The Weekly Gemara Study Class
With Rabbi Dov Schochet

The weekly Gemara class for men is currently in the midst of studying Masechet Ta’anit.

The Massechet as its name infers deals with the idea of fasts. When do we invoke a fast on the public, the difference between various types of fasts and the procedure needed to enact them.

The first chapter deals primarily with the request for rain we make in the Shmone Esre (Amida) in the winter months and what would happen in cases of a drought when no rain has fallen for a period of time.

We began from the very beginning of the Massechet and are currently up to page 6b. Feel free to join us at any time, as there are always new “starting points” (e.g. Mishna or Perek) from which you can get involved in the subject matter.

In our last Monday evening (Sep. 5th) class we studied and pondered some and more of the following points.

  • At what specific date does the rain season begin?
  • Can I take a shortcut through your farm field?
  • How much rainfall would be considered a blessing?
  • Old men with walking sticks picking stalks of wheat!
  • Rainfall at certain hours of the night can be seen as being negative!
  • At what point do you need to get rid of certain foods from your home!

If you ask what difference does it make when the rain is supposed to fall. When it comes it comes, you might argue! Well it can matter for a variety of reasons such as; 1. To know when to begin requesting rain. 2. To be aware of when we are in ‘trouble’ without rain requiring to fast for it. 3. Various laws pertaining to people’s concept of speech. E.g. If one makes a vow he won’t eat a given food item until the rain season. When would that be, the first time it rains, the second or perhaps the third etc.

We will try to keep you updated on the topics discussed in this shiur, and once again invite you to join.

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