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Sanhedrin, 13


QUESTION: The Gemara records an argument between Rebbi Yehudah and Rebbi Yosi concerning when we add an extra month of Adar to the year based on the calculation of when the following Sukos will occur. They both derive from the verse that the days of "Chag ha'Asif," referring to the days of Chol ha'Mo'ed Sukos, need to occur during Tekufas Tishrei (i.e. after the vernal equinox of the solar year). Rebbi Yehudah learns that *all* of the days of Chol ha'Mo'ed must fall during Tekufas Tishrei, and Rebbi Yosi learns that only the last day of Chol ha'Mo'ed must fall during Tekufas Tishrei. If Beis Din sees that the lunar year is falling behind the solar year so much that Chol ha'Mo'ed Sukos (all of the days, according to Rebbi Yosi, or even one day, according to Rebbi Yehudah) will fall during Tekufas Tamuz (before Tekufas Tishrei), then they establish a leap year.

According to Rebbi Yehudah, why should we establish a leap year when only one day of Chol ha'Mo'ed Sukos will occur during Tekufas Tamuz? We should instead make the month of Elul a "full" month by adding one day to the month, instead of adding a full month to the year (as the Gemara itself (13b) asks with regard to the month of Adar, when Nisan needs to be pushed off for one day)! Similarly, according to Rebbi Yosi, when all of the days of Chol ha'Mo'ed will occur during Tekufas Tamuz, and we only need *one* day (the last day) day of Chol ha'Mo'ed to fall during Tekufas Tishrei, we can accomplish this by lengthening the month of Elul for one day, making it a 30-day month instead of a 29-day month, without having to make a leap year with an extra month!

ANSWER: RASHI explains that we cannot simply make Elul longer by one day, because we must take into account that Rosh Hashanah may not fall on a Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday (see Rosh Hashanah 19b, Sukah 43b). Our calendar, therefore, is set so that Rosh Hashanah does not fall on these days. Since the calendar is set so that Rosh Hashanah will fall either on Shabbos, Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday, altering Elul by one day will cause Rosh Hashanah to fall on either Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday. Since, on most years, altering the month of Elul by one day will push Rosh Hashanah to a day on which it is not allowed to fall, we do not add one day to Elul. Rosh Hashanah being pushed to a Tuesday from Monday is not common, and therefore the Gemara does not suggest that we rectify the problem of Sukos falling during Tekufas Tamuz by adding a day to Elul, since it will not help for most years.

Another possible way to push Sukos into Tekufas Tishrei would be to make *two* regular months (of 29 days each) during the preceding year into two full months (of 30 days), which would leave Rosh Hashanah on a day that it is permitted to occur. However, we cannot do this because of the rule in Erchin (8b) that states that we may not institute eight full months in one year (unless the previous year was a leap year, which is not the case in our Gemara).

TOSFOS (DH v'Rebbi Yosi Savar) questions Rashi's answer from the Gemara later (13b) which discusses the opinion of Acherim. Acherim say that we establish a leap year when there will be *fourteen* days left in the preceding Tekufah when the month of the festival arrives. Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzchak explains that Acherim are referring to *Nisan* (and not Tishrei, for even if the first fourteen days of Tishrei are in Tekufas Tamuz, all of Sukos will occur during Tekufas Tishrei). Acherim maintain that the Torah requires us to ensure that Tekufas Nisan (the spring equinox of the solar year) will begin during the first half of the month of Nisan, before the moon is full ("Shamor Es Chodesh ha'Aviv," Devarim 16:1). Hence, if the preceding Tekufah (Tekufas Teves) will carry on for fourteen days into Nisan, we must push off the month of Nisan by making the year a leap year.

The Gemara there asks that it would suffice to add a day to the month of Adar, and we do not need to add a whole new month. Why, though, is the Gemara there not concerned with the problem of Rosh Hashanah occurring on a Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday?

1. Tosfos answers that since there is still a lot of time left until Sukos, we can *shorten* a month that was supposed to be longer in order to ensure that Rosh Hashanah will occur on the appropriate day. This is also the answer that Rashi gives there (13b, DH v'Li'abrah).

2. RABEINU TAM gives a different answer, saying that even if we do not shorten a month between Pesach and Sukos, the Gemara was asking according to the opinion which maintains that Rosh Hashanah is not restricted to certain days of the week (see Shabbos 113a). The BA'AL HA'ME'OR similarly explains that it was a later enactment that Rosh Hashanah must occur on certain days of the week, and therefore the Gemara was not bothered by this question. He proves this from the first Mishnah in Maseches Megilah which lists all of the days of the week as possible days on which Purim might fall, even though it is not possible for Purim to fall on certain days according to our calendar.

