Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 2a
MISHNAH. THERE ARE FOUR NEW YEARS.1 ON THE FIRST OF NISAN2 IS NEW YEAR FOR KINGS3 AND FOR FESTIVALS.4 ON THE FIRST OF ELUL5 IS NEW YEAR FOR THE TITHE OF CATTLE.6 R. ELEAZAR AND R. SIMEON, HOWEVER, PLACE THIS ON THE FIRST OF TISHRI.7 ON THE FIRST OF TISHRI8 IS NEW YEAR FOR YEARS,4 FOR RELEASE AND JUBILEE YEARS,9 FOR PLANTATION10 AND FOR [TITHE OF] VEGETABLES.11 ON THE FIRST OF SHEBAT12 IS NEW YEAR FOR TREES,13 ACCORDING TO THE RULING OF BETH SHAMMAI; BETH HILLEL, HOWEVER, PLACE IT ON THE FIFTEENTH OF THAT MONTH.
GEMARA. FOR KINGS. Why this law?14 — R. Hisda said: For dealing with documents,15 as we have learnt: ‘Bonds if antedated are invalid,16 but if postdated are valid’.
Our Rabbis learnt: If a king ascended the throne on the twenty-ninth of Adar, as soon as the first of Nisan arrives17 he is reckoned to have reigned a year. If on the other hand he ascended the throne on the first of Nisan, he is not reckoned to have reigned a year till the next first of Nisan comes round.
The Master has said, ‘If a king ascends the throne on the twenty-ninth of Adar, as soon as the first of Nisan arrives he is reckoned to have reigned a year.’
(1) I.e.,the year is reckoned to commence at different dates for different purposes, as the Mishnah goes on to specify.
(2) The first month of the Jewish calendar (in Biblical times known as ‘the month of Abib’, or the springing corn), commencing in the latter half of March or the earlier part of April.
(3) If a document is dated with a certain year in a king's reign, the year is reckoned to have commenced in Nisan, no matter in what month the king came to the throne. The Gemara discusses what kinds of kings are meant — whether Israelitish or other.
(4) The meaning of this is discussed infra in the Gemara.
(5) The sixth month of the Jewish calendar.
(6) For purposes of tithe it was necessary to specify the year in which cattle were born, because cattle born in one year could not be given as tithe for cattle born in another, v. Lev. XXVII, 32.
(7) So that according to these authorities there were only three New Years.
(8) The seventh month.
(9) I.e., from the first of Tishri in these years ploughing and similar operations were forbidden. V. Lev. XXV, 4, 11.
(10) For reckoning the years of ‘uncircumcision’. V. Lev. XIX, 23.
(11) I.e., those gathered after this date could not be used as tithe for those gathered before. Cf. n. 6.
(12) The eleventh month.
(13) For tithing the fruit. V. notes 6 and 11.
(14) Why should we not be content to reckon the year of the king from the day on which he ascended the throne?
(15) I.e., to enable us to determine which are antedated.
(16) If a man borrowed money in Tishri and the bond was dated in Tammuz (the fourth month of the Jewish calendar) the bond is invalid and does not give the lender any right to seize property which the borrower may have sold even subsequent to Tishri. This is a fine for having conspired to seize by means of the bond property which had been sold prior to the making of the loan. Now if the reigning king came to the throne some time between Tammuz and Tishri, then if we reckoned his years from the date of his accession, Tishri would always come before Tammuz, and the document should therefore be valid. To prevent this leading to confusion, it was consequently ordained that the king's year should always be regarded as commencing with Nisan. Tosaf. point out that it is very difficult to conceive of an instance where this might actually lead to confusion, as scribes can usually be trusted to remember the year of the reign; the example Tosaf. give is where the king came to the throne on the first of Nisan and a scribe has to write a document on the first of Nisan in the following year. In such a case the scribe might easily think that the king came to the throne on the second of Nisan, and so, but for the regulation, might date the document a whole year wrong.
(17) I.e., on the next day.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 2b
This teaches us that Nisan is the New Year for kings, and that one day in a year is reckoned as a year. ‘But if he ascended the throne on the first of Nisan he is not reckoned to have reigned a year till the next first of Nisan comes round’. This surely is self-evident? — It had to be stated in view of the case where his election to the throne was determined upon1 in Adar. You might think that in that case we should reckon him [by the next first of Nisan] to have reigned two years. We are therefore told [that this is not so].
Our Rabbis learnt: If [a king] died in Adar and was succeeded by another in Adar, we can designate [the rest of] the year [up to the first of Nisan] as belonging to either.2 If he died in Nisan and was succeeded by another in Nisan, we can date the year by either.3 If he died in Adar and was succeeded by another in Nisan, the earlier year is dated by the first and the later by the second.
The Master has here said, ‘If he died in Adar and was succeeded by another, we can date the year by either’. Surely this is obvious? — You might think that we never date the same year by two kings;4 hence we are told [that this can be done]. ‘If the first died in Nisan and was succeeded by another in Nisan, the year may be dated by either’. This also seems to be obvious? — You might think that when we lay down that a day in the year is reckoned as a year we mean only at the end of the year but not at the beginning;5 therefore we are told [that this is not so]. ‘If the first died in Adar and he was succeeded by another in Nisan, the earlier year is dated by the first and the later by the second’. This surely is obvious? — It had to be stated in view of the case where his election was determined upon from Adar and he is succeeding his father.6 In that case you might think that we should reckon two years to him. We are therefore told [that this is not so].
R. Johanan said: How do we know [from the Scripture] that the years of kings’ reigns are always reckoned as commencing from Nisan? Because it says, And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv which is the second month.7 Here Solomon's reign is put side by side with the exodus from Egypt,8 [to indicate that] just as [the years from] the exodus from Egypt are reckoned from Nisan, so [the years of] Solomon's reign commenced with Nisan.
But how do we know that the years from the exodus from Egypt itself are reckoned as commencing with Nisan? Perhaps we reckon them from Tishri?9 — Do not imagine such a thing. For it is written, And Aaron the priest went up into Mount Hor at the commandment of the Lord, and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fifth month,10 on the first day of the month,11 and it is further written, And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month,12 on the first day of the month, that Moses spoke, etc.13 Now since the text when referring to Ab places it in the fortieth year and again when referring to [the following] Shebat places it also in the fortieth year, we may conclude that Tishri is not the beginning of the year.14 [This, however] is not conclusive. I grant you that the former text states explicitly that [the year spoken of was] ‘from the going forth from Egypt’; but how do we know that [the year mentioned in] the latter text is reckoned from the exodus?15 Perhaps it is from the setting up of the Tabernacle?16 — [We may reply to this] on the model of R. Papa, who said [in another connection]17 that the occurrence of the expression ‘twentieth year’ in two contexts provides us with a gezerah shawah:18 so here, [I may say that the occurrence of] the expression ‘fortieth year’ in the two contexts provides us with a gezerah shawah, [showing that] just as in the one case19 [the date is reckoned] from the Exodus, so in the other case20 also.
But how do you know that [in respect of these two incidents] that of Ab was prior? Perhaps that of Shebat was prior?21 — Do not imagine such a thing. For it is written [in connection with the latter], ‘After he had smitten Sihon’;22 and when Aaron died Sihon was still alive, as it is written
(1) By the notables of the State. Lit. ‘they (i.e., their votes) have been counted for him’.
(2) I.e., we can regard the remaining days of the year as belonging either to the last year of the late king or the first year of the new king.
(3) And similarly if the second ascended the throne in any other month of the year.
(4) But reckon the whole as belonging to the one who has died.
(5) E.g.. if the first king died after only reigning a few days in the year.
(6) This point is mentioned here because we have already been told above that his mere election does not affect the dating.
(7) I Kings. VI. 1.
(8) I.e., the event recorded is dated by both of them.
(9) Which is the beginning of years reckoned from the creation.
(11) Num. XXXIII, 38.
(13) Deut. I, 3.
(14) As otherwise Ab and Shebat would fall in different years.
(15) As it simply says ‘In the fortieth year’, without specifying from when.
(16) Which was in Nisan of the second year of the exodus.
(17) V. infra 3b.
(18) V. Glos.
(19) The death of Aaron.
(20) The address of Moses.
(21) I.e., the address of Moses was prior to the death of Aaron, the fortieth year having commenced with the Tishri preceding Moses’ address.
(22) Deut. I, 4.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 3a
And the Canaanite the king of Arad heard.1 What was the report that he heard? He heard that Aaron had died and that the clouds of glory had departed, and he judged that it was now permitted to attack Israel; and this is intimated in the verse, And all the congregation saw [wa-yiru] that Aaron was dead,2 [commenting on which] R. Abbahu said, Do not read wayiru, but wa-yerau [and they were seen],3 [the next word4 being translated] in accordance with the dictum of Resh Lakish; for Resh Lakish said, Ki has four significations — ‘if’, ‘perhaps’, ‘but’ ‘for’.5 [In objection to this it may be asked], Are the two things alike?6 [The verse] there speaks of Canaan, whereas [here] it [speaks of] Sihon? — It has been taught: Sihon, Arad, and Canaan are all one. He was called Sihon as resembling a sayyah [foal] of the wilderness, he was called Canaan after his kingdom; and as for his real name, this was Arad. According to other authorities, he was called Arad as resembling an ‘arad [wild ass] of the wilderness, and Canaan after his kingdom, while as for his real name, this was Sihon.
But can I not suppose that New Year is in Iyar?7 — Do not imagine such a thing. For it is written, And it came to pass in the first month in the second year on the first day of the month that the tabernacle was reared up,8 and it is written elsewhere, And it came to pass in the second year in the second month . . . that the cloud was taken up front over the tabernacle of the testimony.9 Seeing that the text when referring to Nisan places it in the second year and when referring to Iyar places it also in the second year, we may conclude that Iyar is not New Year. Can I suppose then that New Year is in Sivan?10 — Do not imagine such a thing. For it is written, In the third month after the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt;11 and if Sivan is New Year, it should say, ‘In the third month in the second year after the children of Israel etc.’ But why not say that New Year is in Tammuz,12 in Ab,13 in Adar?14 — Rather, said R. Eleazar, we learn [that Nisan is New Year] from here: And he began to build in the second month in the second15 in the fourth year of his reign.16 What [is here meant by] ‘in the second’? Does not [the superfluous word] mean the second by which his reign is reckoned? Rabina strongly demurred to this. Why not, [he said], suppose it to mean the second day of the month? — In that case it would have said distinctly, ‘on the second day of the month’.17 But may I not suppose it means on the second day of the week? [This cannot be for two reasons.] One is that we never find the second day of the week mentioned in Scripture, and the other is that the second ‘sheni’ [second] is put on the same footing as the first sheni, [indicating that] just as the first sheni refers to a month, so the second sheni refers to a month.
It has been taught in accordance with R. Johanan: How do we know [from the Scripture] that the years of kings’ reigns are always reckoned as commencing from Nisan? Because it says, ‘And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt etc.,’ and it is further written, ‘And Aaron the priest went up to Mount Hor at the commandment of the Lord, etc.,’ and it is further written, And it came to pass in the fortieth year in the eleventh month’,18 and it is further written, ‘After he had smitten Sihon etc:,’ and it is further written, And all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead etc.,’ and it is further written, ‘And it came to pass in the first month in the second year etc., and it is further written, ‘And it came to pass in the second year in the second month etc.,’ and it is further written, ‘In the third month after the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt etc.,’ and it is further written, ‘And he began to build etc.’
R. Hisda said: The rule [that New Year for kings is in Nisan] was only meant to apply to the kings of Israel, but the years of non-Israelitish kings are reckoned from Tishri,19 as it says, The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. Now it came to pass in the month of Kislev,20 in the twentieth year21 etc., and it is written further, And it came to pass in the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes.22 Now since when speaking of Kislev he places it in the twentieth year and when speaking of Nisan he places it also in the twentieth, we may conclude that New Year is not in Nisan. [This, however, is not conclusive]. In the latter text, it is true, it is expressly stated that [it was the twentieth year] of Artaxerxes, but in the former how do we know that the reign of Artaxerxes is referred to? Perhaps
(1) Num. XXXIII, 40. (V. Tosaf. s.v. וישמע). The text continues in the E.V., of the coming of the children of Israel, but the Talmud renders (more in accordance with the original), ‘when the children of Israel came’. The text thus does not state what he heard and so leaves room for the exposition which follows.
(2) Num. XX, 29.
(3) I.e., became visible, the clouds of glory having previously served as a screen to them.
(4) In the original.
(5) And here if we read wa-yerau, ‘ki’ means ‘for’. Apparently Resh Lakish means that these four significations are in addition to the usual one of ‘that’, which must be the meaning here if we keep the reading wa-yiru.
(6) Viz., your exposition and your argument.
(7) The second month.
(8) Ex. XL, 17.
(9) Num., X, 11.
(10) The third month.
(11) Ex. XIX, 1.
(12) The fourth month.
(13) The fifth month.
(14) The twelfth month. The months between Ab and Adar have already been excluded above where it was shown that Ab and Shebat must be in the same year.
(15) E.V., ‘on the second day’.
(16) II Chron. III, 2.
(17) This being the usual formula of the text.
(18) This citation is inserted in the text on the authority of Maharsha. It is certainly necessary.
(19) The seventh month.
(20) The ninth month.
(21) Neh., I, 1.
(22) Ibid, II, 1.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 3b
some other system of dating is adopted? — R. Papa replied: The occurrence in each text of the expression ‘twentieth year’ provides us with a gezerah shawah,1 [indicating that] just as in the latter case it means ‘of the reign of Artaxerxes’, so in the former. But how do you know that the incident of Kislev was prior? Perhaps the incident of Nisan was prior?2 — Do not imagine such a thing, since it has been taught: The things that Hanani told Nehemiah in Kislev were related by Nehemiah to the king in Nisan. ‘The things that Hanani told Nehemiah’, as we read, The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. Now it came to pass in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the castle, that Hanani, one of my brethren, came out of Judah, he and certain men; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, that were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said unto me: The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach; the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.3 These things ‘were related by Nehemiah to the king in Nisan,’ as we read, And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twen tieth year of Artaxerxes the king, when wine was before him, that I took up the wine and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetimes sad in his presence. And the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou are not sick? This is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid. And I said unto the king, Let the king live for ever; why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? Then the king said to me: For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king: If it please the king and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldst send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it. And the king said unto me, the queen also sitting by him, For how long will thy journey be and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.4
R. Joseph sought to disprove [the statement that the years of non-Israelitish kings are reckoned from Tishri, as follows]: [It is written], In the four and twentieth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king,5 and it is further written, In the seventh month in the second year in the one and twentieth day of the month.6 Now if it is [as you say], then we should have here ‘in the seventh month in the third year’! — R. Abbahu replied: Cyrus was a worthy king,7 and therefore they reckoned his years like those of the kings of Israel.8
R. Joseph demurred strongly against this [last notion]. For one thing [he said, if this is so,] then there is a contradiction between two biblical texts. For it is written, And the house9 was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, which was the sixth year of Darius the king,10 and in connection with this it has been taught: ‘At that period ,in the year following,11 Ezra went up from Babylon along with his band of exiles’. Now it is written further, And he [Ezra] came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king; and if it is [as you say], it should be ‘in the eighth year’? Further, is there any connection [between your answer and the question]? You speak of Cyrus and the text12 speaks of Darius! — It has been taught: ‘Cyrus,13 Darius, and Artaxerxes14 were all one. He was called Cyrus because he was a worthy king;15 Artaxerxes after his realm;16 while Darius was his own name. All the same, the contradiction still remains?17 — There is no contradiction. The one verse18 speaks of him before he degenerated,19 the other after he degenerated.
R. Kahana strongly demurred to this [saying], Did he indeed degenerate? Is it not written,
(1) V. Glos.
(2) And the year might therefore commence with Nisan.
(3) Neh., I, 1-3.
(4) Neh. II, 1-6. It is not clear why the last three verses are quoted.
(5) Hag. I, 15.
(6) Ibid. II, 1. This verse follows immediately on the one just quoted and it is assumed that it refers to the same year as the preceding verse; therefore the words ‘in the second year’, which appear in the quotation as given in the Talmud in brackets, are not found in this verse (Rashi).
(7) The Hebrew word is kasher, which contains the same consonants as the name Koresh (Cyrus).
(8) I.e., commenced them with Nisan.
(9) The Second Temple.
(10) Ezra, VI, 15.
(11) Which would be the seventh year of Darius.
(12) In Haggai.
(13) The Second.
(14) Mentioned together in Ezra, VI, 14.
(15) V. supra, p. 8, n. 4.
(16) [The Persian Artakhshathra means ‘by whom empire is perfected’].
(17) Between the statements in Haggai and in Ezra.
(18) In Haggai, which reckons his years from Nisan.
(19) Lit., ‘fermented’, a metaphor either from wine turning to vinegar or from flour becoming leaven. The ‘evil imagination’ is often compared by the Sages to a ‘leaven’.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 4a
And that which they have need of, both young bullocks and rams and lambs, for burnt-offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine and oil, according to the word of the priests that are in Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail?1 — Said R. Isaac to him: [Here is something] out of your own package:2 That they may offer sacrifices of sweet savour unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king and of his sons.3 But even so, is not the action still a meritorious one, seeing that it has been taught: ‘If a man says, I offer this sela’ for charity in order that my children may live and in order that through it I may merit the future world, he may still be a wholly righteous man?’ — There is no contradiction; this statement applies to Israelites, there we speak of heathens.4
Alternatively I may say that we know he deteriorated because it is written, with three rows of great stories and a row of new timber, and let the expenses be given out of the king's house.5 Why did he make these conditions? He thought to himself, If the Jews revolt against me, I will burn it with fire. But did not Solomon do the same thing, as it is written, three rows of hewn stone and a row of cedar beams?6 — Solomon placed the wood above and he placed it below; Solomon sunk it in the building and he did not sink it in the building; Solomon plastered it over and he did not plaster it over.
R. Joseph, (or, as some say, R. Isaac) said: Whence do we know that he deteriorated? From here: And the king said unto me, the shegal also sitting by hint.7 What is ‘shegal’? Rabbah b. Lema said In the name of Rab, a she-dog.8 But if that is so, what are we to make of the verse, But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven, and they have brought the vessels of His house before thee, and thou and thy lords, thy shegaloth and thy concubines have drunk wine in them.9 Now how can ‘shegal’ here be a dog? Do dogs drink wine? — This is no difficulty, as [we can suppose that] it was taught to drink. But what of the verse where it is written, Kings’ daughters are among thy favourites, at thy right hand doth stand the shegal in gold of Ophir?10 Now if ‘shegal’ is a dog, what promise is the prophet bringing to Israel? — What he means is this: Because the Torah is as dear to Israel as a ‘shegal’ to the heathens, you have earned as your reward the gold of Ophir. Alternatively I may say that ‘shegal’ does as a rule mean ‘queen’, but in this case Rabbah b. Lema had a tradition [that it means ‘dog’], and the reason why [in the text] it is called ‘shegal’ is because it was as dear to him11 as a queen; or, possibly, because he put it on the queen's seat.
Alternatively I may say that we know he deteriorated from here: Unto a hundred talents of silver and to a hundred measures of wheat and to a hundred baths of wine and salt without prescribing how much.12 At first there was no limit, but now he made a limit. But perhaps at first he simply had not decided on the limit? The truth is that the best explanation is that which was given first.
AND FOR FESTIVALS. How can [New Year] for the festivals be on the first of Nisan? It is surely on the fifteenth of Nisan?13 — R. Hisda said: What it means is that the festival which occurs in it is the New Year for the festivals. The legal import of this rule is for determining when one who makes a vow transgresses the precept of ‘not delaying’.14 and R. Simeon is here followed, as it has been taught: Whether a man makes a vow, or sanctifies,15 or makes a valuation,16 as soon as three festivals elapse [before he carries out his word], he transgresses the precept of ‘not delaying’. R. Simeon says: The three festivals must be in order, with Passover first. So too R. Simeon b. Yohai used to say: The festivals [referred to] are sometimes three [in number], sometimes four, sometimes five. For instance, if a man made a vow before Passover, they are three, if before Pentecost five, if before Tabernacles four.
Our Rabbis taught: Those who are liable for a money valuation,17 for a valuation,18 for a herem,19 for consecrations,20 for sin-offerings, trespass-offerings, burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, charity contributions, tithes, firstborn and tithe of cattle, paschal lamb,
(1) Ezra, VI, 9.
(2) I.e., the next words in the same passage confute you.
(3) Which would show that his motives were not pure.
(4) And therefore the king's action was not meritorious. [Heathens are assumed to regret the good deed should the attached condition not be realized (Rashi and Tosaf.)].
