(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld

Ask A Question about the Daf

Previous daf

Ta'anis 27

TA'ANIS 27, 28, 29, 30 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the Dafyomi publications for these Dafim for the benefit of Klal Yisrael


QUESTION: The Gemara says that originally, there were sixteen Batei Avos, eight from Elazar's family and eight from Isamar's family. In the times of David ha'Melech, the family of Elazar increased significantly, so the eight family groups of Elazar were divided into sixteen Batei Avos, making a total of twenty-four (sixteen from Elazar, and eight from Isamar). The Gemara asks how we know that Elazar doubled; perhaps it was the family of Isamar that doubled. The Gemara proves that Isamar remained the same from the verse, "One Beis Av was apportioned to Elazar, and apportioned, apportioned to Isamar" (Divrei ha'Yamim I 24:6).

What is the Gemara proving from this verse? The verse implies that twice as much was apportioned to *Isamar* than to Elazar -- the opposite of what the Gemara is trying to prove! How is this verse saying that that Elazar had twice as many Batei Avos as Isamar had?


(a) RASHI explains that the words "apportioned, apportioned" mean that the number of Mishmaros that had been apportioned *previously* to Isamar remained (and nothing more was added).

(b) Some explain that the verse is referring to the lottery that was conducted in order to determine the new order of the Mishmaros now that eight additional Mishmaros were added. When they made the lottery, they had to put in sixteen lots, one for each of the sixteen Batei Avos of Elazar. However, if they put in only eight lots for the eight Batei Avos of Isamar, the Batei Avos of Elazar would have a much greater chance of being chosen first. Therefore, they wrote each one of the Batei Avos of Isamar on *two* lots, in order to make the lottery fair and equal.

That is what the verse means when it says "apportioned, apportioned to Isamar" -- the repetition of the word "apportioned" refers to the *two* lots that were written for each of the Batei Avos of Isamar, since they had *half* as many Batei Avos.

The NACHALAS DAVID in HAVEN B'MIKRA (at the end of Nachalas David) cites this explanation, but he rejects it for several reasons. First, the Gemara cites this verse to prove that the number of Batei Avos of Isamar did not double, but according to this explanation, perhaps they did double (from four to eight). Second, the verse itself does not read well according to this explanation, because the verse mentions nothing about the lots; the verse is talking about the people themselves. Third, it is not logical to say that they would make two lots for one Mishmar in order to double their chances in the lottery! What would happen if both lots of one Mishmar were selected? It obviously would have to be discarded, in which case the lottery itself becomes less serious.

(c) The NACHALAS DAVID suggests an original explanation that explains the verse and conforms to our Gemara perfectly. He explains that since Elazar was older than Isamar, it was decided that the a Mishmar from the family of Elazar would serve first, immediately followed by Isamar (so as not to leave him too far behind Elazar). Therefore, they made two separate boxes and conducted two separate lotteries -- one for the family of Elazar, and one for the family of Isamar, with Elazar drawing the first one and Isamar the next one, then back to Elazar and back to Isamar again.

Secondly, since the eight Mishmaros of Elazar had doubled into sixteen, meaning that each family group was divided into two families, it was decided that it would not be fair to have the spin-off of one family serve at an entirely different time than the first half of that family, since they used to serve together as one Mishmar. Therefore, the spin-off would always serve immediately after the first half served. As such, when drawing lots to determine the order of the Mishmaros from Elazar's family, they only drew eight lots for the eight original Mishmaros, and their spin-offs would serve immediately after the original Mishmar from which they came.

They put eight lots of the original Mishmaros of Elazar into a box, in order to determine the order of the original Mishmaros, and the spin offs would follow them. Elazar's lottery was chosen first to choose which of the Mishmaros would go first (and second -- the spin-off Mishmar). Then, the first lot was chosen from Isamar's box to determine which Mishmar from Isamar would serve first, after the first two Mishmaros of Elazar.

