POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
by R. Nosson Slifkin
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous dafRosh Hashanah 25
1) MISHNAH: VERIFICATION OF THE TESTIMONY
(a) Two people once testified that they saw the moon in the
east at morning and in the west at night.
2) LUNAR PHENOMENA
1. R. Yochanan b. Nuri rejected their testimony, but
Rabban Gamliel accepted it.
(b) Two people once testified that they saw the moon on the
day of the 30th, but it was not seen the following
1. Rabban Gamliel accepted their testimony.
2. (R. Dosa ben Hurkenos) "They are false; it is like a
woman giving birth later being seen pregnant!"
3. (R. Yehoshua) Agreed.
4. Rabban Gamliel ordered R. Yehoshua to come to him
with his stick and money on the 11th of Tishrei
(which he would consider to be Yom Kipur).
5. R. Akiva comforted him by telling him that Rosh
Chodesh is whenever Beis Din say it is, correct or
6. R. Dosa ben Hurkenos pointed out that analyzing the
accuracy of Rabban Gamliel's judgments would also
requiring analyzing the accuracy of all previous
i. The seventy elders in Moshe's Beis Din are not
named so that the Beis Din of any generation
can be argued to be as great.
7. When R. Yehoshua went to Rabban Gamliel, he kissed
him, calling him his master in wisdom, and his
student in obedience.
(a) (Rabban Gamliel) Sometimes the moon's orbit is long,
3) R. AKIVA'S SOLACE
1. The source is a Pasuk which states that the sun has
a regular path, but (by implication) not the moon.
(b) R. Chiya saw the old moon on the morning of the 29th of
1. He threw a clod of earth at it, as he wanted it to
be invisible now so that the new one could appear at
night (and the month could be abridged, thereby
separating Yom Kipur from Shabbos).
(c) (Beraisa) Once, it looked like a new moon had appeared on
the 29th, and they wanted to declare Rosh Chodesh.
2. Rebbi told him to go to Ein Tav and sanctify Rosh
Chodesh there, and to send the message "David Melech
1. Rabban Gamliel told them that a month cannot be
shorter than 29 1/2 days, 40 minutes and 73
2.. He gave an extensive Hesped on that day to publicize
that it was not Rosh Chodesh.
(a) Question: Was R. Yehoshua in distress, or R. Akiva?
4) ACCEPTING THE LEADERS OF ONE'S GENERATION
(b) Answer: R. Yehoshua was in distress, wishing to fall sick
for a year rather than have to travel on what he
considered to be Yom Kipur.
1. R. Akiva, with his permission, pointed out that the
Pasuk says "You" three times to teach that Beis
Din's decisions on the calendar stand even if they
are mistaken, deliberately inaccurate, or based on
2. R. Yehoshua told him that he had comforted him.
(a) (Beraisa) The names of the seventy elders are not
mentioned so as to prevent people from saying, "Are our
judges like Moshe and all the rest?!"
(b) Likewise, the Pasuk states that Hashem sent Yeruba'al,
Badan and Yiftach;
1. Gidon was called Yeruba'al because he fought against
2. Shimshon was called Badan because he was descended
5) RABBAN GAMLIEL'S RECEPTION OF R. YEHOSHUA
3. Another Pasuk equates Shmuel with Moshe and Aharon.
(c) Likewise, the Pasuk instructs a person to go to the judge
"of his day"; obviously there's no other judge to got to,
but it teaches us that none other should be wanted.
4. In combination, the Pesukim equates the first three
(lesser) people with the last three (greater)
people, teaching us that each was just as great for
5. This teaches us that even the least of people who is
appointed over the community is as the greatest.
(d) Likewise, the Pasuk tells us not to say that earlier
generations were superior.
(a) When Rabban Gamliel saw R. Yehoshua, he stood up and
***** Hadran Alach, 'Im Einan Makirin' *****
(b) He said, "Welcome, my teacher (of Torah in public) and my
disciple (who accepts my orders;"
(c) "...Happy is the generation where the elders listen to
the juniors, and Kal v'Chomer vice-versa."
1. Question: It isn't a Kal v'Chomer - it's an
2. Answer: It means, since the elders listen to the
juniors, the juniors will make a Kal v'Chomer for
***** Perek Ra'uhu Beis-Din *****
6) MISHNAH: SANCTIFYING THE MOON
(a) If Beis Din and all Israel saw the moon (on the 30th),
witnesses were examined, and they didn't manage to say
Mekudash before dark, it is a full month.
7) THE CASES OF THE MISHNAH
(b) If Beis Din alone saw it, two of them should testify
before the others.
(c) If Beis Din alone saw it and there are only three of
them, then two testify and the other is joined by other
1. This is because the single Dayan cannot sanctify it
on his own.
(a) Question: Why state that all Israel saw it (seeing as
Beis Din anyway saw it)?
8) DAYANIM AS WITNESSES AND WITNESSES AS DAYANIM
(b) Answer: One might think that since all Israel saw it, it
is public knowledge and shouldn't be made a full month.
(c) Question: Since they all saw it, why does the Mishnah
need to state that witnesses were examined?
(d) Answer: It means "*or*" witnesses were examined.
(e) Question: Since when everyone saw it, it didn't help,
obviously it won't help if witnesses were examined
(f) Answer: One might think that the sanctification is a
conclusion of a single process that began with the
witness examination by day, and is therefore valid even
if done after dark;
1. This would be similar to monetary judgments that can
finish at night if begun by day.
2. Question: Why is this not indeed true?
3. Answer: The Pasuk calls the sanctification of the
moon a Chok, which refers to the end of the process,
and calls it a Mishpat, which must be done by day.
(a) Question: What is the point of two Dayanim testifying
before the others - why should hearing it be any better
than seeing it?
(b) Answer: If it was seen at night, then seeing it is not
adequate for sanctifying it.
(c) Question: What is the point of two Dayanim (in the third
case) testifying before the other one - why should
hearing it be any better than seeing it?
1. Attempted answer: It is referring to where they saw
it at night.
(d) Answer: The Chidush is in the latter part, that one Dayan
alone may not sanctify it.
2. Objection: It is the same Chidush as the earlier
(e) One might think that it should be like monetary matters,
which require three judges unless one is an expert.
1. Question: Why is it not like that?
(f) We see here that a potential witness can act as a Dayan
2. Answer: There was no-one more expert than Moshe, and
Hashem said that Aharon was needed also.
(g) Question: The Mishnah therefore seems not to follow R.
1. (R. Tarfon) If the Sanhedrin saw a murder, some can
act as witnesses and the others as Dayanim.
(h) Answer: R. Akiva only held that view in cases of murder,
where the Torah wants the Dayanim to find him innocent,
which they won't do if they saw him do it.
2. (R. Akiva) They must all act as witnesses and none
can act as Dayanim.