(5) Ezra, VI, 4. These words occur in the rescript issued by the first Cyrus authorizing the building of the Temple. We must suppose therefore that Darius intended at first to allow them to build it wholly of stone, but on consulting the rescript changed his mind. V. Tosaf. s.v. ונדבך
(6) I Kings, VI, 36.
(7) Neh. II, 6.
(8) For immoral purposes.
(9) Dan. V, 23.
(10) Ps. XLV, 10.
(12) Ezra VII, 22, referring to the appropriations for the builders of the Temple.
(13) The first day of Passover, the first of the festivals.
(14) Deut. XXIII, 22: When thou shalt vow a vow to the Lord thy God, thou shalt not delay to pay it.
(15) I.e., dedicates an object to the Sanctuary.
(16) Saying, ‘I dedicate to the sanctuary the value of such-and-such a person’. V. Lev. XXVII, 1-8.
(17) By saying, ‘I dedicate to the Sanctuary my own price’.
(18) V. supra, n. 4.
(19) Something devoted. V. Lev. XXVII, 28, 29.
(20) Objects dedicated to the Sanctuary.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 4b
gleanings, forgotten sheaves and corners of the field,1 as soon as three festivals have elapsed transgress the precept of ‘not delaying’. R. Simeon said: The three festivals must be in order, with Passover first. R. Meir said: As soon as one festival has passed, he transgresses the precept of ‘not delaying’. R. Eliezer b. Jacob said: As soon as two festivals have elapsed, he transgresses the precept of ‘not delaying’. R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon said: As soon as the feast of Tabernacles has passed, he transgresses the precept of ‘not delaying’.
What is the reason of the First Tanna?2 — Let us see, [he says]: The text3 has been speaking of them4 [the three festivals]. Why then does it repeat,5 on the feast of unleavened bread, on the feast of weeks, and on the feast of tabernacles? We must understand it to be laying down the rule for ‘not delaying’.6 R. Simeon again says that there was no need [even so] to repeat ‘on the feast of tabernacles’, of which the text was just speaking.7 Why then was it mentioned? To show that this one must be the last. What is R. Meir's reason?8 — Because it is written, And thither thou shalt come and thither ye shall bring.9 What do the Rabbis [say to this]? — They say that this constitutes only a positive injunction.10 What has R. Meir [to say to this]? — [He says that] since the All-Merciful told him to bring and he did not bring, automatically he has transgressed the precept of ‘not delaying’. What is the reason of R. Eliezer b. Jacob?11 Because it is written, These ye shall offer unto the Lord in your appointed seasons;12 the minimum of ‘seasons’ is two. What do the Rabbis [say to this]? — [They say] that this word is required for the exposition of R. Jonah; for R. Jonah said,13 All the festivals are put on the same footing with one another, to show that all14 atone for the uncleanness of the Sanctuary and its holy things.15 What is the reason of R. Eleazar son of Simeon?16 As it has been taught: R. Eleazar son of Simeon said: There was no need for the feast of Tabernacles to be mentioned in this verse,17 as the text was already speaking of it. Why then was it mentioned? To show that this one is the determining factor. What exposition then do R. Meir and R. Eliezer b. Jacob give of the words ‘on the feast of unleavened bread and on the feast of weeks and on the feast of tabernacles’ ? — They require them for the same purpose as R. Eleazar b. Oshaia. For R. Eleazar b. Oshaia said: How do we know that [a sacrifice due but not brought on] Pentecost18 can be made up for during the next seven days? Because it says, On the feast of unleavened bread and on the feast of weeks and on the feast of tabernacles. Just as [a sacrifice not brought on the first day of] the feast of Passover can be made up for during the next seven days,19 so [a sacrifice not brought on] the Feast of Weeks can be made up for during the next seven days.
But why should not the Feast of Weeks be put on the same footing [in this respect] as the feast of Tabernacles, so that just as in that case [the duration of the festival is] eight days, so here eight days [should be allowed]? — The eighth day [of Tabernacles] is a separate festival.20 I can still say that we call the eighth day a separate festival in respect of P'Z'R’ K'SH'B’,21 but that in the matter of compensation all agree that this can be made on it for the first day, as we have learnt: If one did not bring his festival sacrifice on the first day of Tabernacles, he can bring during the whole of the festival, including the last day of the festival? — If you grasp a lot you cannot hold it, if you grasp a little you can hold it.22
But what injunction then23 did the All-Merciful indicate by mentioning the festival of Tabernacles [in this verse]? — [It is mentioned] in order to be put on the same footing as the feast of Passover [in this respect]:
(1) If an owner took these, he has to restore them to the poor.
(2) Who requires three festivals in any order.
(3) Viz., Deut. XVI.
(4) Lit. he set out from these’.
(5) In v. 16, after saying, three times a year shall all thy males appear, etc.
(6) As much as to say, ‘Come before God to pay your vows, and do not come empty-handed.’
(7) In vv. 13-15.
(8) For requiring only one festival.
(9) Deut. XII, 5, 6. As much as to say, ‘each time you come, bring your vows’.
(10) And if he does not carry it out, he is still not guilty of ‘delaying’.
(11) Who requires two festivals.
(12) Num. XXIX, 39. The ‘these’ here strictly refers to obligatory sacrifices, but as the text goes on, besides your vows and free will-offerings, these can also be included in the rule.
(13) Sheb. 10.
(14) The he-goats for sin-offering brought on festivals; v. Num. XXVIII and XXIX.
(15) V. Shebu. 10a.
(16) Who says that Tabernacles must be the last,
(17) Viz., Deut. XVI, 16.
(19) This is learnt from the words, And ye shall keep it as a feast to the Lord . . . seven days (Ex. XII, 14, 15). V. Hag. 9a.
(20) Standing in the same relation to Tabernacles as Pentecost to Passover.
(21) P== payyes (casting lots); on the eighth day the twenty-four mishmaroth (wards) of the priests cast lots to see which should officiate, but not on the preceding days, when all officiated in order. Z == zeman (time); the blessing sheheheyanu (who has kept us alive) is said on the eighth day, as on the first days of other festivals. R == regel (festival); the eighth day is no longer termed ‘Tabernacles’ but is known as ‘the eighth day of solemn assembly’. K == Korban (offering); the sacrifice of the day (one bullock, one ram and seven sheep) was quite different from that of the days of Tabernacles. SH == shir (song); the psalm chanted by the Levites was not the same as that for Tabernacles. B == berakah (blessing); on this day, in the time of the Monarchy, a blessing was said for the king, in memory of the dedication of the Temple, when, as we read, on the eighth day the people blessed the king (I Kings, VIII, 66) Cf. Yoma 3a, Suk. 48a.
(22) A proverbial saying, indicating here that Pentecost should be put on a level in this respect with Passover which has the smaller number of days, not with Tabernacles.
(23) If the Feast of Weeks is not to be put on the same footing as Tabernacles.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 5a
just as on the feast of Passover [the celebrant is] required to stay overnight1 [in Jerusalem], so on the feast of Tabernacles he is required to stay overnight. How do we know this in the case of Passover? — Because it is written,2 And thou shalt turn in the morning and go unto thy tents.3
But whence then do the First Tanna and R. Simeon4 derive the rule of compensation for the Feast of Weeks? — They derive it from the statement of Rabbah b. Samuel; for Rabbah b. Samuel stated: The Torah said, Count days5 and sanctify the new moon,6 count days and sanctify the Feast of Weeks,7 [indicating that] just as the new moon [is sanctified for the period corresponding with the unit of time] by which it is counted,8 so the Feast of Weeks [is sanctified for the period corresponding with the unit of time] by which it is counted.9 [In that case] I should say that [the compensation period of] the Feast of Weeks is only one day?10 — Raba replied: Do we count only days to the Feast of Weeks and not weeks [also]? Has not a Master said, It is a mizwah to count days and it is also a mizwah to count weeks?11 And further, we read in the text, ‘the feast of weeks’.12
But can the paschal lamb13 be offered on any of the festivals? The paschal lamb [surely] has a fixed date:14 if it is brought then, well and goods but if not, it is rejected?15 — R. Hisda replied: The paschal lamb is mentioned incidentally. R. Shesheth said: ‘Paschal lamb’ here means the peace-offering [brought] in lieu of the paschal lamb.16 But if that is so, this is covered by the term peace-offerings’?17 — Our authority mentions the peace-offering [which is brought] in lieu of the paschal lamb and he also mentions the peace-offerings which are brought for their own sake. You might be inclined to think that [the former] being brought in lieu of the paschal lamb
(1) I.e., the first night of the intermediate days (Rashi).
(2) In connection with the paschal lamb.
(3) Deut. XVI, 7. The morning of the first day of the festival obviously cannot be meant, as on that day the celebrant had to bring his festival offering.
(4) Who require the whole of this verse for the rule of ‘not delaying’.
(5) As it is written. Ye shall not eat it one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, but a whole month (Num. XI, 19, 20).
(6) By sacrifices, v. Num. XXVIII, 11.
(7) V. Lev. XXIII, 15. [Read with R. Hananel, Count weeks and sanctify the Feast of Weeks, v. Lev. XXIII, 15].
(8) It is counted by days and is sanctified for one day.
(9) It is counted by weeks and is sanctified for one week.
(10) Since it also says, ‘Ye shall count fifty days’. Ibid. 16.
(11) To say, e.g., ‘seven days which are one week to the ‘omer’.
(12) Deut. XVI, 16.
(13) Mentioned above (p. 11) among the objects to which the rule of ‘not delaying’ applies.
(14) Viz., the fourteenth of Nisan.
(15) Lit., ‘pushed away’.
(16) Lit., peace-offerings of the paschal lamb’. If the paschal lamb was not brought at the proper time through being lost, another was declared to be a peace-offering in its place, and this came under the rule of ‘not delaying’.
(17) Which also occurs in the Baraitha quoted.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 5b
is on the same footing as the paschal lamb.1 Therefore we are told [that this is not so].
What is the authority [in the Scripture] for these rules? — As our Rabbis have taught: ‘ When thou shalt vow a vow:2 this tells me only [the rule for] a vow; how do I know that a freewill-offering3 is also included? We have here the term ‘vow’ and in another place4 we find the expression if a vow or a free will-offering; just as there a freewill-offering goes with the vow, so here, a freewill-offering goes with it. To the Lord thy God: this indicates money valuations, valuations, devoted things, and consecrated things.5 Thou shalt not be slack to pay it: it, but not its substitute.6 For he will surely require it: this indicates sin-offerings, trespass-offerings, burnt-offerings and peace-offerings.7 The Lord thy God: this indicates charity contributions, tithes and firstborn.8 From thee: this indicates gleanings, forgotten sheaves and corners of the field. And it will be sin in thee; but not sin in thy offering.9
The Master has [just] said: "’Thou shalt not be slack in paying it"; It and not its substitute’. Substitute for what? If the substitute for a burnt-offering or a peace-offering is meant, this is actually offered.10 If the substitute for a sin-offering, this is allowed to perish.11 How then are we to understand ‘its substitute’? — The substitute for a thanksgiving-offering, as R. Hiyya taught: If a thanksgiving offering became mixed up with its substitute and one of them died , there is no remedy for the other,12 For what is he [the owner] to do? Shall he offer it and offer the bread13 with it? Perhaps it is the substitute.14 Shall he offer it without the bread? Perhaps it is the original thank-offering. But [if that is so,] seeing that it cannot be offered, why do I require a text to exclude it? — R. Shesheth replied: In point of fact, [the intention of the verse is] to exclude the substitutes for burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, and we are dealing here with the case of one which was kept over during two festivals and then became blemished and the owner made it profane by substituting another and this was kept over one festival. You might imagine in this case that since it takes the place of the first, it is as if it had been kept over for three festivals; therefore we are told that this is not so. But on the view of R. Meir who said that as soon as one festival has been allowed to elapse there is a transgression of the precept ‘not to delay’, what can be said? — Raba replied: Here we are dealing with a case where the animal became blemished during the festival and he declared it profane [by substituting another], and this was kept over the festival. You might imagine that since it takes the place of the first it is as if it had been kept over during the whole of the festival.15 Therefore we are told [that this is not so].
"’And it will be sin in thee," but not sin in thy offering’. Do we derive this lesson from here? Surely it is derived from the text adduced by the ‘Others’, as it has been taught: ‘Others say, I might say that a firstling after a year has passed16 is like consecrated things that have become disqualified17 and so is disqualified. Therefore it says, And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God the tithe of thy corn and of thy wine and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herd and of thy flock.18 Here firstling is mentioned alongside of tithe, [to indicate that] just as tithe is not disqualified by being kept from one year to another,19 so a firstling is not disqualified by being kept from one year to another.’ — It was still necessary [to learn the lesson in the other way]. For you might have imagined that this applies only to a firstling, which is not for appeasement, but consecrated20 things which are for appeasement21 will not appease [if kept over]. Therefore I am told that this is not so. But still [I may object that]
(1) And the transgression of ‘not delaying’ is incurred with the passing of one festival (Rashi).
(2) Deut. XXIII, 22.
(3) In making a vow a man said, ‘I undertake to bring such-and-such an offering’; in making a freewill-offering he said, ‘I undertake to bring this animal as an offering’.
(4) Lev. VII, 16.
(5) V. supra p. 11 nn. 5-8. Because all these went for the repair of the Temple and not to the priests.
(6) This is explained below.
(7) All these as distinct from the vow and freewill-offerings were an obligation the fulfilment of which could be demanded. The burnt-offerings and peace-offerings referred to are those which were brought as an additional offering on the festival. If they had been already set aside, they could be brought on a subsequent festival (V. Tosaf., s.v. אלו
(8) The words ‘the Lord thy God’ here are strictly speaking superfluous, and can therefore be used for an exposition.
(9) I.e., the offering is not disqualified thereby.
(10) If the original animal was lost and another substituted and then the first was found, both are offered and the substitute also comes under the rule of ‘not delaying’.
(11) And never offered.
(12) I.e., it must be allowed to perish.
(13) V. Lev. VII, 12, 13.
(14) And according to Men. 79b, bread was not to be brought with the substitute of a thanksgiving-offering.
(15) And thus, according to R. Meir, is the rule of ‘not delaying’ transgressed.
(16) A firstling has to be sacrificed within its first year, v. Deut. XV, 20.
(17) For being offered on the altar.
(18) Deut. XIV, 23.
(19) Because it says, At the end of every three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe etc., Deut. XIV, 28.
(20) E.g., burnt — and sin-offerings.
(21) Heb. לרצנו Lev. I, 3 et al. E.V. ‘that he (it) may be accepted.’
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 6a
the lesson is derived from the exposition of Ben ‘Azzai, as It has been taught: Ben ‘Azzai said: What is the point of the word otho [it]?1 Since it says, Thou shalt not be slack in paying it,2 I might think that a vow which is delayed also fails to appease. Therefore it says, ‘it’: this one fails to appease, but a delayed vow does not fail to appease! — No; [what we must say is], ‘"in thee a sin", but not in thy wife a sin’. For you might think that, since R. Johanan [or, as some say, R. Eleazar] has said, ‘A man's wife dies only because money is [rightfully] demanded of him and he has it not,3 as it says, Why should he take thy bed from under thee’?4 and so I would say that his wife will die also because of this transgression of ‘not delaying’. We are therefore told [that this is not so].
Our Rabbis taught: ‘That which is gone out of thy lips:5 this is an affirmative precept.6 Thou shalt observe: this is a negative precept. And do: this is an injunction to the Beth din to make thee do, According as thou hast vowed: this means a vow. To the Lord thy God: this means sin-offerings and trespass-offerings, burnt-offerings and peace-offerings.7 A freewill-offering:8 this has its literal meaning. Even that which thou hast promised: this means things sanctified for the repair of the Temple. With thy mouth: this means charity.’
The Master has here said that ‘"that which is gone out of thy lips" implies an affirmative precept’. Why do I require the words for this purpose? This lesson can be derived from the words, and thither thou shalt come and thither ye shall bring.9 ‘"Thou shalt observe"; this implies a negative precept’. Why do I require these words? This lesson can be derived from ‘thou shalt not be slack in paying it’.10 ‘"And do": this is an injunction to the Beth din to make thee do’. Why do I require these words? This lesson can be derived from he shall bring it,11 as it has been taught: He shall bring it: this teaches us that he is to be constrained12 [if necessary]. I might say, even against his will. Therefore it says, of his own will.13 What is to be done then? We constrain him until he says ‘I am willing’. [What is the answer?] — The one [set of texts14 deal with the case] where he had pledged himself but had not yet set aside the animal, the other with the case where he had set it aside but had not yet offered it. And both are required. For if the rule had been laid down only for the case where he had pledged himself but had not yet set aside the animal, [I might say that the reason is] because he has not yet carried out his word, but where he has set it aside but not yet offered it I might argue that wherever it is, it is in the treasury of the All-Merciful. These texts therefore were necessary. And if again the rule had been laid down only for the cases where he has set the animal aside but not yet offered it, I might say that the reason is because he is keeping it by him, but if he has pledged himself without having yet set it aside I might argue that his mere word counts for nothing. Therefore these texts are also necessary.
But how can you say that [one set of texts is] where he has pledged himself but not yet set aside, seeing that ‘freewill-offering’ is mentioned, and we have learnt, What is a vow? When a man says, I pledge myself to bring a burnt-offering. What is a freewill-offering? Where a man says, I declare this to be a burnt-offering. What is the difference [in practice] between a vow and a freewill-offering? If [an animal set aside to perform] a vow dies or is stolen, he has to replace it, but if a freewill-offering dies or is stolen he is not bound to replace it! — Raba replied: You can find a freewill-offering of this kind15 in the case where he said, ‘I pledge myself to bring a burnt-offering on condition that I shall not be obliged to replace it’.
‘"With thy mouth": this is charity’. Raba said: For [paying] charity-offerings one becomes liable at once. What is the reason? Because the poor are waiting.16 Surely this is obvious? — [Not so, since] you might think that, as charity is mentioned in the passage dealing with offerings, [it need not be paid] till three festivals have elapsed, as in the case of offerings. We are therefore told that this is not so. Only the others [the offerings] were made by the All-Merciful dependent on the festivals, but this [charity] is not so, because the poor are waiting.17
Raba said: As soon as one festival has elapsed, he transgresses an affirmative precept. The following objection was raised:18 R. Joshua and R. Pappias testified regarding the offspring of a peace-offering19 that it should also be brought as a peace-offering. R. Pappias said: I testify that we had a heifer which was sacrificed as a peace-offering, and we ate it on Passover, and we ate its young as a peace-offering on the Festival.20 Now I can understand why it was not offered on Passover, the ground being that it was still too short-lived.21 But how could the young be kept over Pentecost, which would involve the transgression of an affirmative precept? — R. Zebid said in the name of Raba: It may have been
(1) In Lev. VII, 18, If any of the flesh . . . be eaten on the third day, it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it. The word otho could be dispensed with.
(2) Deut. XXIII, 22.
(3) E.g., if he vows without having the wherewithal to pay.
(4) Prov. XXII, 27, referring to those who go surety.
(5) Deut. XXIII, 24.
(6) Because we understand the word ‘carry out’.
(7) V. supra, p. II
(8) Heb. נדבה E.V., ‘freely’.
(9) Deut. XII, 5, 6. V. p. 12, n. 8.
(10) Which occurs just above in Deut. XXIII, v. 22.
(11) Lev. I, 3.
(12) By physical force.
(13) לרצנו E.V., ‘that he may be accepted’.
(14) Explicitly in Deut. XXIII, verse 24, and by derivation in verse 22; v. supra p. 5b (Rashi).
(15) One in respect of which he has pledged himself without setting aside.
(16) Lit., ‘are standing’.
(17) Lit., ‘are to be found’. MS.M. omits, ‘Only . . . waiting’.
(18) ‘Ed. 7.
(19) If the animal was consecrated when pregnant, or became pregnant subsequently, and gave birth before being sacrificed.
(20) Heb. חג, which usually designates Tabernacles.
