ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafRosh Hashanah 21
ROSH HASHANAH 21 & 22 (12,13 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) When Levi arrived in Bavel from Eretz Yisrael on the eleventh of Tishri
and found the B'nei Bavel eating - he asked them whether the food that they
were eating on the Yom Kipur of Eretz Yisrael tasted good.
(b) They then asked him to testify that today was Yom-Kipur in Eretz Yisrael
- in which case they would have stopped eating immediately.
(c) He declined to do so on the grounds that he had not heard it directly
from the Beis-Din of Eretz Yisrael that it was Rosh Chodesh.
(d) It was only necessary to hear the declaration directly from the Beis-Din
in Nisan and Tishri in order to testify - but not in other months.
(a) Rebbi Yochanan issued a decree - that places which the Sh'luchim were
able to reach in Nisan, but not in Tishri, had to observe two days even in
Nisan, in order that they should not extend the concession of keeping one
day, to Sukos.
(b) Rebbi Yochanan became angry with Rebbi Ayvu bar Nagri and Rebbi Chiya
bar Aba - when one Pesach they arrived in a place where the Sh'luchim were
able to reach in Nisan, but not in Tishri, and despite the fact that they
were his disciples, they said nothing when the residents of that place
observed only one day Yom-Tov.
(a) Rava used to fast for two successive days on Yom Kipur - in case the
Beis-Din in Eretz Yisrael declared Rosh Chodesh (and Rosh Hashanah) only on
the thirty-first day of Elul, in which case, Yom Kipur would fall one day
(b) One year he was vindicated - when that is precisely what happened.
(c) The man from Damharya informed Rav Nachman one Motza'ei Yom Kipur - that
Beis-Din in Eretz Yisrael had declared Rosh Chodesh (and Rosh Hashanah) only
on the thirty-first day of Elul.
1. 'Dam Tehei Achariso' (meaning that he had endangered his life by making
him fast for two consecutive days) is the acronym of 'Damharya'.
2. He quoted the Pasuk "Kalim Hayu Rodfeinu" - to indicate that the man had
testified so soon after nightfall that he hadn't even had a chance to eat.
(a) Rav Huna bar Avin instructed Rava that, when the Tekufah of Teives lasts
until the *sixteenth* of Nisan, he should declare a leap-year without
hesitation. He might otherwise have hesitated - because that is the
individual opinion of Acheirim, with whom the Chachamim disagree.
(b) The Pasuk writes "Shamor es *Chodesh* *ha'Aviv*".
1. ... "Chodesh" - refers to the fourteen days of the month (as long as the
moon is still 'new').
(c) From the fact that they are placed together in the Pasuk - we learn that
if the day of the Tekufah falls from the sixteenth of Nisan and onwards, it
is necessary to fix a leap-year.
2. ... "Aviv" - refers to the day of the Tekufah (the spring equinox), which
is referred to as 'Aviv', to indicate that it is speaking about the Tekufah
of the *sun*, on which the ripening of the corn is fully dependent.
(d) If the Tekufah fell on the *fifteenth*, it would not be in compliance
with the Pasuk's requirements, either. Nevertheless, it would not then be
necessary to declare a leap-year - because making Adar a full month (thereby
delaying Nisan by one day) would suffice.
(a) Rav Nachman instructed the sailors - that when they saw the moon still
shining at sunrise, they should burn their Chametz.
(b) The moon is not normally visible after sunrise - until the fifteenth of
(c) Nevertheless, Rava was not telling the sailors to destroy their Chametz
on the first day of Pesach - because in mid-ocean, where visibility is
unobstructed, everything is clearer, and the moon can be seen at sunrise
already from the fourteenth.
(a) The witnesses were permitted (even obligated, if necessary) to desecrate
the Shabbos on *all* months min ha'Torah (see Tosfos DH 'Al').
(b) Chazal confined the breaking of Shabbos to Nisan and Tishri, because the
Sh'luchim went out to Suryah (a sign that these months were important). They
nevertheless declined to incorporate the other four months listed in the
previous Mishnah in this ruling - because, in addition to the above reason,
the entire institution of Yom-Tov depends on Nisan and Tishri, but not on
the other months.
(c) Whilst the Beis Hamikdash stood, the Chachamim did not decree on all the
other months, like they did *after the Churban* - because of the Musaf
offering, which had to be brought in its right time.
(a) The Chilul Shabbos of the witnesses affect the time that the Sh'luchim
had to travel in Nisan and Tishri - because, had the witnesses not broken
Shabbos, Beis-Din would only be able to declare Rosh Chodesh on the
following day, and the Sh'luchim would not be able to leave until Sunday
(after they had heard Beis-Din's declaration), thereby delaying their
departure by at least one night.
From the Pasuk ...
(b) This was not the case with regard to their departure in the other months
- because the Sh'luchim did not need to hear the Beis-Din's declaration
before leaving. Consequently, had the witnesses not been permitted to break
Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh would have had to have occurred on Sunday, the thirty-
first, and the Sh'luchim would have been permitted to leave immediately on
(c) Regarding the other months, besides the case that we just described,
the Sh'luchim were permitted to leave even before hearing the declaration of
Beis-Din - if the moon was seen on the thirtieth of the month, in the middle
of the sky, and it was obvious that Rosh Chodesh would be declared that day.
1. ... "Eileh Mo'adei Hashem Asher Tikre'u Osom *be'Mo'adam* ..." - we learn
that to ensure that Rosh Chodesh is declared in its right time, one may even
break Shabbos (and that is always implied by the various forms of the word
2. ... "Asher *Tikre'u* Osom" - we learn that it is only to ensure that the
months are *declared* on time (i.e. for the witnesses to go to Beis-Din)
that over-rides Shabbos, but not their fulfillment (i.e. regarding the
Sh'luchim going to Chutz la'Aretz).
(a) According to the Tana Kama of our Mishnah, the witnesse
s would break the
Shabbos, even if the moon was seen in the middle of the sky. We might have
thought otherwise - because seeing as there will be plenty of witnesses in
Yerushalayim itself, where breaking the Shabbos is not necessary, why should
one break Shabbos unnecessarily?
(b) Rebbi Yossi Hagelili says - that if the moon was seen in the middle of
the sky, one may not break Shabbos.
(c) When Rebbi Akiva stopped forty pairs of witnesses in Lud from proceeding
further, because he considered the Chilul Shabbos unnecessary - Raban
Gamliel sent him a message that by stopping all those people from going to
Yerushalayim, he would cause them to abstain from going on subsequent
occasions, thereby causing them to sin.
(a) When the Pasuk in Tehilim describes the words of Hashem as "ba'Alil
la'Aretz" - it means 'clear for all to see'.
(b) Rebbi Avahu is proving from this Pasuk - that 'ba'Alil' in our Mishnah
means that the moon was in the middle of the sky, 'clear for all to see'.
(c) There are fifty 'Gates of Understanding'.
(d) We learn from the Pasuk "va'Techasreihu Me'at me'Elokim" - that Hashem
gave Moshe forty-nine of those gates.
(a) Koheles was Shlomoh.
(b) According to the explanation of either Rav or Shmuel, Shlomoh Hamelech
requested to reach the level of Moshe Rabeinu ("Bikesh Koheles li'Metzo
Divrei Cheifetz"). They answered him - "ve'Lo Kam Navi Od be'Yisrael
(c) According to the other opinion, (who says 'bi'Nevi'im Lo Kam,
bi'Melachim Kam') - Shlomoh asked to be able to judge straight from the
heart (without witnesses and without warning).
(d) They answered him - with the Pasuk "al Pi Sh'nayim Eidim ... Yakum
(a) According to Rebbi Yehudah in a Beraisa, it is inconceivable for Rebbi
Akiva to have held back the forty pairs of witnesses in Lud - in fact, it
was Zefer, the mayor of Lud who did that.
(b) Raban Gamliel reacted - by deposing Zefer from his important position.