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Reading the Rabbinic Mind: Ta’anit

Reading the Rabbinic Mind: Ta'anit
NEXT CLASS
Reading the Rabbinic Mind: Ta'anit
Tuesday July 25, 2017
6:05AM
The class will begin in:
1 day, 20 hours, 15 minutes
Instructor: Rabbi Yitzhak Zuriel
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Reading the Rabbinic Mind: Ta’anit


Tuesday, Thursday 6:00AM
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Course Description

We will be learning Masechet Ta’anit this semester.  We will cover the discussions of the gemara itself, as well as the comments of Rashi and Tosafot.
As in the past, we will emphasize a methodological approach to studying gemara, aimed at equipping the student with the tools needed to learn gemara on one’s own.

 

To find out more about dedication opportunities with WebYeshiva.org please contact office@webyeshiva.org.


About Rabbi Yitzhak Zuriel
Rabbi Yitzhak Zuriel has been enjoying guiding students in how to learn and understand Talmud at WebYeshiva.org since its founding. He began his teaching career as a teacher and educational director at Michlelet Bruria in the 1980s. For over 20 years, he has been working as a software engineer at the company NDS (now Cisco) in Jerusalem, and was an editor and contributor to NDS's Torah journal, Chiddushei Torah@NDS, that was published annually from 1996-2014 . He and his wife reside in Ma'ale Adumim and are parents to five children and 13 grandchildren.


Class Resources & Information

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PREVIOUS CLASSESCLASS DESCRIPTIONHANDOUTSARCHIVES
November 8, 2016 6:00AM - 7:00AM
Introduction: Why We Need to Pray for Rain
To all new and returning students, welcome to our gemara shiur!
I am excited that we are starting a new year of learning and hope that everyone derives deeper understandings as well as enjoyment from our study of gemara together.
 
This zman we will be learning the first chapter of Masechet Taanit. This time of year is very appropriate for beginning this new masechet: the subject matter at the beginning of the masechet is the requirement to both praise G-d for the rain, and to request the rain at its appropriate time. On the very first day of our shiur-- the 7th of the month of Marheshvan -- we begin in Eretz Yisrael to include the request for rain in the tefilat shmoneh esreh. The gemara treats the subject in depth including the halachic requirements (what, when, and how derived), and the meaning. This subject is also a most appropriate follow-up to what we learned in the previous year about tefila in chapter 5 of masechet Brachot.
 
As in previous semesters, we will concentrate on achieving a clear understanding of the gemara's text and implications, and include the study of comments of Rashi and Tosefot. As in the past, I will employ the methodology of first "flowcharting" the gemara, and after we have seen the big picture, drill down into the consecutive segments to understand things in more depth and clarity.
 
While it is possible to follow the shiurim from the archive, I encourage all of you to consider joining us for the live shiurim, in which you are invited to join us in the discovery, discussion and argumentation that are all a part of learning the gemara and torah she-be-al-peh in general.
 
The first shiur will consist of an introduction to the subject connecting it to the end of the Sukkot holiday, to the story of the creation of man, and to the special understanding that the Rambam teaches us regarding the meaning of difficult times faced by the community, which is related to the broader subject of the masechet--the fast days instituted by the Hachamim/Sanhedrin at times of drought and famine.
 
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November 10, 2016 6:00AM - 7:00AM
Introduction (II): Mishnayot of chapter 1 about prayers for rain
In the previous shiur, we introduced the subject of praying for rain by studying one of the hoshanot for Hoshana Raba, and then learning the Rashi from chapter 2 of Bereshit about man's role in bringing rain to the world. Then we began learning the mishnayot of chapter 1 of Masechet Taanit. Please review the mishnayot; if you have any questions I will be happy to answer them by email or at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will finish learning the mishnayot that are on the subject of the additions to our prayers related to rain, and then begin studying the gemara starting from the first mishna with Rashi and Tosefot.
 
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November 15, 2016 6:00AM - 7:00AM
Daf 2a: The First Mishna in Depth
In the previous shiur, we finished our introduction in the first mishnayot of chapter 1 of Masechet Taanit. We then began learning again the first mishna as it appears on the gemara page, this time with the comments of Rashi. We have one or two Rashi comments remaining to study. Please review this material and if there are any question I am happy to answer them by email or at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will finish the Rashi comments on the mishna and learn the comments of Tosafot on the mishna. Then we will begin studying the first segments of the gemara.
 
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November 17, 2016 6:00AM - 7:00AM
Daf 2a: Gemara: Searching for Context of the Mishna
In the previous shiur, we studied in depth the argument between R.Eliezer and R.Yehoshua in the Mishna about the correct time to begin saying ("mentioning") gevurot geshamim, based on the explanations of Rashi and Tosafot. Then we read and translated the first segment of the gemara. Please review this material. If you have any questions, you can raise them by email or at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will get to a good understanding of the initial segment of the gemara (the question about the context of the mishna) and its implications, first on our own and then we will see the explanations of Rashi and Tosefot. 
 
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November 22, 2016 6:00AM - 7:00AM
Daf 2a: The Mysterious Word

In the previous shiur, we studied in depth the first chunk of gemara on the mishna. We also read the comments of Rashi and Tosafot on this gemara discussion probing the context of the Mishna. We saw how their different explanations can produce different understandings of the dispute in the Mishna between  R.Eliezer and R.Yehoshua. Please review this material and țry to read it by yourself. If you have questions please ask them at the beginning of this shiur or by email.

In this shiur we will read and translate the next chunk of gemara, about the meaning behind the choice of the word gevurot and why it is used to refer to the praise of G-d for rain. We will break the gemara into its logical segments and then discuss it in depth, using also the comments of Rashi and Tosafot.

 
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November 24, 2016 6:00AM - 7:00AM
Daf 2a-2b: The Three Keys that Only HKB
In the previous shiur, we read, translated, and studied in depth the segment of the gemara that investigated the reason why the Mishna uses the term gevurot to refer to the way that G-d for provides rain. In doing so, we studied the relevant comments of Rashi and Tosafot on the page, and also the commentary of the Ramban to Job 5:9. Please review this material; if you have any questions you can raise them by email or at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will first learn a short segment of the gemara that discusses why we praise G-d for the rain in the framework that we do--in the Amidah tefila.  Then we will study the next piece of gemara, which will take us onto the following page, and which contains the famous statement by R.Yohanan about the three keys held only by G-d.
 
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November 29, 2016 6:00AM - 7:00AM
Daf 2b: When do we begin saying Gevurot Geshamim?
In the previous shiur, we learned the piece of gemara in which the amoraim uncover the special connection between the tefila (amidah) and rain. Then we learned the statement of R.Yohanan about the three keys: rain, childbearing/childbirth, and resurrection of the dead, and the discussion of the amoraim on this. We also learned the Tosafot and saw the different answer they and Rashi give to their question about the precise meaning of R.Yohanan's statement. Please review this material; if there are any questions I will be happy to discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will encounter the first part of the gemara's in-depth discussion of the dispute in the Mishna between R.Eliezer and R.Yehoshua.
 
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December 1, 2016 6:00AM - 7:00AM
Daf 2b: What is the Torah model for Rabbi Eliezer's halacha in our Mishna?
In the previous shiur, we read, translated, and explained at "high altitude" the first part of the sugya that focuses on the argument in the Mishna between the two tanaim R.Eliezer and R.Yehoshua. Specifically, the gemara seeks the model in the Torah for R.Eliezer's halacha, and points out the ramifications of the two possible models to consider. Then we went back to the beginning of the gemara's query and began discussing it in depth. Please review all this material. I will be happy to answer any questions at the begining of this shiur or by email.
 
In this shiur, we will look at a number of additional sources that will help us understand the gemara's reference to the mitzvah of Nisuch haMayim during the days of Sukkot, and how the relevant halachic detail concerning it is related to verses in the Torah. Then, time allowing, we will continue on to discuss in detail the fascinating long beraita that we read in the last shiur.
 
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December 6, 2016 6:00AM - 7:00AM
Daf 2b: More on Nisuch HaMayim at Night
In the previous shiur, we read and discussed two selections from the Rambam. One selection provided information about the mitzvah of Nisuch haMayim on Sukkot. The other selection was about the general question of the correct timing for performing the actions required when offering kurbanot in the Beit HaMikdash, including the time frames for nesachim (libations). Then we  studied Rashi's comment on the line in question in the gemara,  and we discerned in his words two different approaches to understanding the statement about Nisuch HaMayim being at night. Please review this material; if there are questions please raise them by email or at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will study the Tosafot and understand his two alternative readings in the gemara's query. Then we will focus on the drash brought by the amoraim in the gemara from which is learned the possibility of doing Nisuch haMayim at night, by seeing its source in Masechet Temurah and attempting to give an explanation of how the drash works. Time allowing, we will then move on to study the long beraita brought by the gemara.
 
