Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 19a
. But [if that is so], cannot the prohibition [of the third of Tishri] be derived from the fact that it was the day on which Gedaliah the son of Ahikam was killed?1 — Rab replied: Its [insertion in the Megillath Ta'anith] was required only to prohibit the day before it also.2 But the prohibition of the day before it can also be derived from the fact that it is the day after New Moon?2 — New Moon is ordained by the Written Law, and the ordinances of the Written Law do not require reinforcement, as it has been taught: ‘These days which are mentioned in Megillath Ta'anith are forbidden [for fasting on] along with both the day before them and the day after them. As to Sabbaths and New Moons, they themselves are forbidden, but the days before and after them are permitted. What is the difference between one set and the other? The one set are ordained by the Torah,3 and the words of the Torah require no reinforcement, whereas the other are laid down by the Scribes, and the words of the Scribes require reinforcement’.4 But cannot the prohibition [of the second of Tishri] be derived from the fact that it is the day before the day on which Gedaliah the son of Ahikam was killed?5 — R. Ashi replied: The fast of Gedaliah the son of Ahikam is laid down in the later Scriptures,6 and the words of the later Scriptures are on the same footing as those of the Torah.
R. Tobi b. Mattenah raised the following objection [against the statement that Megillath Ta'anith has been annulled]: ‘"On the twenty-eighth thereof [of Adar] came glad tidings to the Jews that they should not abandon the practice of the Law". For the Government [of Rome] had issued a decree that they should not study the Torah and that they should not circumcise their sons and that they should profane the Sabbath. What did Judah b. Shammu'a and his colleagues do? They went and consulted a certain matron whom all the Roman notables used to visit.7 She said to them: "Go and make proclamation [of your sorrows] at night time". They went and proclaimed at night, crying, "Alas, in heaven's name, are we not your brothers, are we not the sons of one father and are we not the sons of one mother? Why are we different from every nation and tongue that you issue such harsh decrees against us?" The decrees were thereupon annulled, and that day was declared a feast day’.8 Now if you maintain that the Megillath Ta'anith9 was annulled, [is it possible that] after the earlier prohibitions had been annulled they should add new ones? And should you reply that this also was in the period when the Temple was still standing, [this cannot be], because Judah b. Shammu'a was the disciple of R. Meir, and R. Meir was after the destruction of the Temple. We know [that R. Judah was R. Meir's disciple] because it has been taught: ‘If holes were made in a vessel of glass and filled up with lead, R. Simeon b. Gamaliel reports that R. Judah b. Shammu'a in the name of R. Meir declares it unclean,10
(1) On which, as established above, fasting was prohibited in the period of the Temple.
(2) V. infra.
(3) The Pentateuch.
(4) And the days before and after are prohibited lest one should come to fast on the actual day.
(5) Cf. p. 75, n. 1.
(6) Viz., Zechariah. Lit., ‘words of Kabbalah. V. supra p., 23 n. 10.
(7) [Probably the widow of Tineius Rufus (v. A.Z. 20a) whose home was in Caesarea, (Graetz, Geschichte IV, p. 169)].
(8) [Graetz, loc. cit. refers this to the withdrawal of the Hadrianic edicts by his successor Antonius Pius in 139 — 140. For other views v. Lichtenstein op. cit. p. 279].
(9) I.e., those days that were inserted in the list before the destruction of the Temple.
(10) Supposing it had been unclean, it now reverts to the uncleanness which it had lost when it was broken, v. Shab. 15b. Or it may mean ‘becomes capable of receiving uncleanness’. V. Rashi a.l. and Tosaf. s.v. יהודה
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 19b
whereas the Sages declare it clean’! — There is a difference of opinion between Tannaim [as to whether the Megillath Ta'anith, has been annulled], as it has been taught: ‘These days which are mentioned in the Megillath Ta'anith are prohibited [to be kept as fast days] whether in the period when the Temple is standing or in the period when the Temple is not standing. So R. Meir. R. Jose says: In the period when the Temple is standing they are prohibited, because they [Israel] have cause for rejoicing; in the period when the Temple is not standing they are permitted, because they have cause for mourning’. The law is that these prohibitions are annulled and the law is that they are not annulled. There is a contradiction, is there not, between these two laws? — There is no contradiction: the one1 relates to Hanukah and Purim, the other to the other days.
OF ELUL ON ACCOUNT OF NEW YEAR, OF TISHRI FOR THE ADJUSTMENT OF THE FESTIVALS. Once the messengers have gone forth to report [the new moon of] Elul, why should they be required to do so for Tishri? Should you reply that [the reason is because] perhaps Elul has been prolonged,2 [this cannot be], because R. Hinena b. Kahana has said in the name of Rabbi: ‘From the days of Ezra onwards we have found no instance of Elul being prolonged’! — [Exactly so]: ‘We find no instance’, because there was no reason [to prolong it]; where, however, there is a special reason,3 we do prolong it. But in that case New Year is interfered with?4 — It is better that New Year should be interfered with than that all the festivals should be interfered with. There is also an indication [that this view is correct in the language of the Mishnah], which states, OF TISHRI FOR THE ADJUSTMENT OF THE FESTIVALS. This is clear proof.
OF KISLEV ON ACCOUNT OF HANUKAH AND OF ADAR ON ACCOUNT OF PURIM. [The Mishnah], however, does not say, ‘When the year is prolonged,5 messengers go forth to report [the new moon of] the second Adar also on account of Purim’. [This shows that] our Mishnah does not agree with Rabbi, since it has been taught: ‘Rabbi says that if the year has been prolonged, messengers go forth to report also regarding the second Adar on account of Purim’. Shall we say that the point on which they join issue is this, that one authority holds that all the ceremonies observed in the second Adar6 are observed also in the first,7 while the other holds that the ceremonies observed in the second are not observed in the first?8 — No. Both hold that the ceremonies observed in the second are not observed in the first, and here they differ on the question of the prolongation of the year,9 as it has been taught: ‘How long is the period of the prolongation of the year? Thirty days. Simeon b. Gamaliel, however, says a month’.10 But why should only [the one who says] thirty days [require no messengers to be sent]? Because, you say, people in this case know when the month ends?11 If the period is a month, they also know! — R. Papa said: The one who said ‘a month’ holds that [the Beth din may prolong the year] either by thirty days or by a month at their option.12
R. Joshua b. Levi testified on behalf of the holy community of Jerusalem concerning the two Adars, that they are sanctified on the day of their prolongation.13 This is equivalent to saying that we make them defective but we do not make them full, and excludes the statement made in a discourse by R. Nahman b. Hisda; [for R. Nahman b. Hisda stated in a discourse]: ‘R. Simai testified in the name of Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi concerning the two Adars that if they [the Beth din] desired they could make both of them full, and if they desired they could make both of them, defective, and if they desired they could make one full and the other defective; and such was their custom in the Diaspora. In the name of our teacher,14 however, they said: One is always to be full and the next defective, unless you have been informed that New Moon has been fixed at its proper time’.15
They sent [from Palestine] to Mar ‘Ukba to say: The Adar which precedes Nisan is always defective. R. Nahman raised an objection [from the following]: ‘For the fixing of two New Moons the Sabbath may be profaned,16 for those of Nisan and of Tishri’. Now if you say that [the Adar before Nisan] is sometimes full and sometimes defective, I can understand how occasions arise for profaning the Sabbath
(1) That fasting is prohibited.
(2) I.e., made to last thirty days, and therefore the Diaspora may make a mistake about the Day of Atonement and Tabernacles.
(3) The ‘special reason’ is discussed infra, 20a.
(4) Lit., ‘spoilt’. The Diaspora will keep it one day too soon.
(5) I.e., made to consist of thirteen months, by the insertion of a second Adar.
(6) Including in particular Purim.
(7) And therefore the observance of Purim in the first Adar is really sufficient for religious purposes, and so there is no need to send out messengers to fix the date of the second.
(8) And therefore it is important that Purim in the second Adar should be kept on the right day, v. Meg. 6b.
(9) I.e., the [days of the month of the first Adar which is inserted to prolong the year (Rashi).
(10) I.e., twenty-nine days. This is apparently the opinion of Rabbi also.
(11) When the first Adar ends and the second Adar begins.
(12) And therefore it is necessary to keep the public informed. (9) [Regarded by some as a survival of an Essene community, v. J.E V. p. 226].
(13) The thirtieth day is known as the day of prolongation (יום עיבור) as it is the day which is added to make the preceding month full (v. supra p. 21, n. 7). In the case of the two Adars the thirtieth day of each is sanctified as the New Moon of the next month.
(15) I.e., that the Beth din is Jerusalem fixed the New Moon of Adar II on the thirtieth day of the first Adar, the thirtieth day always being regarded as the ‘proper time’ of New Moon.
(16) By the watchers for the new moon, who are allowed to exceed the two thousand cubit limit in order to report their observation to the Beth din in Jerusalem. V. infra 23b.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 20a
. But if it is always defective, why should they profane it?1 — Because it is a religious duty to sanctify [the New Moon] on the strength of actual observation.2 According to another version, R. Nahman said: We also have learnt: ‘For the fixing of two New Moons the Sabbath may be profaned, for those of Nisan and of Tishri’. Now if you say that the Adar which precedes Nisan is always defective, there is no difficulty; the reason why Sabbath may be profaned is because it is a religious duty to sanctify [the New Moon] on the strength of actual ob servation. But if you say that it is sometimes full and sometimes defective, why should [the Sabbath] be profaned? Let us prolong [the month] today and sanctify [the New Moon] to-morrow?3 — If the thirtieth day happens to be on Sabbath, that is actually what we do. Here, however, we are dealing with the case where the thirty-first day happens to fall on Sabbath [and we allow the Sabbath to be profaned because] it is a religious duty to sanctify on the strength of actual observation.4
R. Kahana raised [against the instruction sent to Mar ‘Ukba] the following objection: ‘When the Temple stood, Sabbath was profaned for the fixing of all the months, for the sake of the adjustment of the sacrifice’.5 Now since the reason [for allowing the profanation of the Sabbath] was not in the case of all the other [months] because it is a religious duty to sanctify on the strength of actual observation, neither is the reason in the case of Nisan and Tishri because it is a religious duty to sanctify on the strength of actual observation.6 Now if you say that the Adar preceding Nisan is sometimes full and sometimes defective, there is no difficulty: for the reason mentioned we allow the profanation of the Sabbath. But if you say that it is always defective, why should we allow the profanation?7 — This is unanswerable.8
When ‘Ulla came [from Palestine to Babylon], he said: They have prolonged Elul.9 Said ‘Ulla thereupon: Do our Babylonian colleagues recognize what a boon we are conferring on them? What was the boon? — ‘Ulla said: On account of the vegetables;10
R. Aha b. Hanina said: On account of the [unburied] dead.11 What difference does it make [in practice which view we adopt here]? — There is a difference, in the case of a Day of Atonement coming just after Sabbath. According to him who says that the reason is because of the [unburied] dead, we prolong Elul [so as to prevent this], but according to him who says that it is because of vegetables, [we do not do so, because] when are the vegetables required? For the evening [after the Day of Atonement]; and in the evening we can get fresh ones. But even if we accept the view that the reason is because of vegetables, we should still prolong Elul because of the unburied dead? — We must therefore say that the practical difference is in the case of a festival which comes just before or just after Sabbath. In such a case, according to him who says the reason is because of vegetables,12 we prolong Elul [to prevent this], but according to him who says it is because of the [unburied] dead, [we do not do so], because they can be attended to by heathens. But even if we accept the view that it is because of the [unburied] dead, let us still prolong Elul on account of the vegetables? — Vegetables can be [freshened by being put] in hot water. If that is the case, why is it a boon only for us [in Babylon]? Why not also for them [in Palestine] — We suffer from oppressive heat, they do not suffer from oppressive heat.13
Is all this correct,14 seeing that Rabbah b. Samuel has learnt: I might think that just as the year is prolonged in case of emergency,15 so the month may be prolonged to meet an emergency; therefore it says, This month is for you the head of months,16 [which implies], See [the moon] like this and then sanctify!17 — Raba replied: There is no contradiction: in the once case we speak of prolonging the month, in the other of sanctifying it,18 and what [the above teaching] meant is this: I might say that just as the year is prolonged to meet an emergency, so the month may be sanctified to meet an emergency, therefore it says, ‘This month is for you’; See [the moon] like this, and then sanctify. This is illustrated by the dictum of R. Joshua b. Levi: ‘Witnesses19 can be intimidated [to withhold the report of] the new moon which has appeared in its due time20 in order that the month may be prolonged,21 but they may not be intimidated into reporting the new moon which has not appeared in its proper time in order that a New Moon may be sanctified [on the thirtieth]’. Is this so? Did not R. Judah the Prince22 send to R. Ammi a message saying: Know that when R. Johanan was alive he used to teach us that witnesses may be intimidated into reporting [on the thirtieth day] the new moon which has not appeared in its due time, in order that the New Moon may be sanctified, and even though they have not seen it they may say, We have seen it? — Abaye said: There is no contradiction: the one rule23 holds good for Nisan and Tishri, the other for the other months of the year.24 Raba said: This teaching which Rabbah b. Samuel learnt follows the ‘Others’, as it has been taught: ‘Others say that between one Pentecost and another and between one New Year and ‘another there are always four days [of the week] difference, or, if it was a leap year, five’.25 R. Dimi from Nehardea reports the teaching in the reverse form: ‘Witnesses can be intimidated to report [on the thirtieth day] the appearance of the moon which has not appeared in its proper time, in order that the month may be sanctified, but they may not be intimidated to withhold the report of the new moon which has been seen at its proper time in order that the month may be prolonged. What is the reason?
(1) Since the New Moon can be fixed without actual observation.
(2) Even though the observation is not necessary for the purpose.
(3) I.e., in all such cases we can make Adar thirty days, and if the watchers have seen the new moon on Sabbath, they need not report till the next day.
(4) Hence we do not make New Moon on the thirtieth day, the new moon not yet having been observed, and it is not permitted to make it on the thirty-second.
(5) I.e., so that the sacrifice for New Moon should be offered at the proper time.
(6) But, as in the case of all the others, to secure that the New Moon offering should be brought on the proper day.
(7) Seeing that the observation makes no difference.
(8) Lit., ‘this is a confutation’.
(9) So as to prevent Sabbath and a festival falling on successive days.
(10) Which would become stale if kept over two days. Vegetables eaten raw are referred to, and of course, there could be no plucking on Sabbath or Festivals.
(11) Which would commence to decompose if kept over two days.
(12) Which would be required on the second of the holy days.
(13) Lit., ‘the world is oppressive for us’. In Palestine vegetables or dead bodies could be kept for two days.
(14) That a month may be prolonged to prevent inconvenience to the public. Lit. ‘It is not so?’
(15) E.g., to make Passover fall in the season of new corn., v. Sanh. 11b.
(16) Ex. XII, 2.
(17) The word ‘this’ is interpreted to mean that God showed Moses the new moon as a model for all future time
(18) V. infra.
(19) Men sent out by the Beth din to watch for the appearance of the new moon from points of vantage.
(20) I.e., on the thirtieth day.
(21) Over the thirtieth day and the next New Moon declared on the thirty-first, which shows that the month can be prolonged in case of need.
(22) The grandson of Rabbi.
(23) That the month may be sanctified to meet a special need.
(24) A ‘special need’ might arise in the other months of the year if, for instance, eight months in a year (which was the maximum) had already been made ‘full’ and in the next month the moon did not appear on the thirtieth: v. ‘Ar. 8b.
(25) V. p. 21, nn. 12, 13, and note. For this to happen the months would have to follow the moon strictly.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 20b
— The latter statement would be seen to be false,1 the former statement is not seen to be false.2
Samuel said: I am quite able to make a calendar3 for the whole of the Diaspora. Said Abba the father of R. Simlai to Samuel: Does the Master know [the meaning] of this remark which occurs in [the Baraitha known as] the secret of the Calendar?4 ‘If the new moon is born before midday or after midday’? — He replied: I do not. He then said to him: Since the Master does not know this, there must also be other things which the Master does not know. When R. Zera went up [to Palestine], he sent back word to them [in Babylon]: It is necessary that there should be [on New Moon] a night and a day of the new moon.5 This is what Abba the father of R. Simlai meant: ‘We calculate [according to] the new moon's birth. If it is born before midday, then certainly it will have been seen shortly before sunset. If it was not born before midday, certainly it will not have been seen shortly before sunset’. What is the practical value of this remark? — R. Ashi said: To [help us in] confuting the witnesses.6
R. Zera said in the name of R. Nahman: The moon is invisible for twenty-four hours [round about new moon]. For us [in Babylon] six of these belong to the old moon and eighteen to the new;7 for them [in Palestine] six to the new and eighteen to the old.8 What is the practical value of this remark? — R. Ashi said: To confute the witnesses.
The Master has just said: It is necessary that there should be [on New Moon] a night and a day of the new moon. Whence is this rule derived? — R. Johanan said: [From the text]. From evening to evening;9 Resh Lakish said: [From the text], Until the twenty-first day of the month in the evening.10 What practical difference is there between them? — Abaye said: The difference between them is only one of exegesis.11 Raba said: They differ in regard to [the hours up to] midnight.12
R. Zera said in the name of R. Nahman: Wherever [an extra day is kept] out of doubt, we make it the succeeding day.13 This means to say that we keep [Passover and Tabernacles] on the fifteenth and sixteenth but not on the fourteenth.14 But should not the fourteenth also be kept, in case both Ab and Elul15 have been declared short?16
(1) Because other people might have seen the new moon.
(2) Because it could not be proved that they had not seen it (Rashi). R. Hananel: Provided they had seen a semblance of the new moon].
(3) Heb. עבור lit., ‘taking across’: the word used for the prolonging of the year and the month.
(4) This was a Baraitha made up of enigmatic sentences like the one which follows.
(5) I.e., that there should be no appearance of the old moon in this period, viz., after the closing of the twenty-ninth day; otherwise New Moon cannot be proclaimed on the thirtieth.
(6) Because if the conjunction is calculated to have been after midday and they claim to have seen the new moon before nightfall, they are not telling the truth.
(7) Which would imply that in Babylon the new moon is not visible till eighteen hours after its birth (Rashi).
(8) Which would imply that in Palestine the new moon is visible six hours after its birth (Rashi).
(9) Lev. XXIII, 32, in connection with fasting on the Day of Atonement. This shows that the day follows the night in reference to the festivals.
(10) Ex. XII, 18, in connection with eating unleavened bread on Passover. This shows that the festivals end at even.
(11) Lit., ‘the interpretation of exegeses’.
(12) According to R. Johanan,the ‘night’ referred to is on the same footing as the night of the Day of Atonement which commences at nightfall. But according to Resh Lakish, it is on a par with the first night of Passover, which, in relation to the Paschal lamb, was a continuation of the afternoon before. Hence Resh Lakish holds that even if the old moon was seen in the early part of the evening, the next day may still be declared New Moon.
(13) Lit., ‘wherever there is a doubt, we cast it forward’.
(14) I.e., that we reckon fifteen days from the thirtieth day, and also from the thirty-first day of the previous Adar or Elul, out of doubt, but in no case from the twenty-ninth. This dictum would seem to be superfluous, as in no circumstances was New Moon proclaimed on the twenty-ninth day after the previous New Moon.
(15) Rashi reads ‘Shebat’.
(16) And in this case, what we suppose to have been the twenty-ninth day of Adar or of Elul would really have been the first of Nisan or of Tishri.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 21a
— If two [successive] months1 are declared short, the thing becomes known.
Levi once arrived in Babylon on the eleventh of Tishri.2 He said [to the people there]: How good and sweet is the dish of the Babylonians on the great day of the West.3 They said to him, Testify [that this is the tenth day].4 He replied: I did not [personally] hear the Beth din [in Jerusalem proclaim] ‘sanctified’.5
R. Johanan issued a proclamation: ‘In all those places which can be reached by the messengers sent out in Nisan but not by those sent out in Tishri,6 two days should be kept [on Passover],7 Nisan being included so that there should be no mistake as to Tishri’.8
R. Aibu b. Nagri and R. Hiyya b. Abba once arrived at a certain place which had been reached by the messengers sent out in Nisan but not by those sent out in Tishri, and though the inhabitants kept only one day [of Passover] they did not reprove them. When R. Johanan heard this he was annoyed and said to them: Did I not tell you that in places which have been reached by the messengers sent out in Nisan but not by those sent out in Tishri they should keep two days, Nisan being included so that no mistake should be made in Tishri?
Rabbah was accustomed to fast two days [on the Day of Atonement].9 Once he was found to be right.10 R. Nahman had once fasted the whole of the Day of Atonement, when in the evening a man came and told him, To-morrow is the great day in the West. He said to him, Whence are you? He replied, From Damharia.11 ‘Blood will be his latter end’12 he ejaculated, applying to himself the verse, Swift were our pursuers.13
R. Huna b. Abin sent an instruction to Raba: When you see that the cycle of Tebeth14 extends to the sixteenth of Nisan,15 declare that year16 a leap year and have no scruples,17 since it is written, Observe the month [hodesh] of Abib,18 which signifies, See to it that the Abib of the cycle19 should commence in the earlier half [hodesh]20 of Nisan.
R. Nahman said to those who were going to sea: As you will not know when New Moon is fixed, [I will tell you what to do]. When you see the moon ceases shining with daylight,21 clear away leaven [for Passover]. When does it so shine? On the fifteenth [of the month]. But we clear away leaven on the fourteenth? — For them, as they had a clear view,22 the moon commenced to shine into the day from the fourteenth.
(1) Viz., (apparently) Ab and Elul, or Tebeth and Shebat. Rashi: Tebeth and Tammuz are always, according to the principles of fixed calendar, defective, and if Shebat’ which follows Tebeth, Ab and Tammuz were also to be defective, it would have become known to the Diaspora before the advent of the festivals.
(2) I.e., according to the reckoning of the Babylonians who were not aware that the previous month had been prolonged in Palestine by one day. He either came from near the frontier or just before nightfall, before they had broken their fast (v. Tosaf. s.v. לוי
(3) I.e., this is the Day of Atonement in Palestine, and you are eating, or you are ready to break your fast, cf. p. 86, n. 10.
(4) And we will keep this day too.
(5) I.e., that the day was sanctified as New Moon and therefore he could not testify, although he knew from independent sources that this was only ten days before, v. infra 21b. [MS.M.: ‘(proclaim)’, ‘prolonged’ מעובר instead of מקודש
(6) The messengers sent out from Jerusalem to announce the New Moon of Nisan would be able to travel further by Passover than the messengers sent out in Tishri would be able to travel by Tabernacles, because the latter would lose two days on New Year and the Day of Atonement, when it was forbidden to travel.
(7) Although the inhabitants would know when the New Moon of Nisan had been proclaimed.
(8) I.e., if they kept Passover only one day, they might come to keep Tabernacles only one day.
(9) Being uncertain whether the month of Elul, which normally consisted of twenty-nine days, had not been prolonged by the Beth din in Jerusalem.
(10) Lit., ‘it was found (to be) according to him’.
(11) [Damar S.W. of Sura. V. Obermeyer p. 298.]
(12) Heb. Dam tehi Aharitho — a play on the name Damharia.
(13) Lam. IV, 19.
(14) V. supra p. 30, n. 5.
(15) Inclusive. V. Tosaf. s.v.
(16) In other words, if the vernal equinox is known by calculation to fall after the sixteenth of Nisan a leap year is proclaimed.
(17) Although this follows the view only of an individual authority, as recorded in Sanh. 13b.
(18) Deut. XVI, 1.
(19) I.e., the beginning of the vernal equinox. The day on which the vernal equinox begins is called Abib because on that day the corn begins to ripen by the effects of the sun (Rashi). V. Sanh., Sonc. ed., p. 60 notes.
(20) Lit., ‘newness’. I.e., the first fourteen days. The New Moon of Nisan must be timed so that this can take place.
(21) Lit., ‘completing (its course) by day’.
(22) Lit., ‘as the world was revealed to them’.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 21b
MISHNAH. FOR THE SAKE OF TWO MONTHS SABBATH MAY BE PROFANED,1 NAMELY, NISAN AND TISHRI, SINCE IN THEM MESSENGERS GO FORTH TO SYRIA AND IN THEM THE DATES OF THE FESTIVALS ARE FIXED.2 WHEN THE TEMPLE WAS STANDING THEY USED TO PROFANE SABBATH FOR ALL THE MONTHS, IN ORDER THAT THE SACRIFICE [OF NEW MOON] MIGHT BE OFFERED ON THE RIGHT DAY.3
GEMARA. [Do messengers go forth] for two months only? The following was cited as conflicting with this: ‘Messengers go forth to proclaim six months’!4 — Abaye replied: What is meant is this: For all [the other months] the messengers set out while is is still night,5 but for Nisan and Tishri they do not set out till they have heard the Beth din proclaim, ‘sanctified’.6
It has been taught to the same effect: ‘For all [the other months] they [the messengers] went forth while it was still night, but for Nisan and Tishri not until they had heard the Beth din proclaim ‘sanctified’.
Our Rabbis taught: How do we know [from the Scripture] that Sabbath may be profaned on account of these? Because it says, These are the appointed seasons of the Lord . . . which ye shall proclaim in their appointed season.7 I might say then that just as it may be profaned until they [the months] are sanctified, so it may be profaned [further] until they are promulgated?8 Not so, since it says, ‘which ye shall proclaim:’ for their proclamation you may profane the Sabbath, but not for their promulgation.9
WHEN THE TEMPLE WAS STANDING THEY USED TO PROFANE SABBATH FOR ALL THE MONTHS, IN ORDER THAT THE SACRIFICE MIGHT BE OFFERED ON THE RIGHT DAY. Our Rabbis taught : Originally the Sabbath could be profaned for all of them. When the Temple was destroyed, Rabban Johanan b. Zakkai said to them [the Beth din], Is there then a sacrifice [waiting to be brought]? They therefore ordained that Sabbath should not be profaned save for Nisan and Tishri alone.10
MISHNAH. WHETHER [THE NEW MOON] HAS BEEN SEEN CLEARLY11 OR HAS NOT BEEN SEEN CLEARLY, SABBATH MAY BE PROFANED ON ACCOUNT OF IT. R. JOSE SAYS, HOWEVER, THAT IF IT HAS BEEN SEEN CLEARLY SABBATH IS NOT TO BE PROFANED ON ACCOUNT OF IT.12 IT HAPPENED ONCE THAT MORE THAN FORTY PAIRS OF WITNESSES WERE ON THEIR WAY13 [TO JERUSALEM] AND R. AKIBA DETAINED THEM IN LYDDA. R. GAMALIEL THEREUPON SENT TO HIM SAYING: IF YOU PREVENT THE MULTITUDE [FROM COMING TO GIVE EVIDENCE] YOU WILL PROVE TO BE THE CAUSE OF THEIR STUMBLING IN THE TIME TO COME.14
GEMARA. How do we know that the word ‘alil here means ‘clear’? — R. Abbahu replied: Because the Scripture says, The words of the Lord are pure words, as silver tried in the clear sight [ba-’alil] of the earth, refined seven times.15
Rab and Samuel [gave different interpretations of a certain text]. One said: Fifty gates of understanding were created in the world, and all were given to Moses save one, as it says, Yet thou hast made him but little lower than a God,16 Now, Koheleth sought to find out words of delight.17 [That is to say,] Koheleth sought to be like Moses, but a bath kol18 went forth and said to him, It is written uprightly even words of truth,19 ‘There arose not a prophet again in Israel like Moses’.20 The other said: Among the prophets there arose not, but among the kings there did arise. How then do I interpret the words, Koheleth sought to find out words of delight? Koheleth sought to pronounce verdicts from his own insight,21 without witnesses and without warning,22 whereupon a bath kol went forth and said, It is written uprightly even words of truth, ‘At the mouth of two witnesses’ etc.23
(1) By witnesses who have seen the new moon, in order that they may give information in Jerusalem at the earliest possible moment. V. supra.
(2) It is difficult to see what reason this furnishes for allowing the witnesses to break the Sabbath. Rashi explains that if the witnesses are not allowed to bring the news on Sabbath, the New Moon will not be sanctified till Sunday, and so the messengers instead of setting out as soon as Sabbath is over will not set out till several hours later, and this might make them late in some places in giving notice of the date of Passover. V. Rashi and Tosaf.
(3) Lit., ‘for the proper adjustment of the sacrifice’.
(4) I.e., whenever the month is lengthened to thirty days.
(5) On the thirty-first day, since it is already certain that New Moon will be on this day.
(6) Which would be at some hour in the daytime.
(7) Lev. XXIII, 4. Stress is laid on the words ‘in their appointed season’.
(8) I. e., to the Diaspora, by the messengers.
(9) I. e., the witnesses may profane, but not the messengers.
(10) On account of their extra sanctity.
(11) Lit., ‘in an ‘alil’. V. Gemara infra.
(12) There being no necessity, as many people will have seen it.
(13) Lit., ‘were passing’.
(14) As people will be reluctant to come to give evidence.
(15) Ps. XII, 7. E.V. ‘in a crucible’.
(16) Ps. VIII, 6. E.V. ‘than the angels’.
(17) Eccl. XII, 10.
(18) A voice from heaven, V. Glos.
(20) Deut. XXXIV, 10.
(21) Lit., ‘that are in the heart’. [Omitted in MS.M.].
(22) The forewarning required by law for the punishment of an offender.
