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Rosh Hashanah 22

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) According to the Tana Kama, a father and son cannot form a pair of witnesses.

(b) He nevertheless obligates them to go to Yerushalayim - in case one of them is for some reason disqualified from testifying, the other one will be able to combine with a third person.

(c) Rebbi Shimon validates a father and son to testify that they saw the new moon.

(d) When Tuvyah the doctor, his son and his freed slave, came before ...

  1. ... the Beis-Din of Kohanim (who sat in the Beis Hamikdash) - they accepted the former two, but disqualified the latter.
  2. ... the Beis-Din ha'Gadol - they accepted Tuvyah and his freed slave, and disqualified his son.
(a) Rebbi Shimon's ruling is based on the Pasuk in Bo "ha'Chodesh ha'Zeh *Lachem* Rosh Chodashim" - where "Lachem" refers to Moshe and Aharon (even though they were brothers - see also Tosfos DH 'u'Paslu').

(b) The Rabbanan interpret "Lachem" - to mean that Hashem handed this issue to important people like Moshe and Aharon (that it is the head of Beis-Din who must control the fixing of the months).

(c) Rav Chanan bar Rava rules like Rebbi Shimon. Rav Huna objected to this ruling - on the grounds that not only did Rebbi Yossi in our Mishnah rule like the Chachamim, but he also cited an incident to back it up (and we have a principle 'Ma'aseh Rav')?

(d) Rav accepted Rav Chanan bar Rava's (oft repeated) ruling like Rebbi Shimon - because he switched the opinions of Rebbi Yossi and Rebbi Shimon (quoting Rebbi Shimon in place of Rebbi Yossi in our Mishnah and Rebbi Yossi in place of Rebbi Shimon). In effect, Rav Chanan bar Rava ruled like Rebbi Yossi in our Mishnah.

(a) The Tana of our Mishnah lists five Pesulim (types of people who are invalidated from testifying): a gambler, someone who lends on interest, who indulges in pigeon-racing, who deals with the produce of Sh'mitah, and a slave.
1. A gambler is not Pasul d'Oraysa - because only someone who actually takes an article from someone by force is called a Gazlan d'Oraysa. A gambler is Pasul because 'Asmachta Lo Kanya' (the loser does not give away his money willingly, and the winner is therefore not permitted to accept it mi'de'Rabbanan.
2. Someone who lends on interest is not Pasul d'Oraysa - because, the borrower hands him the money willingly.
(b) From the Pasuk (with regard to Sh'mitah produce) "le'Ochlah" - we learn "le'Ochlah" 've'Lo li'Sechorah' (that one may not do business with Sh'mitah- produce).

(c) The Rabbanan invalidate the first four Pesulim on the list from testifying - because they are all suspected of lying in order to obtain money.

(d) The Pesul of a slave differs from the other four Pesulim - inasmuch as he is Pasul from testifying mi'd'Oraysa (like a woman).

(a) The above five are *permitted* to testify - that a man died (to authorize his wife to get married).

(b) In that same area of Halachah ...

  1. ... a Gazlan d'Oraysa - is not believed.
  2. ... a slave is believed - seeing as a woman is believed, and whenever a woman's testimony is accepted, so too, is that of a slave.
(a) One breaks Shabbos on behalf of witnesses who are ...
  1. ... ill - by carrying them to Yerushalayim on a bed, if need be.
  2. ... under threat of attack - by carrying sticks.
  3. ... hungry - by taking food with them.
(b) The Baytusim or the Kutim - might have attacked them, simply in order to ruin the Chachamim's plans to declare Rosh Chodesh.

(c) The maximum journey for which one would break Shabbos by traveling to Beis-Din, if necessary, was a night and a day - but to travel for longer than that, would mean that Rosh Chodesh would fall after the thirty-first day of the previous month (which is never permitted).

(d) The source for breaking Shabbos for Eidus ha'Chodesh - is the Pasuk in Emor "Eileh Mikra'ei Kodesh Asher Tikre'u Osam "be'Modam" (as we already mentioned earlier).

***** Hadran Alach, 'Arba'ah Roshei Shanim' *****

***** Perek 'Im Einan Makirin' *****


(a) If the witness who saw the new moon was unknown to the Beis-Din ha'Gadol - the Beis-Din of his home-town was obligated to send a pair of witnesses with him to testify that he was Kasher.

(b) They too, were permitted to break Shabbos.

(c) Initially, the Beis-Din ha'Gadol would trust the witnesses (because everyone has a Chezkas Kashrus). It became necessary to take these measures after they discovered that the Baytusim (a sect of Tzedokim) began to hire false witnesses, as we shall see in the Sugya.




(a) Our Mishnah says that any witness who was unknown to the Beis-Din in Yerushalayim would have to be accompanied by someone else - meaning two people (like every regular testimony).

(b) We prove this from the Mishnah itself, which says 'Im Ein Makirin Oso' - although it must mean at least *two* people. (This proof is extremely unclear, because why should *one* person on his own not go to Yerushalayim - see Tosfos DH 've'Chad' and DH 'Ela', although it does seem from the Mishnah on 21b. that they tended to go in pairs whenever possible.)

(c) Rebbi Nehora'i went to Usha on Shabbos, to testify on the integrity of a witness. Rav Ashi explains that there was a second witness in Usha who was also able to testify - the Chidush being that we permitted him to break the Shabbos, despite the distinct possibility that he would not be at home when they needed him (and Rebbi Nehora'i would have then broken Shabbos in vain).

(d) Initially, we contend - that Rebbi Nehora'i was actually accompanied by another witness, who is not mentioned, in deference to Rebbi Nehora'i (who was a Tana, whereas the second witness was an ordinary man).

8) Ula came from Eretz Yisrael and testified that the Beis-Din had declared Rosh Chodesh. He did not require a second witness - an ordinary person would not have required a second witness either, because 'a person will not lie when testifying about something that is bound to become known'.


(a) The Baytusim try to trick Beis-Din into declaring Rosh Chodesh on the thirtieth of Adar, even though the new moon had not yet been seen - to make sure that the Rosh Chodesh Nisan fell on Shabbos, in order that the Omer (which was brought on the sixteenth of Nisan) should be brought on Sunday (the day after [the first day of] Pesach), which is how they interpreted the Pasuk in Emor "mi'Mochoras ha'Shabbos".

(b) They once mistakenly hired a man loyal to the Beis-Din to testify falsely on their behalf. When Beis-Din asked him how he had seen the moon, he described how it had been crouching between two rocks, its head like that of a calf, its ears like that of a kid-goat, its horns like those of a deer and its tail placed between its thighs. 'I looked at it,' he concluded, 'and got such a shock that I fell over backwards. And if you don't believe me, here is the two hundred Zuz that they gave me'. The reason that he condescended to testify in the first place - was in order to prevent somebody else (who might sympathetic with the Baytusim's cause) from testifying.

(c) The Beis-Din sentenced the hirer to Malkos and permitted the witness to retain the money (because of 'Hefker Beis-Din Hefker').

(d) As a result of this episode - Chazal instituted the sending of Sh'luchim to inform the B'nei Golah, to re-place the quicker and far more effective method of waving torches from mountain-top to mountain-top.

(a) Originally, they used to inform the B'nei ha'Golah that it was Rosh Chodesh by means of torches, which they would wave on specific mountain- tops. They would tie to the long cedar poles - reeds, oil-wood and the shavings of flax.

(b) They would wave the pole in all six directions (like a Lulav) until they saw the Beis-Din's appointee doing likewise on the next mountain-top.

(c) We learn from the Pasuk "*va'Yisa'em* David va'Anashav" (referring to David's setting fire to the idols of the P'lishtim) - that 'Masi'in' in our Mishnah means 'setting fire'.

(a) They would wave the poles on the night after Rosh Chodesh which fell on the thirtieth.

(b) They did not wave the poles after a *full* month as well - because, had they done so, they would have had a problem with a short month, when Rosh Chodesh fell on Friday. The people would have no way of knowing whether the torches followed a *short* month, and the reason that they waved the torches only on Motza'ei Shabbos was because of Shabbos, or whether it followed a *full* month, and they lit it on time.

(c) They might have waved the torches after a full month too, and when Rosh Chodesh fell on a Friday, not wave them at all - but Chazal were afraid that people might think that really it had been a full month, and due to having drunk too much wine on Shabbos, they failed to wave the torches on Motza'ei Shabbos (see Tosfos DH 've'Ha').

(d) The reason that Chazal decided to wave them only after *short* months, and not after *full* ones, and not vice-versa is - because then, the B'nei Golah would always have to keep two days Rosh Chodesh (causing them to be idle from work - see Tosfos DH 'Mishum' - unnecessarily for two consecutive days) until they discovered when Rosh Chodesh really was; whereas now that they lit the torches only after *short* months, they would always know by the night of the thirty-first whether it was Rosh Chodesh or not.

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