 
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December 13, 2016 6:00AM - 7:00AM
Daf 2b: The Disputes of the Tanaim in the Beraita
In the previous shiur, we learned the Tosafot at the top of daf 2b. 
PLEASE NOTE: There was some difficulty in shiur (on Tuesday Dec 6) understanding the motivation/basis for Tosafot's mentioning the possibility that R.Eliezer might hold that nisuch haMayim only starts on the 2nd day of Sukkot. One of the students even termed it "far-fetched". I owe you all an apology. I don't know how this happened, but I completely forgot that at the bottom of our page, in the section of the gemara that we will hopefully learn in this shiur (on Tues. Dec. 13), we will see that the amoraim do explictly identify a tannaitic position, of one of the tanaim in the long beraita that we are about to learn, which holds that nisuch haMayim indeed only begins on the 2nd day of the Chag and learns it from a drash in the pesukim. This is obviously what motivated Tosafot to explain the gemara the way he did. When we learn that section of the gemara towards the bottom of the page, I will reconnect it to the Tosafot and I think it will all make sense.
In the later part of the shiur, we focused on a possible explanation of the drash quoted by the amoraim (from a beraita in Masechet Temurah) from which is learned that nisuch haMayim can be at night. If there are any questions on this material please raise them by email or at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will learn in depth the long beraita and the gemara's discussion of it, attempting to understand the reasons behind the different positions among the tanaim.
 
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December 15, 2016 6:00AM - 7:00AM
Daf 2b: The Disputes of the Tanaim in the Beraita (II)
In the previous shiur, we learned the long beraita in depth and also read Rashi's comments on it.  Please review this material and if there are any questions you can raise them at the beginning of this shiur or by email in advance.
 
In this shiur, we will learn the next new chunk of gemara, which focuses on understanding better the dispute between R.Eliezer and R.Yehoshua, and subsequently understanding the basis for the positions of R.Yehuda b. Beteira and R.Akiva.
 
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December 20, 2016 6:00AM - 7:00AM
Daf 2b-3a: The Disputes of the Tanaim in the Beraita (III)
 
In the previous shiur, we learned the interesting insights that Tosafot brought from the Talmud Yerushalmi explaining why according to the beraita (and our mishna for that matter) we begin mentioning Gevurot Geshamim (Mashiv haRuah u-Morid haGeshem) only from Musaf in the morning and not earlier.  Then we learned the first chunk of gemara discussing the beraita, which studies in greater depth the dispute between R.Eliezer and R.Yehoshua, and we read and discussed Rashi's comments on this section. Please review this material. If there are questions, please raise them at the beginning of this shiur or send them to me by email.
 
In this shiur, we will continue in the gemara to the amoraim's fascinating discussion of the basis for the positions of R.Yehuda b. Beteira and R.Akiva that are brought in the beraita. Each of them disagree both with R.Eliezer and with R.Yehoshua.
 
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December 22, 2016 6:00AM - 7:00AM
Daf 2b-3a: The Disputes of the Tanaim in the Beraita (IV)
In the previous shiur, we read the gemara down to the end of the sugya, then translated it, then broke it down into its logical segments. In the final part of the shiur, we learned in depth the first segment, which explained the basis in the verses of the Torah for the position of R.Yehuda ben Beteira, that we mention gevurot geshamim ("mashiv ha-ruah...") only starting on the 2nd day of Sukkot. Please review this material. If you have questions, please try to ask them by email; if I think they are useful for everyone I will relate to them in this shiur.
 
In this shiur, which is the last shiur of this semester before our winter break, we will finish learning the entire sugya in depth. We will also discuss an apparent disagreement between Rashi and Tosafot regarding how the gemara understands R.Eliezer's position on Nisuch haMayim.
 
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January 3, 2017 6:00AM - 7:00AM
Daf 3a: The Authorship of the last part of the beraita (and mishna)
Shalom to all! Welcome back to all our continuing students and welcome to the new students joining us for this semester. We are resuming in this new Winter Semester our study of the gemara on Daf 3a of Masechet Taanit, with a problem the amoraim have concerning the authorship of the last statement in the mishna on daf 2a.
 
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January 5, 2017 6:00AM - 7:00AM
Daf 3a-3b: What exactly do we mention together with the rain?

In the previous shiur, with which we resumed learning in the winter semester following the Hanuka break, we studied the segment of gemara that deals with the unclear authorship of the last statements in the mishna and gemara, about the precise time we begin saying gevurot geshamim on Shmini Atzeret. Please review this gemara, and see if you can read and explain its yourself. I am happy to answer any questions you may have either at the beginning of this shiur or by email.

In this shiur, we will learn the first part of a lengthier sugya dealing with the actual text of what the tanaim call hazkarat gevurot geshamim -- mentioning the mighty powers related to rain, or what we refer to commonly as mashiv ha-ruah u-morid ha-geshem. What must this text include?  What may it not include?

 
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January 10, 2017 6:00AM - 7:00AM
Daf 3a-3b: R.Hanina's explanation and ramifications: Why Dew, Wind, and Clouds are only Optional to Mention (II)
To access today's class please click the link below
 
 
 
 
In the previous shiur, we read, translated, and broke into its logical segments the gemara that begins 9 lines up from the bottom of Daf 3a with a beraita stating that it is optional to mention dew and wind as part of gevurot geshamim, continues with R.Hanina's explanation of the reason for the halacha to be this way, continues with the subsequent discussion of the amoraim attempting to understand the basis for his explanation, and finally with R.Hanina's statement of the halacha in the various possible cases. We then discussed in depth the first part of this sugya, that dealt with tal (dew). Please review this material, and see if you can read it on your own in the gemara. I will be happy to answer any questions at the beginning of this shiur or by email.
 
In this shiur, we will continue discussing in depth the next part of the sugya, about mentioning wind, and then the halachic meimra of R.Hanina. In addition, we will study some of the specific comments of Rashi and Tosafot on the page, as well as a halacha from the Rambam, that are relevant for helping us gain a deeper understanding of R.Hanina.
 
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January 12, 2017 6:00AM - 7:00AM
Daf 3b: R.Hanina's halachic ramifications; Why Clouds are only Optional to Mention
CANCELED

In the previous shiur, we finished studying in depth the discussion concerning why it is only optional and not obligatory to mention either dew or wind. We also studied the comments of Rashi and Tosafot related to this, and a halacha from the Rambam. Please review all this material. If you have questions I will be happy to relate to them at the beginning of this shiur.

In this shiur, we will discuss more fully the halachic meimra of R.Hanina, and then continue on to the next segment of the sugya, which discusses why mentioning clouds is only optional and not obligatory.

 
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January 12, 2017 5:55AM - 6:55AM
Daf 3b: Getting our head in the clouds

In this shiur, we will finish discussing R.Hanina's summary of the halachot regarding which texts for Gevurot Geshamim are permissible, but not obligatory, and which are obligatory, requiring us to repeat all or part of the tefila when a mistake has been made. Then we will move on to the subject of clouds and wind: whether these elements are necessary to include in our tefila.

 
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January 17, 2017 5:55AM - 6:55AM
Daf 3b: Wind and clouds: do they ever stop?
In the previous shiur, we finished discussing in more depth the halachic summary of R.Hanina. Then we went on to the next section of the sugya and we read, translated, and broke it down into its logical segments to see the flow. Finally, we went over it in depth up to the answer to the first difficulty raised by the gemara , about the apparent contradiction between two beraitot on the subject of clouds. 
 
In this shiur, we will first finish understanding the answer about clouds, and study the explanations of Rashi and Tosafot to this. Then we will similarly discuss in depth the answer about wind, and there too the comments of Rashi and Tosafot. Finally, we will begin studying the next segment of gemara, which deals with additional beneficial meteorological phenomena.
 
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January 19, 2017 5:55AM - 6:55AM
Daf 3b-4a: Benefits of various meteorological phenomena
In the previous shiur, we finished discussing in depth the apparent contradictions between the beraitot quoted by the gemara regarding whether clouds and wind are fundamentally ever stopped in nature. We studied the very different explanations of Rashi and Tosafot to the answers provided by the gemara for resolving the apparent double contradiction. Finally, we read, translated, and broke into its logical parts the next chunk of gemara, which deals with meteorological phenomena that have various types and degrees of benefit, as enumerated by the amoraim. This gemara takes us onto Daf 4a.  Please review all of this material; I will be happy to discuss any questions you may have by email or at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will study in depth the gemara up to where we stopped on Daf 4a, and read and discuss some of the comments of the rishonim on the daf (Rashi and Tosafot).
 
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January 24, 2017 5:55AM - 6:55AM
Daf 4a: Agadot: Qualities of Talmidei Hachamim

IIn the previous shiur, we finished discussing in depth the gemara's examination of a few amoraic statements evaluating the benefit of different meteorological phenomena.  Please review this material; if you have any questions I am happy to relate to them by email or in this shiur.

