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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sanhedrin 12



(a) The Beraisa forbids the declaration of a leap-year in times of famine - because there is no produce left from the previous year, and the people need to eat Chadash (the new corn) immediately.

(b) What is special about the fruit that grows in the vicinity of Ba'al Shalishah - is that it is generally the first in the country to ripen.

(c) We can therefore deduce from the Pasuk in Melachim, which informs us that a man from Ba'al Shalishah brought Elisha twenty barley loaves *and nothing else* - that a famine must have been in effect at that time.

(d) This episode must have taken place after the Omer had been brought (on the second day of Pesach) - because the Navi instructed the man to give the loaves to the people to eat (which would have been forbidden had it not).

(e) Rebbi in a Beraisa proves from there - the prohibition of fixing a leap-year in times of famine (otherwise they ought to have fixed a leap-year due to 'Aviv').

(a) If Beis-Din declare a leap-year before Rosh Hashanah - their declaration is void.

(b) We question this from a Beraisa however. When the Tana mentions 'Re'kes', he is referring to - Teverya.

(c) The pair of witnesses that was sent from Teverya to Bavel were arrested by the ruling power (the Persians).

(d) They were bringing with them - Techeiles for the Tzitzis) that was made in Luz.

(a) When they were eventually set free, they told Rava about the Amusei Yereichei Nachshon who tried to fix a Netziv, but who were prevented by the ruling power. 'Amusei Yereichei Nachshon' were - the Nesi'im in Eretz Yisrael, who were descendants of Nachshon ben Aminadav.

(b) A 'Netziv' in this context - is a month (specifically the month of Adar Sheini).

(c) We learn this from the Pasuk "ve'li'Sh'lomoh Sh'neim-Asar *Netzivim* ve'Chilkelu es ha'Melech" (where the word means 'a commissioner') - because the Pasuk goes on to explain that each commisioner served for one month in the year (to provide for the King and his vast household).

(d) When the Pasuk then adds "u'Netziv Echad Asher ba'Aretz" - it is referring (besides possibly the commisioner who served during the extra month of a leap-year) - to the chief commisioner in charge of the entire operation (a point over which Rav Yehudah and Rav Nachman argue).

(a) The problem the Beis-Din in Teverya initially had with fixing a leap-year was - that the Persians strictly forbade them to do so.

(b) What they eventually managed to achieve was - to fix the coming year a leap-year in the month in which Aharon died (Menachem Av, see Agados Maharsha).

(c) We reconcile this with the Beraisa, which forbids fixing a leap-year before Rosh Hashanah - by confining the prohibition to announcing the decision to the people (seeing as the reason for the prohibition is that it is still too early in the year, and the people will most likely forget by the time Nisan arrives); whereas the Beis-Din that fixed Adar Sheini in Av did not in fact, announce their decision until after Rosh Hashanah.

(d) If Beis-Din did in fact, declare a leap-year immediately after Rosh Hashanah - it will not affect the month that they add, which is always Adar Sheini (and not Kislev or any other month).

(a) The Beraisa - forbids Beis-Din to declare this year a leap-year in anticipation of next year's problems.

(b) Neither does the Tana permit them to fix three consecutive leap-years in one sitting - because it will throw the months out of gear, eventually causing Pesach to occur in the summer.

(c) The Rabanan refute Rebbi Shimon's Kashya from Rebbi Akiva, who did just that - by adding that Rebbi Akiva only made the reckoning, but it was the Beis-Din who actually fixed each year in its time.

(a) Another Beraisa forbids fixing a leap-year in ...
1. ... the Sh'mitah-year - because it adds a month to the year, at a time when tilling the land is prohibited, creating hardship for the people.
2. ... the year following the Sh'mitah - because it adds a month to the prohibition of Chadash, when the people need to have access to the new crops as soon as possible.
(b) It was however, customary to fix it in the year prior to the Sh'mitah - because then it would extend the year during which working the land was permitted, by one month.

(c) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel disagrees with the middle statement of the Tana Kama - because, he maintains, there is no problem with importing vegetables and produce from the neighboring countries.

(d) This Machlokes is equivalent to another Machlokes Tana'im. The Tana Kama in a Beraisa forbids bringing vegetables from Chutz la'Aretz into Eretz Yisrael. Raboseinu permit it, and they argue over whether, or not, one is permitted to import vegetables from the neighboring countries (because one might bring them with the earth still attached to them [the Tana Kama of both Beraisos], when in fact, it is Metamei be'Ohel [or at least through touching or carrying, see Tosfos DH 'Chosheshin']).

(a) The Tana Kama forbids Beis-Din to declare a leap-year because of Tum'ah. This refers - either to when the Nasi is very ill and the doctors assessed that he would die on Erev Pesach (bearing in mind that the whole of Yisrael are obligated to bury him), or if most of Yisrael were Tamei from before, and they had run out of ashes of the Parah Adumah.

(b) Their reason is - because of the principle 'Tum'ah Hutrah be'Tzibur' ('Communal Tum'ah is actually permitted Lechatchilah' in connection with a Korban Tzibur).

