(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

Menachos 65



(a) Our Mishnah continues to describe the ceremony of the cutting of the Omer. The Sheluchei Beis-Din first went out to the field - on Erev Yom-Tov, to arrange the still attached barley sheaves by tying the tops of the stalks into fistfuls (to facilitate the cutting that would take place later).

(b) The residents from all the surrounding areas would come to participate - in order to publicize the event (as will be explained shortly).

(c) To ascertain that the time to cut the barley had fallen due - the Sheli'ach Beis-Din asked the people whether the sun has set.

(d) He would also ask them whether he was holding a scythe, whether what was lying in front of him was a box, and (if the sixteenth fell on Shabbos) whether it was Shabbos - and whether he should proceed to cut.

(a) He would ask each of these questions - three times.

(b) The purpose of all this was - to denounce the Tzedokim, who maintained that the time of the Omer always fell on the first Sunday of Pesach. With all this publicity, what they were doing was bound to reach their ears too.

(a) The Beraisa lists the days on which the Rabbanan forbade fasting and eulogizing. From Rosh Chodesh Nisan until the eighth they were forbidden to fast (because the Tamid was established [see also Tosfos and Rabeinu Gershom]) - but not to eulogize,.

(b) Whereas from the eighth until the end of Yom-Tov they forbade even eulogizing - and certainly fasting, because Shavu'os was established.

(c) The ...

1. ... Tzedokim Darshened from the Pasuk "es ha'Keves Echad *Ta'aseh* ba'Boker ... " - that even a Yachid could donate the Korban Tamid
2. ... Chachamim, on the other hand, Darshened from the Pasuk there "es Korbani Lachmi le'Ishai Tishmeru" - that all Korbenos Tzibur had to paid for with money from the Terumas ha'Lishkah (and could not therefore be donated by a Yachid).
(a) The Tzedokim contended - that Shavu'os had to fall on Sunday (because they always began counting the Omer on Sunday).

(b) When Raban Yochanan ben Zakai challenged them to present their source, all that old Tzedoki could say was - that Moshe Rabeinu loved Yisrael, and organized that Shavu'os should follow Shabbos, so that they should enjoy two consecutive days of pleasure.

(c) Raban Yochanan ben Zakai initially answered them (with a reason that was deliberately as weak as theirs) - that if Moshe loved Yisrael so much, why did he lead them forty years in the desert, when they could have entered Eretz Yisrael in eleven days. Note, what he seems to have been saying was that the events in the desert were not determined by Moshe, but were all Divinely orchestrated.

(d) The significance of the eleven days that he referred to is - that had Moshe led them to Eretz Yisrael via Har Se'ir, they would have arrived in Kadesh (close to the eastern border of Eretz Yisrael) in only eleven days, ready to enter the Land at a moment's notice.




(a) When Raban Yochanan ben Zakai said 've'Lo Tehei Torah Sheleimah she'Lanu ke'Sichah Beteilah she'Lechem!', he meant - that the idle chatter of the Tzedokim (based On the fact that the Tzedokim had no source for their argument) was not comparable to the Torah of the Chareidim.

(b) The problem with the Pesukim "Tisperu Chamishim Yom" and "Sheva Shabbasos Temimos Tih'yenah" is - that if one counts days, one is not counting weeks, and vice-versa.

(c) Raban Yochanan ben Zakai reconciled the two Pesukim and countered that old Tzedoki with one stroke - (based on the fact that 'a complete week' means from Sunday to Shabbos) by establishing the former Pasuk Pesach falls in the middle of the week, and the latter, when it falls on Sunday, proving that the Omer can begin on any day, and not just just on Sunday.

(d) To prove the Tzedokim wrong, Rebbi ...

1. ... Eliezer learns from the Pasuk "Shiv'ah Shavu'os *Tispar Lach*" - that clearly, the Yom-Tov mentioned prior to the Omer means Yom-Tov (which is fixed by Beis-Din), and not on Shabbos (which was fixed by Hashem at the creation, and no power on earth can change it).
2. ... Rebbi Yehoshua learns from Kidush ha'Chodesh ('Maneh Yamim ve'Kadeish Chodesh, Manei Yamim ve'Kadesh Atzeres') - that just as with regard to the former, the date that precedes Rosh Chodesh (the twenty-ninth, when the new moon is born) is predetermined, so too is the date that precedes the counting of the Omer predetermined (the fifteenth of Nisan).
3. ... Rebbi Yishmael learns it from the Sh'tei ha'Lechem which is brought on Shavu'os, which is the beginning of a Yom-Tov that follows the termination of the seven weeks, so too, the Omer that is brought at the beginning of the seven weeks, is preceded by the beginning of a Yom-Tov (Pesach. and not by Shabbos).
4. ... Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseira learns it from 'Shabbos le'Matah' ("ad mi'Mochoras ha'Shabbos ha'Shevi'is Tisperu') - in that just as Shabbos (referring to the last day in the seventh week) there means the day next to the beginning of a Yom-Tov (and not Shabbos), so too, does "Shabbos" mentioned in the same context with regard to the beginning of the counting ("u'Sefartem Lachem mi'Mochoras ha'Shabbos") refer to the day which follows the beginning of a Yom-Tov, and not Shabbos.
(a) Another Beraisa cites additional proofs that we always begin counting the Omer on the sixteenth of Nisan. The Tana first learns from the Pasuk "u'Sefartem Lachem" - that (unlike the Din of counting the years of the Yovel) each individual is Chayav to count the Omer.

(b) Each Tana then proves that "Shabbos" refers to Yom-Tov and not Shabbos citing a different source. Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah proves from the Pasuk "Tisperu Chamishim Yom" - that one always counts fifty days between Pesach and Shavu'os (whereas according to the Tzedokim, it can be anything up to fifty-six [assuming the first day of Pesach falls on Sunday).

(c) Rebbi Yehudah (some read 'Rebbi Yeshoshua') ben Beseira concurs with the explanation of Rebbi Eliezer in the first Beraisa (see Tosfos D.H. Rebbi Yehudah ... '), and Rebbi Yossi, according to the second Lashon, with Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseira there ('Ne'emar Shabbos le'Matah ... '). In the first Lashon, Rebbi Yossi dismisses the suggestion that "mi'Mocharas ha'Shabbos" means literally Shabbos Bereishis - because there are many Shabbasos in the year, and how would we know which one the Torah is referring to?

(a) Finally, Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar learns it from the Pesukim "Sheishes Yamim Tochal Matzos" (Re'ei) and "Shiv'as Yamim Matzos Tocheilu". He reconcile the apparent condradiction between the Pesukim - by confining the former Pasuk to eating Matzos from the new crops, which is only permitted from the second day, after the Omer has been brought ...

(b) ... a proof that the Omer always begins on the sixteenth of Nisan, and not on the first Sunday of Pesach).

Next daf


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