The Lord will command His blessing upon you in your barns [ba’asamekha]” (Deuteronomy 28:8). Rabbi Yitzḥak’s exposition is based on the linguistic similarity between samui and asamekha. Likewise, the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: A blessing is found only in an object that is not exposed to the eye, as it is stated: “The Lord will command His blessing upon you in your barns.”
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן הַנִּכְנָס לָמוֹד אֶת גׇּרְנוֹ אוֹמֵר יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה׳ אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁתִּשְׁלַח בְּרָכָה בְּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵנוּ הִתְחִיל לָמוֹד אוֹמֵר בָּרוּךְ הַשּׁוֹלֵחַ בְּרָכָה בַּכְּרִי הַזֶּה מָדַד וְאַחַר כָּךְ בֵּירַךְ הֲרֵי זוֹ תְּפִלַּת שָׁוְא לְפִי שֶׁאֵין הַבְּרָכָה מְצוּיָה לֹא בְּדָבָר הַשָּׁקוּל וְלֹא בְּדָבָר הַמָּדוּד וְלֹא בְּדָבָר הַמָּנוּי אֶלָּא בְּדָבָר הַסָּמוּי מִן הָעַיִן: The Sages taught: One who enters to measure produce in his granary recites: May it be Your will, Lord our God, that You send a blessing upon the work of our hands. After he has begun to measure, he recites: Blessed is He who sends a blessing upon this pile. If one first measured and afterward recited the blessing, it is a prayer in vain, as a blessing is not found either in an object that is weighed or in an object that is measured or in an object that is counted, as these would constitute open miracles. Rather, a blessing is found only in an object that is hidden from the eye.
קִבּוּץ גְּיָיסוֹת צְדָקָה מַעֲשֵׂר פַּרְנָס סִימָן אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן גָּדוֹל יוֹם הַגְּשָׁמִים כְּיוֹם קִבּוּץ גָּלִיּוֹת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר שׁוּבָה ה׳ אֶת שְׁבִיתֵנוּ כַּאֲפִיקִים בַּנֶּגֶב וְאֵין אֲפִיקִים אֶלָּא מָטָר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וַיֵּרָאוּ אֲפִקֵי יָם § The Gemara cites five statements of Rabbi Yoḥanan, in accordance with the following mnemonic: Ingathering; armies; charity; tithe; sustainer. Rabbi Yoḥanan said: The day of the rains is as great as the day of the ingathering of the exiles, as it is stated: “Turn our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the dry land” (Psalms 126:4), and “streams” means nothing other than rain, as it is stated: “And the streams of the sea appeared” (II Samuel 22:16).
וְאָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן גָּדוֹל יוֹם הַגְּשָׁמִים שֶׁאֲפִילּוּ גְּיָיסוֹת פּוֹסְקוֹת בּוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר תְּלָמֶיהָ רַוֵּה נַחֵת גְּדוּדֶיהָ וְאָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן אֵין הַגְּשָׁמִים נֶעֱצָרִין אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבִיל פּוֹסְקֵי צְדָקָה בָּרַבִּים וְאֵין נוֹתְנִין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר נְשִׂיאִים וְרוּחַ וְגֶשֶׁם אָיִן אִישׁ מִתְהַלֵּל בְּמַתַּת שָׁקֶר And Rabbi Yoḥanan said: The day of the rains is great, as even armies stop fighting on it due to the rain and mud. As it is stated: “Watering its ridges abundantly; settling down its furrows [gedudeha]” (Psalms 65:11). As the word gedudim can mean both furrows or armies and is spelled identically with each meaning, this alludes to the idea that during the rainy season soldiers become entrenched in place. And Rabbi Yoḥanan further said: Rain is withheld only due to those who pledge charity in public but do not give it, as it is stated: “As vapors and wind without rain, so is he who boasts of a false gift” (Proverbs 25:14).
וְאָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן מַאי דִּכְתִיב And Rabbi Yoḥanan said: What is the meaning of that which is written: