(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

Previous daf

Rosh Hashanah 24


(a) According to one Beraisa, if the witnesses said that they saw the new moon to the north of the sun, their words are accepted, but if they said to the south, they are not; another Beraisa says the reverse.
How do we reconcile the two Beraisos?

(b) What is the difference between a case where one of the witnesses gives the height of the new moon as *two* saddle-cloths, and the other, as *three*, on the one hand, and where one of them gives the height as *three* saddle-cloths, and the other *five*, on the other?

(c) What does the Tana (of the Beraisa) mean when he adds 'Aval Mitztarfin le'Eidus Acheres'? What is the reason for this (see Tosfos DH 'Aval')?

(a) Do we accept the testimony of witnesses who claim that they saw the moon reflected in the water, through the glass of a lantern or behind the clouds?

(b) Then why does the Tana (of the Beraisa) need to add that if they saw half of the moon in one of these situations and half in the other, that their testimony is invalid? Is that not obvious?

(c) And what does the Tana (of another Beraisa) mean when he disqualifies the testimony of witnesses who say that they saw the new moon one moment, and when they looked again, it was gone. Does this mean that they must see the new moon all night long?

(d) Why is their testimony invalid in this case?

(a) What do we learn from the Pasuk in Emor ...
  1. ... "*va'Yedaber Moshe es Mo'adei Hashem* el B'nei Yisrael"?
  2. ... "Asher Tikre'u *Osom*" (which is missing a 'Vav')?
(b) According to the Tana Kama of our Mishnah, Beis-Din declare Rosh Chodesh, whether it is on the thirtieth of the month or on the thirty-first.
What does Rebbi Eliezer b'Rebbi Tzadok say?

(c) What exactly, did Beis-Din declare?

(a) The Beraisa cites two additional opinions regarding Beis-Din's declaration.
What does P'limu hold?

(b) Perhaps the most radical opinion of all is that of Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon. What does *he* learn from the Pasuk in Behar "ve'Kidashtem es *Sh'nas* ha'Chamishim ... "?

(c) Like which of the above opinions does Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel rule?

(d) A later Mishnah states that if Beis-Din and all Yisrael saw the new moon ... but they did not manage to declare Rosh Chodesh before night fell, the month is full (i.e. Rosh Chodesh will only be on the following day). Why can we not infer from the Tana's words 'the month is full', that it does not require a declaration (a proof for Rav Yehudah's ruling like Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Tzadok)?

(a) How would Raban Gamliel cross-examine the witnesses as to whether they had actually seen the moon or not?

(b) Seeing as the Torah writes (in Yisro) "Lo Sa'asun Iti" (prohibiting even the *making* of the image of any of Hashem's servants), how does Abaye explain the fact that Raban Gamliel possessed such pictures in his house?

(c) One is prohibited from constructing a replica of the Heichal, the Ulam or the Azarah. May one reconstruct the Holy *vessels* of the Beis- Hamikdash?

(d) Under which conditions may one construct a Menorah of metal?

Answers to questions



(a) The Tana Kama of the Beraisa forbids the construction of a seven-branch Menorah out of metal, but permits it in wood.
What does Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah say?

(b) Each one derives his opinion from the Pasuk in Terumah "ve'Asisa Menoras Zahav Tahor, Mikshah Te'aseh ... ".
How will we explain this Pasuk, according to ...

  1. ... the Tana Kama?
  2. ... Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah?
(c) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah proves his point from the Chashmona'im, who used a wooden Menorah.
How do the Chachamim repudiate his proof?
(a) What does the Tana of another Beraisa learn from the same Pasuk (as we quoted in 5b. - "Lo Sa'asun Iti") that refutes Abaye's answer (the current contention that the Torah only forbids those servants that it is possible to duplicate)?

(b) How does Abaye explain 'ki'D'mus Shamashai ha'Meshamshin Lefanai ba'Marom' to answer our Kashya on Raban Gamliel?

(c) On what grounds then does the Beraisa forbid the image of a human being alone?

(d) Abaye changes his mind again when they ask him about another Beraisa which forbids images Ofanim, Serafim, Chayos ha'Kodesh and Mal'achei ha'Shareis.
How does he now interpret "Iti"?

(a) In view of what we just learned, how do we explain the Beraisa which includes in the Isur, the sun, moon, stars and constellations from the Pasuk in Yisro "Asher ba'Shamayim mi'Ma'al"? Which Isur?

(b) What does the Beraisa learn from ...

  1. ... "Asher ba'Aretz"?
  2. ... "mi'Tachas"?
(c) In view of the Beraisa that we quoted earlier "Lo Sa'asun Iti" 'Lo Sa'asun ki'D'mus Shamashai ha'Meshamshin Lafanai ba'Marom", how could Raban Gamliel keep a board with the pictures of the various phases of the moon?
(a) We just learned that one is permitted to retain a picture that Nochrim made (not with the intention of worshipping). What problem does that create with regard to Shmuel? What did Shmuel instruct Rav Yehudah to do with his signet-ring?

(b) Why may a signet-ring whose seal (in the form of an image) ...

  1. ... protrudes, be used but not worn?
  2. ... is sunken, be worn but not used?
(a) Seeing as we just learned that it is forbidden to retain an image (even if it was made by a Nochri), how will we explain the Shul of Shev ve'Yashiv in Neherda'a that had an image in it, yet Rav and Shmuel and others would Daven there without qualms?

(b) Who built the Shul of Shev ve'Yashiv, and what did they build it with?

(a) We ask how Raban Gamliel, who was an individual, could possibly allow a board with pictures of the moon (even if Nochrim did make it for him). Raban Gamliel's pictures were not three dimensional, so what is the problem (see Tosfos DH 've'Ha')?

(b) And we answer that, since Raban Gamliel was the prince, and there were always guests by him, he had the Din of a community (to whom, we just learned, Chashad does not apply).
What third answer do we give based on the Pasuk "Lo Silmad La'asos"?

(c) What is the Gemara's second answer?

Answers to questions
Next daf

For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,