(23) Deut. XIX, 15.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 22a
IT HAPPENED ONCE THAT MORE THEN FORTY PAIRS [OF WITNESSES] WERE ON THEIR WAY [TO JERUSALEM] AND R. AKIBA DETAINED THEM etc. It has been taught: R. Judah said: Far be it from us to think that R. Akiba detained them. It was Shazpar the head of Geder1 who detained them, and Rabban Gamaliel thereupon sent and they deposed him from his office.2
MISHNAH. IF A FATHER AND A SON HAVE SEEN THE NEW MOON, THEY SHOULD BOTH GO [TO JERUSALEM], NOT THAT THEY CAN ACT AS JOINT WITNESSES3 BUT SO THAT IF ONE OF THEM IS DISQUALIFIED4 THE OTHER MAY JOIN WITH SOME OTHER WITNESS. R. SIMEON, HOWEVER, SAYS THAT A FATHER AND SON AND ALL RELATIVES ARE ELIGIBLE TO TESTIFY TO THE APPEARANCE OF THE NEW MOON. R. JOSE SAID: IT HAPPENED ONCE WITH TOBIAH THE PHYSICIAN THAT HE SAW THE NEW MOON IN JERUSALEM ALONG WITH HIS SON AND HIS EMANCIPATED SLAVE, AND THE PRIESTS ACCEPTED HIS EVIDENCE AND THAT OF HIS SON AND DISQUALIFIED HIS SLAVE, BUT WHEN THEY APPEARED BEFORE THE BETH DIN THEY ACCEPTED HIS EVIDENCE AND THAT OF HIS SLAVE AND DISQUALIFIED HIS SON.
GEMARA. R. Levi said: What is the reason of R. Simeon? — Because it is written, and the Lord spoke unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months,5 which implies, ‘this testimony shall be valid [when given] by you’.6 And the Rabbis? — [It implies], this evidence shall be entrusted to you.7
R. JOSE SAID, IT HAPPENED ONCE WITH TOBIAH THE PHYSICIAN etc. R. Hanan b. Raba said: The law8 is as stated by R. Simeon. Said R. Huna to R. Hanan b. Raba, We have R. Jose and an incident [on the other side], and you say that the law is as stated by R. Simeon! — He replied: Many times I said in the presence of Rab, ‘The law is as stated by R. Simeon’, and he did not correct me.9 He then asked him, How did you repeat [the Mishnah]? — He [R. Hanan] replied [I repeated it to him with the names] reversed.10 He [R. Huna] thereupon said to him, That was the reason why Rab did not correct you. Tabi said in the name of Mari Tabi who had it from Mar ‘Ukba: The law is as stated by R. Simeon.
MISHNAH THE FOLLOWING ARE INELIGIBLE: GAMBLERS11, USURERS, PIGEON-FLYERS,12 THOSE WHO TRAFFIC IN PRODUCE OF THE SABBATICAL YEAR,13 AND SLAVES. IT IS A GENERAL RULE THAT FOR ANY TESTIMONY FOR WHICH A WOMAN IS DISQUALIFIED THESE ALSO ARE DISQUALIFIED.
GEMARA. I infer from this that any testimony which a woman is qualified to give14 they are also qualified to give. R. Ashi said: This is equivalent to saying that one who is Rabbinically15 accounted a robber is qualified to give the same evidence as a woman.
MISHNAH. IF ONE WHO HAS SEEN THE MOON IS NOT ABLE TO GO ON FOOT, HE MAY BE BROUGHT ON AN ASS OR EVEN IN A LITTER [ON SABBATH]. IF THEY [THE WITNESSES] ARE LIKELY TO BE WAYLAID,16 THEY MAY TAKE CUDGELS [TO DEFEND THEMSELVES].17 IF THE DISTANCE IS GREAT [TO JERUSALEM], THEY MAY TAKE PROVISIONS WITH THEM, SINCE FOR AS MUCH AS A NIGHT AND A DAY'S JOURNEY18 THEY WERE ALLOWED TO PROFANE SABBATH AND GO FORTH TO TESTIFY TO THE APPEARANCE OF THE NEW MOON, AS IT SAYS: THESE ARE THE APPOINTED SEASONS OF THE LORD . . . WHICH YE SHALL PROCLAIM IN THEIR APPOINTED SEASON.19
MISHNAH. IF THAT ONE20 IS NOT KNOWN TO THEM [THE BETH DIN IN JERUSALEM], THEY [THE BETH DIN OF HIS OWN PLACE] SEND ANOTHER WITH HIM TO CERTIFY HIM [AS RELIABLE]. ORIGINALLY TESTIMONY WITH REGARD TO [THE APPEARANCE OF] THE NEW MOON WAS RECEIVED FROM ANYONE. WHEN, HOWEVER, THE BOETHUSIANS21 ADOPTED EVIL COURSES, IT WAS ORDAINED THAT TESTIMONY SHOULD BE RECEIVED ONLY FROM PERSONS KNOWN [TO THE BETH DIN].
GEMARA. What is meant by ANOTHER? [I would naturally suppose], one other person.
(1) [Gederah in Judah. V. Josh. XV, 36].
(2) Lit., ‘greatness’.
(3) Near relatives being disqualified from offering evidence together.
(4) I.e., found by the Beth din to be unreliable.
(5) Ex. XII, 1, 2.
(6) Even if you are near relatives.
(7) The communal leaders, to sanctify the month on the strength of it. Nothing, however, is implied about relatives.
(8) [MS.M. ‘the Halachah’ and so in all other cases in this passage].
(9) Lit., ‘he did mot say anything to me’.
(10) I.e., saying that R. Jose declared a father and son to be eligible, and that R. Simeon related the incident.
(11) Lit., ‘those who play with dice’.
(12) For wagers.
(13) V. Sanh., Sonc. ed. p. 142, nn. 3-5.
(14) E.g., to testify the death of a husband so as to enable the widow to remarry.
(15) Like those mentioned above, who are not accounted robbers according to the strict letter of the Pentateuch, since although they acquire money wrongfully they do not take anything by force: v. Yeb. 25a
(16) Lit., ‘if there are lyers-in-wait for them’.
(17) Although it was forbidden to carry on Sabbath.
(18) If the distance was much larger there would be no point in their evidence since in the absence of witnesses the New Moon is on the first day.
(19) Lev. XXIII, 4. V. supra, p. 89. n. 5.
(20) V. Gemara, infra.
(21) The followers of a certain Boethus, who seems to have lived in the second century B.C.E. Like the Sadducees, they rejected the Oral Law and opposed the Rabbis. [MS.M. ‘Minim’ (v. Glos. s.v. Min.)]
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 22b
But [is the word of] one person to be taken? Has it not been taught, ‘On one occasion he came accompanied by the witnesses1 who were to testify to his bona fides’? — R. Papa replied: What is meant by ANOTHER? Another pair. This view too is borne out by an examination [of the language of the Mishnah]. For should you hold otherwise, [consider the words] IF THAT ONE [OTHO] IS NOT KNOWN TO THEM. Now what is referred to by THAT ONE? Shall I say, a single person? But is [the word of] one person accepted,2 seeing that the word judgment3 is used in connection with it? But in fact what is meant by THAT ONE? That pair. So here, what is meant by ANOTHER? Another pair.
But is not the word of one witness taken [in this matter]? Has it not been taught, ‘On one occasion R. Nehorai accompanied the witness to testify to his bona fides on Sabbath in Usha’?4 — I can reply that there was another witness along with R. Nehorai, and the reason why he was not mentioned was out of respect for R. Nehorai.5 R. Ashi said: In R. Nehorai's case there was [already] another witness in Usha,6 and R. Nehorai went to join his testimony with his. If that is the case, what is the point of the statement?7 — You might think that we do not allow the Sabbath to be profaned [by one witness] where there is any doubt [about the other].8 Hence we are told [that this is not so].
When ‘Ulla came [to Babylon], he announced that they had sanctified the New Moon [on a certain day] in the West [Palestine]. Said R. Kahana: Not only [in such a case] do we take the word of ‘Ulla who is a great man, but we take the word of any ordinary man. What is the reason? Because whenever a thing is bound to come to light later on, men do not lie about it. It has been taught to the same effect: If a man comes from the other end of the world and says, The Beth din have sanctified the New Moon, his word is taken.
ORIGINALLY TESTIMONY WITH REGARD TO THE APPEARANCE OF THE NEW MOON WAS RECEIVED FROM ANYONE. Our Rabbis taught: What evil course did the Boethusians9 adopt? Once the Boethusians sought to mislead the Sages.10 They hired two men for four hundred zuzim, one belonging to our party and one to theirs. The one of their party gave his evidence and de parted. Our man [came and] they said to him: Teil us how you saw the moon. He replied: I was going up the ascent of Adumim11 and I saw it couched between two rocks, its head like [that of] a calf, its ears like [those of] a hind, and its tail lying between its legs, and as I caught sight of it I got a fright and fell backwards, and if you do not believe me, why, I have two hundred zuzim tied up in my cloak. They said to him: Who told you to say all this?12 He replied: I heard that the Boethusians were seeking to mislead the Sages, so I said [to myself], I will go myself and tell them, for fear lest untrustworthy men should come and mislead the Sages. They said: You can have the two hundred zuzim as a present,13 and the man who hired you shall be laid out on the post.14 There and then they ordained that testimony should be received only from persons who were known to them.
MISHNAH. ORIGINALLY THEY USED TO LIGHT15 BEACONS.16 WHEN THE CUTHEANS [SAMARITANS] ADOPTED EVIL COURSES,17 THEY MADE A RULE THAT MESSENGERS SHOULD GO FORTH. HOW DID THEY LIGHT THE BEACONS? THEY USED TO BRING LONG POLES OF CEDAR AND REEDS AND OLIVE WOOD AND FLAX FLUFF WHICH THEY TIED TO THE POLES WITH A STRING, AND SOMEONE USED TO GO UP TO THE TOP OF A MOUNTAIN AND SET FIRE TO THEM AND WAVE THEM TO AND FRO AND UP AND DOWN UNTIL HE SAW THE NEXT ONE DOING THE SAME THING ON THE TOP OF THE SECOND MOUNTAIN; AND SO ON THE TOP OF THE THIRD MOUNTAIN. WHENCE DID THEY CARRY THE [CHAIN OF] BEACONS? FROM THE MOUNT OF OLIVES [IN JERUSALEM] TO SARTABA, AND FROM SARTABA TO GROFINA, AND FROM GROFINA TO HAURAN, AND FROM HAURAN TO BETH BALTIN.18 THE ONE ON BETH BALTIN DID NOT BUDGE FROM THERE BUT WENT ON WAVING TO AND FRO AND UP AND DOWN UNTIL HE SAW THE WHOLE OF THE DIASPORA19 BEFORE HIM LIKE ONE BONFIRE.20
GEMARA. How do we know that the word massi'in21 connotes ‘burning’? — Because it is written in the Scripture, wa-yisa'em, David and his men,22 and we translate23 ‘and David burnt them’.
Our Rabbis taught ‘Beacon fires are lit only for the new moon which has been seen at its proper time,24 [to announce that] it has been sanctified. When are they lit? On the night following its announcement.25 This means to say that we light beacons for defective months but not for full months. What is the reason? — R. Zera said: It is a precaution on account of a defective month which ends on Friday. [In that case] when do we light? On the termination of Sabbath; and if you were to insist that we should light up also for full months, this might give rise
(1) This would show that at least two were required.
(2) In giving evidence regarding the New Moon.
(3) In the verse, For it is a statute for Israel, a judgment for the God of Jacob. Ps. LXXXI, 5. ‘Judgment’ could be delivered only on the evidence of at least two witnesses.
(4) At the time when the Beth din was in Usha.
(5) I.e., so as not to put him on the same footing as R. Nehorai. Cf. Git. 5b for a similar incident.
(6) This witness may have been either one who had seen the new moon, or one who could testify to the bona fides of the man who has seen it. V. Tosaf. s.v. סהרא
(7) What reason was there why R. Nehorai should not have gone on Sabbath, seeing that the Mishnah permits this?
(8) Who might disappear in the interval.
(9) [MS.M.: Minim, v. supra p. 94, n. 2].
(10) By making them believe that the new moon had been seen on the thirtieth of Adar, which was a Sabbath, when in fact it had not, so that the second day of Passover might be on a Sunday and the counting of the ‘Omer might commence literally ‘on the morrow of the Sabbath’, according to their interpretation of the words (Rashi).
(11) V. Josh. XV, 7.
(12) Lit., ‘who compelled you to all this’.
(13) Beth din having the right to expropriate. [On the reading Minim, if the reference is to Jewish Christians, their desire to have the first day of Passover fall on Friday and Pentecost on Sunday as was the case in the year of the crucifixion, would supply them with a reason for tampering with the Calendar, V. Herford, Christianity in the Talmud, p. 330.]
(14) For a flogging.
(15) The Hebrew word is massi'in, which literally means ‘raise up’.
(16) To convey the news of the New Moon to the diaspora in Babylon.
(17) And lit beacons on the thirtieth day, so as to mislead the Babylonians.
(18) [There is no general agreement about the identification of these places. Obermeyer (p. 17ff) locates them as follows: Sartaba == Karn Sartaba, five km from the western bank of the Jordan; Grofina (or ‘Agrufina, v. D.S.) ‘Arafun, a hill situated among the Gilead range of mountains; Hauran south of Damascus, cf. Ezek. XLVII, 18. Beth Baltin == Beiram (v. infra) some miles N.W. of Pumbeditha. For other views, v. Horowitz Palestine, p. 125].
(19) I.e., the district of Pumbeditha. V. Gemara. [Rashi omits ‘the whole of’.]
(20) Because, as explained infra in the Gemara, the inhabitants on seeing the beacon fire used to light torches.
(21) V. supra p. 96, n. 5.
(22) 2 Sam,. V, 21 in reference to the idols captured from the Philistines. E.V. ‘took them away’.
(23) In the authorized Aramaic version.
(24) I.e., on the thirtieth day of the outgoing month.
(25) יום עיבור, ‘the day of the prolongation’. V. supra, p. 81, n. 1.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 23a
to confusion, since people would say: This month may be defective, and the reason why beacons were not lit yesterday is because it was impossible,1 or perhaps it is full and they are lighting up at the proper time. But why should we not light up whether for a full month or a defective month, and when New Moon is on Friday not light up at all, so that since we do not light at the termination of Sabbath, in spite of the fact that we usually light for a full month, people will know that it is defective? — This nevertheless may lead to errors, since people will say, This month is full, and the reason why they have not lit up is because they have been prevented.2 But why not light up for the full months and not at all for the defective months? — Abaye replied: So as not to deprive the public of two working days.3
HOW DID THEY LIGHT THE BEACONS? THEY USED TO BRING LONG POLES etc. Rab Judah said: There are four kinds of cedar — cedar, kedros,4 pinewood5 and cypress [What is] kedros? — R. Idra stated that in the school of R. Shila it was defined as mabliga,6 though others held that it is gulmish. He [Rab Judah] differs herein from Rabbah son of R. Huna; for Rabbah son of R. Huna reported that in the school of Rab it was stated that there are ten kinds of cedar, as it says, I will plant in the wilderness erez, shitah, and hadas and oil-tree, I will set in the desert berosh, tidhor and teashur together.7 ‘Erez’ is cedar; ‘shitah’ is pine; ‘hadas’ is myrtle; ‘oil-tree’ is balsam; berosh is cypress; tidhor is teak;8 teashur is larch.9 This makes seven. When R. Dimi came, he said: To these were added alonim, almonim, and almugim. ‘Alonim’ are terebinths; almonim are oaks; almugim are coral-wood. According to others it should be aronim, ‘armonim, and almugim. Aronim are bay-trees; ‘armonim are planes; almugim are coral-wood.
Neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.10 Rab said: This refers to the great ship.11 How is it carried out?12 They bring there six thousand men for twelve months (or according to others twelve thousand men for six months) and load the boat with sand until it rests on the sea-bottom.13 Then a diver goes down and ties a rope of flax to the coral while the other end is tied to the ship, and the sand is then taken and thrown overboard, and as the boat rises it pulls up the coral with it. The coral is worth twice its weight in silver. There were three ports, two belonging to the Romans14 and one belonging to the Persians. From the Roman side they brought up coral, from the Persian side pearls. This [the Persian] one was called the port of Mashmahig.15
R. Johanan said: Every acacia tree that was taken by the invaders from Jerusalem will be restored to it by the Holy One, blessed be He, in time to come, as it says, I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia tree,16 and ‘wilderness’ means Jerusalem, as it is written, Zion is become a wilderness17 etc.
R. Johanan further said: One who studies the Torah but does not teach it is like the myrtle in the wilderness.18 Others report [the saying thus]: One who studies the Torah and teaches it in a place where there is no [other] talmid hakam19 is like the myrtle in the wilderness, which is precious.
R. Johanan also said: Alas for the idol-worshippers since they have no means of remedy,20 as it says, For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass and for stones iron.21 But what can they bring to replace R. Akiba and his companions? Of them the Scripture says, Though I cleanse them [of other transgressions] from their blood I shall not cleanse them.22
WHENCE DID THEY CARRY THE CHAIN OF BEACONS etc.? FROM BETH BALTIN. What is Beth Baltin? — Rab said: This is
(1) On account of Sabbath.
(2) Through having drunk too much on Sabbath, and become intoxicated (Rashi).
(3) It was customary to abstain from work on New Moon (v. Tosaf. s.v. משום). In this case the thirtieth day would always he kept as New Moon from doubt, and if the actual day fixed was the thirty-first, there would be two days New Moon.
(4) Heb. קדרום or קתרום prob. ==GR.**.
(5) Lit., ‘oil (i.e., resinous) wood’.
(6) Prob. connected with the root זלג ‘to drip’.
(7) Isa. XLI, 19. E.V. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia tree, and the myrtle and the oil-tree, I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane-tree and the larch together. The Talmud proceeds to give the Aramaic equivalents of the Hebrew words.
(8) The Aramaic is shaga, of which the precise meaning is unknown.
(9) Aramaic shuribna, of which also the precise meaning is unknown.
(10) Isa. XXXIII, 21.
(11) Heb. בורני prob. a corruption of GR.**, a light fast-sailing Liburnian vessel. [Supply here from MS.M.: ‘For what purpose is it made? — To raise with it corals’].
(12) Viz., the coral fishing in the Persian Gulf.
(13) The water being here rather shallow.
(14) [בי רומאי so MS.M.; cur. edd. בי ארמאי Be Armae, the Hebrew equivalent of Suristan (the land of the Syrians) the name given to Babylon by the Sasamans; v. Funk, Monumenta, p. 16 and Obermeyer p. 74].
(15) [Rashi: ‘the port of the kingdom’. Fleischer (notes to Levy's Dictionary): ‘name of an island in the Persian Gulf between ‘Oman and al-Bahrin.]
(16) Isa. XLI, 19.
(17) Ibid. LXIV, 9.
(18) The fragrance of which is wasted.
(19) V. Glos.
(20) I.e., they will not be able to save themselves by remedying the wrong they have done.
(21) Isa. LX, 17.
(22) Joel IV, 21. E.V., And I will hold as innocent their blood that I have not held as innocent.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 23b
Biram.1 What is meant here by DIASPORA [GOLAH]? — R. Joseph said: This is Pumbeditha. What is meant [then] by LIKE ONE BIG BONFIRE? — A Tanna taught: ‘Every inhabitant [of Pumbeditha] takes a torch in his hand and goes up on to his roof’.2 It has been taught: ‘R. Simeon b. Eleazar says: [Beacon fires were lit] also on Harim and Kayir and Geder and the neighbouring places’.3 Some say that these places are between [those mentioned in the Mishnah].4 Others say that they are on the further side from the Land of Israel, and that one authority [the Mishnah] reckons the places on one side,5 and the other reckons the places on the other.6 R. Johanan said: Between each one and the next7 there were eight parasangs.8 How many [parasangs] then were there altogether? Thirty-two.9 But to-day there is much more? — Abaye said: The [direct] roads have been closed,10 as it is written, Therefore behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns [etc.].11 R. Nahman b. Isaac said: It is stated in this verse, viz., He hath made my paths crooked.12
MISHNAH. THERE WAS A LARGE COURT IN JERUSALEM CALLED BETH YA'AZEK. THERE ALL THE WITNESSES USED TO ASSEMBLE AND THE BETH DIN USED TO EXAMINE THEM. THEY USED TO ENTERTAIN THEM LAVISHLY THERE13 SO THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE AN INDUCEMENT14 TO COME. ORIGINALLY THEY USED NOT TO LEAVE THE PLACE THE WHOLE DAY,15 BUT RABBAN GAMALIEL THE ELDER INTRODUCED A RULE THAT THEY COULD GO TWO THOUSAND CUBITS FROM IT IN ANY DIRECTION. THESE WERE NOT THE ONLY ONES [TO WHOM THIS CONCESSION WAS MADE]. A MIDWIFE WHO HAS COME [FROM A DISTANCE] TO HELP IN CHILDBIRTH OR ONE WHO COMES TO RESCUE FROM A FIRE OR FROM BANDITS OR FROM A RIVER IN FLOOD OR FROM A BUILDING THAT HAS FALLEN IN — ALL THESE ARE ON THE SAME FOOTING AS THE RESIDENTS OF THE TOWN, AND MAY GO TWO THOUSAND CUBITS [ON SABBATH] IN ANY DIRECTION.
GEMARA. The question was raised: Do we read here Beth Ya'azek or Beth Ya'zek? Do we read Beth Ya'azek, regarding the name as an elegantia16 based on the Scriptural expressions, And he ringed it round and cleared it of stones?17 Or do we read Beth Ya'zek, taking the name to connote constraint,18 as it is written, being bound in chains?19 — Abaye said: Come and hear [a proof that it is the former]: THEY USED TO ENTERTAIN THEM LAVISHLY THERE SO THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE AN INDUCEMENT TO COME. [This is not conclusive], as perhaps they treated them in both ways.20
MISHNAH. HOW DO THEY TEST THE WITNESSES? THE PAIR WHO ARRIVE FIRST ARE TESTED FIRST. THE SENIOR OF THEM IS BROUGHT IN AND THEY SAY TO HIM, TELL US HOW YOU SAW THE MOON — IN FRONT OF THE SUN OR BEHIND THE SUN?21 TO THE NORTH OF IT OR THE SOUTH? HOW BIG WAS IT, AND IN WHICH DIRECTION WAS IT INCLINED?22 AND HOW BROAD WAS IT? IF HE SAYS [HE SAW IT] IN FRONT OF THE SUN, HIS EVIDENCE IS REJECTED.23 AFTER THAT THEY WOULD BRING IN THE SECOND AND TEST HIM. IF THEIR ACCOUNTS TALLIED, THEIR EVIDENCE WAS ACCEPTED, AND THE OTHER PAIRS WERE ONLY QUESTIONED BRIEFLY,24 NOT BECAUSE THEY WERE REQUIRED AT ALL, BUT SO THAT THEY SHOULD NOT BE DISAPPOINTED, [AND] SO THAT THEY SHOULD NOT BE DISSUADED FROM COMING.25
GEMARA. ‘IN FRONT OF THE SUN’ is surely the same as ‘TO THE NORTH OF IT’, and ‘BEHIND THE SUN’ is surely the same as TO THE SOUTH OF IT’?26 — Abaye said: [It means], whether the concavity of the moon is in front of the sun or behind the sun.27 If he says, in front of the sun, his evidence is rejected, since R. Johanan has said: What is meant by the verse, Dominion and fear are with him, He maketh peace in his high places?28 Never did the sun behold the concavity of the new moon nor the concavity of the rainbow. It never sees the concavity of the moon, so that she should not feel humiliated.29 It never sees the concavity of the rainbow so that the worshippers of the sun should not say,
(1) Apparently some place between Syria and Mesopotamia; v. supra p. 97, n. 1.
(2) To spread the news throughout Babylon.
(3) [These places are likewise difficult to identify. For various attempts v. Horowitz loc. cit. Graetz, Geschichte p. 67, n. 1 emends on the basis of the Tosef. a.l. חרים וכײר וגדר into הרי מכוור וגדר the mountains of Macherus (in the south) and Gedera in the north. ‘The neighbouring places’ will include Tabor which is also mentioned in the Tosef.]
(4) And therefore in Palestine.
(5) Perhaps those nearer to Jerusalem.
(6) Perhaps those nearer to Babylon. This reference in both cases is uncertain; v. Horowitz, Palestine, loc. cit.
(7) Of those mentioned in the Mishnah.
(8) About forty miles.
(9) [Apparently from Mount of Olives to Beth Baltin, the last station in Palestine.]
(10) And travellers are obliged to take a round about route.
(11) Hos. II, 8. The verse continues, that she shall not find her paths.
(12) Lam. III, 9.
(13) Lit., ‘they made for them large banquets’.
(14) Lit., ‘become accustomed to come’.
(15) If they came on Sabbath, as they had already exceeded the limit of two thousand cubits.
(16) Lit., ‘an elevated’ or ‘refined expression’, i.e., not belonging to the language of everyday life.
(17) Isa. V, 2. E.V. ‘and he digged it and cleared it’. The Heb. is ויעזקהו which the Talmud connects with the Aramaic עזקא ‘a ring’, so that Beth Ya'azek would refer to the stone wall round the court.
(18) In allusion to the fact that they were (originally) confined to the courtyard the whole of the day. But cf. Tosaf. s.v. או
(19) Jer. XL, 1. The Hebrew word is באזיקים
(20) I.e., both kindly and rigorously.
(21) The meaning of this is discussed in the Gemara.
(22) I.e., in which direction were the horns turning.
(23) Lit., ‘he has not said anything’.
(24) Lit., ‘with heads of subjects’.
(25) Lit., ‘so that they should (still) be accustomed to come’.
(26) The new moon can be seen only about sunset, close to the sun, when the sun is travelling towards the north. We should therefore naturally take ‘in front of the sun’ to mean ‘to the north of the sun’, and ‘behind the sun’ to mean ‘to the south of the sun’.
(27) I.e., whether the rim of the moon visible from the earth is concave or convex in relation to the sun. By ‘in front of’ Abaye understands ‘turned towards’, and by ‘behind’, ‘turned away from’.
(28) Job XXV, 2.
(29) And in this way God keeps the peace between the sun and the moon.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 24a
He is shooting arrows [at those who do not worship him].1
HOW HIGH WAS IT AND IN WHICH DIRECTION WAS IT INCLINED. One Tanna taught: [If he says], To the north, his evidence is accepted; [if he says], To the south, his evidence is rejected.2 But it has been taught to the opposite effect: ‘[If he says], To the south, his evidence is accepted; [if he says], To the north, his evidence is rejected’? — There is no contradiction; one statement speaks of the dry season,3 the other of the rainy season.4
The Rabbis taught: If one5 says that it was two ox-loads high6 and the other three,7 their evidence is accepted. If one, however, says that it was three and the other five, their evidence is nullified, only each of them can be joined with another witness.8
Our Rabbis taught: ‘[If they say], We saw it in water, we saw it in a mirror, we saw it through the clouds, they are not allowed to testify concerning it. [If they say], We saw half of it in water, half of it through the clouds, half of it in a mirror, they are not allowed to testify concerning it’. Since you disallow them [when they see] the whole, can there be any question [when they see] only half? — In fact the statement should run as follows: ‘[If they say they saw] half of it in water and half in the sky, half of it through the clouds and half in the sky, half of it in a mirror and half in the sky, they are not allowed to testify.’
Our Rabbis taught: [If they say], We saw it [once], but did not see it again, they are not allowed to testify concerning it. [Why so?] Are they to go on seeing it the whole time? — Abaye replied: What is meant is this. [If they say], We saw it by chance,9 but when we came to look for it deliberately10 we could not see it, they are not allowed to testify concerning it. What is the reason? Because I might say, they saw only a circular disc in the clouds.
MISHNAH. THE HEAD OF THE BETH DIN SAYS, SANCTIFIED’, AND ALL THE PEOPLE REPEAT AFTER HIM, SANCTIFIED, SANCTIFIED. WHETHER THE NEW MOON IS SEEN AT ITS PROPER TIME11 OR NOT AT ITS PROPER TIME, IN EITHER CASE [THE NEW MOON] IS SANCTIFIED.12 R. ELEAZAR B. ZADOK, HOWEVER, SAYS THAT IF IT IS NOT SEEN AS ITS PROPER TIME [THE NEW MOON] IS NOT [FORMALLY] SANCTIFIED, BECAUSE HEAVEN HAS ALREADY SANCTIFIED IT.
GEMARA. THE HEAD OF THE BETH DIN etc. What is the Scriptural warrant for this? — R. Hiyya b. Gamda said in the name of R. Jose b. Saul, who had it from Rabbi: The Scripture says, And Moses declared the appointed seasons of the Lord;13 from this we learn that the head of the Beth din says, ‘sanctified’.
AND ALL THE PEOPLE REPEAT AFTER HIM, ‘SANCTIFIED, SANCTIFIED’. Whence do we learn this? — R. Papa said: Scripture says, which ye shall proclaim [them].14 [For otham] read attem.15 R. Nahman b. Isaac said, [we learn it from here]: Even these [hem] are my appointed seasons;16 [which implies], they shall say, my seasons.17
SANCTIFIED, SANCTIFIED: why twice? — Because it is written, holy convocations.18
R. ELEAZAR B. ZADOK SAYS THAT IF IT IS NOT SEEN AT ITS PROPER TIME IT IS NOT SANCTIFIED. It has been taught: Polemo says: If seen at its time is is not sanctified,19 if seen out of its time it is sanctified. R. Eleazar b. Simeon says: in either case it is not sanctified, since it says, And ye shall sanctify the fiftieth year,20 which shows that you are to sanctify years, but are not to sanctify months.
Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel: The halachah is as laid down by R. Eleazar b. Zadok. Abaye said: We have also learnt to the same effect: ‘If the Beth din and all Israel saw it,21 and if the witnesses had been tested, but they had no time to say ‘sanctified’ before it grew dark, the month is prolonged’, which implies that it is prolonged22 but that [the new month] is not sanctified [later in the day]. [This is not conclusive, since] there was a special reason for mentioning the prolonging. You might think that since the Beth din and all Israel saw it [the new moon] everyone knew that it had appeared and therefore the month should not be prolonged. Therefore we are told [that this is not so].
MISHNAH. R. GAMALIEL USED TO HAVE A DIAGRAM OF PHASES OF THE MOON ON A TABLET [HUNG] ON THE WALL OF HIS UPPER CHAMBER, AND HE USED TO SHOW THEM TO THE UNLEARNED AND SAY, DID IT LOOK LIKE THIS OR THIS?
GEMARA. Is this allowed, seeing that it is written, Ye shall not make with me,23 which we interpret, ‘Ye shall not make the likeness of my attendants’? — Abaye replied: The Torah forbade only those attendants of which it is possible to make copies,24 as it has been taught: A man may not make a house in the form of the Temple, or an exedra in the form of the Temple hall,25 or a court corresponding to the Temple court, or a table corresponding to the [sacred] table or a candlestick corresponding to the [sacred] candlestick, but he may make one
(1) The rainbow in this case having the appearance of a bow bent by the sun against the earth.
(2) Reading this sentence in its present context, we must suppose it to mean, ‘if he says, (it was inclined) to the north’ etc. This is very difficult to understand, and it is much more natural to suppose that the words to be supplied are ‘that he saw it’, and that this sentence is to be connected with the words in the Mishnah TO THE NORTH OF IT OR TO THE SOUTH. So apparently it is taken by Rashi. V. Maharsha, ad loc.
(3) Lit., ‘the days of the sun’: the summer months.
(4) The new moon always appears due west. Hence in the summer months when the sun sets in the north-west it is south of the sun, and similarly in the winter months north of the sun.
(5) Apparently this means here, one of a pair of witnesses.
(6) I.e., above the horizon.
(7) If the preceding paragraph related to the inclination of the moon, it obviously should have followed this paragraph, which is another reason for transferring the last Mishnah heading to the beginning of this paragraph. V. n. 1.
(8) Who gives the same version as he does.
(9) Lit., ‘of ourselves’.
(10) I.e., with the object of testifying.
(11) I.e., on the thirtieth day.
(12) On the thirtieth or the thirty-first day, as the case may be.
(13) Lev. XXIII, 44.
(14) Ibid. 4. Heb. אותם
(15) Lit., ‘you’, implying that the public should join in the proclamation.
(16) Ibid. 2.
(17) The word הם ‘they’, being superfluous.
(18) Ibid. The Hebrew word is מקראי, ‘callings’ or ‘proclaimings’, the plural implying at least two.
(19) Since there is no need to impress its sanctity on the public.
(20) Lev. XXV, 10.
(21) On the thirtieth day.
(22) I.e., New Moon is not declared till the thirty-first day.
(23) Ex. XX, 20.
(24) Lit., ‘like them’. Out of the same or other materials.
(25) Ulam, the hall leading to the interior of the Temple, v. Mid. IV, 7. All exedra had only three sides, but since the fourth side of the Temple hall had a very wide entrance it is not counted. V. Tosaf. a.l.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 24b
with five or six or eight lamps, but with seven he should not make, even of other metals.1 R. Jose b. Judah said: He should not make one even of wood, this being the way in which the kings of the house of the Hasmoneans made it.2 They said to him: Can you adduce this as a proof? The spits3 were of iron and they overlaid them with tin.4 When they grew richer they made them of silver. When they grew richer still, they made them of gold.
But is it allowed [to make likenesses] of attendants of which it is impossible to make copies, seeing that it has been taught: ‘Ye shall not make with me’: [this implies], ye shall not make the likeness of My attendants who minister before Me on high?’ — Abaye replied: The Torah forbade only the likeness of the four faces5 all together. If that is so, the portrait of a human being by himself should be allowed; why then has it been taught: All portraits are allowed, save the portrait of man? — R. Huna the son of R. Idi replied: From a discourse of Abaye I learnt: ‘Ye shall not make with me’ [implies], ye shall not make Me.6
Still, are the other attendants permitted, seeing that it has been taught: ‘"Ye shall not make with me": ye shall not make the likeness of My attendants who serve before Me on high, such as Ofanim and Seraphim and holy Hayyoth and ministering angels’? — Abaye replied: The Torah forbade only the attendants in the upper sphere.7 But are those in the lower sphere8 permitted? Has it not been taught: ‘Which are in the heaven:9 this brings under the rule the sun, the moon, the stars and constellations; "above":10 this brings under the rule the ministering angels?’ — That statement refers to the prohibition of [making a likeness] for serving them.
If for serving, then the tiniest worm should also [be prohibited]? — Yes, that is so, as it has been taught: Which are in the earth:11 this brings under the rule mountains, hills, seas, rivers, streams and valleys. Beneath:12 this brings under the rule the tiniest worm.
But is the mere making allowed? Has it not been taught: "’Ye shall not make with me": ye shall not make a likeness of My attendants who minister before Me, such as the sun, the moon, the stars and constellations’? — R. Gamaliel's case was different, because others13 made for him. But what of Rab Judah who [had a figure on a seal which] others had made for him, and yet Samuel said to him, Shinena,14 put out that fellow's eye?15 — In that case the seal was projecting, and [Samuel forbade it] so that it should not arouse suspicion,16 as it has been taught: ‘A ring of which the seal projects must not be worn on the finger, but it is permitted to sign with it. If the seal is sunk in, it is permitted to wear it but forbidden to sign with it’. But does it matter if we do arouse suspicion? Was there not a synagogue which ‘moved and settled’ in Nehardea17 and in it was a statue [of a king] and Rab and Samuel and the father of Samuel used to go in there to pray, and were not afraid of arousing suspicion? — Where a whole body of persons is concerned it is different. But Rabban Gamaliel was an individual? — Since he was the Nasi,18 a large company was always with him. If you like I can say that it was [drawn] in sections,19 or if you like I can say that he did it for purposes of study, and it is written, Thou shalt not learn to do,20 which implies that you may learn to understand and to teach.
MISHNAH. ON ONE OCCASION TWO WITNESSES CAME AND SAID, WE SAW IT IN THE MORNING IN THE EAST
(1) Since a candlestick of other metal besides gold would have been permissible in the Temple. V. Men. 28.
(2) When they first recaptured the Temple from the Syrians, and were still too poor to provide a gold candlestick.
(3) I.e., the branches of the candlestick, so called because they had no ornaments. V. Tosaf. s.v.
(4) [MS.M.: with wood].
(5) V. Ezek. I, 10.
(6) [And since man was made in God's image (Gen. I, 27), the reproduction of the human face is not allowed.]
(7) In the seventh heaven.
(8) E.g., the second heaven, that of the sun and moon. V. Hag. 12.
(9) Ex. XX, 4 in the Ten Commandments.
(11) Ex. XX, 4.
(14) You clever person. Lit.. ‘sharp-toothed’. V. B.B., Sonc. ed. p. 561, n. 14.
(15) Deface the image. This shows that the fact that it had been made by others does not render it permissible.
(16) That he used it for idolatrous purposes.
(17) Rashi states that according to a legend this synagogue was originally built by King Jeconiah with stones brought from Jerusalem; v. Meg., Sonc. ed. p. 175, n. 5.
(18) Lit., ‘the Prince’, the President of the Sanhedrin.
(19) And so was not a complete likeness.
(20) Deut. XVIII, 9.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 25a
AND IN THE EVENING IN THE WEST.1 R. JOHANAN B. NURI THEREUPON SAID, THEY ARE FALSE WITNESSES.2 WHEN, HOWEVER, THEY CAME TO JABNEH RABBAN GAMALIEL ACCEPTED THEM. ON ANOTHER OCCASION TWO WITNESSES CAME AND SAID, WE SAW IT AT ITS PROPER TIME,3 BUT ON THE NIGHT WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN NEW MOON4 IT WAS NOT SEEN, AND RABBAN GAMALIEL [HAD ALREADY] ACCEPTED THEIR EVIDENCE.5 RABBI DOSA B. HARKINAS SAID: THEY ARE FALSE WITNESSES. HOW CAN MEN TESTIFY THAT A WOMAN HAS BORN A CHILD WHEN ON THE NEXT DAY WE SEE HER BELLY STILL SWOLLEN?6 SAID R. JOSHUA TO HIM: I SEE [THE FORCE OF] YOUR ARGUMENT. THEREUPON RABBAN GAMALIEL SENT TO HIM TO SAY, I ENJOIN UPON YOU TO APPEAR BEFORE ME WITH YOUR STAFF AND YOUR MONEY ON THE DAY WHICH ACCORDING TO YOUR RECKONING SHOULD BE THE DAY OF ATONEMENT.7 R. AKIBA WENT [TO R. JOSHUA] AND FOUND HIM IN GREAT DISTRESS.8 HE SAID TO HIM: I CAN BRING PROOF [FROM THE SCRIPTURE] THAT WHATEVER RABBAN GAMALIEL HAS DONE IS VALID, BECAUSE IT SAYS, THESE ARE THE APPOINTED SEASONS OF THE LORD, HOLY CONVOCATIONS, WHICH YE SHALL PROCLAIM IN THEIR APPOINTED SEASONS,9 [WHICH MEANS TO SAY THAT] WHETHER THEY ARE PROCLAIMED AT THEIR PROPER TIME OR NOT AT THEIR PROPER TIME, I HAVE NO APPOINTED SEASONS SAVE THESE.10 HE [R. JOSHUA] THEN WENT TO R. DOSA B. HARKINAS, WHO SAID TO HIM: IF WE CALL IN QUESTION [THE DECISIONS OF] THE BETH DIN OF RABBAN GAMALIEL, WE MUST CALL IN QUESTION THE DECISIONS OF EVERY BETH DIN WHICH HAS EXISTED SINCE THE DAYS OF MOSES UP TO THE PRESENT TIME. FOR IT SAYS, THEN WENT UP MOSES AND AARON, NADAB AND ABIHU AND SEVENTY OF THE ELDERS OF ISRAEL.11 WHY WERE NOT THE NAMES OF THE ELDERS MENTIONED? TO SHOW THAT EVERY GROUP OF THREE WHICH HAS ACTED AS A BETH DIN OVER ISRAEL IS ON A LEVEL WITH THE BETH DIN OF MOSES.12 HE [R. JOSHUA] THEREUPON TOOK HIS STAFF AND HIS MONEY AND WENT TO JABNEH TO RABBAN GAMALIEL ON THE DAY ON WHICH THE DAY OF ATONEMENT FELL ACCORDING TO HIS RECKONING. RABBAN GAMALIEL ROSE AND KISSED HIM ON HIS HEAD AND SAID TO HIM: COME IN PEACE, MY TEACHER AND MY DISCIPLE — MY TEACHER IN WISDOM AND MY DISCIPLE BECAUSE YOU HAVE ACCEPTED MY DECISION.
GEMARA. It has been taught: Rabban Gamaliel said to the Sages: This formula has been handed down to me from the house of my father's father: Sometimes it [the moon] traverses [the heavens]13 by a long course and sometimes by a short course.14 R. Johanan said: What is the reason of the house of Rabbi?15 Because it is written, Who appointest the moon for seasons, the sun knoweth his going down.16 It is the sun which knows its going down, but the moon does not know its going down.17
R. Hiyya once saw the [old] moon in the heavens on the morning of the twenty-ninth day.18 He took a clod of earth and threw it at it, saying, Tonight we want to sanctify you,19 and are you still here! Go and hide yourself.20 Rabbi thereupon said to R. Hiyya, Go to En Tob21 and sanctify the month,22 and send me the watchword, ‘David king of Israel is alive and vigorous’.23
Our Rabbis taught: Once the heavens were covered with clouds and the likeness of the moon was seen on the twenty-ninth of the month. The public were minded to declare New Moon, and the Beth din wanted to sanctify it, but Rabban Gamaliel said to them: I have it on the authority of the house of my father's father that the renewal of the moon takes place after not less than twenty-nine days and a half and two-thirds of an hour and seventy-three halakin.24 On that day the mother of Ben Zaza died, and Rabban Gamaliel made a great funeral oration over her, not because she had merited it, but so that the public should know that the Beth din had not sanctified the month.25
R. AKIBA WENT AND FOUND HIM26 IN GREAT DISTRESS. The question was asked, Who was in distress? Was R. Akiba in distress or was R. Joshua in distress? — Come and hear, since it has been taught: ‘R. Akiba went and found R. Joshua while he was in great distress. He said to him, Master, why are you in distress? He replied: Akiba, it were better for a man27 to be on a sick-bed for twelve months than that such an injunction should be laid on him.28 He said to him, [Master,] will you allow me to tell you something which you yourself have taught me? He said to him, Speak. He then said to him: The text says, ‘you’, ‘you’, ‘you’, three times,29 to indicate that ‘you’ [may fix the festivals] even if you err inadvertently, ‘you’, even if you err deliberately, ‘you’, even if you are misled.30 He replied to him in these words: ‘Akiba, you have comforted me, you have comforted me’.31
HE THEN WENT TO R. DOSA B. HARKINAS etc. Our Rabbis taught: Why were not the names of these elders mentioned? So that a man should not say, Is So-and-so like Moses and Aaron? Is So-and-so like Nadab and Abihu? Is So-and-so like Eldad and Medad?32 Scripture also says, And Samuel said to the people, It is the Lord that made Moses and Aaron,33 and it says [in the same passage], And the Lord sent Jerubaal and Bedan and Jepthah and Samuel.34 Jerubaal is Gideon. Why is he called Jerubaal? Because he contended with Baal. Bedan is Samson. Why is he called Bedan? Because he came from Dan. Jepthah is Jepthah
(1) We should naturally suppose this to mean that they saw the old moon in the morning and the new moon in the evening.
(2) Presumably because according to what has been stated above (20b) the old moon is never visible for twenty-four hours before the new appears. But v. infra at the beginning of the Gemara and notes.
(3) Apparently this must have been on the thirtieth day shortly before nightfall.
(4) Lit., ‘the night of its carry-over’, i.e., after the nightfall with which the thirty-first day begins, when it should have been clearly visible.
(5) And declared the thirtieth day New Moon.
(6) Lit., ‘between her teeth’. Similarly the old moon would still be ‘between the teeth’ of the new.
(7) The New Moon in question was that of Tishri, and consequently the Day of Atonement according to R. Joshua would fall a day later than according to R. Gamaliel.
(8) Because he had been ordered to profane the Day of Atonement.
(9) Lev. XXIII, 4.
(10) V. supra. 89.
(11) Ex. XXIV, 9.
(12) Seeing that most of the members of that Beth din also bore no names of distinction.
(13) Lit., ‘it comes (to its setting place)’.
(14) This would seem to show that (in the first case mentioned in the Mishnah) the witnesses said that they saw the new moon on both occasions, and R. Johanan b. Nuri rejected them, on the ground that it could not go from, east to west so quickly, while R. Gamaliel held that it could. V. Rashi s.v. עדי שקר in the Mishnah.
(15) Rabbi was a descendent of Rabban Gamaliel.
(16) Ps. CIV, 19.
(17) I.e., its speed varies.
(18) Which was a sign that the new moon would not appear for at least twenty-four hours.
(19) So that the Day of Atonement should not be on Sunday.
(20) [Before nightfall, so that there should be no appearance of the old moon after the closing of the twenty-ninth day, which would prevent the thirtieth day from being proclaimed New Moon (Rashi); v. supra p. 85, n. 5].