In this shiur, we begin learning a series of aggadic statements by amoraim found on Daf 4a, first on the topic of certain qualities of a talmid hacham, and then about people in the Tanach who did not ask correctly for something they wanted, and what happened to them. We will discuss the context of each of these aggadot, and then discuss them in depth.
 
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January 26, 2017 5:55AM - 6:55AM
Daf 4a: Being Careful about What You Ask For
 
In this shiur we are continuing in the aggadot on Daf 4a.
Now the topic is about figures in the Tanach who asked for something in an incorrect way, and the consequences.
 
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January 31, 2017 5:55AM - 6:55AM
Daf 4a: Agadot: Being Careful about What You Ask For (II)
In the previous shiur, we read and translated the statements of R.Yochanan and R.Berechia about people (in Scripture) who asked for something in an inappropriate manner, and got a response that was in most of the cases favorable and in one case unfavorable. We then discussed in greater depth the request of Eliezer the servant of Avraham, the problem with it, and saw how Rashi and Tosafot deal with apparent difficulties in the words of R.Yohanan. Please review this material, in particular see if you can read over the text of the Tosafot by yourself. If there are questions please raise them at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will finish going through the two related amoraic midrashim in depth and discuss what exactly was the reason why Yiftah was treated differently than the others.  Tiime allowing, we will begin the next segment of gemara, which goes back to discussing the mishna.
 
 
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February 2, 2017 5:55AM - 6:55AM
Daf 4a-4b: The cryptic last section of our mishna
In the previous shiur, we finished our discussion of the aggadot brought in the gemara. If you have any further qurestions or comments on this material, please send them to me by email, or raise them at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, our last meeting of this semester (this shiur is ending earlier than the rest of the semester's classes), we will see how the gemara attempts to deal with the cryptic final part of our mishna. 
 
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April 25, 2017 6:00AM - 7:00AM
The fasts observed when drought conditions appear

Shalom and welcome to all new as well as returning students!

After a relatively lengthy hiatus (since early Feb.) I am back and resuming my gemara class, and excited to be once again learning with you!

The WebYeshiva gemara shiurim are continuing to study Masechet Taanit, and so we will also be continuing in that masechet in this spring semester.  My plan is to move on from our previous focus on the seasonal changes in our tefila (regarding rain etc.), which was the subject of the early part of chapter 1, to the subject that gives its name to this tractate: the fast days that the Sanhedrin declares when there is a drought (and more generally other types of calamities affecting the nation). We will first study the mishnayot (without gemara) in the latter part of chapter 1. Then we will begin learning the mishnayot of chapter 2 (which are all brought in one block of material in the gemara pages 15a-15b), with the comments of Rashi. After that we will begin learning the gemara on these mishnayot of chapter 2, which focus on the public prayer event conducted on the most intense of these fast days.
(If you have already studied this material during my absence, please let me know immediately by email and I can reconsider the above selection of material.)
For your convenience I have posted here sources that you can look over before our first meeting this coming Tuesday.

Looking forward to seeing you in the class!

Yitzhak Zuriel

 
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April 27, 2017 6:00AM - 7:00AM
The fasts observed when drought conditions appear (II)
In the previous shiur, we learned through mishna 6 of chapter 1.
In this shiur, we will learn the final mishna of chapter 1, and then begin the long mishna at the beginning of chapter 2, as it is brought in the gemara pages. We will learn this long mishna section by section, together with Rashi's commentary.
 
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May 4, 2017 6:00AM - 7:00AM
The special additional berachot in the tefila of the seven most intensive fast days
**Please note that our next shiur will be held on Thursday May 4. There will be no shiur on May 2 as it is Yom HaAtzmaut in Israel.
 
In the previous shiur, we finished learning the mishnayot of chapter 1 and began the long block of mishnayot at the beginning of chapter 2 in the gemara pages. We also learned the first few comments of Rashi on the page. 
 
In this shiur, we will continue and learn about the additional berachot that were added to the tefilat shemoneh esreh on the seven most intensive of the fasts.
 
Happy Yom HaAtzmaut!
 
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May 9, 2017 6:00AM - 7:00AM
The special additional berachot in the tefila of the seven most intensive fast days (II)
 
In the previous shiur, we read the long mishna down to the bottom of the page and translated it as we went along. Then we went back up and started going through the additions to the tefilat shmoneh esreh on the seven most intensive fast days. At the end of the shiur we discussed the first of the six additional berachot added in the hazan's repetition of the amidah. If there are any questions on this material, please send them by email or ask them at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will continue learning the mishna in depth, starting with the second of the additional six berachot.
 
