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|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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?
|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.
January 12, 2017 6:00AM - 7:00AM
Daf 3b: R.Hanina's halachic ramifications; Why Clouds are only Optional to Mention
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.
|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.
|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.
|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).
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.