However, drawing one lot from Elazar's box determined the order of *two* Mishmaros (the original Mishmar and its spin-off). If they subsequently chose only one lot from Isamar's box, they would have only one Mishmar following Elazar's two Mishmaros, not putting Isamar on near-equal footing with Elazar. Therefore, after choosing one lot from Elazar's box, they would choose *two* lots from Isamar's box in order to choose two Mishmaros. Then, *one* lot was chosen again from Elazar's box (which determines the third and fourth Mishmaros), and then *two* lots were chosen again from Isamar's box, to choose their third and fourth Mishmaros. This continued until the *fourth* lot was chosen from the box of Elazar (selecting the seventh and eighth Mishmaros of Elazar) and the *seventh* and *eighth* lots were chosen from the box of Isamar (selecting the seventh and eighth Mishmaros of Isamar). After that, though, there were no more Mishmaros from the family of Isamar to choose (since they had only eight), and there were still eight Mishmaros from Elazar that remained to be chosen (by picking four lots). Thus, the final four lots would all be chosen from Elazar's box.

Now the verse is understood. In the lottery to select the order of the Mishmaros of Elazar, one lot was chosen to choose two Mishmaros -- the original Mishmar and its spin-off. Then, *two* lots were chosen in the lottery of the Mishmaros of Isamar to select *two* Mishmaros ("apportioned, apportioned")!

Further support for this explanation is found in the verses which list the Mishmaros of the families of Elazar and Isamar. Normally, the verse randomly lists one, two, or three Mishmaros, but here, the verses lists exactly two in each verse. The verses are listing them the way they were chosen by the lots -- two at a time!

According to this approach, the Nachalas David explains a cryptic statement in the Yerushalmi. The Yerushalmi here (Ta'anis 4:2) says that the seventeenth Mishmar was called "Chezir," because it came at the point at which the cycle "returned" ("Chazar") to the family of Elazar. All of the commentators are at a loss to explain this Yerushalmi. The VILNA GA'ON in Divrei ha'Yamim says that it alludes to our Gemara that says that they added another eight Mishmaros to Elazar; since originally there were only sixteen Mishmaros, the seventeenth was the first of the new Mishmaros that were added because of Elazar. However, according to the Vilna Ga'on, the wording of the Yerushalmi should have said that the seventeenth Mishmar was called Chezir "*to hint that*" eight Mishmaros were added from Elazar, but instead it says that "the cycle *returned to* Elazar." What exactly does this mean?

According to the explanation of the Nachalas David, the Yerushalmi is perfectly clear. After the sixteenth Mishmar was chosen (eight from Elazar and eight from Isamar), no more lots were drawn for the lottery of Isamar (because there were no more Mishmaros to choose from Isamar), and thus "the cycle" of drawing lots "returned to Elazar" -- all of the remaining lots were drawn from the lottery of the Mishmaros of Elazar!


QUESTION: Rav and Shmuel argue about how to divide five verses between two people during the Torah reading, since each person must read at least three verses. Rav says that they *repeat* a verse: the first person reads the first three verses, and the second person repeats the last verse that the first person read, and continues with the last two verses. Shmuel says that they *split* a verse: the first person reads the first two and a half verses, and the second person reads the last two and a half verses.

The Gemara says that Rav does not agree with Shmuel because he holds of the principle that "any verse which Moshe did not divide, we are not permitted to divide." This principle is generally understood to mean that any time a verse from the Torah is read or quoted, it must be read in its entirety. The Halachah follows the opinion of Rav (Shulchan Aruch OC 423:2), which implies that we also rule that whenever reading a verse from the Torah, we must read it in its entirety.

The problem is that there are many verses from Tanach that we say in different contexts which are partial, and not complete, quotations of verses (see RAV JOSEPH PEARLMAN's comprehensive discussion of this topic in HA'MEIR, 5753). The following are some examples of such instances.

1. In the Hagadah of Pesach, there are several verses that are quoted but not in their entirety:
Devarim 6:3, in the paragraph, "Said Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah."
Devarim 6:20, in the paragraph, "The wise son."
Shemos 12:16, in the paragraph, "The wicked son."
Shemos 1:22, in the paragraph, "And our labor."
Shemos 3:9, in the paragraph, "And our oppression."
Divrei ha'Yamim I 21:16, in the paragraph, "And with an outstretched arm." The second half of Devarim 6:21, "Avadim Hayinu" ("... we were slaves"), is quoted as the opening phrase for the paragraph of Avadim Hayinu, without quoting the first words of that verse, "v'Amarta l'Vincha..." ("And you shall say to your son...").

