Throughout the Gemara we see times when someone's face is described as becoming blackened, due to fasts or other things like intense learning. (Example: Sotah 12a) What does this mean?

  • It sounds like the opposite of צהבו פניו (Pesachim 113b). The marginal notes ("Musaf Rashi") refer to Rashi in Menachot 18a where he comments מחמת שמחה
    – b a
    Mar 8, 2018 at 11:23
  • 1
    Both Chagigah 22b and Nazir 52b mentions that the teeth became black due to fasting. Isn't it the same? Mar 8, 2018 at 16:24
  • @Kazibácsi Now what's that supposed to mean? His teeth are rotting?
    – ezra
    Mar 8, 2018 at 20:25
  • I assume yes, but I haven't found a source... :-( Mar 8, 2018 at 20:32

1 Answer 1


This comes a few times in Shas particularly as you mention in Chagigah 22b and Nozir 52b. When I learnt the Sugyos I understand it basically as it says .Its not necessarily his face but specifically means that his teeth became blackened on account of the fact that the person involved had undertaken to keep many fasts as a Kaparah for the offence that they caused to that Tanna or Amoira in the view they expressed,so in actuality if you fast a lot your teeth become blackened Peshutoi Kemashmoi

  • Yes that is what is being discussed in comments 2-4 under the question...
    – mbloch
    Apr 2, 2018 at 13:21

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