(21) Lit. ‘deficient in time’. I.e., not yet eight days old. V. Lev. XXII, 27.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 6b
that it was sick on Pentecost. R. Ashi said: What is meant by the statement ‘we ate its young as a peace-offering on the Festival’? it means, the Feast of Weeks. What says the other to this? — [He says that] wherever [Pentecost] is mentioned in connection with Passover, it is called ‘Assembly’ [‘azereth].1
Raba said: As soon as three festivals have elapsed, he transgresses every day the precept of ‘not delaying’. The following was cited in objection to this: [The rule] both for a firstling and for all consecrated animals is that so soon as they have been kept back a year [even] without three festivals,2 or three festivals even it less than a year, the precept of ‘not delaying’ is transgressed. What objection is there here?3 — R. Kahana said: The objection is a sound one.4 See now: the Tanna is looking for prohibitions; let him then state, ‘he transgresses the precept of "not delaying" every day’.5 What says the other to this? — [He says that] the Tanna is only anxious to stamp the act as forbidden;6 he does not look for extra prohibitions.7
[To revert to] the [above] text: ‘[The rule] both for a firstling and for all consecrated animals is that so soon as they have been kept back a year even without three festivals or three festivals even if less than a year, the precept of "not delaying" is trans gressed’. I grant that three festivals without a year are possible; but how is a year possible without three festivals? And I still grant that this is possible for one who requires the three festivals to be in order, but for one who does not require them to be in order how is it possible? And I still grant that this is possible for Rabbi in a leap year, since it has been taught, [It is written] ‘a complete year’8 : Rabbi says, he [the seller] reckons three hundred and sixty-five days, which is the number of days in the solar year, while the Sages say that he reckons twelve months from day to day,9 and if it is a leap year he gets the benefit.10 — It is possible for Rabbi [to have a year without three festivals] in the case where one sanctified the animal after11 the festival of Passover, since when the end of the next second Adar12 comes round the year is completed but the number of festivals is not completed. But for the Rabbis how is it possible? — [It is possible] on the basis of what R. Shemaiah learnt: Pentecost is sometimes on the fifth of the [third] month, sometimes on the sixth, and sometimes on the seventh. For instance, if both of them13 are full,14 it is on the fifth;15 if both of them are defective.,16 it is on the seventh; if one is full and the other defective, it is on the sixth.17 Who is the Tanna who takes a different view from R. Shemaiah?18 It is the ‘Others’, as it has been taught: Others say that between Pentecost and Pentecost, between New Year and New Year there is always an interval of four days [of the week],19 or, in a leap year, five.20
R. Zera asked: Does the rule of ‘not delaying’ apply to an heir?21 [Do we reason that] the All-Merciful has said ‘When thou shalt vow a vow’, and he has not made a vow, or [perhaps we apply the text], and thither thou shalt come and thither shall ye bring,22 and he also is liable?23 — Come and hear, since R, Hiyya has taught: ‘From thee [me'imak]’:24 this excludes the heir. But this ‘me'imak’ is required to bring under the rule gleanings, forgotten sheaves, and corners of the field?25 — I expound ‘imak, and I expound me'imak.26
R. Zera also asked: Does the rule of ‘not delaying’ apply to a woman? Do we reason that she is not obliged to appear [at Jerusalem on the festivals]27 or perhaps do we reason that she is enjoined to rejoice?28 — Abaye replied: Is not the answer provided by the fact that she is enjoined to rejoice? But could Abaye say this, seeing that Abaye has said that a woman is made joyful by her husband?29 Abaye was answering R. Zera on his own premises.
The question was raised: From what day is the year of the firstling reckoned? — Abaye said, From the hour of its birth; R. Aha b. Jacob said, From the time when it can be used for appeasement.30 Nor is there any conflict of opinion between them; one speaks of an animal without blemish,31
(1) The Rabbinic term for Pentecost; and therefore חג here must mean Tabernacles.
(2) This statement is discussed infra.
(3) There is no contradiction between this statement and that of Raba.
(4) Lit., ‘he who raises the objection objects well’.
(5) And since he does not say so, we presume that he is in disagreement with Raba.
(6) Lit., ‘to fix it in a prohibition’.
(7) But all the same he would agree with Raba.
(8) Within which a house sold in a walled city could be compulsorily redeemed. Lev. XXV, 29.
(9) Which in an ordinary year is only 354 days according to the Jewish calendar.
(10) The year in this case being 383 days.
(11) Strictly speaking it must be during passover, since 365 days would not elapse from after Passover till the end of the next Adar sheni. Or ‘the end of Adar’ may be used loosely to signify the days between then and Passover.
(12) The second Adar in a leap year.
(13) The months of Nisan and Iyar.
(14) I.e., contain thirty days.
(15) This being the fiftieth day from the second day of Passover.
(16) I.e., contain only 29 days.
(17) Hence if pentecost is in one year on the fifth and he sanctifies on the sixth, and the next year Pentecost is on the seventh, a full twelvemonth can pass without three festivals.
(18) And would not count a year without three festivals.
(19) They held that the months are full and defective in strict rotation, and the twelvemonth consequently has 354 days, which is four days over 50 weeks. On this view, Pentecost must always be on the sixth of Sivan.
(20) It being assumed that the intercalary month consists always of twenty-nine days. i.e., four weeks and a day.
(21) Whose father made a vow which he had not fulfilled before his death.
(22) V. supra p. 12, n. 8.
(23) To ‘come’ and consequently to ‘bring’.
(24) Deut. XXIII, 22.
(25) V. supra p. 11.
(26) ‘Imak’ means ‘from thee’, and this would be sufficient for the rule; we therefore derive an additional lesson from the form me ‘imak (lit., ‘from with thee’).
(27) Since it says, shall all thy males appear (Deut. XVI, 16).
(28) Which implies partaking of the peace-offerings. v. pes. 109a, and as she must go to Jerusalem for this purpose, she must also ‘not delay’ the vow’
(29) With fine clothes, v. Kid. 34b.
(30) I.e., sacrifice, viz., on the eighth day, v. Lev. XXII, 27.
(31) Which can be sacrificed on the eighth day.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 7a
, the other of an animal with a blemish.1 Can a blemished animal be eaten [on the day of birth]?2 [We speak of one] of which we know for certain that it has not been born prematurely.3
Our Rabbis taught: On the first of Nisan is New Year for months,4 for leap-years,5 and for the offering of shekalim;6 some say, also for the renting of houses.7
‘New Year for months’: whence do we know this? — Because it is written, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months, it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take unto then: every man a lamb, according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household. . . and ye shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, and they shall kill it8 etc. It is also written [elsewhere],9 Observe the month of Abib10 [springing corn]. Now which is the month in which there is springing corn? You must says this is Nisan; and this is called ‘first’. But cannot I say that it is Iyar? — We require springing corn’, and there is none. But cannot I say that it is Adar? — We require the bulk of the springing corn, and this we have not [in Adar]. But does the text say, ‘the bulk of the springing corn’? Rather, said R. Hisda; we learn it from here: Howbeit on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruits of the land.11 What is the month in which there is ‘gathering in’?12 You must say that this is Tishri, and the text calls it ‘seventh’. But cannot I say that it is Marheshvan, and by ‘seventh’ is meant the seventh to Iyar? — We require ‘gathering in’, and this we have not [in Marheshvan]. But cannot I say that it is Elul, and by seventh’ is meant seventh to Adar? — We require the bulk of the ingathering, which we have not [in Elul]. But does the text say, ‘the bulk of the ingathering’? — The fact is, said Rabina, that we cannot learn this from the Torah of Moses our teacher, but we have to learn it from the later Scriptures,13 [viz.,] Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat.14 Rabbah b. ‘ulla said, [We learn it] from here: So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month which is the month Tebeth.15 R. Kahana said: [We learn it] from here, In the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Kislev.16 R. Aha b. Jacob said, [We learn it] from here: Then were the king's scribes called at that time in the third month which is the month of Sivan.17 R. Ashi said, [We learn it] from here: They cast pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day and from month to month to the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.18 If you prefer, I can learn it from here: In the first month which is the month Nisan.19 Why did not all the others derive it from here?20 — Perhaps ‘first’ here means, ‘first in relation to his [Haman's] affair’.21
Why did not our Tanna22 [reckon the first of Nisan as the New Year for months]? — Our Tanna speaks only of years, he does not speak of months.
‘For leap years’. Do we reckon [a New Year] for leap years from Nisan?23 Has it not been taught: ‘A leap year is not decreed24 before New Year,25 and if such a decree is issued it is not effective. In cases of emergency,26 however, the decree may be issued immediately after New Year, and even so the intercalary month must be [the second] Adar’!27 — R. Nahman b. Isaac replied: What is meant here by ‘leap years’? The closing of a leap year, as we have learnt: ‘They's testified that the year may be declared a leap year throughout the whole of Adar, since others asserted that this could be done only until Purim.’28 What was the reason of those who held that this could be done only until Purim? — Since a Master has stated that ‘enquiries are made regarding the laws of Passover for thirty days before Passover,29 People might be led into neglecting the rules of leaven.30 What says the other to this? — He says that people know that a leap year depends on calculation, and they say to themselves that the Rabbis have only now got the calculation right.31
What of our Tanna?32 — He speaks only of commencements, not of terminations.
‘And for the offering of shekalim’.33 How do we know this [from Scripture]? — R. Josiah said: The Scripture says, This is the burnt-offering of each month in its month throughout the months of the year.34 The Torah here enjoins:35 ‘Renew [the year] and bring an offering from the new contributions’. That the ‘year’ here commences with Nisan is learnt by analogy with the text,36 It is the first to you of the months of the year.37 But why not suppose it is Tishri from the analogy of, From the beginning of the year?38 — To a year with which months are mentioned we apply the analogy of a year with which months are mentioned, but to a year with which months are mentioned, we do not apply the analogy of a year with which months are not mentioned.
Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel: It is proper to bring the congregational sacrifices that are offered on the first of Nisan from the new contributions. If, however, they are brought from the old, the duty has been performed,39 but not in the most appropriate manner.40 It has been taught to the same effect: ‘It is proper to bring the congregational sacrifices which are offered on the first of Nisan from the new contributions; if, however, they were brought from the old, the duty has been performed, but not in the most appropriate manner. If a private person has offered them from his own property, they are unexceptionable, provided he hands them over to the congregation’. Surely this is self-evident? — You might think that we should have some scruples [in accepting them], in case
(1) Which can be eaten as ordinary non-sacrificial flesh,
(2) Perhaps it has been born prematurely and cannot survive, v. Shab. 135b.
(3) Lit., ‘that its months have been completed’.
(4) I.e., the order of months commences with Nisan.
(5) V. infra.
(6) For first using for the purchase of congregational sacrifices the shekalim that were collected in Adar. Cf. Meg. 29b.
(7) V. infra.
(8) Ex. XII, 2-6. Only the first of these verses need have been quoted.
(9) In connection with the Passover.
(10) Deut. XVI, 1.
(11) Lev., XXIII, 39.
(12) When the produce is brought in from the fields to save it from the approaching rain.
(13) Lit., ‘words of Kabbalah’ (tradition), a name given in the Talmud to the Prophetical writings and the Hagiographa, v. B.K., Sonc. ed., p. 3, n. 3.
(14) Zech. I, 7.
(15) Esth. II, 16.
(16) Sech. VII, 1.
(17) Esth. VIII, 9.
(18) Ibid., III, 7.
(20) Since Nisan is mentioned explicitly.
(21) With regard to the others also it might be asked why more than one quotation is needed. Perhaps the idea was to show that there had been no change in the names of the months since the time of ‘kabbalah’. V. however, Tosaf. s.v. מדברי
(22) The Tanna of our Mishnah.
(23) I.e., can the Beth din even in Nisan declare that the year just begun is to be a leap year?
(24) In the time of the Second Temple the calendar was not fixed, but the Beth din declared any year a leap year (i.e., inserted an intercalary month) according as they judged necessary, subject to certain rules.
(25) Because if this were done, by the time Adar came round people might forget.
(26) E.g., if they were afraid that they might be prevented from issuing the decree later.
(27) V. Sanh., Sonc. ed. p. 55 notes. (15) R. Joshua and R. Pappias. Sanh. 87a Ed. VII, 7.
(28) And once Purim had passed, the next month had to be Nisan of the next year and not the second Adar of the present year.
(29) I.e., the emissaries of the Beth din instructed the public on the matter during this time.
(30) If in the interval Passover was postponed for a month, they would not observe the new date of the Passover.
(31) Lit., ‘this calculation had not been completed by the Rabbis till now’.
(32) Why does he not include leap years.
(33) In Adar a shekel had to be contributed by every Israelite for the purchase of congregational sacrifices during the coming year.
(34) Num. XXVIII, 14.
(35) By the superfluous expression, ‘throughout the months of the year’.
(36) ‘And we derive (the meaning of) "year" from "year" (commencing) with Nisan’.
(37) Ex. XII, 2.
(38) Deut. XI, 12, referring to the rainfall.
(39) In respect of the sacrifice itself.
(40) Lit. ‘he has omitted a precept’.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 7b
he has not transferred them with all his heart.1 We are told therefore [that this is not necessary].
Why does our Tanna [not reckon New Year for shekalim]? — Since it is laid down that if the sacrifices are brought [from the old contributions] the duty is still performed, he was not certain [whether this should be counted a New Year].
‘Some say, Also for the renting of houses’. Our Rabbis have taught: ‘If a man lets a house to another for a year, he reckons it as twelve months from day to day.2 If, however, he stipulates "for this year", then even if the tenant only entered into occupation3 on the first of Adar, as soon as the first of Nisan arrives,4 a year has been completed.’ And even according to those who say that one day in the year is reckoned as a year, this does not apply here, because a man would not trouble to rent a house for less than thirty days . But why should I not say that Tishri [is the New Year for letting houses]?5 — It is taken for granted that when a man takes a house [in Tishri], he takes it for the whole of the rainy season. Why do the first Tanna of the Baraitha and our Tanna [not reckon the renting of houses]? — In Nisan also there is often cloudy weather.6
ON THE FIRST OF ELUL IS NEW YEAR FOR THE TITHE OF CATTLE. Who is the authority for this? — It is R. Meir, as it has been taught: ‘R. Meir says, On the first of Elul is New Year for the tithe of cattle’. Who is the authority in respect of festivals? It is R. Simeon,7 Now look at the succeeding clause: R. ELEAZAR AND R. SIMEON SAY, ON THE FIRST OF TISHRI. [Am I to say that] the first and third statements here follow the authority of R. Simeon and the middle one that of R. Meir? — R. Joseph said: The authority here is Rabbi, and he decides now in accordance with one, now with another Tanna. In respect of festivals he concurs with R. Simeon, and in respect of tithe of cattle he concurs with R. Meir. If that is so, how can he say FOUR [New Years]? There are five?8 — Raba replied: There are four according to all authorities. There are four according to R. Meir, excluding the festivals,9 and four according to R. Simeon, excluding the tithe of cattle.10 R. Nahman b. Isaac said: [The meaning of our Mishnah is], There are four months in which there are a number of New Years.11
An objection was raised: ‘The sixteenth of Nisan is the New Year for the ‘Omer;12 the sixth of Sivan is the New Year for the two loaves’.13 Now [this being so], according to Raba the Mishnah should say six, and according to R. Nahman b. Isaac five? — R. Papa said: In fixing the number, [the Tanna] reckons only such [New Years] as commence with the evening,14 he does not reckon those that do not commence with15 the evening.16 But what of festivals which [in respect of vows] do not commence with the evening17 and yet are reckoned? — Since he has to bring [his vow], he becomes guilty [of ‘delaying’] from the very commencement [of the festival].18 But what of Jubilees which do not commence with the evening,19 and yet are reckoned in? — This follows the view of R. Johanan b. Ishmael the son of R. Johanan b. Beroka, who said that the Jubilee commences with the New Year. R. Shisha the son of R. Idi said: In fixing the number, [the Tanna] reckoned only New Years that are not inaugurated with some ceremony,20 but he does not reckon those that are inaugurated with a ceremony.21 But what of festivals, which [in respect of vows] are inaugurated with a ceremony,22 and yet are not reckoned? — The [transgression of] ‘not delaying’ comes automatically.23
(1) Lit., ‘very well’.
(2) I.e.,from a date in one month to the same date in the same month next year.
(3) Lit., ‘stood’.
(4) I.e., as soon as thirty days have passed.
(5) So that, if a man rents a house on the first of Elul for a year, he takes it only to the first of Tishri.
(6) And therefore at no time would a man if he took a house for a year mean merely thirty days.
(7) As explained above, that R. Simeon requires three festivals in order in the matter of vows, and he is therefore the authority for the first statement in the Mishnah, that there is a New Year for festivals.
(8) The New Year for festivals being on the fifteenth of Nisan.
(9) Since R. Meir is of the view that the transgression is involved after the lapse of one festival. V. supra 4b.
(10) I.e., the first of Elul as a separate New Year; since R. Simeon places it on the first of Tishri which is in any case a new year.
(11) There being two in Nisan, and these are counted as one.
(12) I.e., for making permissible the new corn. Lev. XXIII, 14.
(13) For bringing meal-offerings from the new corn. Ibid. 17.
(14) E.g., the New Year for kings commences with the evening of the first of Nisan.
(15) Lit, ‘full’.
(16) As instanced presently.
(17) It being assumed that the precept of ‘not delaying’ is not transgressed till the hour arrives when the animal vowed may be offered, i.e., till the perpetual offering of the morning is brought.
(18) Even though he is unable to bring the sacrifice till the morning.
(19) But which are ushered in with a blast of the shofar on the Day of Atonement, in the daytime.
(20) Lit. ‘depend on an act’. I.e., the New Years which begin with the advent of the day itself.
(21) The prohibition of the new corn for personal consumption and for offerings respectively is raised only by the offering of the Omer and the two loaves.
(22) No sacrifice could be offered before the bringing of the daily morning sacrifice.
(23) As soon as the Festival sets in.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 8a
But what of Jubilees?1 — This follows the authority of R. Ishmael the son of R. Johanan b. Beroka. R. Ashi said: [The meaning of our Mishnah is,] There are four New Years which fall on four firsts of the month.2 [Do you then reckon] the first of Shebat [as one and so] follow Beth Shammai?3 — He [R. Ashi] meant it in this way: There are three according to all authorities; with regard to the first of Shebat there is a difference of opinion between Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel.
R. ELEAZAR AND R. SIMEON SAID, ON THE FIRST OF TISHRI. R. Johanan said: They both based their opinions on the same verse, viz., The rams have mounted the sheep4 and the valleys also are covered over with corn, they shout for joy, yea, they sing.5 R. Meir reasoned: When do the rams mount the sheep? At the time when the valleys are covered over with corn. And when are the valleys covered over with corn? In Adar. The sheep conceive in Adar and bear in Ab,6 and their New Year is in Elul. R. Eleazar and R. Simeon said: When do the rams mount the sheep? At the time when they [the ears of corn] shout for joy and sing.7 When do the ears of corn burst into song? In Nisan. They conceive in Nisan and bear in Elul, and their New Year is in Tishri. How then does the other [R. Meir] account for the words, ‘they shout for joy, yea they sing’? — This refers to the late ones, whose conception takes place in Nisan. But how then does the other [R. Eleazar] account for the words, the valleys are covered with corn? — That refers to the early ones, whose conception takes place in Adar. Now according to R. Meir, there is no difficulty; the text says, ‘The rams mount the sheep’, to wit at the time when ‘the valleys are covered with corn’, but there are some also [which do not conceive till] they shout aloud and sing’. But on the view of R. Eleazar and R. Simeon, the clauses should be reversed, thus: ‘The rams mount the sheep’, to wit, at the time when the ears of corn ‘shout for joy and sing’, but there are some which do so [already] ‘when the valleys are covered with corn’? — The fact is, said Raba, that all authorities hold that the rams mount the sheep at the time when the valleys are covered with corn, which is in Adar, but where they differ is in the exposition of the following text, viz., Thou shalt surely tithe,8 [in regard to which we have learnt that] the Scripture speaks of two tithes, the tithe of cattle and the tithe of corn. Now R. Meir was of opinion that the tithe of cattle is put on the same footing as the tithe of corn in this way: just as corn becomes liable to tithe, soon after it reaches completion,9 so cattle becomes liable to tithe soon after it reaches completion.10 R. Eleazar and R. Simeon again held that the tithe of cattle is put on the same footing as the tithe of corn in this way: just as the New Year for the tithe of corn is in Tishri, so the New Year for the tithe of cattle is in Tishri.