(c) We initially think that Rebbi Yehudah permits it - because he holds 'Tum'ah Dechuyah be'Tzibur' (communal Tum'ah is only permitted Bedieved, if it cannot be avoided).




(a) According to Rebbi Yehudah in another Beraisa, Chizkiyahu King of Yehudah, fixed a leap-year because Yisrael had become Tamei - during the reign of Chizkiyahu's father Achaz, through contact with Avodah-Zarah.

(b) He was sorry for having done so - because he reconsidered having declared a leap-year because of Tum'ah (though this creates a seeming discrepancy in Rebbi Yehudah).

(c) According to Rebbi Shimon, he was sorry for having fixed Nisan in Nisan. Rebbi Shimon ben Yehudah says in the name of Rebbi Shimon - that it is because he caused them to bring a Pesach Sheini (all three opinion will now be explained).

(a) According to Rebbi Shimon, the Tzitz (the golden ornament that the Kohen Gadol wore across his forehead), atoned whether he was wearing it or not. According to Rebbi Yehudah - only whilst he was wearing it.

(b) When Rebbi Shimon asked Rebbi Yehudah from Yom Kipur (when there were times that he wore only the four white garments, which did not include the Tzitz) - he replied that Yom Kipur was different, because it concerned the communal Avodah, where 'Tum'ah Hutrah be'Tzibur' (Tum'ah is permitted Lechatchilah), and does not require the Tzitz to atone for it.

(c) This creates a discrepancy in Rebbi Yehudah - whom we quoted earlier as saying 'Tum'ah Dechuyah be'Tzibur'.

(d) We answer by first pointing out that Rebbi Yehudah contradicts himself even without the second Beraisa - since first he ruled 'Me'abrin' (even Lechatchilah), because he held 'Tum'ah Dechuyah be'Tzibur', and then he explained that Chizkiyahu begged forgiveness for declaring a leap-year on account of Tum'ah (as if it was not necessary because 'Tum'ah Hutrah be'Tzibur')?

(a) We amend the first Beraisa ('Ein Me'abrin es ha'Shanah Mipnei ha'Tum'ah. Rebbi Yehudah Omer, Me'abrin'), to read - 'Ein Me'abrin es ha'Shanah Mipnei ha'Tum'ah, ve'Im Ibrah Me'uberes. Rebbi Yehudah Omer, Einah Me'uberes', thereby resolving both discrepancies in one stroke, because really Rebbi Yehudah holds 'Tum'ah Hutrah be'Tzibur'.

(b) Rava then reconciles the opinion of the Tana Kama with that of Rebbi Shimon, who seems to be saying the same thing ('Im Mipnei ha'Tum'ah Ibruhah, Me'uberes') - by establishing Rebbi Yehudah as 'Lechatchilah', whereas the Tana Kama permits only Bedieved, as he specifically says.

(a) According to Rebbi Shimon, Chizkiyahu was sorry for declaring Nisan in Nisan, as we explained. We have a problem with this however, from the Pasuk "ha'Chodesh *ha'Zeh* Lachem" - which teaches us that Beis-Din may not declare a leap-year once Nisan arrives (posing a Kashya on Chizkiyahu's initial ruling).

(b) And we answer this with a statement by Shmuel- who forbids declaring a leap-year even on the thirtieth of Adar (since it is fit to become Nisan), which is what Chizkiyahu initially did.

(c) We know that this is indeed what Rebbi Shimon holds - because we have the support of a Beraisa.

(d) Rav Asi establishes Rebbi Shimon b'Rebbi Yehudah Amar Rebbi Shimon (that Chizkiyahu was sorry for having caused the people to bring a Pesach Sheini) - when the majority of Yisrael were Tamei and a minority, Tahor, and women supplemented the Tehorim, turning it into a majority. Chizkiyahu held ...

1. ... initially - that *women are obligated to bring a Korban Pesach*. Consequently, they made up the majority of Tehorim, in which case the minority of Temei'im would not have been able to bring the Pesach Rishon (only the Pesach Sheini).
2. ... finally - that *they are not*, in which case the majority of Tamei men would have brought the Korban Pesach anyway, and declare a leap-year was unnecessary.
(a) In the event that Beis-Din declared a leap-year on the thirtieth of Adar - Ula nevertheless rules that Beis-Din may not follow it up by actually sanctifying the following month as Adar Sheini.

(b) According to Rava, if they did, the Kidush is void - whereas Rav Nachman holds 'Me'ubar u'Mekudash'.

(a) According to Raban Shimon ben Gamliel, one starts to ask and to Darshen about Hilchos Pesach two weeks before Pesach; according to the Tana Kama, on Purim (thirty days before).

(b) This prompts Rava to ask Rav Nachman - how Beis-Din can possibly declare a leap-year after that time. Seeing as the people have already heard Drashos and asked She'eilos concerning Pesach, why are we not afraid that they will not take Beis-Din's declaration seriously, and will therefore come to eat Chametz on Pesach?

(c) Rav Nachman's replied - that people know that leap-years are dependent upon a discrepancy between the sun year and the moon year (as we explained earlier), and they realize that sometimes, Beis-Din are not aware of the discrepancy until the last minute.

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