(21) A place in Judah where the Beth din [used to meet to sanctify the month. V. Tosaf. s.v. זיל
(22) Disregarding what you have seen.
(23) I.e., the moon is reborn. The expression is based on Ps. LXXXIX, 38.
(24) Lit., ‘parts’ (sc. of one hour), 73/1080 X 60 m == 4 m 3 1/3 sec. The new moon, therefore, could not be seen on the twenty-ninth day.
(25) As a funeral oration would not be delivered on New Moon, which was regarded as a holy day.
(26) [MS.M. omits ‘HIM’ which explains the question which follows].
(27) [Var. lec.’me’. V. Maharsha.]
(28) Var. lec. ‘on me’. V. Maharsha.
(29) I.e., the word אותם (them) in Lev. XXII, 31, XXIII, 2 and XXIII, 4 is read אתם (you) for homiletical purposes.
(30) By the witnesses.
(31) By showing me that Rabban Gamaliel was within his rights. V. Maharsha ad loc.
(32) I.e., if a man does say so about the Beth din in his own time, we can answer him that they may be at least like the seventy elders who are unknown by name.
(33) 1 Sam. XII, 6.
(34) Ibid.11. These are here put on a par with Moses and Aaron.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 25b
. It says also: Moses and Aaron among his priests and Samuel among them that call on his name.1 [We see therefore that] the Scripture places three of the most questionable characters2 on the same level as three of the the most estimable characters,3 to show that Jerubaal in his generation is like Moses in his generation, Bedan in his generation is like Aaron in his generation, Jepthah in his generation is like Samuel in his generation, [and] to teach you that the most worthless, once he has been appointed a leader4 of the community, is to be accounted like the mightiest of the mighty. Scripture says also: And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites and to the judge thou shall be in those days.5 Can we then imagine that a man should go to a judge who is not in his days? This shows that you must be content to go to the judge who is in your days. It also says; Say not, How was it that the former days were better than these.6
HE TOOK HIS STAFF AND HIS MONEY IN HIS HAND. Our Rabbis taught: When he [Rabban Gamaliel] saw him, he rose from his seat and kissed him on his head, saying, Peace to thee my teacher and my disciple — my teacher, because thou hast taught me Torah publicly, my disciple because I lay an injunction on thee and thou dost carry it out like a disciple. Happy is the generation in which the greater defer to the lesser, and all the more so the lesser to the greater! [You say] ‘All the more so’! It is their duty!7 — What it means is that because the greater defer to the lesser, the lesser apply the lesson to themselves with all the more force.8
MISHNAH. IF THE BETH DIN AND ALL ISRAEL SAW IT,9 IF THE WITNESSES WERE TESTED10 AND THERE WAS NO TIME LEFT TO SAY ‘SANCTIFIED’ BEFORE IT GREW DARK, THEN THE MONTH IS PROLONGED.11 IF THE BETH DIN12 ALONE HAVE SEEN IT,13 TWO OF THEM SHOULD COME FORWARD AND TESTIFY BEFORE THEM, AND THEN THEY CAN SAY, ‘SANCTIFIED, SANCTIFIED’. IF THREE PERSONS SAW IT, THEY [THEMSELVES] CONSTITUTING THE BETH DIN, TWO [OF THEM] SHOULD COME FORWARD AND THEY SHOULD ASSOCIATE SOME OF THEIR COLLEAGUES WITH THE ONE LEFT, AND THEY [THE TWO] SHOULD TESTIFY BEFORE THEM AND THEY CAN THEN SAY, ‘SANCTIFIED, SANCTIFIED’. [THIS MUST BE DONE] BECAUSE AN INDIVIDUAL IS NOT AUTHORIZED [TO SAY ‘SANCTIFIED’] BY HIMSELF.
GEMARA. What need is there to state IF THE BETH DIN AND ALL ISRAEL SAW IT?14 — It is necessary. You might think that since the Beth din and all Israel have seen it everyone knows about it and therefore they should not prolong the month.15 Therefore we are told [that this is not so].
But when once it has been stated IF THE BETH DIN AND ALL ISRAEL SAW IT, why should it further say, IF THE WITNESSES HAVE BEEN TESTED?16 — What it means is, ‘Or if the witnesses had been tested and there was no time left to say "sanctified" before it grew dark, then the month must be prolonged’.
But when once it has been stated if IT GREW DARK THEN THE MONTH IS PROLONGED, why should the testing of the witnesses be mentioned at all?17 — It is necessary. For you might suppose that the testing of the witnesses is regarded as the commencement of a suit in court, and the pronouncement of ‘sanctified’, ‘sanctified’ as the end of the suit, and therefore they should sanctify at night, on the analogy of money suits, as we have learnt, ‘Money suits are heard by day and concluded [if necessary] at night’; so here we should sanctify at night. Therefore we are told [that this is not so]. But cannot I say that this actually is the case?18 — Scripture says, For it is a statute for Israel, a judgment for the God of Jacob.19 When does the word ‘statute’20 apply? To the conclusion of the suit; and the All-Merciful calls it ‘judgment’. [Therefore we reason], Just as judgment is delivered by day,21 so here [the pronouncement must be] by day.
IF THE BETH DIN [ALONE] HAVE SEEN IT, TWO OF THEM SHOULD COME FORWARD AND TESTIFY BEFORE THEM. Why so? Surely hearing should not carry greater weight than seeing?22 — R. Zera said, [It is necessary if] for instance, they saw it at night.23
IF THREE PERSONS SAW IT, THEY [THEMSELVES] CONSTITUTING THE BETH DIN, TWO [OF THEM] SHOULD COME FORWARD AND THEY SHOULD ASSOCIATE SOME OF THEIR COLLEAGUES WITH THE ONE LEFT. Why so? Here too we can argue that hearing should not carry greater weight than seeing? And should you reply that here too [it is necessary] if, for instance, they saw it at night, then this is the same case as the one [preceding]? — It was necessary to state the last clause24
[VIZ.]: BECAUSE AN INDIVIDUAL IS NOT AUTHORIZED [TO SAY ‘SANCTIFIED’] BY HIMSELF. For you might have thought that since it has been taught, ‘Money suits must be tried before three, but one who is a recognized legal expert25 can try them even alone’, so here too one might sanctify the month single-handed. Therefore we are told [that this is not so]. But cannot I say that this actually is the case?26 — There was no more universally recognized expert in Israel than Moses, and yet the Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, [Do not sanctify the month] until Aaron is with thee, as it is written, And the Lord said unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, This month is to you.27
This implies that a witness28 may act as judge. Shall we say then that our Mishnah does not agree with R. Akiba, since it has been taught: ‘If the Sanhedrin saw a man slay a person
(1) Ps. XCIX, 6. This shows that Samuel is on a par with Moses and Aaron.
(2) Lit., ‘light ones of the world’.
(3) Lit., ‘heavy ones of the world’.
(4) Hebr. Parnas. V. Git, Sonc. ed, p. 280, n. 9.
(5) Deut. XVII, 9.
(6) I.e., had better judges than these. Eccl. VII, 10.
(7) We naturally suppose the words to mean, ‘all the more so where the lesser defer to the greater’, which would imply that such a thing is not ordinarily to be expected.
(8) I.e., they say, ‘how much more should we defer to the greater’.
(9) On the thirtieth day, shortly before nightfall.
(10) The meaning of this is explained infra in the Gemara.
(11) I.e., the thirty-first day becomes New Moon and not the thirtieth.
(12) Of twenty-three members.
(13) Not necessarily on the thirtieth day.
(14) I.e., why mention Israel as well as the Beth din?
(15) But reckon that same day as New Moon.
(16) Why are witnesses needed if all the people have seen it?
(17) Since this case can be inferred a fortiori from the previous one.
(18) I.e., what reason is there why in general the pronouncement should not be made at night?
(19) Ps. LXXXI, 5.
(20) The Hebrew word is חק, which is taken by the Talmud in the sense of ‘decision’, ‘verdict’.
(21) V. Sanh. 32a.
(22) I.e., the report of the witnesses should not carry greater weight than what they have seen with their own eyes.
(23) Hence on the next day they must rely on a report.
(24) I.e., this sentence merely leads up to the next.
(25) Heb. Mumhe (v. Glos.).
(26) That one expert may sanctify.
(27) Ex. XII, 1, 2; cf. supra 22a.
(28) I.e., one who is competent to act as witness, as here the Beth din.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 26a
, some of them act as witnesses and some as judges. This is the view of R. Tarfon. R. Akiba says: They all act as witnesses, and a witness cannot act as a judge’? — You may say that our Mishnah agrees even with R. Akiba. R. Akiba meant this rule to apply only to capital cases, in regard to which the All-Merciful enjoined, the congregation shall judge . . . and the congregation shall deliver1 and since they have seen him slay a person, they cannot find any defence for him. But in this case even R. Akiba would agree [that a witness may act as judge].
MISHNAH. ALL KINDS OF SHOFAR2 MAY BE USED EXCEPT [ONE MADE FROM THE HORN] OF A COW, BECAUSE IT IS [PROPERLY] KEREN.3 SAID R. JOSE: ARE NOT ALL SHOFARS CALLED ‘KEREN’ AS IT SAYS, WHEN THEY MAKE A LONG BLAST WITH THE RAM'S KEREN [HORN]?4
GEMARA. R. Jose was surely quite right. What can the Rabbis reply? — That all shofars are called both shofar and keren, whereas that of a cow is called keren but is not called shofar, as it is written, His firstling bullock, majesty is his, and his horns [karnaw] are as the horns of a re'em.5 What says R. Jose to this? — He can reply that that of a cow is also called shofar as it is written, And it shall please the Lord better than a bullock [shor par]6 that hath horns and hoofs.7 Now if ‘shor’ is mentioned here why ‘par’, and if ‘par’ why ‘shor’?8 The fact is that shor par is equivalent to shofar.9 And the Rabbis? — They adopt the explanation of R. Mattenah; for R. Mattenah said: What is meant by shor par? A shor which is as full-grown as a par.10 ‘Ulla said: The reason of the Rabbis is to be found in the saying of R. Hisda; for R. Hisda said: Why does not the High Priest enter the inner precincts11 in garments of gold12 to perform the service there? Because the accuser may not act as defender.13 Is that so? What of the blood of the bullock?14 — Seeing that this has been transformed,15 the objection to it is removed.16 But what of the ark, with the mercy-seat and the cherub?17 — What we say is that the sinner should not bring near the offering. But what of the spoon and the censer?18 — What we say is that the sinner should not adorn himself. But what of the garments of gold [which he wore] in the outer sanctuary? — We speak of [ministrations In the] inner precincts. The shofar also is [used] in the outer precincts? — Since its purpose is to awaken remembrance, it is as if it were [used] within.
But the Tanna says BECAUSE IT IS [PROPERLY] KEREN? — He mentioned [only] an additional reason:19 one reason is because the accuser cannot act as defender, and the other is because it is keren. What says R. Jose to this? — His answer is: Your statement that the accuser cannot act as defender applies only to the inner precincts, and this shofar is [used] in the outer precincts. And as for your statement that this shofar is keren, all shofars are likewise called keren.
Abaye said: The reason of the Rabbis is that the All-Merciful prescribed ‘a shofar’, and not two or three shofars, and the one made from a cow's horn being in layers20 looks like two or three shofars. But the Tanna says, BECAUSE IT IS PROPERLY KEREN? — He stated [only] an additional reason:19 one reason is that the All-Merciful prescribed one shofar, and not two or three shofars, and another reason is that it is keren. What then says R. Jose to this? — He can reply: With regard to your statement that the All-Merciful prescribed one shofar and not two or three shofar, since the layers are closely joined together, it is really one, and as for your statement that it is keren, all shofars are likewise called keren.
What proof is there that the word yobel here21 means ram? — As it has been taught: R. Akiba said: When I went to Arabia, they used to call a ram yobla. R. Akiba further said: When I went to Gallia, they used to call a niddah22 ‘galmudah’.23 How galmudah? — [As much as to say], gemulah da [this one is isolated] from her husband. R. Akiba further said: When I went to Africa, they used to call a ma'ah24 ‘kesitah’. What is the practical importance of this? — For explaining [the Scriptural expression] a hundred kesitah;25 it means, a hundred danki.26
Rabbi said: When I went to the sea-ports, they called mekirah [selling] ‘kirah’. What is the practical importance of this? — To explain [the Scriptural expression] asher karithi.27 R. Simeon b. Lakish said: When I went to the district of Ken Nishraya,28 they used to call a bride ninfe and a cock sekvi. ‘A bride ninfe’:29 where do we find this in Scripture? Yefeh nof,30 the joy of the whole earth.31 ‘A cock sekvi’: Rab Judah said in the name of Rab, or, if you prefer,32 of R. Joshua b. Levi: Where do we find this in the Scripture? Who hath put wisdom in the tuhoth,33 or who hath given understanding to the sekvi?34 ‘Who hath put wisdom in the tuhoth’ — these are the reins; ‘or who hath given understanding to the sekvi’ — this is the cock.
In a certain place which Levi happened to visit, a man came before him and said
(1) Num,. XXXV, 25, 26. The word ‘deliver’ is taken by R. Akiba to mean ‘find a defence for’.
(2) A kind of trumpet made of the horn of certain animals. Scripture prescribes (Lev. XXV, 9) that a shofar should be used for proclaiming the Jubilee. The Psalmist also says (Ps. LXXXI, 4), Blow ye the shofar on the new moon.
(3) I.e., all kinds of horns may be used for making a shofar except that of a cow, because an instrument made from a cow's horn, though similar to a shofar in all respects, is properly called keren (lit. ‘horn’)
(4) Josh. VI, 5. This is identified by the Talmud with the shofar mentioned in the same verse (when ye hear the sound of the shofar).
(5) Deut. XXXIII, 17. We see here that the horn of a bullock is called keren.
(6) שור פר, lit., ‘ox bullock’.
(7) Ps. LXIX, 32.
(8) Either of these expressions would be sufficient by itself.
(9) With ר inserted as is found in many Hebrew nouns, Strashun.]
(10) The name shor could be applied to the animal at birth; the name par not till it entered its third year. V. supra, 10a,
(11) The Holy of Holies, on the Day of Atonement.
(12) The High Priest entered the Holy of Holies wearing garments of linen only. V. Lev. XVI, 4, 23.
(13) ‘Gold’ is called the accuser in reference to the Golden Calf. The garments worn by the High Priest in the Holy of Holies and all his other appurtenances there were regarded as propitiatory.
(14) Sprinkled by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement. A bullock could be regarded as an ‘accuser’ for the same reason as gold.
(15) It is no longer recognizable as a bullock.
(16) Lit., ‘since it has been changed, it has been changed’.
(17) In all of which there was an abundance of gold.
(18) Which the High Priest took with him into the Holy of Holies and which were also of gold.
(19) Lit., ‘he says one and again’.
(20) As a separate layer grows each year.
(21) In Josh. VI, 5.
(22) V. Glos.
(23) Lit., ‘desolate’.
(24) A small coin.