ON THE FIRST OF TISHRI IS NEW YEAR FOR YEARS. What legal bearing has this? — R. Papa said: For [determining the validity of] documents, as we have learnt, ‘Bonds if antedated are invalid, but if postdated are valid’.11 But we have learnt, ON THE FIRST OF NISAN IS NEW YEAR FOR KINGS, and we asked, What is the legal bearing of this, and R. Hisda replied, For [determining the validity of] documents?12 — There is no contradiction; the one statement refers to kings of Israel, the other to kings of other nations. What then of the dictum of R. Hisda, ‘This statement refers only to the kings of Israel, but for the kings of other nations we reckon from Tishri’; was R. Hisda telling us only something that we already know from a Mishnah? — No; R. Hisda wanted to tell us the import of some Scriptural verses.13 If you like I can say that R. Hisda explains the Mishnah here in the same way as R. Zera, since R. Zera said [that it14 means], for reckoning cycles,15 in this following the view of R. Eleazar, who said that the world was created in Tishri.16 R. Nahman b. Isaac [explained the Mishnah to refer] to the Divine judgment ‘as it is written, From the beginning of the year to the end of the year,17 [which means], From the beginning of the year sentence is passed as to what shall be up to the end of it. How do we know that this takes place in Tishri? — Because it is written, Blow the horn at the new moon, at the covered time [keseh]18 for our feastday.19 Which is the feast
(1) V. n. 2.
(2) And for this reason the New Year for the Omer and the two loaves are not included in our Mishnah.
(3) V. Mishnah.
(4) E.V., ‘The meadows are clothed with flocks’.
(5) Ps. LXV, 14.
(6) Six months being allowed for pregnancy.
(7) A poetic description of the rustling of the ears. It is doubtful whether we can find here an allusion to the idea that ‘all creatures sing a certain chant before the Holy One, blessed be He’.
(8) Lit., ‘tithing thou shalt tithe’, Deut., XIV, 22.
(9) I.e., after it has become thoroughly dried in the fields, in Elul, v. infra 12a.
(10) I.e., after it is born, in Ab.
(11) V. supra, p. 2, n. 2.
(12) Which shows that the year for documents is dated from Nisan and not Tishri.
(13) I.e., he was telling us that we can learn from the Scriptures that the years of non-Israelitish kings are reckoned from Tishri. V. supra p. 7.
(14) The statement ON THE FIRST OF TISHRI IS THE NEW YEAR FOR YEARS.
(15) I.e., the cycle of Tishri is the first of the four cycles of the year, v. infra p. 43, n. 9. The year is divided into four cycles called Tekufoth, the Tekufah of Nisan (Vernal Equinox); Tammuz (Summer Solstice); Tishri (Autumn Equinox); Tebeth (Winter Solstice). The term Tekufah is also applied to the season itself.
(16) V. infra 10b.
(17) Deut. XI, 12. The verse continues, the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it (the land of Canaan).
(18) E.V., ‘appointed time’, or ‘full moon’.
(19) Ps. LXXXI, 4.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 8b
on which the moon is covered over [mithkaseh]? You must say that this is New Year;1 and it is written [in this connection], For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance for the God of Jacob.2
Our Rabbis taught: ‘For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance for the God of Jacob’: this teaches that the heavenly Beth din does not assemble for judgment until the Beth din on earth has sanctified the month’.
Another [Baraitha] taught: ‘For it is a statute for Israel’; this tells me only that Israel [are judged]; how do I know that this applies also to the [other] nations of this world? Because it is written, an ordinance for the God of Jacob’. If that is the case, what is the point of saying, For it is a statute for Israel?3 — It teaches that Israel are brought up for trial first. And this is in harmony with the [following] saying of R. Hisda. For R. Hisda said: Where a king4 and a community appear together, the king is brought up for judgment first, as it says, the judgment of his servant [Solomon] and the judgment of his people.5 What is the reason? — If you like I can say, because it is not seemly that the king should stand outside, and if you like I can say, [the king is tried] before [the Divine] wrath becomes really fierce.6
FOR RELEASE YEARS. How do we know this [from the Scripture]? — Because it is written, And in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land,7 and that this commences with Tishri we learn from the analogy with the word ‘year’8 in from the beginning of the year.9 But let us learn that it is Nisan from analogy with the word ‘year’ in the text, it is the first to you of the months of the year?10 — We draw an analogy to a year with which months are not mentioned from a year with which months are not mentioned, but we do not draw an analogy to a year with which months are not mentioned from a year with which months are mentioned.11
AND FOR JUBILEE YEARS. [is the New Year for] Jubilees on the first of Tishri? Surely [the New Year for] Jubilees is on the tenth of Tishri, as it is written, on the day of atonement shall ye make proclamation with the horn?12 — What authority is here followed? R. Ishmael the son of R. Johanan b. Beroka, as it has been taught: And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year.13 What is the point of these words? [It is this]. Since it says, On the day of atonement [ye shall make proclamation ],12 I might think that the year is sanctified only from the Day of Atonement onwards. Therefore it says, And ye shall sanctify the fiftieth year. This teaches that it is sanctified from its inception. On this ground R. Ishmael the son of R. Johanan b. Beroka laid down that from New Year to the Day of Atonement slaves were neither dismissed to their homes nor subjected to their masters, but they ate and drank and made merry, wearing garlands on their heads.14 When the Day of Atonement came, the Beth din sounded the horn; slaves were dismissed to their homes and fields returned to their original owners. And the Rabbis [ — what do they make of this verse]? — [They say it teaches that] you are to sanctify years but not months.15
Another [Baraitha] taught: ‘It is a Jubilee.16 What is the point of these words? — Since it says, And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year,13 I might think that, just as it is sanctified from its inception onwards, so it remains sanctified [for a time] after its termination. And there would be nothing to wonder at in this, seeing that we [regularly] add from the profane on to the holy.17 Therefore it says, it is a Jubilee to you, the fiftieth year, [to show that] you are to sanctify the fiftieth year, but not the fifty-first year.18
(1) The only feast which takes place when the moon is hidden.
(2) Ibid. 5.
(3) For if the other nations are judged, a plus forte raison Israel.
(4) Israel being regarded as a king in relation to the other nations.
(5) I Kings, VIII, 59.
(6) Being inflamed by the sins of the community.
(7) Lev. XXV, 4.
(8) And he derives (the meaning of) ‘year’ from ‘year’ (commencing) with Tishri.
(9) Deut. XI, 12, which refers to Tishri.
(10) Ex. XII, 2.
(11) V. supra p, 7a.
(12) Lev. XXV, 9. referring to the Jubilee.
(13) Ibid 10. These words are apparently superfluous, it having already been said, and thou shalt number forty-nine years.
(14) In sign of their approaching freedom.
(15) Cf. infra 24a.
(16) Lev. XXV, II.
(17) V. infra.
(18) The word ‘it’ being specific.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 9a
And the Rabbis [ — what do they make of these words]?1 — [They say]: You are to count the fiftieth year, but you are not to count the fifty-first,2 to exclude the view of R. Judah, who said that the fiftieth year is reckoned both ways.3 We are here told that this is not so.
And how do we know [from the Scripture] that we add from the profane on to the holy?4 — As it has been taught: In plowing time and in harvest time thou shalt rest.5 R. Akiba, [commenting on this,] said: There was no need [for Scripture] to specify the ploughing and harvest of the Sabbatical year, since this has already been mentioned [in] thy field thou shalt not sow etc.6 What must be meant therefore is the ploughing of the year before the seventh which is passing into the seventh,7 and the harvest of the seventh year which is continuing into the period after the seventh year.8 R. Ishmael said: Just as ploughing is optional,9 so the harvest [here referred to] is an optional one, excluding the harvesting of the ‘Omer, which is a religious duty.10 Whence then does R. Ishmael derive the rule that an addition is to be made from the profane on to the holy? — From what has been taught: And ye shall afflict your souls on the ninth day:11 I might think [literally] on the ninth day. It therefore says, In the evening.12 if in the evening, I might think, after dark? It therefore says , ‘or, the ninth day’.13 What then am I to understand? That we begin fasting while it is yet day; which shows that we add from the profane on to the holy. I know this [so far] only in regard to the inception [of the holy day]; how do I know it in regard to its termination? Because it says, from evening to evening.12 So far I have brought only the Day of Atonement under the rule; how do I know that it applies to Sabbaths also? Because it says, ye shall rest.14 How do I know that it applies to festivals? Because it says, your Sabbath.14 How am I to understand this? That wherever there is an obligation to rest, we add from the profane on to the holy.
What then does R. Akiba make of this, ‘and ye shall afflict your souls on the ninth day’? — He requires it for the lesson learnt by R. Hiyya b. Rab from Difti.15 For R. Hiyya b. Rab from Difti learnt: ‘And ye shall afflict your souls on the ninth day’. Do we then fast on the ninth day? Is it not on the tenth day that we fast? [We do]; but [the use of this word] indicates that if a man eats and drinks on the ninth day, the Scripture accounts it to him
(1) They have no need of this lesson, seeing that they do not consider the year sanctified from its inception. (Cf. Tosaf. s.v. ורבנן b8).
(2) Lit. ‘the year fifty and first’. So our texts, the meaning being, according to Rashi, that you are not to reckon the fiftieth year as fiftieth to the Jubilee and first to the next septennate. Tosaf., by a slight change of wording, renders: ‘You are to count the fiftieth year (as fiftieth to the Jubilee), but you are not to count the fiftieth year as one (to the following septennate)’, which is a smoother reading.
(3) As fiftieth to the Jubilee and first to the next septennate.
(4) I.e., add a little from the ordinary week-day on to the holy day.
(5) Ex. XXXIV, 21.
(6) Lev. XXV, 4.
(7) Ploughing under trees in the sixth year which will benefit them in the seventh.
(8) Stuff which grows of itself and reached a third of its growth in the seventh year.
(9) As there is no ploughing, which is considered a religious duty.
(10) R. Ishmael takes the words ‘in plowing time etc.’ to refer to the Sabbath, and learns from them that the ‘Omer to be brought on the second day of Passover may be reaped on Sabbath, v. Mak. 8b.
(11) Lev. XXIII, 32.
(13) And after dark would be on the tenth.
(14) Lev. XXIII, 32.
(15) Dibtha, below the Tigris, S.E. of Babylon.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 9b
as if he fasted on both the ninth and the tenth days.1
Our Rabbis taught: It is a Jubilee2 — ‘A Jubilee’3 even though they did not observe the release of fields, even though they did not observe the blowing of the trumpet.4 I might say [that it is still a Jubilee] even though they did not observe the dismissal of slaves. Therefore it says, ‘it is’.5 So R. Judah. R. Jose said: ‘It is a Jubilee’, — ‘A Jubilee’3 even though they did not release fields, even though they did not dismiss slaves. I might think [that it is still a Jubilee] even if they did not blow the trumpet. It therefore says, ‘it is’. Now6 since one text brings some cases under the rule and another text excludes others from it, why should I expound: ‘A Jubilee’,7 even though they did not dismiss, but it is not a Jubilee unless they blew the trumpet’? Because it is possible that there should be no [opportunity for]8 dismissing slaves, but it is not possible that there should be no [opportunity for] blowing the trumpet.9 Another explanation is that the per formance of the latter depends on the Beth din, but the performance of the former does not depend on the Beth din.10 What need is there for the alternative explanation? — Because you might argue that it is impossible that there should not be someone in some part of the world who has not a slave to dismiss. Therefore I say that the one depends on the Beth din but the other does not depend on the Beth din.
I understand R. Jose's point of view, his reason being as he stated. But what is R. Judah's reason? — The text says, And ye shall proclaim liberty throughout the land,11 and he holds that a text may be expounded in connection with the clause immediately preceding it, but not with the one before that.12
All authorities agree that the word deror13 means freedom. What does this tell us? — As it has been taught: The word deror means freedom. R. Judah said: What is the significance of the word deror? [The freedom of] one who dwells [medayyer] where he likes14 and can carry on trade in the whole country.
R. Hiyya b. Abba said in the name of R. Johanan: The views given above are those of R. Judah and R. Jose, but the Sages say that [the neglect of] any of these three ceremonies renders the Jubilee inoperative. Their view was that a text can be expounded in connection both with the clause immediately preceding it and with the one before that and with the one that follows it.15 But it is written ‘Jubilee’?16 — This is to show that it must be kept even outside of Palestine. But it is written ‘throughout the land’?17 — This means that when liberation is carried out in the land it is carried out abroad, and when it is not carried out in the land it need not be carried out abroad.
AND FOR PLANTATION. How do we know this [from the Scripture]? — Because it is written, Three years [it shall be] uncircumcised,18 and it is written, and in the fourth year,19 and we learn that this year commences with Tishri from the analogy of the word ‘year’ in the text from the beginning of the year.20 But why not conclude that it commences with Nisan from the analogy of the word ‘year’ in It is the first to you of the months of the year? — We draw an analogy to a year with which months are not mentioned from a year with which months are not mentioned, but we do not draw an analogy to a year with which months are not mentioned from a year with which months are mentioned.
Our Rabbis taught: ‘If one plants or bends over21 or grafts a tree in the year before22 the Sabbatical year thirty days before New Year — in all three cases, [by New Year] a year has passed for him,23 and he can preserve the growth during the seventh year. [If he does so] less than thirty days before New Year, the interval [up to New Year] does not count as a year for him and he may not preserve the growth in the Sabbatical year
(1) Because the eating and drinking on the ninth day is called in the text ‘fasting’.
(2) Lev. XXV, 11.
(3) Added by Bah.
(4) The superfluous word ‘Jubilee’ shows that even in these cases the year is observed as a Jubilee for the abstaining from sowing etc.
(5) היא This word having a limiting force.
(6) This is a continuation of R. Jose's statement.
(7) So Bah; cur. edd. ‘It is a Jubilee’.
(8) Lit., ‘it is possible for the world’. E.g.. if no Israelite had a slave.
(9) It is hardly possible that there should be no trumpet.
(10) Because the Beth din may not be able to compel all persons to dismiss their slaves.
(11) Just before the words ‘it is a Jubilee’.
(12) Hence we apply the limiting force of the words ‘it is’ to the dismissal of slaves, but not to the blowing of the trumpet, which does not immediately precede.
(13) In Lev. XXV, 10. E.V. ‘liberty’.
(14) [בי דײרא, Lit., ‘in a dwelling place’. MS.M.; דײרא (carrier). As a carrier carries (or, goes round with) his load everywhere he likes].
(15) Viz., ‘and ye shall return everyone unto his possession’.
(16) This should cancel the limiting force of ‘it is’.
(17) So how can you say that it should be kept outside of Palestine?
(18) Lev. XIX, 23.
(19) Ibid. 24.
(20) V. supra p. 31.
(21) A branch from a tree and plants it in the ground without separating it from the parent tree.
(22) Lit., ‘in the eve of’.
(23) I.e., the thirty days count as one of the years of ‘uncircumcision’.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 10a
. The fruit of such a plantation is forbidden until the fifteenth of Shebat,1 whether as "uncircumcised" in [the year of] "uncircumcision", or as fourth year fruit in the fourth year’,2 What is the ground for this ruling? — R. Hiyya b. Abba said in the name of R. Johanan (though some trace it back to the authority of R. Jannai): Scripture says, And in the fourth year. . . and in the fifth year.3 There are occasions when fruit appears in the fourth year and it is still forbidden on account of uncircumcision’, and there are occasions when fruit appears in the fifth year and it is still forbidden on account of ‘fourth year’.
Shall I say that that is not [in agreement with] R. Meir,4 since R. Meir has affirmed5 that one day in the year is reckoned as a year, as it has been taught: ‘Par [bullock] is mentioned in the Torah without further qualification and means an animal twenty-four months and one day old. So R. Meir. R. Eleazar says, it means an animal twenty-four months and thirty days old. For R. Meir used to say: Wherever ‘egel [calf] is mentioned in the Torah without further qualification, it means of the first year; [‘egel]6 ben bakar [young ox] means, of the second year; par [bullock] means, of the third year’! — You may still say [it is in agreement with] R. Meir. When R. Meir said that one day in a year is counted as a year, he meant at the end of a period,7 but not at the beginning.8
Raba said: Cannot we apply here an argument a fortiori,9 [to wit]: Seeing that in the case of a niddah,10 though the beginning of the [seventh] day is not reckoned as concluding her period,11 the end of the [first] day yet counts for the beginning of her period,12 in the case of [a period of] years where one day is counted [as a whole year] at the end,13
(1) Although three years are reckoned to have been completed by the previous New Year.
(2) Tosef. Sheb. I.
(3) Ibid. 24, 25. Stress is laid in the exposition on the word ‘and’.
(4) The view that thirty days are required to count as a year.
(5) Lit., ‘for if like R. Meir, surely he said’.
(6) But par ben bakar means ‘of the third year’. V. Tosaf. s.v. עגל
(7) E.g.. the three-yearly period of the par.
(8) E.g., of the three-yearly period of ‘uncircumcision.
(9) To show that it makes no difference whether the day is at the beginning or the end of the period.
(10) A menstruous woman.
(11) Her period of uncleanness ending only at nightfall on the seventh day, and not at any hour earlier in the day.
(12) I.e., if she begins counting in the middle of a day, as soon as nightfall arrives she is reckoned as having completed one day. [The reference here is to Niddah who according to Biblical law was allowed to cleanse herself when seven days had passed from her first menstrual flow, provided it ceased on the seventh day before sunset. This law was later replaced by the more stringent Rabbinic rule necessitating a period of seven clean days after a single blood issue.]
(13) As in the case of the par.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 10b
does it not follow that one day should be counted [as a year] at the beginning? — What then? Will you say [that the passage quoted1 follows] R. Eleazar? [How can this be, seeing that] R. Eleazar requires thirty days and thirty days,2 as we have learnt: ‘It is not allowed to plant nor to bend over nor to graft in the year before the Sabbatical year less than thirty days before New Year, and if one did plant or bend over or graft, he must uproot the plant. So R. Eleazar. R. Judah said: If a grafting does not take within three days, it will not take at all. R. Jose and R. Simeon said that it takes two weeks’,3 and [commenting on this] R. Nahman said in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha: On the view that thirty days are the period [for taking] we require thirty days and thirty;4 on the view that three days are the period, thirty-three days are required; on the view that two weeks are the period, two weeks and thirty days are required. Now even if [we accept the view of] R. Judah, thirty-three days are required? — The truth is [that the statement in question follows] R. Meir, and when it says thirty days, it means the thirty days of taking. In that case it should say thirty-one days?5 — He held that the thirtieth day counts both ways.
R. Johanan said: Both of them [R. Meir and R. Eleazar] based their views on the same verse, viz., And it came to pass in the one and six hundredth year, in the first month, on the first day of the month.6 R. Meir reasoned: Seeing that the year was only one day old and it is still called a year, we can conclude that one day in a year is reckoned as a year. What says the other to this? — [He says that] if it were written, ‘In the six hundred and first year’, then it would be as you say. Seeing, however, that it is written, ‘In the one and six hundredth year’, the word ‘year’ refers to ‘six hundred’, and as for the word ‘one’, this means ‘the beginning of one’.7 And what is R. Eleazar's reason? — Because it is written, ‘In the first month on the first day of the month. Seeing that the month was only one day old and it is yet called ‘month’, we can conclude that one day in a month is reckoned as a month; and since one day in a month is reckoned as a month, thirty days in a year are reckoned as a year, a month being reckoned by its unit and a year by its unit.
(We infer from what has just been said that both [R. Meir and R. Eleazar] were of opinion that the world was created in Nisan.)8
It has been taught: R. Eliezer says: In Tishri the world was created; in Tishri the Patriarchs9 were born; in Tishri the Patriarchs died; on Passover Isaac was born; on New Year Sarah, Rachel and Hannah were visited;10 on New Year Joseph went forth from prison
(1) Where it says that less than thirty days does not count for planting etc.
(2) To elapse before a year is completed for ‘uncircumcision’ — thirty days for the ‘taking’ and thirty for the addition from the profane on to the holy (Rashi).
(3) Sheb. II, 6.
(4) To count for a year of ‘uncircumcision’. V. p. 37, n. 11.
(5) Thirty days for taking and one for the addition.
(6) Gen. VIII, 13.
(7) I.e., it merely gives the date, but gives no indication that a day can be counted as a year.
(8) Because both agree that ‘the first day of the first month’ in the text marks the beginning of another year. Rashi points out that both might equally well hold that the ‘first month’ here means Tishri, it being so called as first month to the creation and he therefore rejects this sentence. But v. Tosaf. s.v. מכלל
(9) Abraham and Jacob.
(10) I.e., remembered on high.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 11a
; on New Year the bondage of our ancestors in Egypt ceased;1 in Nisan they were redeemed and in Nisan they will be redeemed in the time to come. R. Joshua says: In Nisan the world was created; in Nisan the Patriarchs were born; in Nisan the Patriarchs died; on Passover Isaac was born; on New Year Sarah, Rachel and Hannah were visited; on New Year Joseph went forth from prison; on New Year the bondage of our ancestors ceased in Egypt; and in Nisan they will be redeemed in time to come.
