ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
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.
(a) In the second Lashon, we connect the witnesses' desecration of the
Shabbos with the obligation to sanctify Rosh Chodesh through the sighting of
the witnesses. If Adar Sheini could be full, asks the Gemara - why should
the witnesses be permitted to desecrate Shabbos for Rosh Chodesh Nisan?
Seeing as the Beis-Din have the option of fixing whichever day they see fit
- let the witnesses rather come on the following day, and let them fix Rosh
(b) To refute this proof - we establish the Mishnah when the new moon was
not seen until the thirty-first, when Beis-Din cannot postpone Rosh Chodesh,
and when the witnesses have to come to Beis-Din, because of the Mitzvah to
sanctify Rosh Chodesh according to the sighting of the witnesses.
(a) The Seifa of the next Mishnah states that, when the Beis Hamikdash
stood, the witnesses would desecrate the Shabbos 'because of Takanas
ha'Korban' - meaning that it is a Mitzvah to bring the Korban Musaf of Rosh
Chodesh when it is due (and not to postpone it).
(b) We deduce from there that - just as the Seifa of the Mishnah permits
desecrating the Shabbos for reasons other than the Mitzvah to sanctify Rosh
Chodesh through the sighting of the witnesses, so too, in the Reisha (by
Rosh Chodesh Nisan and Tishri), that will not be the reason, but because it
(c) In that case - it will only be necessary to break Shabbos, if Adar can
be either short or full (as we asked at the end of the previous Amud), but
not if it is always short (a disproof against Rav, who maintains that Adar
is always short).
(a) It was extremely rare for Elul to be a full month. When it did happen,
according to Ula, it was because of 'Yarkaya', and according to Rebbi Achah
bar Chanina, because of 'Meisaya'. The meaning of ...
1. ... 'Yarkaya' - is to prevent Yom-Tov and Shabbos from falling next to
each other, because by the time the second day arrives, vegetables that are
eaten raw will wither (and that will detract from Simchas Yom-Tov).
(b) Initially, we think that the difference between the two reasons will
manifest itself in a year when Yom Kipur falls after Shabbos. Yarkaya would
not apply there - because one would only need the vegetables *after* Yom
Kipur, when it is possible to obtain fresh ones.
2. ... 'Meisaya' - is to prevent Shabbos and Yom-Kipur from falling next to
each other, because someone who dies on the first day and who cannot
subsequently be buried for two days, will become putrid by then (and this is
not Kavod ha'B'riy'os).
(c) We reject this contention however - on the grounds that Ula also
contends with the reason of 'Meisaya'.
(d) We conclude that the difference between them is when Yom-Tov falls
immediately before or after Shabbos - in which case 'Meisaya' will not apply
(seeing as it is possible to bury the dead person on Yom-Tov through
(a) Rebbi Acha bar Chanina will not agree that even when Yom-Tov falls next
to Shabbos, one should declare Elul a full month because of 'Yarkaya' -
since it is possible to soak the vegetables in hot water, and revive them
(alternatively, to prepare cooked vegetables - see Rabeinu Chanan'el).
(b) Ula considered this a favor for the B'nei Bavel more than for the B'nei
Eretz Yisrael - because Bavel, a low altitude country, contains the heat
more than Eretz Yisrael, in which case the vegetables will spoil quicker.
(a) The Beraisa of Rabah bar Shmuel states that, although one is permitted
to declare a leap-*year* when necessary, it is forbidden to postpone Rosh-
Chodesh and declare a full *month*, under any circumstances. To accommodate
Ula and Rebbi Acha bar Chanina - we amend the Beraisa to read, not that one
is forbidden to *postpone* Rosh Chodesh if the new moon *was* seen, but that
it is forbidden to *declare* Rosh Chodesh if it was *not*.
(b) We corroborate this amendment with Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi - who said
that although one may frighten the witnesses into being silent and *not*
testifying that they saw the new moon (in order to make the month a full
month), one may not frighten witnesses who did not see the new moon to
testify that they *did see* it, in order to make the month a short one.
(c) Abaye reconciles Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi with Rebbi Yochanan, who would
frighten the witnesses into saying that they had seen the new moon, even
when they hadn't - by establishing Rebbi Yochanan by Nisan and Tishri
(which, on account of their importance, seeing as all the Yamim-Tovim depend
on them, need to be more flexible) whereas the Beraisa speaks by all the
other months (See Tosfos DH 'Ha').
(a) Rava leaves the original wording of Rabah bar Shmuel's Beraisa intact,
by establishing it like Acheirim - who holds that the number of days in each
month is fixed (Nisan thirty days, Iyar, twenty-nine, Sivan thirty etc.) and
cannot be changed - as we saw above on 6b.
(b) Rav Dimi from Neherda'a answers the Kashya (inferred in 5b.) by
switching the statements. According to him, the Tana holds that one may
frighten the witnesses, if necessary, in order to testify that they saw the
new moon even though they did not, in order to make it a short month, but
not vice-versa, in order to make it a full one. Initially, we explained the
criterion (as to when one may force the witnesses or not) as being whether
the witnesses will be lying or not. Now the criterion is whether it will
*appear* that they are lying or not (irrespective of whether they are or
(a) Shmuel claimed - that he was able to fix a calendar for the B'nei Bavel
even without the sighting of witnesses (because he was conversant with all
areas of astronomy).
(b) Aba the father of Rebbi Simla'i dismissed that claim - on the basis of
Shmuel's own admission that he did not know how to explain the Beraisa of
Sod ha'Ibur 'Nolad Kodem Chatzos O Nolad Achar Chatzos'. And if, he argued,
Shmuel did not know *that*, perhaps there were other things that he did not
(a) When Rebbi Zeira said that the night and day must be from the new moon -
he meant that if the old moon is still seen on the night following the
twenty-ninth of the month, then that entire twenty-four period cannot be
Rosh Chodesh, and the month must be a full one.
(b) He puts night first before the day follows the night in these matters.
(c) At the time of the Molad - the moon is invisible for twenty-four hours.
(d) In view of what we just said, the point in telling us that if the old
moon is seen on the night of the thirtieth, that day will not be Rosh
Chodesh is not the intrinsic Halachah, which is obvious - but that since the
*old* moon has been seen, it is forbidden to frighten witnesses who did
*not* see the new moon into testifying that they *did* [even according to
the opinion of Rav Dimi from Neherda'a in 6d.], because everyone will know
that their testimony is false.
(a) Rebbi Zeira explains the Beraisa of 'Sod ha'Ibur' (referred to above by
Aba the father of Rebbi Simla'i) 'Nolad Kodem Chatzos, be'Yadua she'Nir'eh
Samuch li'Sheki'as ha'Chamah ... ' - to mean that, if the Molad occurred
*before* midday, then the new moon will have been visible in Eretz Yisrael
*before* nightfall (because the new moon is always hidden for six hours
after its birth); otherwise, it will *not* have been seen, and we will know
that witnesses who claim to have seen it, must be lying.
(b) The new moon is always seen for the first time after the Molad - in the
south-west corner of the sky.
(a) We have already learned that at the time of the Molad, the moon cannot
be seen for twenty-four hours - due to its minute size.
(b) In Bavel, the old moon disappears six hours before the Molad, and the
new one can be seen eighteen hours after it. In Eretz Yisrael - it is the
reverse: the old moon disappears for eighteen hours before the Molad, and
the new one, six hours after it.
(c) The new moon is visible to the B'nei Eretz Yisrael so much sooner than
it is to the B'nei Bavel - because they are west of Bavel, and the new moon
appears in the south-west.
(a) Rebbi Yochanan learns that the night precedes the day (as we saw above
in Rebbi Zeira's first Halachah) from "me'Erev ad Erev" (of Yom Kipur). Resh
Lakish learns it from - "ad Yom ha'Echad ve'Esrim la'Chodesh *ba'Erev*"
(which teaches us that the obligation to eat Matzah ceases on the *night*
following the twenty-first, which means that it must have begun on the
*night* of the fifteenth).
(b) Abaye maintains that there is no practical difference between the two
reasons. Rava says that the difference between them is that -according to
Rebbi Yochanan, we reckon from the *beginning* of the night (which is when
the fast of Yom-Kipur begins); whereas according to Resh Lakish, who learns
it, not from the obligation of eating Mitzvah (which applies only on the
first night until midnight), but from the Mitzvah of eating Matzah rather
than Chametz (a Mitzvah that begins only after midnight of the first night
(when the obligation to eat Matzah terminates), the old moon must not be
visible as from midnight (and it does not matter if it was seen any time
between nightfall and midnight.
(a) When Rebbi Zeira Amar Rav Nachman said that the Safek of Yom-Tov is
postponed (but not brought forward) - he meant to say that in Chutz
la'Aretz, where one observes two days Yom-Tov, one only needs to be
concerned that the previous month was a full month and that Yom-Tov might be
postponed by one day (to the sixteenth of the month); one does not need to
take into account the possibility that both of the previous months were
short months, in which case, Yom-Tov will fall on the fourteenth (which
would have meant observing three days Yom-Tov).
(b) The reason for this is - because for two consecutive months to be short
is highly unusual. Consequently, had it occurred, everyone would somehow
have got to know about it (even in areas where the Sh'luchei Nisan or Tishri
could not reach.