 
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May 11, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
(No recording for this shiur: Tuesday May 11)
Due to technical difficulties that were beyond my control, this shiur had highly intermittent audio and so we actually only covered a small amount of material. As a result, we are not posting the recording. My apologies to all, especially the very patient students who remained online while I unsuccessfully tried to get things working properly!
 
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May 18, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
The tefila of the seven most intensive fast days (cont.)
 
In the previous full shiur, we discussed in depth the texts of the latter five berachot added to the hazan's repetition of the tefilat shmoneh esreh on the most intensive of the fasts called by the Sanhedrin, including a discussion of how the words chosen for the hatimah, the ending words before the closing "Baruch Ata Hashem...", are appropriate in each case to the verses chosen for the body of the insertion. You are welcome to review this material and if you have any questions we can discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In the previous shiur (which was interrupted due to technical problems), we attempted to discuss the sixth and last of these additional berachot, and its hatimah. We will go over that material quickly and then continue on to the fascinating historical account brought in the mishna describing how things actually happened on such days.
 
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May 23, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
Cohanim of the Mishmar and of the Beit Av
In the previous shiur, we finished the section of the mishna that deals with the public tefila held on the 7 most intensive fast days. Then we read, translated, and explained some of the concepts in the next section of the mishna that discusses how the cohanim observed the different days of fasting. Please review this material; if you have a question, please bring it to this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will begin by discussing the segment which we had translated at the end of last shiur, and the dispute between the tanaim presented there. Then we will learn the Rashi on this section and continue towards the end of the mishna with the comments of Rashi, touching on a few different topics: an additional distinction between the cohanim of the general mishmar and those whose family is assigned to the particular day, and other issues related to taaniyot (fast days).
 
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May 25, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
Megilat Taanit; Days on which fasts should not be declared
In the previous shiur, we discussed the halachot in the mishna in which distinctions are made between the kohanim of the general Mishmar of a given week, and the kohanim of the Beit Av for a specific day. Following that, we learned about the prohibition of haircutting and laundering for both the kohanim of the Mishmar and the people of the Ma'amad (we also saw the words of the mishna in ch. 4 that define what is the Ma'amad). Please review this material; if there are any questions we will discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will continue towards the end of the mishna and return to the subject of ta'aniyot, in particular the days on which the Beit Din is restricted from declaring them.
 
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May 30, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
Days on which fasts should not be declared (II); Details of the public prayer meeting on the 7 intensive fast days
In the previous shiur, we nearly finished learning the mishna with Rashi. We discussed Megilat Taanit and the reference to it in the mishna. Please review the material and if there are any questions we will discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will finish discussing the last lines of the mishna and learn also the Rashi there. Then we will begin learning the first part of the gemara, which goes back to the beginning of the mishna and discusses it in detail. Chodesh tov and Shabbat shalom!
 
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June 6, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
Taanit chapter 2, daf 15b: Ashes and the Ark
To all new and continuing students!
 
Welcome to our new summer semester at WebYeshiva!
 
In this summer semester, we will continue in the gemara of Masechet Taanit at the beginning of chapter 2, a few lines up from the bottom of Daf 15b. We started this gemara in the final shiurim of the spring semester (right before Shavuot), but the sugya for the next couple of pages is made up of mostly small logically independent chunks of amoraic discussion, so if you are joining us now you will not be jumping into the middle of a discussion. The gemara here is discussing in depth, line by line, the long mishna at the beginning of the chapter. The amoraim try in these segments to understand the meaning behind each of the customs that were uniquely observed at the time of the public prayer held on the most intensive fasts declared by the Sanhedrin at the time of a drought or other national calamity. 
 
Our method of learning will be like in the past, to break down each independent segment of gemara into its logical parts and understand the flow of the logic,  and to understand how this is derived from the terms used in the gemara, then to discuss the ideas therein in depth. As part of the study we will regularly consult the explanations of Rashi and also some of the comments of Tosafot. At some point during the semester we may consider moving to chapter 3, TBD.
 
I would like to repeat my request to all of you who follow the course via the archives to consider joining us for the live sessions, if this can work with your timezone etc. Being part of the live interactive class will give you a greater opportunity to ask questions and get feedback to improve your own learning skills, and it will contribute to our class discussions as well.
 
Looking forward to learning with all of you in the summer semester!
 