It has been taught: ‘R. Eliezer says: Whence do we know that the world was created in Tishri? Because it says, And God said, Let the earth put forth grass, herb yielding seed, and fruit-tree.2 Which is the month in which the earth puts forth grass and the trees are full of fruit? You must say that this is Tishri. That time was the season of rainfall,3 and the rain came down and the plants sprouted, as it says, And a mist went up from the earth.4
R. Joshua says: Whence do we know that the world was created in Nisan? Because it says, And the earth brought forth grass, herb yielding seed after its kind, and tree bearing fruit.5 Which is the month in which the earth is full of grass and trees [begin to] produce fruit? You must say that this is Nisan. That time was the period when cattle, beasts and fowls copulate with one another, as it says, The rains have mounted the sheep etc.6 And how does the other explain the text, ‘tree bearing fruit’? — This signifies a blessing for future generations. And what does the other make of the words ‘fruit-tree’? — This is to be explained in accordance with the dictum of R. Joshua b. Levi; for R. Joshua b. Levi said: All creatures of the creation were brought into being with their full stature, their full capacities, and their full beauty, as it says, And the heaven and the earth were finished, and all the host of them [zeba'am]. Read not zeba'am, but zibyonam [their beauty].
R. Eliezer said: Whence do we know that the Patriarchs were born in Tishri? Because it says, And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto King Solomon, at the feast in the month Ethanim;7 that is, the month in which the mighty ones [ethanim] of the world were born. How do you know that this word ethan means ‘mighty’? — Because it is written, Thy dwelling-place is firm [ethan],8 and it also says, Hear, ye mountains, the Lord's controversy, and ye mighty rocks [ethanim] the foundations of the earth.9 It also says, The voice of my beloved, behold he cometh, leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills,10 [where] ‘leaping upon the mountains’ means, for the merit of the patriarchs, and ‘skipping upon the hills’ means, for the merit of the matriarchs.
R. Joshua said: Whence do we know that the patriarchs were born in Nisan? Because it says, and it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year in the month of Ziv11 — that is, the month in which the brilliant ones [zewthane] of the world were born. But how does he explain the expression ‘month of Ethanim’? — It means, [the month] which is strong in religious duties.12 What does the other make of the expression ‘in the month of Ziv’? — It means, the month in which there is splendour for the trees, for so Rab Judah has said: When a man goes abroad in the days of Nisan and sees trees blossoming, he should say, ‘Blessed is He that hath not left His world short of anything and has created therein goodly creatures and goodly trees to rejoice mankind’.
He who holds that they were born in Nisan holds that they died in Nisan, and he who holds that they were born in Tishri holds that they died in Tishri, as it says, I am a hundred and twenty years old this day.13 The word ‘this day’ seems here superfluous. What then is the point of it? [As much as to say], This day my days and years have reached full measure, which teaches that the Holy One, blessed be He, sits and completes the years of the righteous from day to day and from month to month, as it says, The number of thy days I will fulfil.14
Whence do we know that Isaac was born on Passover? — Because it is written, On the [next] festival15 I will return unto thee.16 Now when was he [the angel] speaking?17 Shall I say [he was speaking] on Passover and referring to Pentecost? Could she bear in fifty days?18 Shall I say then that [he was speaking on] Pentecost and was referring to Tishri? Even in five months could she bear? I must suppose then that he was speaking on Tabernacles and referring to Passover.19 Even so, could she bear in six months? — It has been taught that that year was a leap year. All the same, if the Master deducts the days of uncleanness,20 the time is too short? — Mar Zutra replied: Even those who hold that when a woman bears at nine months she does not give birth before the month is complete21 admit that if she bears at seven months she can give birth before the month is complete, as it says, And it came to pass after the cycle of days;22 the minimum of cycles is two, and the minimum of days is two.
‘On New Year Sarah, Rachel and Hannah were visited’. Whence do we know this? — R. Eliezer said: We learn it from the two occurrences of the word ‘visiting’, and the two occurrences of the word ‘remembering’. It is written concerning Rachel, And God remembered Rachel,23 and it is written concerning Hannah, And the Lord remembered her,24 and there is an analogous mention of ‘remembering’ in connection with New Year, as it is written, a solemn rest, a remembering of the blast of the trumpet.25 The double mention of visiting [is as follows]. It is written concerning Hannah, For the Lord had visited Hannah,26 and it is written concerning Sarah, And the Lord visited Sarah.27
‘On New Year Joseph went forth from the prison’. Whence do we know this? — Because it is written, Blow the horn on the new moon, on the covering day for our festival . . .
(1) Six months be-. fore the redemption.
(2) Gen. I, 11.
(3) Lit., ‘fructification’.
(4) Gen. II, 6. This is supposed to have been at the time of the creation, and is therefore a proof that the world was created in Tishri.
(5) Gen. I, 12. ‘Bearing fruit’ is taken to mean, ‘about to bear fruit’.
(6) Ps. LXV, 14. ‘The meadows are clothed with flocks’. This Psalm is supposed to refer to the creation.
(7) I Kings VIII, 2. The verse continues, ‘which is the seventh month’.
(8) Num. XXIV, 21.
(9) Micah VI, 2.
(10) Cant. II, 8. This verse is adduced to show that mountains’ can refer to the Patriarchs.
(11) I Kings VI, 1. The text says that this was the second month, but sometimes the Nisan tekufah (vernal equinox) is late in occurring, in which case the month of Iyar may according to solar calculation still be Nisan (Rashi).
(12) As a number of festivals occur in it.
(13) Deut. XXXI, 2.
(14) Ex. XXIII, 26.
(15) Heb. למועד E.V. ‘at the set time’.
(16) Gen. XVIII, 14. Said by the angel to Abraham with reference to the birth of Isaac.
(17) Lit., ‘standing’.
(18) The interval between Passover and Pentecost.
(19) According to another tradition (based on the words, knead and prepare unleavened cakes), the angels appeared to Abraham on Passover. Cf. Tosaf. s.v. אלא
(20) According to tradition, Sarah became niddah (v. Glos.) on that day.
(21) Lit., ‘defective (months)’. I.e., less than twenty-nine or thirty days.
(22) I Sam. I, 20 (E.V. ‘when the time was come about’). This is taken as proof by the Talmud that Hannah bore after six months and two days.
(23) Gen. XXX, 22.
(24) I Sam. I, 19.
(25) Lev. XXIII, 24.
(26) I Sam. II, 21.
(27) Gen. XXI, 1 .
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 11b
He appointed it for Joseph for a testimony when he went forth1 etc.
‘On New Year the bondage of our ancestors ceased in Egypt’. It is written in one place, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians,2 and it is written in another place, I removed his shoulder from the burden.3 ‘In Nisan they were delivered’, as Scripture recounts. ‘In Tishri they will be delivered in time to come’. This is learnt from the two occurrences of the word ‘horn’. It is written in one place, Blow the horn on the new moon,4 and it is written in another place, In that day a great horn shall be blown.5 ‘R. Joshua says, In Nisan they were delivered, in Nisan they will be delivered in the time to come’. Whence do we know this? — Scripture calls [the Passover] ‘a night of watchings’,6 [which means], a night which has been continuously watched for from the six days of the creation. What says the other to this? — [He says it means], a night which is under constant protection against evil spirits.7
R. Joshua and R. Eliezer are herein consistent [with views expressed by them elsewhere], as it has been taught: ‘In the sixth hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month.8 R. Joshua said: That day was the seventeenth day of Iyar, when the constellation of Pleiades sets at daybreak and the fountains begin to dry up, and because they [mankind] perverted their ways, the Holy One, blessed be He, changed for them the work of creation and made the constellation of Pleiades rise at daybreak and took two stars from the Pleiades and brought a flood on the world. R. Eliezer said: That day was the seventeenth of Marheshvan, a day on which the constellation of Pleiades rises at daybreak, and [the season] when the fountains begin to fill
(1) Ps. LXXXI, 4-6.
(2) Ex. VI, 6.
(3) Ps. LXXXI, 7 in reference to Joseph.
(4) Ibid. 4.
(5) Isa. XXVII, 13.
(6) Ex. XII, 42.
(7) I.e., on this night they are not allowed to roam as on other nights.
(8) Gen. VII, 11.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 12a
, and because they perverted their ways, the Holy One, blessed be He, changed for them the work of creation, and caused the constellation of Pleiades to rise at daybreak and took away two stars [from it] and brought a flood on the world’.1 Now accepting the view of R. Joshua, we can understand why the word ‘second’ is used;2 but on R. Eliezer's view, what is meant by ‘second’? — [It means], the second to [the day of] judgment.3 Again, on R. Joshua's view we see what change there was in the work of creation; but on R. Eliezer's view what change was there?4 — The answer is found in the dictum of R. Hisda; for R. Hisda said: With hot liquid they sinned and with hot liquid they were punished. ‘With hot liquid they sinned’, namely, in [sexual] transgression. ‘With hot liquid they were punished’: it is written here5 , and the waters assuaged,6 and it is written elsewhere, and the wrath of the king was assuaged.7
Our Rabbis taught: ‘The wise men of Israel follow R. Eliezer in dating the Flood8 and R. Joshua in dating the annual cycles,9 while the scholars of other peoples follow R. Joshua in dating the Flood also’.
AND FOR VEGETABLES. A Tanna taught: ‘For vegetables and for tithes and for vows’. What is meant by vegetables? The tithe of vegetables? But this is the same as ‘tithes’? — [The Tanna] mentions first a tithe prescribed by the Rabbis and then those prescribed by the Torah.10 But let him mention those prescribed by the Torah first? — Since he was specially pleased with the others,11 he mentions them first. And our Tanna [ — why does he not mention tithes]? — He mentions a tithe prescribed by the Rabbis,12 and [leaves us to infer] a fortiori those prescribed by the Torah. Why does not the Tanna here say simply ‘tithe’ [in the singular]? — He desires to include both the tithe of cattle and the tithe of cereals. Then why does he not say vegetable’ [in the singular]? — He refers to two kinds of vegetables, as we have learnt: ‘[Tithe is to be given from] vegetables which are commonly made up into bundles, from the time they are so made up, and from those which are not commonly so made up, from the time when he fills a vessel with them.
Our Rabbis taught: If one13 gathered herbs on the eve of New Year before sunset, and then gathered some more
(1) There seems to be some confusion in the text here. To make it astronomically correct we should read (with the Seder Olam) in the dictum of R. Joshua, ‘When Pleiades rises at daybreak’, and in the dictum of R. Eliezer, ‘sets at daybreak’.
(2) Because we find Nisan called the first month in the Torah.
(3) Which is also recognized by Scripture as the beginning of a year in the text, ‘The eyes of the Lord are upon it (the Land of Israel) from the beginning of the year’.
(4) Seeing that it was the season of rain.
(5) In connection with the Flood.
(6) Gen. VIII, 1.
(7) Esth. VII, 10.
(8) I.e., the years of Noah and the calendar from Tishri; Tishri being the New Year for years.
(9) They hold that the world was created in Nisan, v. supra p. 30, n. 5.
(10) Tithes for all other kinds of produce apart from vegetables are derived by the Rabbis from biblical texts. But v. Tosaf. s.v. תנא
(11) Because they were a rabbinic innovation.
(12) I.e., tithes for vegetables.
(13) Apparently a non-Jew is meant (Tosaf.).
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 12b
after sunset, terumah1 and tithe are not given from one lot for another, because terumah and tithe are not given from the new for the old nor from the old for the new. If it was at the meeting point of the second and third years2 [of the septennial cycle], from that [which is plucked in] the second year first and second tithe3 [have to be given], [and from that which was plucked in] the third year, first tithe and the tithe of the poor.
Whence this rule? — R. Joshua b. Levi says: [It is written], When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithe of thine increase in the third year, which is the year of the tithe.4 This means the year in which there is only one tithe.5 How is then one to act? [He gives] the first tithe and the tithe of the poor, and the second tithe is omitted. Is this correct, or should the first tithe also be omitted? — [Not so], because it says, Moreover thou shalt speak unto the Levites and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance.6 The text here compares the tithe [of the Levites] to an inheritance, [to signify that] just as an inheritance is to be held uninterruptedly, so their tithe is to be given without interruption. It has been taught to the same effect: ‘When thou hast made an end of tithing etc.’ [This means] a year in which there is only one tithe. How is one to act? [He gives] first tithe and tithe of the poor, and the second tithe is omitted. Should perhaps the first tithe also be omitted? — [Not so], because it says, and the Levite shall come,7 which means to say, every time he comes give him.8 So R. Judah. R. Eliezer b. Jacob says: We have no need [to appeal to this text].9 It says, Moreover thou shalt speak unto the Levites and say unto them, When ye take from the children of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance.10 The text here compares the tithe to an inheritance, to signify that just as an inheritance is held uninterruptedly, so the tithe is to be given without interruption.
AND FOR VOWS. Our Rabbis taught: If one is interdicted by vow to have no benefit from another person for a year, he reckons twelve months from day to day. If he said ‘for this year’, then even if he made the vow on the twenty-ninth of Elul, as soon as the first of Tishri arrives a year is completed for him; and this even on the view of those who say that one day in a year is not counted as a year. For he undertook to mortify himself, and he has mortified himself. But why not say [that his year ends in] Nisan? — In respect of vows, follow the ordinary use of language.11
We have learnt elsewhere: ‘Fenugrec12 [becomes liable to tithe] from the time when it grows;13 produce14 and olives, from the time when they have grown a third’. What is meant by ‘from the time when it grows’? — From the time when it grows sufficiently for resowing.15 ‘Produce and olives from the time when they are a third grown’. Whence this rule? — R. Assi said in the name of R. Johanan
(some trace it back to the name of R. Jose the Galilean): Scripture says: At the end of every seven years, in the set time of the year of release, in the feast of Tabernacles.16 Now how comes the year of release to be mentioned here? The feast of Tabernacles is already the eighth year? It is in fact to intimate to us that if produce has grown a third in the seventh year before New Year, the rules of the seventh year are to be applied to it in the eighth year.17
Said R. Zera to R. Assi:
(1) V. Glos.
(2) Lit., ‘if the second entered into the third’. In the second year a tithe was taken to Jerusalem to be consumed there; in the third year a tithe was given to the poor, but not taken to Jerusalem. The first tithe which went to the Levites was given every year. v. infra.
(3) I.e., tithe of the Levites and tithe for Jerusalem.
(4) Deut. XXVI, 12.
(5) I.e., one of the two regular tithes.
(6) Num. XVIII, 26.
(7) Deut. XIV, 29.
(8) In the third year also.
(9) R. Eliezer apparently was not completely satisfied with the proof from this text, because it speaks of the Levite as in the category of the poor.
(10) Num. XVIII, 26.
(11) And men ordinarily talk of the year as beginning in Tishri.
(12) Or ‘fenugreek’, a leguminous plant allied to clover.
(13) I.e., its year is determined by the time of its growth and not of its gathering, as in the case of vegetables.
(14) התבואה It is a question whether this includes grapes or not. V. Tosaf.
(15) Cf. Tosaf. s.v. משתצמח
(16) Deut. XXXI, 10.
(17) Tosaf. (s.v. מנהג) points out that this would seem to come under the rule already given above of adding from the profane on to the holy, and answers that from this verse we should learn only that the produce if harvested must be treated as seventh-year produce e.g.. in respect of trading interest, but not that it is forbidden to harvest it.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 13a
But perhaps even though it has not begun to ripen at all, the All-Merciful has still laid down that it is to be left alone until the feast of Tabernacles? — Do not imagine such a thing. For it is written, and the feast of ingathering [asif] at the end of the year.1 Now what is ‘ingathering’? Shall I say it means the feast which comes at the time of ingathering? This is already signified in the words when thou gatherest in.2 What then must be meant here by asif? Harvesting;3 and the Rabbis take it for granted that all produce which is harvested by Tabernacles must have grown to a third by New Year, and Scripture applies to it the words at the end of the year.4 Said R. Jeremiah to R. Zera: And were the Rabbis certain that there is this distinction between a third and less than a third?5 He replied to him: Am I not always telling you not to let yourself go beyond the established rule? All the measurements laid down by the Sages are of this nature. In forty se'ahs [of water] a ritual bath may be taken; in forty se'ahs less a kurtub6 it may not be taken. [A quantity of food equal to the] size of an egg can be rendered unclean as foodstuff; if it is short of that quantity by a grain it cannot be rendered unclean. [A piece of cloth] three handbreadths by three can be rendered unclean by being trodden on,7 less than this quantity by one hair is not so rendered unclean. R. Jeremiah subsequently said: What I said is of no account. For R. Kahana was asked by members of the college, Whence did the Israelites bring the omer which they offered on their entry into the Land [of Israel]? If you say, it grew8 while still in the possession of the heathen, [this cannot be, since] the All Merciful prescribed your harvest9 and not the harvest of the stranger.
(But how do we know that they [the Israelites] offered it at all? Perhaps they did not offer it at all? — Do not imagine such a thing. For it is written, And they did eat of the produce of the land on the morrow after the Passover.10 On the morrow after the Passover they ate, but not before, [which shows that] they brought the omer and only then ate. Whence then did they obtain it?) — He [R. Kahana] replied to them: All that had not grown to a third while in the possession of the stranger [was fitting for their use]. Now [it might be argued here also that] perhaps it had grown [in the possession of the stranger] and they were not certain. The fact, however, [that they ate it] shows that they were certain. So here,11 the Rabbis are certain. But perhaps [the Israelites brought the omer from] corn which had not commenced to grow [when they entered the land], but where it had grown to a quarter they were not certain about the difference between a third and less than a third?12 — Do not imagine such a thing. For it is written, And the people went up from the Jordan on the tenth of the month.13 Now if you assume that by then the corn had not grown at all, could it become ripe in five days? But [on your assumption] that it had grown to a fourth or a fifth, could [such corn] become ripe in five days? What you consequently have to answer [even on this assumption] is that the land of Canaan is called ‘the land of the hind’;14 so [on the other assumption] you can answer that it is called ‘the land of the hind’.
R. Hanina objected strongly to the statement made above. Can you, he said, maintain that this ‘asif’ is ‘harvesting’, seeing that it is written, when thou gatherest in from thy threshing floor and from thy wine press,15 and [commenting on this] a Master has said , The verse speaks of the waste of the threshing floor and the wine press?16 Said R. Zera: I thought I was sure of this,17 and now R. Hanina has come and put a spoke in my wheel.18 How then do we know [this rule about a third]? — As it has been taught: R. Jonathan b. Joseph says: And it shall bring forth produce for the three years;19
(1) Ex. XXIII, 16.
(3) The verse meaning that the harvest gathered in at this season belongs to the year going out.
(4) Which shows that it is regarded as belonging to the year which is going out.
(5) Viz., that what is grown to a third belongs to one year, and what is less grown to another year. This seems to R. Jeremiah rather arbitrary.
(6) A small liquid measure equal to 1/64 of a log.
(7) By one who had a flux.
(8) A third (Rashi).
(9) Ye shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest. Lev. XXIII, 10.
(10) Josh. V, 11.
(11) With reference to the corn that is harvested at the season of Tabernacles.
(12) And it was not from such corn that they brought the omer.
(13) Josh. IV, 19.
(14) Dan. XI, 16 (E.V. beauteous land). The Sages say that the Land of Israel is compared to a hind on account of its swiftness in bringing its products to maturity. Keth. 112.
(15) Deut. XVI, 13. ‘From’ is taken in the partitive sense.
(16) To show that it may be used for covering the sukkah; and the phrase, Festival of ‘asif’ (‘ingathering’) here too has the same signification — the festival that comes at the time when people ‘gather in’ the waste products for the sukkah.
(17) Lit., ‘this thing was in our hand’.
(18) Lit., ‘has thrown into it an axe’.
(19) Lev. XXV, 21.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 13b
read not lishlosh [for three], but lishlish [to a third].1 But this text is required for its literal meaning?2 It is written in another verse, And ye shall sow for the eighth year and eat of the produce, the old store, until the ninth year.3
We have learnt elsewhere:4 ‘Rice, millet, hanie5 and sesame,6 if they have taken root by New Year, are for purposes of tithe counted7 as belonging to the year before [the New Year],8 and are permitted in the seventh year.9 Otherwise they are forbidden in the seventh year,9 and are reckoned for tithe as belonging to the next year.10 Rabbah said: The Rabbis have laid down that [the tithe year of] a tree is determined by its blossoming, that of produce and olives by their becoming a third grown, that of vegetables by their ingathering. In which class have these been placed by the Rabbis? — Rabbah answered himself by saying: Since they are gathered for shelling as required,11 the Rabbis made the taking root the determining factor.12
Said Abaye to him: Can he not collect the whole crop in a heap,13 so that ex post facto he will have set aside from the new crop in it for the new crop in it, and from the old crop in it for the old crop?14 Has it not been taught:15 ‘R. Jose b. Kippar says in the name of R. Simeon Shezuri: If Egyptian beans have been sown for seed and part takes root before New Year and part after, terumah and tithe must not be given from one lot for another, because terumah and tithe are not given from the new for the old nor from the old for the new. How then is one to manage? He collects the whole crop in a heap, so that in the end he gives terumah and tithe from the new crop in the heap for the new crop in the heap, and from the old crop in the heap for the old crop in the heap! — He replied to him: You cite R. Simeon Shezuri. R. Simeon Shezuri held that mixing can be relied on,16 whereas the Rabbis held that mixing cannot be relied on.
