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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

Introduction to Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah 2

ROSH HASHANAH 2-10 sponsored by a generous grant from an anonymous donor. Kollel Iyun Hadaf is indebted to him for his encouragement and support and prays that Hashem will repay him in kind.


Note: These review questions and answers are confined to Rashi's explanation (exclusively),except where otherwise indicated. For the same reason, they are not necessarily Halachah le'Ma'aseh.


(a) The first of Nisan - is Rosh Hashanah for kings and for the Shalosh Regalim.

(b) Chazal instituted the insertion of the year of the king's reign in documents - because of Shalom Malchus (see Tosfos DH 'Arba'ah').

(c) According to the Tana Kama - the first of Elul is Rosh Hashanah for Ma'aser Beheimah. We learn this from the Pasuk in Re'ei "Aser Te'aser (incorporating Ma'aser Dagan and Ma'aser Beheimah) ... ha'Yotzei ha'Sadeh Shanah Shanah" (year by year, and not the crops and the animals of one year together with the crops and the animals of the next).

(d) According to Rebbi Elazar and Rebbi Shimon - the New Year for Ma'aser Beheimah is the first of Tishri.

(a) When the Tana says that the first of Tishri is Rosh Hashanah for ...
1. ... Shemitin and Yovlos - he means that min ha'Torah, the Melachos that apply to Shemitah and Yovel (such as plowing and sowing) are forbidden from then on.
2. ... planting - that with regard to Orlah (the prohibition of benefiting from a fruit-tree for the first three years), regardless of when the tree was planted, the second year (and subsequently, the third) begins on the first of Tishri.
3. ... vegetables - that vegetables that are picked *before* that date and those picked *after* it, must be Ma'asered (mi'de'Rabbanan) separately.
(b) Beis Shamai gives the date for the Rosh Hashanah for trees as the *first* of Shevat - Beis Hillel, as the *fifteenth*.

(c) The ramifications of this Halachah are - that fruit that budded on the trees before that date and fruit that budded afterwards, must be Ma'asered separately.

(a) The Mishnah in Shevi'is says 'Sh'tarei Chov ha'Mukdamin, Pesulin; ve'ha'Me'ucharin, Kesheirin'.
  1. 'Sh'tarei Chov ha'Mukdamin' - are pre-dated documents.
  2. 'Sh'tarei Chov ha'Me'ucharin' - are post-dated documents.
(b) Pre-dated documents are Pasul - because the earlier date enables the creditor to claim his debt from the property sold by the debtor *before* the loan actually took place, whereas according to the Halachah, he only has the right to claim from 'Meshubadim' (which constitutes property owned by the debtor at the time of the loan, and which he sold only *after* the time of the loan.

(c) A pre-dated document is invalid - to the extent that one cannot claim from Meshubadim at all; it does not however, prevent the creditor from claiming his money directly from the debtor (as if it was an oral loan - which in effect, means validating the witnesses signatures) - See Tosfos DH 'Sh'tarei'.

(d) In view of this Mishnah, were it not for that Takanah, what Chazal achieved by fixing the Rosh Hashanah for kings as the first of Nisan will become clear in the following scenario: if a loan of one Manah is documented as having taken place in Kislev of the third year of King so-and-so's reign, to which the witnesses testify that although they did not see the loan taking place, the debtor nevertheless admitted at having borrowed a Manah. The same witnesses (who do not know whether the loan took place before or after they signed on the document) also testify that they did see the same debtor borrow a Manah in Tamuz of the third year of the same King's reign. If we were to reckon each king's reign by the date that he was crowned, then, should the Beis-Din not remember in which month the king was crowned, then they will not know whether Tamuz preceded Kislev (in which case, the document is post-dated and Kasher) or vice-versa (and it will be pre-dated and Pasul). But now that Chazal fixed Nisan as the new year for kings, Tamuz will always precede Kislev in this regard, and the document will be Kasher.

(a) Besides informing us that the first of Nisan is the Rosh Hashanah for kings, when the Tana says that if a king was crowned on the twenty-ninth of Adar, his second year begins on the first of Nisan - he is always teaching us that even just one day in the year is considered a year.

(b) And when he then says that if he was crowned on the first of Nisan, his second year only begins on the following Nisan - he is teaching us that even though the ministers reached their decision to crown him already in Adar, we only count the years of his reign from Nisan, when he was actually crowned.




(a) In another Beraisa, we learn that if the king died in *Adar* and his successor was appointed in *Adar*, that year counts as both the last year of the first king and the first year of the second one - meaning that one may insert whichever king one wishes (but not both).

(b) The Chidush *there* is that we ascribe one year to the reign of two kings.

(c) And when the Tana says ...

1. ... that the same will apply if the first king died in *Nisan*, and they appointed his successor in *Nisan* he is telling us - that not only do we consider the *last* day in the year to be a whole year (following another principle that everything goes after the conclusion), but that we will even consider the *first* day of the year to be a full year.
2. ... that if the first king died in *Adar* and they appointed his successor only in *Nisan*, then they ascribe the first year to the *first* king and the second year to the *second* - that even if, in addition to the ministers decision to anoint the second king already in Adar, he is also the son of the first king (which renders him the rightful heir to the throne - which is inherited), we nevertheless do not count his reign from the day that he is destined to rule, but from the day that he was actually crowned.
(a) The Navi writes in Melachim "Vayehi bi'Shemonim ve'Arba Me'os Shanah ... ba'Shanah ha'Revi'is be'Chodesh Ziv, Hu ha'Chodesh ha'Sheini la'Melech Shlomoh ... ." - "Chodesh Ziv" refers to the month of Iyar.

(b) Rebbi Yochanan learns from ...

1. ... the Hekesh of the latter part of the Pasuk to the first half - that, just as the Exodus from Egypt is reckoned from Nisan, so too, is the rulership of Shlomoh.
2. ... the fact that the Torah dates Aharon's death as having taken place in the *fifth* month of the fortieth year, and Moshe's parting speech, in the *eleventh* - that we do not reckon the Exodus from Tishri (even though that is when the world was created, which is why, up until then, Tishri was counted as the first month).
(c) We know that the Pasuk dealing with Moshe's parting speech is referring to the fortieth year after *they left Egypt* and not to the fortieth year after the *construction of the Mishkan* (which took place one year later) - because of Rav Papa, who learns a 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Sh'nas Esrim" "Sh'nas Esrim" (as we shall see on the following Amud - and similarly, this applies to wherever the years in question are *not* clear, we learn "Sh'nas" "Sh'nas" from where they *are*).

(d) We know that the Pasuk dealing with Aharon's death came *before* the Pasuk dealing with Moshe's final speech, and not *afterwards* - because when Moshe began his final speech, Sichon was already dead (as the Torah records at the beginning of Devarim); whereas, when Aharon died, he was still alive.

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