Yitzhak Zuriel
 
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June 8, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
Daf 16a: Preparing to Pray for Mercy
In the previous shiur, we continued at the beginning of the gemara of chapter 2, and saw how the amoraim explain the meanings behind several of the details of the practices done in the public prayer held on the most intensive fast days. We saw that much of the intention behind these practices is to induce a fitting attitude towards the act of praying under the difficult circumstances. If you have any further questions about these gemara segments, please ask them at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will continue as the gemara brings additional amoraic discussions and explanations of the customs and procedures used at these public prayer events.
 
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June 13, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
Daf 16a: What do We Learn from the People of Nineveh?
In the previous shiur, we continued to read and discuss the explanations and arguments of the amoraim in the gemara regarding the meanings of the detailed actions done in preparation for the communal prayer held on the most intensive of the fast days. If you have any questions or comments about this material, please send them by email or raise them at the beginning of this shiur. 
 
In this shiur, we will study the discussions of the amoraim regarding the words of encouragement given before this prayer, including a discussion of what is learned from the actions of the people of Nineveh in chapter 3 of the book of Yonah.
 
 
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June 15, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
Daf 16a: The Teshuva of the People of Nineveh (II); Qualifications to Lead the Public Prayer

In the previous shiur, we studied the segments of the gemara that explain the teshuva of the people of Nineveh as described in the book of Yonah (ch.3). We learned nearly all the midrash of the amoraim brought in the gemara related to this passage.  We rushed a little at the end of the shiur, so if there are any questions we can review the last lines that we discussed at the beginning of this shiur.

 

In this shiur, we will finish the last amoraic midrashic statements about the verses from Sefer Yonah, and then move on to the gemara's discussion of the qualifications for the "job" of being the shaliach tzibbur and leading the public prayer on these intensive fast days.

 
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June 20, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
Daf 16a-16b: Qualifications to Lead the Public Prayer(II); Daf 17a: To what Extent are Cohanim Forbidden to Drink Wine?
 
In the previous shiur, we finished studying the amoraic midrashim in the gemara concerning the teshuva of the people of Nineveh (Yonah 3). We then read and discussed the beraita that brings a long list of qualifications (much longer than the list in the mishna) for the person selected to be the shaliah tzibbur (hazan) for the tefilat haAmidah on these special fast days. If you have any comments or questions on the above material, please send it by email or raise it at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will finish discussing the beraita and then study the gemara's explanations of it. Then we will jump to Daf 17a to learn the gemara's discussion of the halachot related to the prohibition for kohanim of drinking wine when they are responsible for working in the Beit HaMikdash. We will see a surprising ramification of this halacha.
 
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June 22, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
Daf 17a: Drinking wine by Kohanim: in the Beit HaMikdash and in our day
In the previous shiur, we finished the segment of gemara with the beraita that lists the numerous requirements for the person to be chosen to lead the tefila on the seven most intensive fast days. We then read the gemara's explanations of a couple of concepts in this beraita. Then we skipped ahead to Daf 17a, where the gemara discusses the extent of the prohibition on kohanim to drink wine. We explained the first segment of the beraita brought by the gemara. We saw that the tanaim in the beraita infer, from the halacha of the mishna and its explanation in the beginning section of the beraita, that the probibition of drinking wine can even apply in our time when there is no Beit HaMikdash!  Please review this material and if there are any questions we can discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will learn the remainder of the beraita about kohanim. We will see the full scope of the prohibition on kohanim from drinking wine. Then we will continue in the sugya, as it discusses and compares this prohibition with the prohibition for kohanim against getting a haircut during the week of their mishmar.
 
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June 27, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
Daf 17a: Haircutting of Kohanim
In the previous shiur, we finished learning the beraita about the rabbinic extensions of the prohibition against drinking wine by kohanim, and the dispute on this subject between the first tana in the beraita and R.Yehuda haNasi. We also studied Rashi's explanation of the latter position and of his language in the text. At the end of the shiur, we read the next line from the mishna (brought in the text of the gemara), about the prohibition on kohanim of the mishmar, and people of the maamad, to take haircuts and do laundry during the week of their assignment in the Beit HaMikdash, and reviewed some of the concepts in preparation for learning the gemara's explanations of this next time. Please review this material; if you have any questions you can ask them by email or raise them at the start of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will begin learning the sugya on this subject of haircuts for kohanim -- the requirements, and the restrictions.
 
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June 29, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
Daf 17a-17b: How often do Kohanim need to get haircuts?
In the previous shiur, we read and translated the new sugya on the subject of the requirement of kohanim to get haircuts, and how often. Then we started at the beginning again and worked at breaking the sugya down into its logical components, using clues in the language and context. At the end of the shiur, we had stopped this analysis at the 3rd line from the top of Daf 17b. Please review this material, and see if you can understand the reasons why we parsed the gemara the way we did so far. If there are any questions or difficulties, please raise them at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will complete the identification of the components in the gemara's logical sequence, and we will discuss the outline and flow of the gemara at this high level. Then we will go back and start to discuss each of the segments in depth.
 