R. Isaac b. Nahmani said in the name of Samuel: The halachah follows the ruling given by R. Jose b. Kippar in the name of R. Simeon Shezuri. R. Zera strongly demurred to this. Did Samuel, he asked, really say this? Has not Samuel said: Mixing is not relied on for anything save wine and oil? — R. Zera overlooked the following dictum of Samuel: The determining factor is in all cases the full ripening.17
(1) Meaning that it is considered ripe when it has grown a third.
(2) And how therefore can you use it for a deduction?
(3) Ibid. 22. This shows that the produce of the sixth year will last three years, and therefore the other verse is not required to tell us this and may be used for a deduction.
(4) Sheb. II, 7.
(5) A species of millet.
(6) These are all counted as varieties of pulse.
(7) In an ordinary year.
(8) Second or third as the case may be. V. p. 44, n. 6.
(9) Viz. , those that take root in the sixth.
(10) V. Sheb. II, 7.
(11) I.e., some before New Year and some after. [The phrase עשוײן פרכין פרכין is difficult. Rashi renders: They (their gathering) are made (as they are needed) for shelling. R. Hananel reads פרגין (‘beds’) and renders, They ripen (at different times) in different beds, even though they may ‘take’ at the same time].
(12) Because otherwise it would be difficult to keep the old and the new separate for tithing purposes without great inconvenience.
(13) Lit., ‘heap up his threshing-floor in the middle of it’.
(14) Abaye holds that if the whole crops old and new, is well mixed together, then when he sets aside terumah and tithe from it, the proportion of old and new in the terumah and tithe will be the same as the proportion of old and new in the whole crop.
(15) Tosef. Sheb. II.
(16) To produce old and new in proper proportions in the tithe. Lit., ‘there is mixing’.
(17) And therefore in fact tithe is given from Egyptian beans all together, whether they took root in the outgoing or in the incoming year, which is as R. Simeon Shezuri said, in so far that the two crops can be tithed together, although according to each for a different reason. For on the view of Samuel the whole is regarded as belonging to the incoming year, which is not what R. Simeon said.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 14a
And all three dicta of Samuel are necessary.1 For if he had told us only that the law follows R. Simeon b. Shezuri, I should have said that his reason was because we can rely on mixing; he tells us therefore that mixing is not to be relied on for anything. And if he had told us that mixing is not to be relied on for anything, I should have said that he holds with the Rabbis;2 therefore he tells us that the halachah follows R. Simeon Shezuri. If again we had only these two dicta, I should have said that Samuel contradicts himself;3 he therefore tells us that the determining factor is in all cases the full ripening.4 And if he had told us [only] that the determining factor is in all cases the full ripening, I should have said that this applies also to produce and olives. Therefore he tells us that the halachah follows R. Simeon Shezuri where he expresses a different view.5 [But if so], let him indicate [only] these two points; why does he tell us that mixing is not in all cases to be relied on? — His object is to tell us that for wine and oil mixing is to be relied on.
It has been taught: R. Jose the Galilean says: After that thou hast gathered in from thy threshing-floor and from thy wine press:6 [this tells us that] just as the [produce brought to the] threshing floor and the wine press have this special feature, that they are nurtured by the waters7 of the outgoing year and are [consequently] tithed for the outgoing year, so all products which are nurtured by the waters of the outgoing year are tithed for the outgoing year. This excludes vegetables, which are nurtured by the waters of the current year8 and are [consequently] tithed for the current year. R. Akiba said: ‘After that thou hast gathered it, from thy threshing-floor and thy wine press:’ just as [the products brought to the] threshing-floor and wine press have this special feature that they are nurtured by rain water9 and [consequently] are tithed for the outgoing year, so all products that are nurtured by rain water are tithed for the outgoing year. This excludes vegetables, which are nurtured by all kinds of water10 and are consequently tithed for the current year. Where do they [R. Jose and R. Akiba] differ in practice? — R. Abbahu said: They take different views with regard to seedless onions and Egyptian beans, as we have learnt:11 Seedless onions and Egyptian beans which have been kept without water for thirty days before New Year [and are gathered after New Year] are tithed for the outgoing year and are permitted in the Sabbatical year. Otherwise they are forbidden in the Sabbatical year and are tithed for the current year.12
ON THE FIRST OF SHEBAT IS NEW YEAR FOR TREES. What is the reason? — R. Eleazar said in the name of R. Oshaia: Because [by then] the greater part of the year's rain has fallen13 and the greater part of the cycle14 is still to come. What is the sense of this? What it means is this: ‘Although the greater part of the cycle is still to come, yet since the greater part of the year's rain has fallen, [therefore etc.]’.
Our Rabbis taught: ‘It is recorded of R. Akiba that he once plucked a citron tree on the first of Shebat and gave two tithes from
(1) For making clear to us his point of view.
(2) So that if old and new have become mixed together, tithe for both parts of the mixture must proportionately be given from some other quarter.
(3) By saying on the one hand that the law follows R. Simeon, which would imply that mixing can be relied on, and on the other that mixing cannot be relied on.
(4) And this is the reason why the law follows R. Simeon.
(5) From the Rabbis. That is, only in the case of beans etc. but not of produce, where Samuel would hold that the decisive factor is the growth of a third. [R. Hananel reads ‘where they (R. Simeon b. Shezuri and the Rabbis) differ’].
(6) Deut. XVI, 13.
(7) This apparently includes both rain water and irrigation.
(8) Lit., ‘the year that covers’. The year in which they are gathered.
(9) Lit., ‘most (kinds of) water’.
(10) Including irrigation.
(11) Sheb. II, 9.
(12) Rashi gives two views as to what is implied in this. According to one opinion, if these vegetables have been kept without water for the last thirty days of the outgoing year, then R. Jose would hold that they must have been nurtured by the rain water of that year, and so are to be tithed for that year; whereas R. Akiba would hold that their growth is due in part to irrigation. and so they would be tithed for the next year; and the Mishnah quoted follows R. Jose. The other opinion is that as they have not been irrigated for thirty days, it is R. Akiba and not R. Jose who would hold that they have been nurtured by the rain of the outgoing year, and the Mishnah therefore follows R. Akiba. It was customary to withhold water from these two species for thirty days before plucking them so as to harden them.
(13) And the trees now begin to blossom.
(14) The cycle of Tebeth; i.e., the winter season beginning at the winter solstice. V. supra p. 30, n. 5.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 14b
it,1 one2 in accordance with the ruling of Beth Shammai and one3 in accordance with the ruling of Beth Hillel.4 R. Jose b. Judah said: He did not follow the [two] rulings of Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel, but the [two] rulings of Rabban Gamaliel and R. Eliezer, as we have learnt:5 ‘A citron tree follows the rule of a tree in three respects and of a vegetable in one respect. It follows the rule of a tree in three respects — for ‘uncircumcision,’6 for fourth-year fruit, and for the Sabbatical year. It follows the rule of a vegetable in one respect, its tithe [year] being determined by its plucking. So Rabban Gamaliel. R. Eliezer, however, says that a citron follows the rule of a tree in all respects.7
But is it right to adopt the harder rule from both sides?8 Has it not been taught: ‘As a general principle, the halachah follows Beth Hillel. If one prefers, however, to adopt the rule of Beth Shammai, he may do so, and if he desires to adopt the rule of Beth Hillel he may do so. One, however, who adopts the more lenient rulings of both Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel [on the same subject] is a bad man, while to one who adopts the more stringent rulings of both Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel may be applied the verse, But the fool walketh in darkness.9 No; either one must follow Beth Shammai both where they are more severe and more lenient or Beth Hillel both where they are more severe and more lenient’? — [The answer is that] R. Akiba was doubtful about the tradition, and did not know whether Beth Hillel fixed [the New Year for trees] on the first of Shebat or on the fifteenth of Shebat.10
‘R. Jose b. Judah said: He did not adopt the two rulings of Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel, but of Rabban Gamaliel and R. Eliezer [But would R. Jose hold that] in respect of the first of Shebat he adopted the ruling of Beth Shammai?11 — R. Hanina
(or some say R. Hananiah) said: The case here is one of a citron which had blossomed before the fifteenth of Shebat of the previous year,12 and R. Akiba might equally well have done the same thing at all earlier date,13 but this happened to be the actual date. Rabina said: Combine14 the two statements. It was not the first of Shebat but the fifteenth of Shebat,15 and he [R. Akiba] did not adopt the two rulings of Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel but of Rabban Gamaliel and R. Eliezer.
Rabbah son of R. Huna said: Seeing that Rabban Gamaliel has said that the tithe year of a citron tree is determined by its plucking like that of a vegetable, its New Year [like that of a vegetable] must be the first of Tishri. The following was cited in objection to this: ‘R. Simeon b. Eleazar says: If a man plucked the fruit of a citron tree on the eve of the fifteenth of Shebat before sunset, and then plucked some more after sunset, terumah and tithe must not be given from one lot for the other because terumah and tithe are not given from the new for the old nor from the old for the new. [If it was at the meeting point of the third and] fourth years, [from the fruit of] the third year he gives first tithe and the tithe of the poor, and from the fruit of the fourth year the first tithe and the second tithe’.16
(1) The second tithe for the second year and the poor tithe for the third.
(2) The poor tithe.
(3) The second tithe.
(4) Who say that the New Year begins only on the fifteenth of Shebat.
(5) Bek. II, 6.
(6) ‘Orlah, v. Glos.
(7) And its tithe-year is determined by its blossoming. Being in doubt whether to follow R. Gamaliel or R. Eliezer, R. Akiba gave two tithes.
(8) Where two authorities give each two rulings with regard to a certain subject, one being more stringent in respect of one point and the other in respect of the other. For instance, Beth Shammai rule that the lack of one vertebra in a human spine still leaves it capable of defiling by ‘overshadowing’ (v. Glos. s.v. ohel) but does not make an animal trefa (v. Glos.) whereas Beth Hillel says that it makes an animal trefa but leaves it incapable of defiling by overshadowing. Here Beth Shammai are more stringent in the matter of defilement and Beth Hillel in the matter of trefa (v. ‘Er. 6b). So here, R. Akiba took on himself two burdens when one would have sufficed.
(9) Eccl. II, 14.
(10) And he followed Beth Hillel only.
(11) [For according to Beth Hillel, even if the tithe is determined by the blossoming he would still not be liable to the tithe of third year, which would not begin before the fifteenth of Shebat.]
(12) When the third year began, and the fruit had been left on the tree. A citron can remain on the tree for several years.
(13) R. Akiba following Beth Hillel and the two rulings of R. Gamaliel and R. Eliezer, the blossoming having taken place in the second year.
(14) In R. Jose's statement.
(15) When unquestionably a New Year would have commenced for trees.
(16) Tosef., R.H.I., cf. supra p. 44, nn. 6-7.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 15a
Now which authority is reported to make plucking the determining factor? Rabban Gamaliel; and he says here Shebat?1 — The statement should have been reported differently,2 [thus]: Rabbah b. bar Huna said: Although Rabban Gamaliel said that [the tithe-year of] a citron tree is determined by its plucking like [that of] a vegetable, yet its New Year is Shebat.
Why in the former statement3 is the expression used, ‘if it was the meeting point of the second and third years’, and in this statement the expression, ‘if it was the meeting point of the third and fourth years’? — This points out to us incidentally that the citron tree suffers from being handled, and since everybody handles it in the seventh year,4 it does not yield fruit till the third year [after blossoming].
R. Johanan inquired of R. Jannai: When is the New Year of the citron tree? — He replied: In Shebat. Do you mean [he asked further] Shebat of the calendar5 or Shebat of the cycle?6 — He replied: Shebat of the calendar.7
Raba inquired of R. Nahman (or, according to others, R. Johanan inquired of R. Jannai): Suppose it was a leap year, what is the rule?8 — He replied: Do as in ordinary years.9
Rabbah said: A citron tree which has blossomed in the sixth year and ripened in the seventh10 is not liable to tithe and not liable to clearance;11 while one which has blossomed in the seventh year and produced fruit in the eighth is not liable to tithe but is liable to clearance. Said Abaye to him: Your second clause is unobjectionable, because [you can say that] you take the more stringent view.12 But your first clause [surely involves a contradiction]? [For you say], ‘It is not liable to clearance’. Why so? Because we say, Make the blossoming the determining factor.13 But if so, it should surely be liable to tithe? — He replied to him: Everybody handles it, and you say it should be liable to tithe! R. Hamnunah, however, said: A citron tree which blossoms in the sixth year and ripens in the seventh is always reckoned as belonging to the sixth, and one which blossoms in the seventh and ripens in the eighth is always regarded as belonging to the seventh. The following was cited in objection: ‘R. Simeon b. Judah said in the name of R. Simeon: A citron tree which blossoms in the sixth year and ripens in the seventh is not liable to tithe and not liable to clearance, since no fruit is liable to tithe which has not both grown and been plucked in a period of liability.14 A citron tree which blossoms in the seventh year and ripens in the eighth year is not liable either to tithe or to clearance, since no fruit is liable to clearance which has not both grown and been plucked in the seventh year’. Now the first part of this statement seems to contradict R. Hamnunah,15 and the second part both Rabbah and R. Hamnunah?16 — There is a difference of Tannaim on this point,17 as it has been taught: ‘R. Jose said: Abtolmus testified in the name of five elders that a citron is determined by its plucking in the matter of tithe. Our teachers, however, took a vote in Usha and decided that it is determined by its plucking for purposes both of tithe and of Sabbatical year’. How does Sabbatical year come to be mentioned here? —
(1) And not Tishri.
(2) Lit., ‘if the statement was made it was stated thus’.
(3) In the Tosef. quoted on 12a ad fin.
(4) Since, like all other trees, it is common property in that year.
(5) I.e., the lunar month Shebat-thirty days from the first of Tebeth.
(6) Thirty days from the cycle of Tebeth (Winter Solstice, usually Dec. 22).
(7) In spite of the fact that fructification is due to the action of the sun.
(8) Do we make the New Year in Shebat which comes next to Tebeth, or in First Adar which takes the place of Shebat in this year?
(9) Lit., ‘follow most of the years’. I.e., adhere to Shebat.
(10) Lit., ‘the daughter of the sixth which enters into the seventh’.
(11) In the third and sixth years of the Septennate. V. Deut. XXVI, 13.
(12) I.e., the view which is more stringent in this case, viz., that we go by the blossoming and not by the plucking. And since we do this for purposes of clearance, we also do it for purposes of tithes, although this means taking the more lenient view. (V. Tosaf s.v. בשלמא
(13) And so it belongs to the sixth year.
(14) And the seventh year is not a period of liability for tithe.
(15) Who holds that if it blossoms in the sixth it is liable to tithe.
(16) Who both hold that if it blossomed in the seventh year it is liable to clearance.
(17) As to whether we go by the plucking or the blossoming for purposes of the Sabbatical year.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 15b
There is an omission in the statement, which should read as follows: ‘[Abtolmus testified that] a citron tree is determined by its plucking for purposes of tithe and by its blossoming for purposes of the Sabbatical year.1 Our teachers, however, took a vote in Usha and decided that it is determined by its plucking for purposes both of tithe and of Sabbatical year’.
It has been stated: R. Johanan and Resh Lakish both lay down that a citron tree which blossoms in the sixth year and ripens in the seventh year is always reckoned as belonging to the sixth year.2 When Rabin came [from Palestine], he said in the name of R. Johanan: A citron which blossomed in the sixth year and ripened in the seventh, even though [at the beginning of the seventh] it was no bigger than an olive and it subsequently became as big as a loaf, can render one guilty of breaking the rule of tebel.3
Our Rabbis taught: If the fruit of a tree blossoms before the fifteenth of Shebat, it is tithed for the outgoing year; if after the fifteenth of Shebat, it is tithed for the incoming year. R. Nehemiah said: This rule applies only to trees which produce two broods in a year.4 (Two broods,5 do you say? — He should say, as it were two broods).6 Trees, however, which produce only one brood, like date trees, carob trees and olive trees, even though they blossom before the fifteenth of Shebat are tithed for the incoming year.
R. Johanan said: In regard to carob trees, it has become the general custom to follow the rule of R. Nehemiah. Resh Lakish sought to confute R. Johanan from the following: ‘As regards wild fig-trees, their seventh year is the second year [of the Septennate] because [after blossoming] their fruit takes three years to grow’.7 — He made no answer.8 Said R. Abba the priest to R. Jose: Why did he make no answer? He could have said to him, I give the view of R. Nehemiah, and you bring against me the view of the Rabbis! — [He could not have answered him thus], because Resh Lakish could have retorted: Do you abandon the Rabbis and follow R. Nehemiah? — But he could have said to him, I speak to you of the general custom, and you speak to me of a prohibition?9 — [He could not answer thus], because he could have said to him: Where a prohibition applies, even if there is a general custom, do we allow it? — But he could have said to him: I speak to you of the tithe of carobs, which is Rabbinical, and you speak to me of the Sabbatical year, which is Pentateuchal! — The truth is, said R. Abba the priest, I wonder whether Resh Lakish put this question. Whether he put this question? But we are distinctly told that he did so! — What R. Abba should say is, whether he [R. Johanan] admitted the difficulty or not.10
(1) And this is the view taken by Rabbah and R. Hamnunah in respect of the law of clearance. For the purposes of tithes, however, Rabbah is of the opinion that although Abtolmus makes the plucking the decisive factor, he would nevertheless exempt from tithe a citron tree which blossomed in the sixth year and ripened in the seventh, for the reason that it is handled by everybody (Rashi)].
(2) Whether for purposes of the Sabbatical year or tithes.
(3) V. Glos. If it was consumed before tithe was given for it, R. Johanan being of the opinion that we go by the blossoming.
(4) R. Nehemiah's statement is here interrupted while the use of the strange word ‘broods’ is explained.
(5) Heb. בריכות, a word strictly applicable only to broods of birds.
(6) I.e., their fruit is not all gathered at one time; e.g.. figs; cf. supra 13b, the rule in the case of beans.
(7) Sheb. V, 1 . Which would show that the blossoming is the determining factor in all trees, even those which are all plucked at one time.
(8) Lit. ‘he was silenced’.
(9) The prohibition to determine the year by the plucking.
(10) I.e. , whether his silence was due to the fact that he had no answer, or to the fact that he thought it obvious that tithe of carobs, which is Rabbinical, could not be put on the same footing as produce of the Sabbatical year which is Pentateuchal.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 16a
MISHNAH. AT FOUR SEASONS [DIVINE] JUDGMENT IS PASSED ON THE WORLD:1 AT PASSOVER IN RESPECT OF PRODUCE; AT PENTECOST IN RESPECT OF FRUIT; AT NEW YEAR ALL CREATURES PASS BEFORE HIM [GOD] LIKE CHILDREN OF MARON,2 AS IT SAYS, ‘HE THAT FASHIONETH THE HEART OF THEM ALL, THAT CONSIDERETH ALL THEIR DOINGS’;3 AND ON TABERNACLES JUDGMENT IS PASSED IN RESPECT OF RAIN.
