POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
by R. Nosson Slifkin
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous dafRosh Hashanah 20
ROSH HASHANAH 19 & 20 (10, 11 Av) - dedicated by Rabbi Kornfeld's
grandmother, Mrs. G. Turkel, to the memory of her husband, Reb Yisrael
Shimon (Isi) ha'Levi Turkel, who loved Torah and worked to support Torah
until his last breath. He passed away on 10 Av 5780.
1) THE LENGTH OF ADAR RISHON
(a) (Alternate version) (R. Nachman) We have a supporting
Mishnah that the Adar closest to Nisan is always
2) THE BENEFITS OF A FULL ELUL
1. (Mishnah) The witnesses of the moon for the months
of Nisan and Tishrei can transgress Shabbos.
(b) The Gemara explains why this is not a good proof:
2. That makes sense if Adar closest to Nisan was
always abridged, as it is a mitzvah to sanctify the
month on the basis of eyewitness testimony.
3. But if the months were sometimes full and sometimes
abridged, why should they be allowed to transgress
Shabbos - let Beis Din make it full, and sanctify
it on the following day!
1. That would only hold true if the 30th fell on
(c) Refutation: (R. Kahana): We see from a Mishnah that it
couldn't be that the Adar closest to Nisan is always
2. But the Mishnah is referring to where the 31st fell
3. In this case, Beis Din have to sanctify the new
month today, so the witnesses may transgress
Shabbos (and the Mishnah therefore makes sense even
if it is sometimes a full month).
1. (Mishnah) When the Beis ha'Mikdash was standing,
the witnesses could transgress Shabbos for all
months *so that the Korban of Rosh Chodesh
would be brought on the correct day.*
2. We see that we are not concerned about the months
being sanctified on the basis of eyewitness
3. If the Adar closest to Nisan is always
abridged, why would the witnesses be allowed to
(a) Ulla came to Bavel and told them that the Beis Din of
Eretz Yisrael had made Elul a full month, which would be
good for them.
3) EXTENDING MONTHS FOR ULTERIOR MOTIVES
(b) Question: Why was it good for them?
(c) Answer (Ulla): The resultant separation of Shabbos and
Yom Tov by a day would prevent picked vegetables from
withering (new ones can be picked for Yom Tov).
(d) Alternate answer (R. Acha bar Chanina): It would prevent
bodies awaiting burial from decomposing.
(e) Question: What is the difference?
(f) Answer: Where Yom Kipur followed Shabbos:
1. There would still be a benefit in the case of
bodies awaiting burial.
(g) Question: But even according to the opinion that the
benefit is for vegetables, there would also be the
benefit for bodies, so Elul would still be extended!?
2. But there would be no benefit for vegetables; if
needed after Yom Kipur, new ones can be picked.
(h) New answer: The difference is in the case of Yom Tov
immediately preceding or following Shabbos:
1. There would still be a benefit in separating Yom
Tov for the vegetables.
(i) Question: Isn't the benefit as much for Eretz Yisrael as
2. But there is no benefit for bodies; they can be
buried by non-Jews.
3. Question: Even according to the opinion that the
benefit is for bodies, there would still be benefit
for the vegetables?
4. Answer: They can be freshened by being soaked in
(j) Answer: Bavel is lower and therefore hotter.
(a) Question: We see that is it not permitted to extend a
month for an ulterior motive:
1. (Rabah bar Shmuel) One might think that just as
years may be extended for an ulterior motive,
months can also be extended;
(b) Answer (Rava): One must distinguish between extending
the month, and sanctifying it (before the correct time),
reading it as follows:
2. The Pasuk therefore teaches us that months must be
set according to when the moon appears.
1. One might think that just as years and months may
be extended for an ulterior motive, months can also
be sanctified (prematurely);
(c) Question: Surely R. Yehudah was taught by R.. Yochanan
that we intimidate people into testifying that they saw
the moon so that the month can be abridged?
2. The Pasuk therefore teaches us that months can only
be sanctified according to when the moon appears.
3. This follows R. Yehoshua b. Levi:
i. We intimidate witnesses into keeping silent so
that the month can be extended.
ii. But we do not intimidate them into giving
false testimony so that it can be abridged.
(d) Answer (Abaye): That is only true for Nisan and Tishrei
(when we want to set the date for the festivals).
(e) Alternate answer (Rava): Rabah bar Shmuel's law (that
one may not alter the calendar for ulterior motives) is
the view of the Acheirim:
1. (Acheirim) One festival differs from the previous
occurrence of that festival in that it falls on the
weekday four days later (i.e. the months always
alternate between being abridged and full).
(f) (R. Dimi of Naharda'a) The opposite of R. Yehoshua b.
Levi's rule is true:
1. We intimidate people into giving false testimony so
that the month can be abridged.
2. But we do not intimidate them into keeping silent
so that it can be extended.
3. The reason is that the latter is noticeably
fraudulent (as the new moon is seen by everyone),
whereas the former isn't.
4) THE VISIBILITY OF THE MOON
(a) (Shmuel) "I am expert enough to set the calendar for all
the Diaspora without witnesses."
5) THE FIRST DAY OF THE MONTH
(b) (Aba, father of R. Samla'i, to Shmuel) "Do you know the
difference between whether the Nolad is before or after
(c) (Shmuel) "No."
(d) (Aba, father of R. Samla'i) "Then there are bound to be
other things that you don't know."
(e) (R. Zeira) The first day of the month must be a night
followed by a day.
1. If the Nolad is before midday, the moon will be
visible before sunset; if it is after, it won't.
(f) (R. Zeira citing R. Nachman) The moon is invisible for
24 hours between months:
i. Question: What is the relevance of this?
ii. Answer (R. Ashi): For catching out witnesses.
1. In Bavel, 6 hours of the old moon and 18 hours of
the new one;
(g) Question: What is the relevance of this?
2. In Eretz Yisrael, 6 hours of the new moon and 18
hours of the old one.
(h) Answer (R. Ashi): For catching out witnesses.
(a) Question: How do we know that the first day of the month
must be a night followed by a day?
6) ADDITIONAL YOM TOV IN THE DIASPORA
(b) Answer (R. Yochanan): The Pasuk says that Yom Kipur
lasts "from evening to evening."
(c) Alternate answer (Resh Lakish): The Pasuk states that
Chametz may not be eaten until the 21st of Nisan in the
1. Question: What is the difference between these
2. Answer (Abaye): They are different Scriptural
3. Alternate answer (Rava): According to R. Yochanan,
it begins with the onset of night; according to
Resh Lakish, it begins at midnight.
(a) (R. Zeira citing R. Nachman) Doubts about when the month
began result in an additional day of Yom Tov being
observed a day later, not a day earlier.
1. We see that Yom Tov is kept on the 15th and 16th,
not on the 14th.
2. Question: It should also be observed on the 14th,
in case Av/ Shevat were abridged?
3. Answer: The months preceding them are always
abridged, and if two consecutive months were to be
abridged, people would find out about it in time.