(25) Gen. XXXIII, 19: the price paid by Jacob for the field he bought at Shechem.
(26) One sixth of a denar (v. Glos.).
(27) Gen. L, 5. To be rendered, ‘which I have bought for myself’. E.V. ‘which I have digged for myself’.
(28) [Kennesrin, south of Aleppo; Obermeyer p. 114].
(30) E.V. ‘beautiful in elevation’.
(31) Ps. XLVIII, 3.
(32) [Read with MS.M.: ‘or as some say’.]
(33) E.V. ‘inward parts’.
(34) E.V. ‘mind’. Job. XXXVIII, 36.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 26b
, So-and-so has kaba'ed1 me. He did not know what he meant, so he went and enquired in the Beth Hamidrash. They said to him: He wanted to say to you,’ has robbed me’, as it is written, Will man rob [yikba’] God?2 Raba from Barnish3 said to R. Ashi: Had I been there, I should have said to him, How did he kaba’ you, in what did he kaba’ you, why did he kaba’ you, and so I should have found out [from his answers]. The other [Levi], however, thought that he meant some kind of offence.4 The Rabbis did not know what was meant by serugin5 till one day they heard the maidservant of Rabbi's household, on seeing the Rabbis enter at intervals, say to them, How long are you going to come in by serugin?
The Rabbis did not know what was meant by haluglugoth6 till one day they heard the handmaid of the household of Rabbi, on seeing a man peeling portulaks, say to him, How long will you be peeling your haluglugoth?
The Rabbis did not know what was meant by ‘salselehah’ and it shall exalt thee.7 One day they heard the handmaid of the household of Rabbi say to a man who was curling his hair, How long will you be mesalsel8 with your hair?
The Rabbis did not know what was meant by we-tetethia bematate of destruction,9 till one day they heard the handmaid of the household of Rabbi say to her companion, Take the tatitha [broom] and tati [sweep] the house.
The Rabbis did not know what was meant by Cast upon the Lord thy yehab and he shall sustain thee.10 Said Rabbah b. Bar Hanah: One day I was travelling with an Arab11 and was carrying a load, and he said to me, Lift up your yehab and put it on [one of] the camels.12
MISHNAH. THE SHOFAR USED ON NEW YEAR13 WAS OF AN ANTELOPE'S HORN AND STRAIGHT, AND ITS MOUTH WAS OVERLAID WITH GOLD. THERE WERE TWO TRUMPETS, ONE ON EACH SIDE OF IT. THE SHOFAR GAVE A LONG BLAST AND THE TRUMPETS A SHORT ONE, SINCE THE PROPER CEREMONY OF THE DAY WAS WITH THE SHOFAR.14 ON [COMMUNAL] FAST DAYS THEY USED [TWO] CURVED SHOFARS OF RAMS, THE MOUTHS OF WHICH WERE OVERLAID WITH SILVER. THERE WERE TWO TRUMPETS BETWEEN THEM; A SHORT BLAST WAS MADE WITH THE SHOFARS AND A LONG ONE WITH THE TRUMPETS, BECAUSE THE RELIGIOUS DUTY OF THE DAY WAS [TO BE PERFORMED] WITH THE TRUMPETS.15 THE JUBILEE IS ON A PAR WITH NEW YEAR FOR BLOWING THE HORN AND FOR BLESSINGS.16 R. JUDAH SAYS: ON NEW YEAR THE BLAST IS MADE WITH A SHOFAR OF RAMS AND ON JUBILEES WITH ONE OF ANTELOPES.
GEMARA. R. Levi said: The religious duty of New Year and of the Day of Atonement is performed with a curved shofar, and on other days in the year with a straight shofar. But we learn, THE SHOFAR OF NEW YEAR WAS A STRAIGHT ONE OF ANTELOPE'S HORN? — Levi followed the view of the following Tanna, as it has been taught: ‘R. Judah says, On New Year they used to blow with curved shofars of rams’ horns and on jubilees with shofars of antelopes’ horns’. Why then did not he [Levi] say that the law17 follows the view of R. Judah?18 — If you were to say that the law follows R. Judah, I should say that in the case of the Jubilee also he was of the same opinion as R. Judah. Now we know [that this is not so]. What is the ground of the difference [between R. Judah and the First Tanna]? — One authority [R. Judah] holds that on New Year the more a man [so to speak] bends his mind the more effective [is his prayer], while on the Day of Atonement [of the Jubilee] the more a man elevates19 his mind the better is the effect.20 The other authority holds that on New Year the more a man elevates his mind the better the effect, and on fast days the more he bends his mind the better the effect.
(2) Mal. III, 8.
(3) [Near Sura, v. Obermeyer, p. 297.]
(4) [Lit., ‘a matter of prohibition’, the nature of which could not be ascertained from the answers, v. Maharsha.]
(5) Found e.g., in Meg. 17a, ‘if he reads it by serugin’, i.e.’ not in order.
(6) Found in Yoma 18a.
(7) Prov. IV, 8. E.V. ‘extol her’.
(8) I.e., adorning.
(9) Isa. XIV, 23. E.V. ‘I will sweep it with the besom of destruction’.
(10) Ps. LV, 23. E.V. ‘burden’.
(11) [Heb. Ta'ya, name of an Arab tribe which name came finally to be applied to Arabs in general, as the name of a part is often given to a whole.]
(12) On this passage v. Meg. 18a.
(13) In the Temple.
(14) Hence the sound of the shofar was allowed to be heard after that of the trumpets.
(15) As it says, (Num. X, 2), Make thee two trumpets of silver . . . for the calling of the congregation, and on fast days the public were summoned to assemble.
(16) I.e., nine blessings have to be said over the shofar as on New Year.
(17) [Read with MS.M.: ‘the halachah is’.]
(18) As expressed in the Mishnah,
(19) Lit., ‘straightens’, with the idea of freedom.
(20) On the analogy of the words, Let us lift up our hearts to our hands unto God in the heavens (Lam. III, 41).
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 27a
AND ITS MOUTH WAS OVERLAID WITH GOLD. But has it not been taught: ‘If it was overlaid with gold at the place where the mouth is applied, it is not valid;1 if not at the place where the mouth is applied, it is valid’? — Abaye replied: When this state ment is made in our Mishnah, it also refers to the place where the mouth is not applied.
THERE WERE TWO TRUMPETS, ONE ON EACH SIDE OF IT. But can two distinct sounds be caught at once?2 Has it not been taught:3 ‘"Remember" and "observe" were spoken in a single utterance,4 a thing which transcends the capacity of the [human] mouth to utter and of the [human] ear to hear’? — It was for this reason that the blast of the shofar was prolonged. This implies that if one heard the end of the blast without the beginning he has performed his duty;5 and from this it would follow that if he heard the beginning of the blast without the end he has equally performed his duty. Come now and hear [a refutation of this idea]: ‘If he blew teki'ah at the beginning [of the service] and prolonged the second so as to make it equal to two, this only counts as one’.6 Why should this be? Why should not it [the second blast] be counted as divided into two?7 — We do not divide a teki'ah into two.
Come and hear [another objection]: If one blew into a pit or a cistern or a barrel, if the sound of the shofar came out [pure], he has performed his duty, but if an echo came out [with it], he has not performed his duty.8 Why should this be? Cannot he have performed his duty [by hearing] the beginning of the blast, before the sound is confused [with the echo]? — The truth is that two utterances proceeding from one man cannot be distinguished, but proceeding from two men they can be distinguished.9 But if they proceed from two men can they be distinguished? Have we not learnt: ‘In the recital of the Torah [in synagogue] one may read and another translate;10 what is not allowed is that11 one should read12 and two translate’.13 — The fact is that our case resembles that mentioned in the next clause [of this quotation]: ‘In the recital of Hallel and the Megillah14 even ten may read’.15 This shows that since an interest is taken in these,16 the hearer pays close attention. So here, since an interest is taken, he pays close attention and hears [the two sounds]. Why then is the blast of the shofar prolonged? — So that people should know that the proper ceremony of the day is with the shofar.
ON FAST DAYS THEY USED CURVED SHOFARS OF RAMS’ HORNS THE MOUTHS OF WHICH WERE OVERLAID WITH SILVER. Why in the other case should gold have been used and here silver? — If you like I can reply that for all public gatherings silver is used, as it is written, Make thee two trumpets of silver,17 or if you like I can say that the Torah wished to spare Israel unnecessary expense.18 [If that is so], we should use silver in the other case also? — Even so, this consideration is outweighed by that of paying respect to the holyday.
R. Papa b. Samuel was minded to follow the instructions of the Mishnah,19 but Raba said to him, These instructions were laid down only for the Sanctuary. It has been taught to the same effect: Where do these rules apply? To the Sanctuary; but in the provinces, where the trumpets are in place20 there is no shofar, and where the shofar is in place21 there are no trumpets. R. Halafta adopted the same custom in Zepphoris and R. Hananiah b. Teradion in Sikni,22 and when this was reported to the Sages they said: This was not the practice save only in the gates of the East and the Mount of the Temple.23 Said Raba — or it may be R. Joshua b. Levi: What is the Scriptural warrant for this? — Because it is written, With trumpets and the sound of the shofar shout ye before the king, the Lord:24 before the king, the Lord,25 we require trumpets and the sound of the shofar, but elsewhere not.
THE JUBILEE IS ON A PAR WITH THE NEW YEAR FOR BLOWING THE HORN AND FOR BLESSINGS. R. Samuel b. Isaac asked: What authority do we follow in saying nowadays [on New Year] the prayer, ‘This day is the beginning of thy works, the commemoration of the first day’?26 What authority? R. Eliezer, who said that the world was created in Tishri. R. ‘Ena raised an objection [against this view]: [It is stated], THE JUBILEE IS ON A PAR WITH THE NEW YEAR FOR BLOWING THE TRUMPET AND FOR BLESSINGS. [Now how can this be on your view] seeing that there is [the prayer], ‘This day is the beginning of thy works, the commemoration of the first day’?27 — The statement of the Mishnah refers to the other [features]. R. Shisha the son of R. Idi reported the discussion thus. ‘R. Samuel b. Isaac said: This statement of our Mishnah, THE JUBILEE IS ON A PAR WITH THE NEW YEAR FOR BLOWING THE HORN AND FOR BLESSINGS. — which authority does it follow? Not that of R. Eliezer. For if you were to say it follows R. Eliezer, seeing that he holds that the world was created in Tishri, what would you make of "This day is the commencement of thy works, the commemoration of the first day", which is said on New Year and is not said on the Jubilee? — [The answer is that] the Mishnah speaks only of the other [features]’.
MISHNAH. A SHOFAR WHICH HAS BEEN SPLIT AND STUCK TOGETHER IS NOT VALID.28 IF FRAGMENTS OF SHOFARS ARE STUCK TOGETHER [TO MAKE ONE], IT IS NOT VALID.
(1) Because the blast has to be made with a shofar, and not with gold.
(2) As much as to say, if the shofar and the trumpets are blown together, the sound of the shofar will not be distinguished.
(3) B.B. 64a.
(4) In the version of the Ten Commandments in Ex. XX, the fourth commandment commences with the words Remember the Sabbath day, whereas in Deut. V it commences with ‘Observe’; and the Rabbis explain the discrepancy in this way.
(5) Seeing that in this case he hears distinctly only the end of the shofar blast, after the trumpets have ceased.
(6) This is a quotation from the Mishnah on 33b, where an explanation will be found in the notes.
(7) So that the beginning would count as the end of the first series of teki'ah teru'ah teki'ah, and the end of it would count as the beginning of the second series.
(8) V. infra 28a.
(9) And so the shofar and the trumpets can be distinguished here.
(10) It was usual in ancient times to read after each verse of the Torah the authorized Aramaic translation (targum) of it.
(11) Lit., ‘only one should not’.
(12) So in Meg. loc. cit. Our texts have here ‘two should read and two translate’.
(13) Meg. 21b.
(14) The book of Esther.
(15) V. loc. cit. for notes.
(16) Lit., ‘endeared’. I.e., a greater interest than in the Torah, since they come more rarely.
(17) Num. X, 2. V. supra.
(18) Lit., ‘had mercy on the money of Israel’.
(19) I.e., to use both shofar and trumpets.
(20) I.e., on fast days.
(21) I.e., on New Year and Jubilees.
(22) perhaps Sogana in Galilee mentioned in Josephus, Vita, 51.
(23) I.e., the gates of the East on the Temple Mount. According to some, however, the ‘gates of the East’ were in the Women's Court (v. Rashi).
(24) Ps. XCVIII, 6.
(25) I.e., in the Temple.
(26) In the Musaf ‘Amidah for New Year, v. P.B., p. 250.
(27) Which cannot be said on the Day of Atonement of the Jubilee.
(28) Because it is like two shofars.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 27b
IF A HOLE IN A SHOFAR HAS BEEN STOPPED UP, IF IT INTERFERES WITH THE BLOWING IT IS NOT VALID, BUT OTHERWISE IT IS VALID.1 IF ONE BLOWS INTO A PIT OR A CISTERN2 OR A BARREL, IF HE CAN HEAR THE SOUND OF THE SHOFAR [PURE] HE HAS PERFORMED HIS DUTY, BUT IF HE HEARS THE ECHO [ALSO], HE HAS NOT PERFORMED HIS DUTY. SIMILARLY IF ONE WAS PASSING BEHIND A SYNAGOGUE OR IF HIS HOUSE WAS ADJOINING THE SYNAGOGUE AND HE HEARD THE SOUND OF THE SHOFAR OR OF THE MEGILLAH3 [BEING READ], IF HE LISTENS WITH ATTENTION4 HE PERFORMS THE RELIGIOUS PRECEPT [BY SO HEARING], BUT OTHERWISE HE DOES NOT; ALTHOUGH ONE HEARS EQUALLY WITH THE OTHER, [YET THERE IS A DIFFERENCE, BECAUSE] THE ONE LISTENED WITH ATTENTION WHILE THE OTHER DID NOT LISTEN WITH ATTENTION.