GEMARA. Which produce is referred to? Shall I say, the produce which is already grown?4 If so, then when were the hardships decreed which it has already suffered? It must be then the produce which is to be sown later.5 You assume then that only one judgment is passed. But it has been taught: ‘If some calamity or misfortune6 happens to produce before Passover, it is in virtue of a judgment passed on the previous Passover, if after Passover, of a judgment passed at the Passover which has just gone.7 If a calamity or misfortune happens to a man before the Day of Atonement, it is in virtue of a judgment passed on the last Day of Atonement, if just after the Day of Atonement, of a judgment passed on the one just gone’! — Raba replied: This shows that two judgments are passed on the produce.8 Abaye remarked: Therefore if a man sees that the slow-maturing seed9 is doing well he should sow the quick-maturing seed10 in good time, so that it may be well grown before the time comes to judge it.11
Our Mishnah seems to agree neither with R. Meir nor with R. Judah nor with R. Jose nor with R. Nathan. For it has been taught: ‘All are judged12 on New Year and their doom is sealed on the Day or Atonement. So R. Meir. R. Judah says: All are judged on New Year and the separate dooms are sealed each in its time — on Passover in respect of produce, on Pentecost in respect of fruit, on Tabernacles judgment is passed in respect of rain, and man is judged on New Year and his doom is sealed on the Day of Atonement. R. Jose says: Man is judged every day, as it says, And thou dost visit him every morning.13 R. Nathan says: Man is judged every moment, as it says, Thou dost try him every moment’.14 Should you maintain that it is after all in accordance with Rabbi Judah, [the seasons] mentioned in our Mishnah referring to the final doom, we may retort that if so there is a difficulty with the case of man!15 — Raba replied: This Tanna [of our Mishnah] follows the Tanna of the school of R. Ishmael, since it has been taught in the school of R. Ishmael: ‘At four seasons judgment is passed on the world, on Passover in respect of produce, on Pentecost in respect of fruit, on Tabernacles judgment is passed in respect of rain, and man is judged on New Year and his doom is sealed on the Day of Atonement’. The statements of the Mishnah must then be taken to refer to the preliminary judgment.
R. Hisda said: What is the reason of R. Jose? — [How can you ask this?] Surely it is as he has stated, [viz., the text], ‘And thou dost visit him every morning’! — What we mean is this: What is his reason for not taking the same view as R. Nathan? — ‘Trying’ merely means scrutinizing. But ‘visiting’ also merely means scrutinizing? The truth is, said R. Hisda, that R. Jose's reason is to be found in this text: To do the judgement of his servant and the judgement of his people Israel, as every day shall require.16
R. Hisda further said: If a king and a people present themselves together, the king stands his trial first, as it says, To do the judgement of his servant and the judgement of his people Israel.16 What is the reason? — If you like, I can say, because it is not proper that a king should remain outside, or if you like I can say, [so that he may be judged] before the [divine] anger waxes hot.17
R. Joseph said: Whose authority do we follow nowadays in praying [daily] for the sick and for the ailing?18 — Whose authority? That of R. Jose.19 Or if you like I can say that it is after all that of the Rabbis,20 but that at the same time we follow the counsel of R. Isaac. For R. Isaac said: Supplication21 is good for a man whether before the doom is pronounced or after it is pronounced.22
It has been taught: R. Judah said in the name of R. Akiba: Why did the Torah enjoin on us to offer an ‘Omer on Passover? Because Passover is the season of produce. Therefore the Holy One, blessed be He, said, Bring before Me an ‘Omer’ on Passover so that your produce in the fields may be blessed.23 Why did the Torah enjoin on us to bring two leaves on Pentecost? Because Pentecost is the season for fruit of the tree. Therefore the Holy One, blessed be He, said: Bring before Me two loaves on Pentecost so that the fruit of your trees may be blessed.24 Why did the Torah enjoin on us to pour out water on Tabernacles?25 The Holy One, blessed be He, said, Pour out water before Me on Tabernacles, so that your rains this year may be blessed. Also recite before Me on New Year [texts making mention of] kingship, remembrance, and the shofar-kingship, so that you may proclaim Me king over you; remembrance, so that your remembrance may rise favourably before Me; and through what? Through the shofar.26
R. Abbahu said: Why do we blow on a ram's horn? The Holy One, blessed be He, said: Sound before Me a ram's horn so that I may remember on your behalf the binding of Isaac the son of Abraham,27 and account it to you as if you had bound yourselves before Me.
R. Isaac said: Why do we sound the horn on New Year? — [You ask], why do we sound? The All-Merciful has told us to sound!28 — What he means is, why do we sound a teru'ah?29 [You ask] why do we sound a teru'ah? The All-Merciful has proclaimed ‘a memorial of teru'ah!30 — What he means is, why do we sound a teki'ah and teru'ah!30 — sitting
(1) In accordance with its actions during the preceding year. By the ‘world’ here is probably meant only the people of Israel
(2) The general sense of this obscure expression is ‘one by one’, ‘in single file’. Its precise meaning is discussed in the Gemara infra p. 18a q.v.
(3) Ps. XXXIII, 15.
(4) Having been sown in the previous autumn.
(5) In the coming autumn.
(6) קרי או אונס. The former by an ‘act of God’, the latter by an act of man’, Aruch.
(7) Lit. , ‘to come’. I.e., the Passover after which it had been sown.
(8) I.e., the same produce is judged in two years.
(9) Wheat and cummin, which are sown in October.
(10) Barley, ‘which is sown in January or February.
(11) At the next Passover, and meanwhile it profits from the favourable judgment of the preceding Passover.
(12) This means apparently, ‘all judgments are passed’.
(13) Job VII, 18.
(14) Ibid. Tosef. R.H. I.
(15) Whose judgment according to the Mishnah is on New Year.
(16) I Kings VIII, 59.
(17) Cf. supra 8b.
(18) V. P.B. p 47.
(19) Who holds that man is judged daily; v. Ned. 49a.
(20) I.e. our Mishnah.
(21) Lit., ‘crying’.
(22) So that daily prayer for the sick is of some effect though judgment has already been pronounced on New Year.
(23) Passover being the season when judgment is pronounced on the produce.
(24) The connection between the loaves and fruit lies in the fact that firstfruits were not brought to the Temple before Pentecost.
(25) The ceremony of water-pouring on Tabernacles (v. Suk. 48a) was derived by the Rabbis from hints in the Pentateuch, though it is not expressly mentioned there (V. Ta'an 2b-3a).
(26) V. infra 34b.
(27) Because eventually Abraham offered a ram in place of Isaac.
(28) In the verse Sound (tik'u) the horn on the New Moon, on the appointed day of our festival. Ps. LXXXI, 4.
(29) Because the word tik'u implies only the teki'ah sound. For teru'ah and teki'ah v. Glos.
(30) Lev. XXIII, 24. E.V. ‘a memorial proclaimed with the blast of horns’.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 16b
and then again sound a teki'ah and teru'ah standing? — It is so as to confuse the Accuser.1
R. Isaac further said: If the shofar is not sounded2 at the beginning of the year, evil will befall at the end of it. Why so? Because the Accuser has not been confused.
R. Isaac further said: Every year which is poor3 at its opening becomes rich before it ends, as it says, From the beginning of the year — where the word is spelt meroshith4 — ‘unto the end’; such a year is destined to have a ‘latter end’.5
R. Isaac further said: Man is judged only according to his actions up to the time of judgment,6 as it says, God hath heard the voice of the lad as he is there.7
R. Isaac further said: Three things call a man's iniquities to mind, namely, a shaky wall,8 the scrutinizing of prayer,9 and calling for [Divine] judgment on one's fellow man. For R. Abin said: He who calls down [Divine] judgment on his neighbour is himself punished first [for his own sins], as it says, And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee,10 and it is written later, And Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.11
R. Isaac further said: Four things cancel the doom of a man, namely, charity, supplication, change of name and change of conduct. Charity, as it is written, And charity delivereth from death.12 Supplication, as it is written, Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.13 Change of name, as it is written, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be;14 and it continues, And I will bless her and moreover I will give thee a son of her. Change of conduct, as it is written, And God saw their works, and it continues, and God repented of the evil which he said he would do unto them and he did it not.15 Some say that change of place [also avails], as it is written, Now the Lord said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and it proceeds, and I will make of thee a great nation.16 And the other [ — why does he not reckon this]? — In that case it was the merit of the land of Israel which availed him.
R. Isaac further said: It is incumbent on a man to go to pay his respects to his teacher on festivals, as it says, Wherefore wilt thou go to him today? It is neither new moon nor sabbath,17 from which we infer that on New Moon and Sabbath18 one ought to go.’19
R. Isaac further said: A man should purify himself for the festival, as it says, and their carcasses ye shall not touch.20 It has been taught to the same effect: ‘And their carcasses ye shall not touch’. I might think that [ordinary] Israelites are cautioned not to touch carcasses. Therefore it says, Say unto the priests the sons of Aaron;21 [which shows that] the sons of Aaron are cautioned but ordinary Israelites are not cautioned. May we not then argue a fortiori: Seeing that in the case of a serious uncleanness,22 while the priests are cautioned Israelites are not cautioned, how much less [are they likely to be cautioned] in the case of a light uncleanness!23 What then am I to make of the words, ‘and their carcasses ye shall not touch’? — On the festival.
R. Kruspedai said in the name of R. Johanan: Three books are opened [in heaven] on New Year, one for the thoroughly wicked,24 one for the thoroughly righteous, and one for the intermediate. The thoroughly righteous are forthwith inscribed definitively in the book of life; the thoroughly wicked are forthwith inscribed definitively in the book of death;25 the doom of the intermediate is suspended from New Year till the Day of Atonement; if they deserve well, they are inscribed in the book of life; if they do not deserve well, they are inscribed in the book of death. Said R. Abin, What text tells us this? — Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.26 ‘Let them be blotted out from the book — this refers to the book of the wicked. ‘Of life — this is the book of the righteous. ‘And not be written with the righteous’ — this is the book of the intermediate. R. Nahman b. Isaac derives it from here: And if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written,27 ‘Blot me, I pray thee’ — this is the book of the wicked. ‘Out of thy book’ — this is the book of the righteous. ‘Which thou has written’ — this is the book of the intermediate.
It has been taught: Beth Shammai say, There will be three groups at the Day of Judgment28 — one of thoroughly righteous, one of thoroughly wicked, and one of intermediate. The thoroughly righteous will forthwith be inscribed definitively as entitled to everlasting life; the thoroughly wicked will forthwith be inscribed definitively as doomed to Gehinnom, as it says. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to reproaches and everlasting abhorrence.29 The intermediate will go down to Gehinnom
(1) Heb. ‘Satan’. The devotion of the Jews to the precepts nullifies Satan's accusation against them (Rashi). [The Shofar on New Year is blown twice: once at the close of the morning prayer and the reading of the Law when the congregation is seated, and again during the Musaf prayers while the people stand. According to J.R.H. IV, 8 the Shofar was originally blown only at the morning service, whence it was transferred to a later hour in the Musaf because their enemies on one occasion took the Shofar blasts early in the morning as a call to arms, whereupon they attacked the Jews. The custom of blowing the Shofar at Musaf service was retained even after the rite had been restored to the morning service].
(2) [This does not apply where New Year falls on Sabbath, in which case the Shofar may not be blown, but where the rite was omitted through some other cause (Tosaf.)].
(3) I.e., in which Israel humble themselves and make themselves poor in spirit.
(4) Defectively, and can be read מרשית from the poverty of’.
(5) Apparently there is an allusion here to the verse, ‘for the latter end of that man is peace’. Ps. XXXVII.
(6) And not in view of those which he is likely to commit at some later time. Lit., ‘of that hour’.
(7) Gen. XXI, 17. Stress is laid on the words as he is there (E.V. ‘where he is’); Ishmael was still righteous, whatever he was destined to become in the future.
(8) By passing under a shaky wall a man, as it were, ‘tempts Providence’.
(9) Lit., ‘speculation in prayer’. To see whether it produces an effect or not. [Or, ‘expectation of the immediate grant of one's request’. The offence lies in the presumption of claiming that God must answer prayer of any kind whatsoever. V. Abrahams, I, Pharisaism and Gospels II, 78ff].
(10) Gen. XVI, 5.
(11) Which shows that Sarah died first. Ibid. XXIII, 2.
(12) Prov. X, 2
(13) Ps. CVII, 6.
(14) Gen. XVII, 15.
(15) Jonah III, 10.
(16) Gen. XII, 1, 2.
(17) II Kings IV, 23.
(18) Which is a generic name for all holy days.
(19) [R. Hananel's text reads on ‘But we have said (only) on festivals (whereas the verse speaks of New Moon and Sabbaths)? — If the teacher resides near him he must go to pay him his respects every Sabbath and New Moon; if he resides at a long distance, he must go to pay him his respects (only) on Festivals].
(20) Lev. XI, 8.
(21) Lev. XXI, 1. The text continues, there shall none defile himself for the dead among his people.
(22) That of a dead body.
(23) That of an animal carcass.
(24) I.e. , those whose bad deeds definitely outweigh their good.
(25) The life and death in the future world (i.e., of the soul) is meant. V. Tosaf. s.v. ונחתמין
(26) Ps. LXIX, 29.
(27) Ex. XXXII, 32.
(28) When the dead will arise in the flesh. V. Tosaf. s.v. ליום
(29) Dan. XII, 2.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 17a
and squeal1 and rise again, as it says, And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried. They shall call on my name and I will answer them.2 Of them, too, Hannah said, The Lord killeth and maketh alive, he bringeth down to the grave and bringeth up.3 Beth Hillel, however, say: He that abounds in grace inclines [the scales] towards grace,4 and of them David said, I love that the Lord should hear my voice and my supplication,5 and on their behalf David composed the whole of the passage, I was brought low and he saved me.6
Wrongdoers of Israel who sin with their body7 and wrongdoers of the Gentiles who sin with their body go down to Gehinnom and are punished there for twelve months. After twelve months their body is consumed and their soul is burnt and the wind scatters them under the soles of the feet of the righteous as it says, And ye shall tread down the wicked, and they shall be as ashes under the soles of your feet.8 But as for the minim9 and the informers and the scoffers,10 who rejected the Torah and denied the resurrection of the dead, and those who abandoned the ways of the community,11 and those who ‘spread their terror in the land of the living’,12 and who sinned and made the masses sin, like Jeroboam the son of Nebat and his fellows — these will go down to Gehinnom and be punished there for all generations, as it says, And they shall go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men that have rebelled against me13 etc. Gehinnom will be consumed but they will not be consumed, as it says, and their form shall wear away the nether world.14 Why all this? Because they laid hands on the habitation [zebul], as it says, that there be no habitation [zebul] for Him,15 and zebul signifies the Temple, as it says, I have surely built thee a house of habitation [zebul].16 Of them Hannah said, They that strive with the Lord shall be broken to pieces.17 R. Isaac b. Abin said: And their faces shall be black like the sides of a pot. Raba added: Among them are the most handsome of the inhabitants of Mahuza, and they shall be called ‘sons of Gehinnom’.18
The Master said [above]: ‘Beth Hillel say, He that abounds in grace inclines [the scales] towards grace’. [How can this be], seeing that it is written, And I shall bring the third part through the fire?19 That refers to wrongdoers of Israel who sin with their body. Wrongdoers of Israel who sin with their body! But you said that there is no remedy for them?20 — There is no remedy for them when their iniquities are more numerous [than their good deeds]. We now speak of those whose iniquities and good deeds are evenly balanced, but whose iniquities include that which is committed by sinners of Israel with their body. In that case they cannot escape the doom of ‘I shall bring the third through the fire’, but otherwise, [in regard to them], ‘He that is abundant in grace inclines towards grace’, and of them David said, I love that the Lord should hear. [On this verse] Raba discoursed as follows: What is meant by the words, ‘I love that the Lord should hear’? The Community of Israel exclaimed before the Holy One, blessed be He: Sovereign of the Universe, when am I beloved in thy sight? At the time when thou hearest the voice of my supplications. ‘I was brought low [dalothi] and he saved me’: although I am poor
(dallah) in the performance of religious duties, yet it is fitting to save me.
What is meant by ‘wrongdoers of Israel who sin with their body’? — Rab said: This refers to the cranium which does not put on the phylactery.21 Who are ‘the wrongdoers of the Gentiles who sin with their body’? — Rab said: This refers to [sexual] sin. ‘Who have spread their terror in the land of the living’: [who are these]? — R. Hisda said: This is a communal leader22 who makes himself unduly feared by the community for purposes other than religious.23 Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: Any communal leader who makes himself unduly feared by the community for purposes other than religious will never have a scholar for a son, as it says, Therefore if men fear him, he shall not see [among his sons] any wise of heart.24
‘Beth Hillel say: He that abounds in grace inclines [the scales] to grace’. How does He do? — R . Eliezer25 says: He presses down [the scale of merit], as it says, He will again have compassion on us, he will press down our iniquities.26 R. Jose b. Hanina says: [He does so] by raising [the scale of iniquities], as it says, Raising27 iniquity and passing by transgression.28 In the school of R. Ishmael they taught: He puts aside every first iniquity;29 and herein lies the attribute [of grace]. Raba said: The iniquity itself is not obliterated, and if there is an excess of iniquities30 [God] reckons it with the others.31
Raba said: He who forgoes his right [to exact punishment]32 is forgiven all his iniquities, as it says, Forgiving iniquity and passing by transgression. Who is forgiven iniquity? One who passes by transgression [against himself]. R. Huna the son of R. Joshua was once ill. R. Papa went to inquire about him. He saw that he was very ill33 and said to those present, Make ready provisions for his [everlasting] journey.34 Eventually, however, he [R. Huna] recovered, and R. Papa felt ashamed to see him. He said to him, What did you see [in your illness]? He replied, It was indeed as you thought, but the Holy One, blessed be He, said to them [the angels]: Because he does not insist upon his rights, do not be particular with him, as it says, Forgiving iniquity and passing by transgression. Who is forgiven iniquity? He who passes by transgression. [The verse continues], ‘to the remnant of his heritage’. R. Aha son of R. Hanina said: We have here a fat tail with a thorn in it:35 ‘for the remnant of his inheritance’, but not for all his inheritance.
(1) On account of their punishment. Al. ‘struggle and rise’. [Ginzberg L.: ‘be singed’, i.e., by the fires of the Gehinnom, and after this experience arise thence and be healed. V. Moore S.F. Judaism III, p. 198].
(2) Zech. XIII, 9.
(3) 1 Sam. II, 6.
(4) And does not doom them to Gehinnom.
(5) Ps. CXVI, 1. Further on we read, The cords of death compassed me (v. 3).
(6) Ibid. 6.
(7) This is explained infra.
(8) Mal. III, 21.
(9) V. Glos. The reference is probably to the Judeo-Christians, as the Sadducees would be included under ‘those who denied the resurrection’.
(10) אפיקורסים those who treat the Rabbis and students of the Torah with disdain. If this is meant, then we should insert with MS.M. the words ‘and those’ before the word ‘who’.
(11) Rashi deletes these words, (on the ground that they do not designate a separate class, but are a general description of all the classes mentioned.
(12) A phrase borrowed from Ezek. XXXII, 23. It is explained infra.
(13) Isa. LXVI, 24.
(14) Ps. XLIX, 15.
(15) Ibid. (E.V. ‘for it’. [It is through the sins of such as these that the Temple has been destroyed (Rashi). If the reference is to Jewish Christians it may allude to their repudiation of the claims of the Temple as the place where alone true and perfect worship could be offered, V. Herford, Christianity in Talmud p. 135].
(16) I Kings VIII, 13.
(17) I Sam. II, 10.
(18) [The passage is difficult. Read with MS.M. ‘The Master said (above) "Of them (of the intermediate class) Hannah said The Lord killeth and maketh alive, he bringeth down to the grave and bringeth up". R. Isaac b. Abin said, And their faces (that is, of the intermediate class) shall (on rising from Gehinnom) be black like the sides of the pot. Raba added, And yet (despite this disfigurement) they shall be more beautiful than the most handsome men of Mahuza who shall be called the sons of Gehinnom’. V. D.S. a.l.].
(19) Which was explained above to refer to the intermediate.
(20) I.e., that after passing through the fire they become dust.
(21) Even this in an Israelite is sufficient to merit Gehinnom.
(22) Heb. Parnas. (V. Git., Sonc. ed., p. 280, n. 9).
(23) I.e., not merely to make them keep the commandments.
(24) Job XXXVII, 24. E.V. Men do therefore fear Him; He regardeth not any that are wise of heart.
(25) [Read with MSM. R. Eleazar].
(26) I.e., press down the scale of merit against our iniquities, Micah VII, 19.
(27) E.V. ‘that pardoneth’.
(28) Ibid. 18.
(29) Rashi and Asheri explain this to mean that if without the first iniquity the good deeds are in excess, then the first iniquity is not put back in the scale.
(30) I.e., if even so the iniquities just balance the merits.
(31) So as to count him guilty.
(32) Lit., ‘passes by his measures’.
(33) Lit. ‘the world (life) was getting weak for him’.
(34) I.e., prepare shrouds.
(35) A certain breed of sheep in the East have very long tails which are esteemed a great delicacy, but as they trail on the ground they often pick up thorns. Hence the proverbial expression, ‘a tail with a thorn in it’ for a good thing containing a snag.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 17b
[What it means is], for him who makes himself a mere remnant.1
R. Huna contrasted [two parts of the same verse]. It is written, The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and then it is written, and gracious in all his works.2 [How is this]?3 — At first righteous and at the end gracious.4 R. Eleazar [similarly] contrasted two texts. It is written, Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy, and then it is written, For thou renderest to every man according to his work.5 [How is this]? — At first, ‘Thou renderest to every man according to his work’, but at the end, ‘unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy’.