2. In the Kidush of Friday night, only the second half of Bereishis 1:31 ("Vayehi Erev Vayehi Voker Yom ha'Shishi") is recited.

3. In the Kidush of Shabbos morning, those who do not say the entire paragraph of "Zachor Es Yom ha'Shabbos" nevertheless say the last words of Shemos 20:11, "Al Ken Berach Hashem Es Yom ha'Shabbos va'Yekadshehu" -- an incomplete verse!

4. During Shacharis, when we return the Torah after Keri'as ha'Torah, the Chazan says, "Yehalelu Es Shem Hashem Ki Nisgav Shemo Levado," the first half of Tehilim 148:13, and then we recite after him, "Hodo Al Eretz v'Shamayim," the second half of that verse. How can we recite an incomplete verse?

(a) The MAGEN AVRAHAM discusses this problem in several places (see end of OC 51, beginning of OC 282, and OC 422:8). In OC 282, he says that whenever we recite verses during Davening, in the context of praises and supplications, the principle does not apply and we may recite parts of verses. This explains how we can recite a partial verse when returning the Sefer Torah and when reciting Kidush (see also CHASAM SOFER, OC #10). It also explains how we can say in the Hagadah, "Avadim Hayinu" without the beginning of the verse, since that paragraph is merely paraphrasing the verse in the context of a narrative discussion. However, this does not explain all of the instances where we recite partial verses, such as in the Hagadah when we cite the verses as proofs for certain Derashos.

(b) The MAGEN AVRAHAM, in OC 422:8, quotes the KOLBO who suggests that this principle applies only to verses in Torah and Nevi'im, but not to verses in Kesuvim. This is also proposed by the ME'IRI (Sukah 39a). This would answer only those instances where we recite incomplete verses from Kesuvim (such as Divrei ha'Yamim I 21:16 in the Hagadah, and Tehilim 148:13 when returning the Sefer Torah). Also, it is not clear why we should differentiate verses in Nevi'im from verses in Kesuvim (see TOSFOS in Rosh Hashanah 34a, DH Maschil, and the RAN there who assert that Nevi'im are different than Kesuvim in certain Halachic matters -- see, however, TOSFOS YOM TOV in Rosh Hashanah 4:6 who says that the Ran rescinded this view; in contrast, see RAN in Megilah 27a, TOSFOS in Bava Basra 13b, RAMA YD 284.)

(c) RAV REUVEN MARGULIOS (NEFESH CHAYAH, Milu'im, 51:7) writes that the principle that "any verse which Moshe did not divide, we are not permitted to divide" does *not* mean that we must quote a verse in its entirety. Rather, it means that we are not allowed to *end* a verse in a place where Moshe did not end it. We may *start* a verse in the middle, omitting the first words, but we must continue from whatever point the quotation begins until the end of the verse.

This understanding of the principle is expressed by the phrasing of the principle itself. The words, "Kol Pesuka d'Lo Paskei Moshe..." literally mean, "Any *stop* which Moshe did not do stop, we are not permitted to stop." The emphasis of the rule is on *stopping* the verse at a point at which did not stop the verse. However, we may *begin* the verse from wherever we want! (Y. TAUB and Y. SHAW in THE MALBIM HAGGADAH, Targum Press, p. 84, fn. 20.)

This explains all of the partial quotations of verses in the Hagadah; in every instance, they are quoted until the end of the verse, and are only missing the beginning words of the verse! This also explains the partial verses quoted in Kidush of Friday night, Shabbos day, and when returning the Torah after Keri'as ha'Torah. (The Chazan, who says the first half of Tehilim 148:13, presumably continues and says the second half together with the Tzibur.)

RAV JOSEPH PEARLMAN of London points out that this answer does not seem to be accepted by the Acharonim (see also RASHBA in Berachos 14b), since they do not use it to answer their questions regarding certain incomplete verses that we recite. The NETZIV (Meromei Sadeh, Berachos 12b) also does not agree with it.

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,