Tosfos (13b, DH v'Li'abrei) asks that even according to Rabeinu Tam's approach, the Gemara's question on Acherim is not clear. The Gemara in Rosh Hashanah (20a) explains that Acherim maintain that Rosh Hashanah of one year must occur four days later in the week than it occurred the previous year (for example, if last year Rosh Hashanah occurred on Sunday, then this year Rosh Hashanah must occur on Thursday). Pushing the calendar off by one day (by adding a day to Adar) will prevent that from happening. How, then, can the Gemara suggest, according to Acherim, that we just add another day to the month of Adar?

The ARUCH LA'NER points out that although Tosfos asks his question "*even* according to Rabeinu Tam," it really is a question *only* on Rabeinu Tam. According to Rashi, this question poses no problem, because Rashi explains that if we would add a day to Adar, then we would also have to subtract a day from one of the summer months, thereby maintaining the pattern of progression of Rosh Hashanah.

3. The RAN quotes the RAMBAN who gives a third answer to this question, why the Gemara (13b), which asks that we should just add one day to the month of Adar according to Acherim, is not concerned with pushing Rosh Hashanah to a day on which it is not supposed to fall. He explains that the Gemara is asking its question asking only according to Acherim, because it is they who maintain that it is a Torah Law that Pesach must occur in the spring season (after the start of the solar Tekufas Nisan). This law takes precedence over all of the other considerations (such as the law that Rosh Hashanah may not occur on Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday). In contrast, according to the Rabanan who argue with Acherim, the occurrence of the Tekufah is not the sole factor in justifying a leap year. We require at least one more reason to justify a leap year (see 11b). If establishing a leap year push the Tekufah to its proper time, *and* it will prevent Rosh Hashanah from occurring on Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday (which adding one day to the month of Adar would not accomplish), then we may establish a leap year. (Y. Montrose)


QUESTION: The Gemara states that when someone was granted Semichah, he was authorized to judge cases of penalties (that is, monetary fines that do not correspond to the amount stolen or owed). RASHI explains that cases of penalties require expert judges, because the verse refers to those who judge cases of penalties as "Elokim." The Chachamim decreed that other monetary matters, however, do not require expert judges because of "Ne'ilas Deles" -- so that potential lenders will not be reluctant to lend money (see Gemara on 2b). In cases in which "Ne'ilas Deles" does not apply, such as a case of a Shomer or a thief who owes an object, expert judges are necessary, and the only reason why we are able to judge such cases in Bavel (outside of Eretz Yisrael, where there is no Semichah) is because we are acting as the emissaries of the Beis Din of Eretz Yisrael (Bava Kama 84b).

RAV YITZCHAK ELCHANAN SPECTOR (NACHAL YITZCHAK 1:3) is perplexed by the words of Rashi. Rashi in Gitin (88b) says explicitly that Beis Din today may judge cases of ordinary loans, because judges today are considered to be the emissaries of the judges of Eretz Yisrael. This apparently contradicts his words here, where he says that ordinary loans are judged *not* because the judges today act as emissaries of the judges of Eretz Yisrael, but because of the reason of "Ne'ilas Deles" (i.e. if ordinary loans would not be judged today, then no lender would be willing to lend money to those in need)!

ANSWER: RAV YITZCHAK ELCHANAN quotes the TUMIM who says that there is a difference between cases of loans and cases of theft. Loans can be judged in front of three regular, non-expert judges even when there are three expert judges present in the city. This is because the reason for permitting regular judges to judge cases of loans is in order for the lender not to have to worry about getting expert judges for the case. Cases of theft, in contrast, are judged in Bavel by non-experts because the thief would otherwise be encouraged to steal more readily, knowing that the owner of the object would not spend the money to travel to a Beis Din in Eretz Yisrael. In a place where there are expert judges, or in Eretz Yisrael, however, one should only go to a Beis Din of experts, as the mere presence of such a court prevents someone from stealing.

According to this, we can understand Rashi's intent. Rashi in Gitin is saying that while there is no concern that people will stop lending money in Eretz Yisrael, since there is no difficult in finding expert judges there, ordinary judges may still judge cases of loans because they serve as the emissaries of the expert judges. Here, on the other hand, Rashi is explaining that in Bavel there *is* a concern that people will stop lending money when they see that it is difficult to find expert judges, and thus it is for that reason that even non-expert judges may judge cases of loans in Bavel. (Y. Montrose)

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