Ilfi (or, as some report, Ilfa) [similarly] contrasted two texts: It is written, abundant in goodness, and then it is written, and in truth.6 [How is this]? — At first, ‘truth’, and at the end ‘abundant in goodness’.
And ‘the Lord passed by before him and proclaimed [etc.].7 R. Johanan said: Were it not written in the text, it would be impossible for us to say such a thing; this verse teaches us that the Holy One, blessed be He, drew his robe round Him like the reader8 of a congregation and showed Moses the order of prayer. He said to him: Whenever Israel sin, let them carry out this service before Me,9 and I will forgive them.
‘The Lord, the Lord’: I am the Eternal10 before a man sins and the same10 after a man sins and repents. ‘A God merciful and gracious:’ Rab Judah said: A covenant has been made with the thirteen attributes11 that they will not be turned away empty-handed,12 as it says, Behold I make a covenant.13
R. Johanan said: Great is the power of repentance that it rescinds14 a man's final sentence, as it says , Make the heart of this people fat and make their ears heavy and shut their eyes, lest they seeing with their eyes and hearing with their ears and understanding with their heart return and be healed.15 Said R. Papa to Abaye: Perhaps this was before the final sentence? — He replied: It is written, ‘and he be healed’. What is that which requires healing? You must say, the final sentence.
An objection [against this view] was raised [from the following]: ‘If one repents in the interval,16 he is forgiven; if he does not repent in the interval, should he even offer [subsequently] all the rams of Nebayoth,17 he is not forgiven’! — There is no contradiction: the latter statement refers to an individual, the former to a community.
A further objection was raised [from the following]: ‘The eyes of the Lord thy God are upon it [the land of Israel],18 sometimes for good, sometimes for evil. How sometimes for good? Suppose Israel were [in the class of] the thoroughly wicked at New Year,19 and scanty rains were decreed for them, and afterwards they repented. [For God] to increase the supply of rain is impossible, because the decree has been issued . The Holy One, blessed be He, therefore sends down the rain in the proper season on the land that requires it,20 all according to the district. How sometimes for evil? Suppose Israel were [in the class of] the thoroughly virtuous on New Year, and abundant rains were decreed for them, but afterwards they backslided. To diminish the rains is impossible, because the decree has been issued. The Holy One, blessed be He, therefore sends them down not in their proper season and on land that does not require them’.21 Now, [if the decree can be rescinded], for good at any rate, let the decree be rescinded and let the rains be increased? — There is a special reason there, namely, that this22 is sufficient.
Come and hear [a further objection]: ‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters, they saw the works of the Lord . . . For he commanded and raised the stormy wind which lifted up the waves thereof . . . they reeled to and fro and staggered like a drunken man . . . They cried unto the Lord in their trouble . . . let them give thanks unto the Lord for his mercy23 etc. [The Psalmist] inserted here signs24 having the same force as the ‘buts’ and ‘onlys’ of the Torah,25 to indicate that if they cried before the final sentence they were answered, but if they cried after the final sentence they were not ‘answered’! — These also are on the same footing as individuals.
Come and hear [again]: ‘Bluria26 the proselyte put this question to Rabban Gamaliel: It is written in your Law, [she said], who lifteth not up the countenance,27 and it is also written, The Lord shall lift up his countenance upon thee.28 R. Jose the priest joined the conversation and said to her: I will give you a parable which will illustrate the matter.29 A man lent his neighbour a maneh and fixed a time for payment in the presence of the king, while the other swore to pay him by the life of the king. When the time arrived he did not pay him, and he went to excuse himself to the king. The king, however, said to him: The wrong done to me I excuse you, but go and obtain forgiveness from your neighbour. So here: one text speaks of offences committed by a man against God, the other of offences committed by a man against his fellow man. [This explanation was generally accepted] until R. Akiba came and taught
(1) I.e., who is self-effacing.
(2) Ps. CXLV, 17.
(3) How can God be both righteous (i.e., just) and gracious at the same time?
(4) When He sees that in strict justice the world cannot endure.
(5) Ps. LXII, 13.
(6) Ex. XXXIV, 6.
(8) Lit., ‘emissary’; the one appointed to lead the congregational prayers. It is usual for such a one to draw his robe over his head.
(9) I.e., read from the Torah the passage containing the thirteen attributes.
(10) Lit., ‘He’. The Divine name YHWH (E.V. ‘the Lord’) designates the divine attribute of mercy (Rashi).
(11) Enumerated in this verse. According to one reckoning, ‘The Lord, the Lord’ count as two, according to another reckoning only the second of these counts as an attribute, and the expressions ‘keeping mercy’ and ‘unto the thousandth generation’ count as two attributes. V. Tosaf., s.v. שלש
(12) I.e., that Israel will not be turned away empty-handed when they recite them.
(13) Ibid. 10.
(14) Lit., ‘tears up’.
(15) Isa. VI, 10.
(16) Between New Year and the Day of Atonement.
(17) Cf. Isa. LX, 7.
(18) Deut. XI, 12.
(19) I.e. at New Year their evil deeds in the past clearly exceeded their good deeds.
(20) E.g., gardens and orchards.
(21) E.g. on barren land.
(22) Sending the rain in the proper place and time.
(23) Ps. CVII, 23-31.
(24) In the Hebrew text an inverted nun is inserted before the verses 23-28 of this passage.
(25) It was a principle of R. Akiba that wherever the words אך (but) and רק (only) occur in the Pentateuch, they are meant to except something which is not explicitly mentioned in the text.
(27) Deut. X, 17. E. V. ‘who regardeth not persons’, ‘countenance’ referring to man's. It is here, however, taken as referring to God's in the sense of ‘who shows not favour’, as in the passage next quoted.
(28) Num. VI, 26.
(29) Lit., ‘to what the thing is like’.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 18a
: One text speaks of God's attitude before the final sentence, the other of his attitude after the final sentence!’ — Here too the case is that of an individual.
On the question of the final sentence of an individual there is a difference between Tannaim, as it has been taught: R. Meir used to say: Two men take to their bed suffering equally from the same disease, or two men are before a criminal court to be judged1 for the same offence; yet one gets up2 and the other does not get up, one escapes death and the other does not escape death. Why does one get up and the other not? Why does one escape death and the other not? Because one prayed and was answered, and the other prayed and was not answered. Why was one answered and the other not? One prayed with his whole heart3 and was therefore answered, the other did not pray with his whole heart and was not answered. R. Eleazar, however, said: The one man was praying before his final sentence had been pronounced [in heaven], the other after his final sentence had been pronounced.
R. Isaac said: Supplication4 is good for a man whether before the final sentence has been pronounced or after.
But can the final sentence on a community be rescinded? Have we not one text which says, Wash they heart from wickedness,5 and another which says, For though thou wash thee with nitre and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me,6 and does not the one text apply before the final sentence is pronounced and the other after? — No; both apply after the final sentence has been pronounced, yet there is no contradiction; in the one case the final sentence has been accompanied by an oath, in the other it has not been accompanied by an oath. This accords with the dictum of R. Samuel b. Ammi. For R. Samuel b. Ammi (or, as some say R. Samuel b. Nahmani) said in the name of R. Jonathan: How do we know that a final sentence accompanied by an oath is never rescinded? Because it says, Therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be expiated with sacrifice nor offering.7 Raba said: With sacrifice and offering it cannot be expiated, but it can be expiated with Torah. Abaye said: With sacrifice and offering it cannot be expiated, but it can be expiated with Torah and charitable deeds . Rabbah8 and Abaye were of the house of Eli. Rabbah who devoted himself to the Torah lived forty years, Abaye who devoted himself both to the Torah and to charitable deeds lived sixty years.9
The Rabbis taught: There was a family in Jerusalem the members of which used to die at the age of eighteen. They came and told Rabban Johanan b. Zaccai. He said to them, Perhaps you are of the family of Eli, to whom it was said, and all the increase of thy house shall die young men.10 Go and study the Torah and you may live. They went and studied the Torah and lived, and they used to call that family the family of Rabban Johanan after his name.
R. Samuel b. Inia said in the name of Rab: Whence do we know that the final sentence on a community is never sealed? — Never sealed , [you say]? Is it not written, Thine iniquity is marked before me?11 What he should say is, [How do we know that] although it is sealed it can yet be rescinded? Because it says, as the Lord our God is whenever we call upon him.12 But it is written, Seek ye the Lord while he may be found?13 — This verse speaks of an individual, the other of community. When can an individual [find God]? — Rabbah b. Abbuha said: These are the ten days between New Year and the Day of Atonement.
And it came to pass after the ten days that the Lord smote Nabal.14 How come these ten days here? — Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: They correspond to the ten dishes which Nabal gave to the servants of David.15 R. Nahman said in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha: These are the ten days between New Year and the Day of Atonement.
ON NEW YEAR ALL MANKIND PASS BEFORE HIM LIKE CHILDREN OF MARON.16 What is the meaning of the expression ‘like children of Maron’? — In Babylon it was translated, ‘like a flock of sheep’.17 Resh Lakish said: As [in] the ascent of Beth Maron.18
Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel: Like the troops of the house of David.19 Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in the name of R. Johanan: [All the same] they are all viewed with a simple glance. R. Nahman b. Isaac said: We also have learnt the same idea: He that fashioneth the hearts of them all, that considereth all their doings.20 What does this mean? Shall I say that it means this, that [God] has created all creatures and unites all their hearts together? But we see that this is not so! No; what it means is this: ‘The Creator sees21 their hearts together and considereth all their doings’.
MISHNAH. THERE ARE SIX NEW MOONS TO REPORT WHICH22 MESSENGERS GO FORTH [FROM JERUSALEM23 TO THE DIASPORA]. [THE NEW MOON] OF NISAN ON ACCOUNT OF PASSOVER,24 OF AB25 ON ACCOUNT OF THE FAST,26 OF ELUL ON ACCOUNT OF NEW YEAR,27 OF TISHRI FOR THE ADJUSTMENT OF THE FESTIVALS,28 OF KISLEV ON ACCOUNT OF HANUKAH,29 AND OF ADAR ON ACCOUNT OF PURIM.30 WHEN THE TEMPLE STOOD, THEY USED ALSO TO GO FORTH TO REPORT IYAR ON ACCOUNT OF THE LESSER PASSOVER.31
GEMARA. Why should they not also go forth to report Tammuz and Tebeth32
(1) So Rashi: Aliter: ‘ascend the scaffold to be punished’.]
(2) Lit., ‘comes down’, i.e., from the bed.
(3) Lit., ‘a perfect prayer’.
(4) Lit., ‘cry’.
(5) Jer. IV, 14.
(6) Ibid. II, 22.
(7) I Sam. III, 14.
(8) Bar Nahmani, the colleague of R. Hisda. V. Tosaf. s.v. רבה
(9) [Forty and sixty are mere round figures, as there is evidence that Rabbah lived more than forty years. The main thing the Talmud wishes to point out is that Abaye lived longer than Rabbah for the reason stated. V. Funk. S., Die Juden in Babylonian II, Note I and cf. A.Z., Sonc. ed., p. 101, n. 6.]
(10) I Sam. II, 33.
(11) Jer. II, 22.
(12) Deut. IV, 7.
(13) Isa. LV, 6. This implies that God cannot always be found.
(14) I Sam. XXV, 38. The question is suggested by the use of the definite article with the word ‘ten’.
(15) David sent to Nabal ten young men (I Sam. XXV, 5), and Nabal according to tradition gave them each one meal. This hospitable act secured for him some respite.
(17) Passing through a wicket to be counted one by one. The word ‘maron’ is here connected with the Aramaic אמרא , a sheep.
(18) Var. lec. Beth Horon. A narrow pass where wayfarers had to proceed in single file.
(19) Which pass in review one by one. The word ‘maron’ is here connected with מרות, ‘lordship’. [Cf. the reading of the Vienna MS.: נומרין (numerus), i.e., a troop of soldiers].
(20) Ps. XXXIII, 15.
(21) This word being supplied from ‘beholdeth’ in v. 13.
(22) I.e., to report whether the Beth din in Jerusalem have made the New Moon on the thirtieth or the thirty-first day after the preceding New Moon. Lit., ‘for six months’.
(23) As soon as the New Moon has been declared, on the twenty-ninth or the thirtieth day as the case may be.
(24) So that before Passover arrives the Jews in the Diaspora will know which day is the fifteenth.
(25) There is no need for them to go on Sivan, because the date of Pentecost is known from the counting of the ‘Omer.
(26) The ninth of Ab.
(27) Knowing the New Moon of Elul, the Jews of the Diaspora will fix New Year thirty days later, Elul usually having twenty-nine days, though there is still a risk that the Beth din may in any particular year declare Elul to have thirty.
(28) Viz., the Day of Atonement and Tabernacles, about which they could not be any more sure than about New Year.
(29) Which commences on Kislev 25.
(30) Adar the 14th.
(31) The Passover for the unclean, kept on the fourteenth of Iyar. V. Num. IX, 1-14.
(32) On account of the fasts of the seventeenth of Tammuz and the tenth of Tebeth.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 18b
seeing that R. Hanah b. Bizna has said in the name of R. Simeon the Saint: ‘What is the meaning of the verse, Thus had said the Lord of Hosts: The fast of the fourth month and the fast of the fifth and the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness?1 The prophet calls these days both days of fasting and days of joy, signifying that when there is peace they shall be for joy and gladness, but if there is not peace they shall be fast days’! — R. Papa replied: What it means is this: When there is peace they shall be for joy and gladness; if there is persecution,2 they shall be fast days; if there is no persecution but yet not peace, then those who desire may fast and those who desire need not fast.3 If that is the case, the ninth of Ab also [should be optional]? — R. Papa replied: The ninth of Ab is in a different category, because several misfortunes happened on it, as a Master has said: On the ninth of Ab the Temple was destroyed both the first time and the second time, and Bethar was captured4 and the city [Jerusalem] was ploughed.5
It has been taught: R. Simeon said: There are four expositions among those given by R. Akiba with which I do not agree. [He said]:6 ‘The fast of the fourth month’ — this is the ninth of Tammuz, on which a breach was made in the walls of the city,7 as it says, On the fourth month on the ninth of the month the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land, and a breach was made in the city.8 Why is it called fourth? As being fourth in the order of months. ‘The fast of the fifth month’: this is the ninth of Ab, on which the House of our God was burnt. Why is it called fifth? as being fifth in the order of months. ‘The fast of the seventh month’: this is the third of Tishri on which Gedaliah the son of Ahikam was killed.9 Who killed him? Ishmael the son of Nethaniah killed him; and [the fact that a fast was instituted on this day] shows that the death of the righteous is put on a level with the burning of the House of our God. Why is it called the seventh? As being the seventh in the order of months. ‘The fast of the tenth month’: this is the tenth of Tebeth on which the king of Babylon invested Jerusalem, as it says, And the word of the Lord came unto me in the ninth year in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, saying, Son of man, write thee the name of the day, even of this selfsame day; this selfsame day the king of Babylon hath invested Jerusalem.10 Why is it called the tenth? As being the tenth in the order of months. [It might be asked], should not this have been mentioned first?11 Why then was it mentioned in this place [last]? So as to arrange the months in their proper order. I, however, [continued R. Simeon], do not explain thus. What I say is that ‘the fast of the tenth month, is the fifth of Tebeth on which news came to the Captivity that the city had been smitten, as it says, And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that one who had escaped out of Jerusalem came to me saying, The city is smitten,12 and they put the day of the report on the same footing as the day of burning. My view is more probable than his, because I make the first [mentioned by the prophet] first [chronologically] and the last last,13 whereas he makes the first last and the last first, he, however, following [only] the order of months I [also follow] the order of calamities.
It has been stated [elsewhere]: Rab and R. Hanina hold that the Megillath Ta'anith14 has been annulled,15 whereas R. Johanan and Resh Lakish hold that the Megillath Ta'anith, has not been annulled. Rab and R. Hanina hold that the Megillath Ta'anith has been annulled, interpreting the words of the prophet thus: ‘When there is peace, these days16 shall be for joy and gladness, but when there is no peace, they shall be fasts’, and placing the days mentioned in the Megillath Ta'anith, on the same footing. R. Johanan and Resh Lakish hold that the Megillath Ta'anith has not been annulled, maintaining that it was those others [mentioned by the prophet] that the All-Merciful made dependent on the existence of the Temple,17 but these [mentioned in Megillath Ta'anith] remain unaffected.
R. Kahana cited the following in objection: ‘On one occasion a fast was decreed in Lydda on Hanukah18 and R. Eliezer went down there and bathed and R. Joshua had his hair cut,19 and they said to the inhabitants, Go and fast in atonement for having fasted [on this day]’!20 — R. Joseph said: Hanukah is different, because there is a religious ceremony [attached to it]21 Said Abaye to him: Let it be abolished and its ceremony with it?22 — R. Joseph thereupon [corrected himself and] said: Hanukah is different because it commemorates publicly a miracle.23
R. Aha b. Huna raised an objection [from the following]: ‘On the third of Tishri the mention [of God] in bonds was abolished:24 for the Grecian25 Government had forbidden the mention of
God's name26 by the Israelites, and when the Government of the Hasmoneans became strong and defeated them, they ordained that they should mention the name of God even on bonds, and they used to write thus: ‘In the year So-and-so of Johanan, High Priest to the Most High God’, and when the Sages heard of it they said, ‘To-morrow this man will pay his debt and the bond will be thrown27 on a dunghill’, and they stopped them, and they made that day a feast day.28 Now if you maintain that the Megillath Ta'anith has been annulled, [is it possible that] while the former [prohibitions of fasting] have been annulled, new ones should be added? — With what are we here dealing? With the period when the Temple was still standing
(1) Zech. VIII, 19.
(2) Lit., ‘decrees of the Government’.
(3) Since these fasts were at the time of this Mishnah optional, no messengers were sent forth on their account.
(4) In the war of Bar Cochba.
(5) V. Ta'an. 20b.
(6) In expounding the verse from Zechariah quoted above.
(7) [The fast of Tammuz observed nowadays on the seventeenth of the month is in commemoration of the same calamity at the Second Destruction; v. Ta'an. 26b. Supra on Deut. VI, 4 reads, ‘on the seventeenth’ following J. Ta'an. IV, 8 that also point in their evidence since in the absence of witnesses the New Moon is on the first time the breach was made on the seventeenth, the ‘ninth’ mentioned in the text being due to miscalculation caused by the confusion of the time, v. Tosaf. s.v. זה
(8) Jer. LII, 6, 7.
(9) V. Jer. XLI, 1, 2.
(10) Ezek. XXIV, 1, 2.
(11) The event commemorated being chronologically the first of those mentioned.
(12) Ezek. XXXIII, 21. This is one of the four expositions in which R. Simeon differed from his teacher, R. Akiba. The other three are found in the Tosefta of Sot. VI and Sifre on Deut. VI, 4.
(13) The fast of the fourth month.
(14) Lit., ‘Scroll of Fasting’: a record of days on which it was prohibited to fast in memory of some joyful event which had happened on that date. It dates back in part before the destruction of the Second Temple (v. Shab. 13b). Its present form dates from the days of Hadrian.
(15) Apparently we have to supply, ‘since the destruction of the Temple’.
(16) The four days mentioned by Zechariah.
(17) So that when the Temple is restored and there is peace these fasts are abolished.
(18) One of the Festivals mentioned in Megillath Ta'anith.
(19) R. Eliezer and R. Joshua were disciples of R Johanan b. Zaccai, and became authorities only after the destruction of the Temple. Bathing and haircutting were prohibited on fast days.
(20) And if it was prohibited to fast on Hanukah, so also on the other days mentioned in Megillath Ta'anith.
(21) Viz., the kindling of the lights.
(22) Seeing that it is purely Rabbinical.
(23) By the kindling of lights, and the people regard its ceremony like one ordained in the Torah.
(24) This is a sentence from Megillath Ta'anith, which the Baraitha explains.
(25) I.e., Syrian.
(26) Lit., ‘the name of heaven’. [Cf. Gen. Rab. 11, 4: ‘The Jews were ordered by the Greeks to write on the horn of the ox, "We have no share in the God of Israel"’].
(27) Lit., ‘it is found that the name of heaven is lying about’.
(28) [Geiger, Urschrift, p. 34 places this in the last days of John Hyrcanus when the Pharisees turned against him; Graetz, Geschichte III, 2 p. 572 during the reign of Queen Salome when the Pharisees were in power. For other views, v. Lichtenstein, H, HUCA, pp. 283ff].
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