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July 4, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
Daf 17a: How often do kohanim need to get haircuts? (II)
In the previous shiur, we completed our pass through the sugya, breaking it down into its logical segments.  Please review this; if you have any questions about how we did it, you can raise them by email or at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will start again at the beginning of the sugya and discuss each of the sequential segments in depth, also using the commentaries of the rishonim Rashi and Tosafot on the page.
 
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July 6, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
Daf 17a-17b: Does the required frequency of kohanim haircuts apply in our times?
In the previous shiur, we discussed the explanations of the amoraim on the beraita about required haircutting frequencies for kings, kohanim gedolim, and regular kohanim. Then we discussed in depth the dialogue between Rav Papa and Abaye about how to understand the verse in Yehezkel from which we learn the requirement concerning kohanim. We discussed the differing understandings of Rashi and Tosafot regarding Rav Papa's suggested reading of the verse. Then we started the final long segment of the sugya, that discusses whether the halacha of the beraita also applies in our day, i.e. when there is no Beit HaMikdash. Please review this material. If there are any questions or comments please raise them by email or at the beginning of this shiur and I will be happy to discuss them in the shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will work our way through the issues raised by the gemara on this subject and the way they are resolved. We will also see another example of how Rashi and Tosafot read the gemara differently. 
 
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July 11, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
Daf 17b: Does the required frequency of kohanim haircuts apply in our times? (II)
In the previous shiur, we discussed the the prohibition on kohanim to let their hair grow out for more than 30 days and how the gemara learns according to the position of the Hachamim that this would apply also in our day. We discussed the gemara's understanding of the reason behind such a prohibition, as well as the distinction suggested between this halacha and the prohibition for kohanim against drinking wine that would prevent us from using the above reasoning, and part of the gemara's dialectic arguing for and against this distinction.
 
In this shiur, we will finish studying the above discussion and discuss what the gemara does with Rav Ashi's additional argument against the prohibition in our day. 
 
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July 13, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
Daf 17b: Can Sefer Yehezkel be a source of law?
In the previous shiur, we discussed in depth the gemara's upholding of the distinction made between peru'ei rosh and shtuyei yayin on the basis of the relative ease of rectifying the results of having violated each of these prohibitions. Then we learned in depth the alternative answer of Rav Ashi as to why the prohibition of peru'ei rosh does not apply in our time, and the apparent refutation of him. Please review this material and if there are any questions we will discuss them at the beginning of this shiur.
 
In this shiur, we will first learn the Rashi on the above. Then we will learn the last part of the sugya, in which Rav Ashi provides a way to understand the use of pesukim in Sefer Yehezkel that seem to be used as sources of halacha, as in this sugya. We will study the comments of Rashi on this as well, and then learn a Tosafot found on the parallel sugya in Sanhedrin that ties together the entire sugya, including the earlier discussion involving Rav Ashi.
 
 
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July 18, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
The three weeks and the nine days: the days before Tisha B'Av
In the previous shiur, we completed the sugya about the prohibition for kohanim against growing their hair long.  We saw how Rashi and Tosafot end up reading the end of the sugya very differently, and this apparently has halachic implications. Please review this material and if there are any questions please raise them by email or at the beginning of this shiur and I will be happy to discuss them.
 
In this shiur, we will be jumping ahead to the fourth and last chapter of Masechet Taanit. We will learn a few lines of the Mishna that list the calamities that befell Yisrael on the 17th of Tamuz and on the 9th of Av, and bring the prohibition against doing laundry during the days leading up to Tisha B'Av. 
 
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July 20, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
Laundering during the Days Before Tisha B'Av
In the previous shiur, we read the segment of the mishnah in chapter 4 of Taanit (Daf 26a-b) about the events that befell the Jewish people on the 17th of Tamuz and on Tisha B'Av, and then the specific prohibition against getting haircuts and doing laundry during the week in which falls Tisha B'Av. We also read and discussed the Rashi on this.
 
In this shiur, we will move to Daf 29b to study the gemara there that discusses the latter subject (laundry) in depth.
 
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July 25, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
Reading the Rabbinic Mind: Ta'anit
 
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July 27, 2017 6:05AM - 7:05AM
Reading the Rabbinic Mind: Ta'anit
 
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