Friday, January 19, 2007

Daf Yomi - Taanis 12 - Highlights


Mar Ukvah arrived in the city of Ginzak. He was asked if someone fasts for a few hours, is that regarded as a fast. They also asked him regarding earthenware jugs of gentiles that were used to store wine, if the jugs are permitted to be used or forbidden. A third question was asked to him : What garments did Moshe wear when he was performing the sevice during the seven days of the Mishkan’s consecration. He didn’t know the correct answer to all three inquiries. Mar Ukvah went to the Beis Medrash and they told him that one may fast for hours and daven aneinu. The jugs of gentiles are permitted after twelve months and Moshe served while wearing a white linen garment.

Rav Chisda explains what a fast for hours means. A person fasted for the first few hours of the day unintentionally and he changed his mind in middle of the day and accepted to fast the remainder of the day. This is considered a fast for hours and he should recite aneinu when he davens later. (11b – 12a)


Rav Chisda rules that one, who eats on a fast day before nightfall is not regarded as fasting.

The Gemora cites a Mishna (15b) which rules that the people of the Mishmar (group of kohanim and levi’im who served in the Beis Hamikdosh for one week at a time) would fast but would not complete the fast. It would seem from the Mishna that this is considered fasting even though it was not completed. The Gemora explains that this was not a genuine fast, they fasted for part of the day only to afflict themselves.

The Gemora questions Rav Chisda’s ruling from a statement that Rabbi Elazar ben Rabbi Tzadok said: I was of the sons of Sna'av from the tribe of Binyamin. One time Tisha B'av occurred on Shabbos and it was pushed off to Sunday. We fasted but did not complete the fast because it was our Yom Tov. Rashi explains that the lottery for bringing the wood offering for that family was on the Tenth of Av during the days of Ezra, and it was a Yom Tov for them forever. It is evident that it is considered a valid fast even though it was not completed. The Gemora answers that this was not meant to be a genuine fast; it was only undertaken to afflict them somewhat.

The Gemora relates that Rabbi Yochanan would occasionally declare that he is accepting to fast until he reaches his house. The Gemora explains that this was not a genuine fast; he did this in order to avoid eating at the house of the Nasi. (12a)


Shmuel rules that one must accept to fast prior to commencing the fast in order for it to be regarded as a valid fast. There is a dispute in the Gemora if one accepts the fast by mincha time on the previous day or during tefillas Mincha.

Rebbe maintains that after one accepts to fast on the following day, he is permitted to eat until daybreak. Rabbi Eliezer bar Shimon holds that he may eat until the rooster crows.

Abaye qualifies the previous ruling and maintains that one is permitted to eat throughout the night only if he didn’t complete his meal from the night before; however if the table was removed after the meal, he is forbidden to eat during the night.

An alternative version is cited that Rava qualifies the ruling and states that one is forbidden to eat during the night if he went to sleep even if he wakes up before daybreak; however if he remained awake or was merely dozing, he is permitted to eat during the night. (12a – 12b)


Rav Kahana said in the name of Rav that one who accepts a fast upon himself is prohibited from wearing leather shoes since we are concerned that he accepted upon himself the stringencies of a public fast.

The Mishna ruled that on a public fast day of the second or third series, one is forbidden from wearing leather shoes. Shmuel said that only Tisha B’Av in Bavel is the equivalent of a public fast day with all of the stringencies similar to a public fast for rain in Eretz Yisroel. Other public fasts in Bavel did not have these stringencies and one would be permitted to wear leather shoes. Abaye and Rava would wear leather shoes without soles on a public fast day. Mereimar and Mar Zutra would switch the right shoe to the left and the left shoe to the right. These Amoraim agreed with Shmuel that there is no prohibition against wearing leather shoes in Bavel on a public fast day but they accepted upon themselves token stringencies to resemble the public fasts in Eretz Yisroel and that is why they wore their shoes in an unusual manner. (12b)


Rav Yehuda says in the name of Rav that one is permitted to eat on the day that he accepted to fast and repay his obligation by fasting on a different day.

Shmuel disagrees and holds that since it was only voluntary, if he is unable to fast on the designated day, there is no reason to fast on another day.

The Gemora presents an alternative version regarding Shmuel’s opinion on this issue. Shmuel agreed with Rav and stated that this is obviously the correct halacha. The person made a vow to fast and if he could not fulfill it on the designated day, he must fulfill it on a different day. (12b)


There is one personal fast that must take place on a specific day - a ta'anit halom. A fast that is the result of a disturbing dream must be done immediately after the dream takes place. This rule is so severe that Rav Yosef teaches that someone who is disturbed by their dream must fast even on Shabbos, concluding that he will have to fast a second time as repentance for having "desecrated" the holiness of Shabbos by fasting. (Courtesy of the Aleph Society)