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: ‘If the horn was too long and it has been shortened, it is valid. If it has been scraped till it becomes thin like a wafer,5 it is valid. If it is overlaid at the spot where the mouth is applied, it is not valid, if not at the spot where the mouth is applied,6 it is valid. If it is overlaid with gold on the inside, it is not valid,7 if on the outside, if the sound is thereby changed from what it was before, it is not valid, but otherwise it is valid. If it had a hole which has been stopped up, if this interferes with the blast it is not valid, but otherwise it is valid.8 If one shofar is put inside another shofar, if one can hear the sound of the inner one he thereby performs his religious duty, but if he hears the sound of the outer one he does not thereby perform his religious duty.9
Our Rabbis taught: If it was scraped whether on the inside or the outside, it is valid. If it was scraped till it became [thin like] a wafer, it is valid. If one shofar is placed within another, if one hears the sound of the inner one he thereby performs his religious duty, but if he hears the sound of the outer one he does not thereby perform his religious duty. If he turns it inside out10 and blows it, he does not thereby perform his religious duty. Said R. Papa: Do not take this to mean [merely], ‘if he turned it inside out like a coat’, but even if he widened the narrow part and narrowed the wide part. What is the reason? — As stated by R. Mattenah; for R. Mattenah said: And thou shalt carry along:11 we require [the horn to be] of the shape in which it is carried along.12
Our Rabbis taught: ‘If the least quantity is added to it whether of its own material or of another material, it is not valid. If there was a hole in it and it is stopped up, whether with its own material or another material, it is not valid. R. Nathan, however, says, if with its own material it is valid, but if with another material it is not valid’.13 ‘If with its own material it is valid’: Said R. Johanan: This is the case only if the greater part of the original is left. From this we infer that if it is stopped with another material, even though the greater part of the original was left it may not be used. Some attach R. Johanan's remark to the latter clause: ‘If with another material it is not valid’: Said R. Johanan: This is the case only if the greater part of the original was removed. From this we infer that if the stoppage is made with the same material, even though the greater part of the original is gone it is valid.14 ‘If it was overlaid with gold on the inside it is not valid, if on the outside, if its sound becomes different from what it was before, it is not valid, but otherwise it is valid. If it is split lengthwise it is not valid, but if breadthwise, if enough is left to produce a blast it is valid, but otherwise it is not valid.’15 How much is enough to produce a blast? — R. Simeon b. Gamaliel explained: Enough to allow of it being held in the hand and leaving something showing on either side. ‘If its sound is thin or thick or dry, it is valid, since all sounds emitted by a shofar can pass muster’,16
They sent to inform the father of Samuel: If one pierced it [the horn] and blew with it, he has performed his religious duty. Is not this obvious? All shofars are pierced!17 — R. Ashi explained: [It means], if he pierced the inset bone.18 You might think that although it is of the same material it makes a partition; we are therefore told [that this is not so].
IF ONE BLOWS INTO A PIT OR A CISTERN etc. R. Huna said: This rule applies only to those standing on the edge of the pit, but those standing in the pit perform their religious duty thereby. It has been taught to the same effect: ‘If one blows into a pit or a cistern, he performs his religious duty’. But have we not learnt, HE DOES NOT PERFORM HIS RELIGIOUS DUTY? You must therefore understand it in the sense of R. Huna's dictum. Some put the two statements in opposition, [thus]: We have learnt, IF ONE BLOWS INTO A PIT OR A CISTERN HE DOES NOT PERFORM HIS RELIGIOUS DUTY. But has it not been taught, ‘He does perform his religious duty’? — R. Huna replied: There is no contradiction; the one statement speaks of those standing on the edge of the pit, the other of those standing in the pit.
(1) The Talmud Yerushalmi reads here, ‘If it (the hole) interfered with the blowing before it was closed, the shofar is not valid after it was closed’. Our version, however, rather implies that if the stoppage restores the shofar to its original condition, it may be used. V. Tosaf. s.v. ניקב
(2) Heb. דות, a pit faced with cement.
(3) V. Glos.
(4) Lit., ‘if he applies his heart’.
(5) Lit., ‘he reduced it to its coating’.
(6) This apparently means, on the top opposite the exact spot to which the mouth is applied. V. Tosaf. s.v. צפהו
(7) Because the blast is then made by gold.
(8) V. supra n. 1.
(9) Because as the sound comes from the air between the two shofars, it is as if made by two or three shofars. V. Tosaf. s.v. אס
(10) By means of softening it with hot water.
(11) והעברת Lev. XXV, 9. E.V. Then shalt thou make proclamation with. Lit., ‘cause to pass’.
(12) By the ram when alive.
(13) The quotation is here interrupted with a gloss on the last clause.
(14) The quotation from the Baraitha is here resumed.
(15) The quotation is again interrupted.
(16) Lit., ‘are valid’.
(17) I.e., the horn is pierced to make a shofar.
(18) A bone which grows from the animal's head inside the horn, and which is usually removed to make the shofar.
(19) Var. lec. Raba.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 28a
If one heard part of the blast in the pit and part of the blast on the edge of the pit,1 he has performed his religious duty. If he heard part of the blast before the dawn2 and part of the blast after dawn he has not performed his religious duty. Said Abaye to him: Why this difference? Because in the latter case we require the whole of the blast [which he hears] to be obligatory and this requirement is not fulfilled?3 In the former case also we require the whole of the blast to be obligatory, and this requirement is not fulfilled!4 — Are the two cases parallel? In the latter, night is a time to which the obligation does not apply at all, but in the former, the pit is a place to which the obligation does apply for those who are in the pit.5
I infer from this that Rabbah was of opinion that if one heard the end of a blast without the beginning he has performed his religious duty,6 and that from this it follows that if he heard the beginning without the end, he has likewise performed his religious duty. Come now and hear [an objection to this]: ‘If one blew a teki'ah at the beginning [of the series] and prolonged the second one so as to be equal to two, it still counts as only one’. Why should this be? Let it be counted as divided into two? — We do not divide teki'ahs.7 Come and hear [another objection]: ‘If one blows into a pit or a cistern or a barrel, if he hears the sound of the shofar [pure] he has performed his religious duty, but if he hears the echo he has not performed his religious duty’. Why should this be? Let him have performed his religious duty with the beginning of the blast, before the sound is confused [with the echo?] — Rabbah was speaking of one who blows [for himself] and as he blows steps out of the pit.8 If that is so, what is the point of his remark?9 — You might argue that sometimes he puts his head out while the shofar is still in the pit and so the sound is confused. We are therefore told [that this makes no difference].
Rab Judah said: One should not blow with a shofar taken from a burnt-.offering,10 but if he did so11 hie has performed his religious duty. One should not blow with a shofar taken from a peace-offering, and if he did so he has not performed his religious duty. What is the reason? A burnt-offering is subject to the rule of trespass,12 and once trespass has been committed with it, it becomes unhallowed. Peace-offerings, on the other hand, not being subject to the rule of trespass,13 are still saddled with their prohibition,14
(and do not become unhallowed).15 Raba strongly demurred to this. When [he said], is the trespass committed? After he has blown; but when he blows, he does so with something prohibited.16 No, said Raba: alike in one case and the other, he has not performed his religious duty. Later, however, he said: Alike in one case and in the other he has performed his religious duty, because religious precepts are not meant to provide physical enjoyment.17
Rab Judah said: One should not blow with a shofar which has been used for idolatrous purposes,18 but if he does so, he has performed his religious duty.19 One should not blow with a shofar from a devoted city,20 and if he does so he has not performed his religious duty. What is the reason? In a devoted city nothing is [presumably] left of proper size.21
Raba said: If one is interdicted by vow to have any benefit22 from his neighbour, the other may yet perform the ritual blowing of the shofar for him.23 One, too, who is interdicted by vow to have any enjoyment from a shofar may yet perform with it the ritual blowing. Raba further said: If one is interdicted by vow to have any benefit from his neighbour, the other may yet sprinkle on him the water of the sin-offering24 in the rainy season, but not in the summer time. One who has vowed to have no enjoyment from a fountain may take a ritual bath in it in the rainy season25 but not in the summer time.
They sent to inform the father of Samuel: If a man is compelled by force to eat unleavened bread [on Passover], he thereby performs his religious duty.26 Compelled by whom? Shall I say, by an evil spirit? But has it not been taught, ‘If a man is sometimes in his sound senses and sometimes crazy, when he is in his senses he is regarded as a sane man in all particulars, and when he is crazy he is regarded as insane in all particulars’?27 — R. Ashi said: [It means], if the Persians compelled him. Said Raba:28 This would imply that if one blew the shofar simply to make music, he has performed his religious duty. Is not this obvious?29 This is just what has been said!30 — You might argue that in the previous case the All-Merciful has prescribed that unleavened bread should be eaten, and he has eaten31
(1) We naturally suppose this to speak of one who steps out of the pit while he hears someone else blowing in the pit.
(2) [Lit., ‘before the pillar of the dawn went up’. This is the legal dividing line between night and day.]
(3) It is obligatory to hear the shofar only by day but not by night.
(4) One who is on the edge of the pit does not fulfil his obligation by hearing one blow in the pit.
(5) And he fulfils his obligation with the part he heard in the pit.
(6) V. supra.
(7) V. supra, and notes.
(8) And he hears both the beginning and the end of the blast clearly.
(9) As it is obvious.
(10) Made from the horn of a living animal which, has been consecrated for a burnt-offering. After it has been offered and the blood thereof sprinkled the law of trespass does not apply to its horns, v. infra.
(11) Unwittingly. V. Tosaf. s.v. בשופר
(12) Heb. מעילה, the using of holy things for secular purposes, v. Lev. V, 15ff.
(13) I.e., even while still alive. After it had been offered and the blood sprinkled the law of trespass applied to certain portions of the flesh assigned for the altar.
(14) Even if they have been accidentally used for secular purposes, they remain hallowed and must not be further used for such purposes.
(15) These words in the text are bracketed.
(16) Even in the case of the burnt-offering.
(17) And since he derives no physical enjoyment from the act, he does not commit trespass.
(18) Because no benefit may be derived from articles which have been used for idolatrous purposes, v. A.Z. 51b.
(19) Because such performance is not intended to give any enjoyment. This reason is based on the opinion of Raba and not of Rab Judah; perhaps therefore we should read here ‘Raba said’, not ‘Rab Judah said’. V. Tosaf. s.v. אמר רב יהודה
(20) V. Deut. XIII, 13-17.
(21) Lit., ‘its measurements are cut to pieces’. Everything in it was supposed to be burnt.
(22) Heb. הנאה which can mean either ‘benefit’ or enjoyment’.
(23) For this is no physical enjoyment.
(24) Of the red heifer, to cleanse him from the pollution of a dead body.
(25) I.e., when it is cold.
(26) Even though he had no intention of performing it.
(27) And we cannot speak of the performance of religious duties in connection with an insane person.
(28) Var. lec. Rabbah.
(29) Viz., that this is the implication of R. Ashi's remark.
(30) Lit., ‘this is that’.
(31) And has obtained some physical benefit.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 28b
, whereas in this case it is written a memorial of blowing the trumpet1 and this man is merely amusing himself.2 Therefore we are told [that this argument does not apply].
We conclude from this that in Raba's opinion religious precepts do not need to be performed with deliberate intention. The following objection was raised against this view: ‘If a man was reading the [passage of the shema’] in the Torah and the time of reading [the shema’] arrived, if he put his mind to it, he has performed his religious duty’ . Does this not mean, ‘put his mind to perform his religious duty’? — No; it means, [put his mind] to read [distinctly]. To read? But he is reading! — We speak of one who is reading to correct [the scroll].3
Come and hear: ‘IF HE WAS PASSING BEHIND THE SYNAGOGUE, OR IF HIS HOUSE WAS ADJOINING THE SYNAGOGUE, AND HE HEARD THE SOUND OF THE SHOFAR OR OF THE READING OF THE MEGILLAH, IF HE PUT HIS MIND TO IT HE THEREBY PERFORMED HIS RELIGIOUS DUTY, BUT IF NOT HE DID NOT PERFORM HIS RELIGIOUS DUTY’. Does not this mean, ‘if he put his mind to perform his religious duty’? — No; [it means, if he put his mind] to hear. To hear? But he is hearing! — He may think, it is merely an ass braying. The following objection was raised against this view: ‘If the hearer [of the shofar] put his mind to the act but not the performer,4 or the performer put his mind but not the hearer, he did not perform his religious duty; [he does not do so] until both hearer and performer put their minds to the act’. I understand the case where the performer put his mind but not the hearer, as the latter may have thought it was merely an ass braying. But that the hearer should put his mind and not the performer — how can this happen? Is it not where the latter blows merely to make music?5 — Perhaps [it refers to a case] where he merely [as it were] barks.6 Said Abaye to him:7 But if that is so, then one who sleeps in the Sukkah8 on the eighth day should be flogged?9 — He replied: [Not so], because I maintain that commandments cannot be transgressed [by adding to them] save in their proper season.
R. Shaman b. Abba raised the following objection against this view: ‘Whence do we learn that a priest who mounts the platform10 should not say, "Because the Torah has given me permission to bless Israel, I will add a blessing of my own, as for instance, The Lord, the God of your fathers, add unto you"?11 Because it says, Ye shall not add unto the word’.12 Now here, since he has finished blessing them,13 the time of the precept has passed, and yet it states that he transgresses? — Here we are dealing with the case where he has not yet finished the blessings. But the statement runs, ‘he has finished’? — That means, he has finished one blessing.14 But it states, ‘he finished all his blessings’? — There is a special reason in this case; seeing that, if he comes across another congregation, he may bless again, the whole day is reckoned as the proper time.15 But what is your ground for saying so? — Because we have learnt: If blood which has to be sprinkled [on the altar] once16 has been mixed with other blood which had to be sprinkled once, the whole should be sprinkled once. If blood which has to be sprinkled four times17 has been mixed with other blood which has to be sprinkled four times, the whole must be sprinkled four times. If blood which has to be sprinkled four times is mixed with blood which has to be sprinkled once, R. Eleazar says the whole should be sprinkled four times. R. Joshua says it should be sprinkled once. Said R. Eleazar to him: By doing so he transgresses the precept of ‘thou shalt not diminish’!18 To which R. Joshua retorted, By doing your way, he transgresses the precept of thou shalt not add.19 Said R. Eleazar to him: The precept ‘thou shalt not add’ applies only when the act is repeated on the same subject.20 To which R. Joshua replied: The precept ‘thou shalt not diminish’ applies only where the act is withheld from the same subject.20 R. Joshua said further to him: If you do not sprinkle [four times], you transgress the rule of ‘thou shalt not diminish’, but you do not perform any positive action,21 When you do sprinkle, you transgress the rule of ‘thou shalt not add’ and you do perform a positive action.22 Now here, as soon as he has made one sprinkling for the firstborn, its time is past, and yet it says that he transgresses the precept of ‘thou shalt not add’; and is not the reason for this because we say that since, if he gets hold of another firstborn he can sprinkle its blood, the whole day is reckoned its proper time? — [No.] Perhaps R. Joshua was of opinion that precepts may be transgressed even out of their proper time.23 We argue thus.24 Why does R. Shaman b. Abba leave the Mishnah and bring his objection from the Baraitha? Let him bring his objection from the Mishnah! What is the reason why he does not adduce the Mishnah? On the ground that, if he [the priest] gets hold of another firstborn he can sprinkle its blood, the whole day is its proper time. But in the case mentioned in the Baraitha also, seeing that, if he comes across another congregation he may bless again, the whole day is the proper time! What says R. Shaman b. Abba to this? — In that case [of the blood], he is bound to sprinkle;25 in this case, if he likes he may bless, and if he likes he need not bless.
Raba says: For the performance of his religious duty, he does not require to put his mind to it. For transgression [by adding to the precept], he does require to put his mind. But what of the sprinkling of blood, where, according to R. Joshua, he transgresses though he does not put his mind to it?26 Raba therefore [corrected himself and] said: For the performance of the religious duty he does not require to put his mind to it; for [being accounted to have committed a] transgression [by adding to the precept] if [the act is done] in proper time, he does not require to put his mind to it; if it is not done in its proper time he does require to put his mind to it.
R. Zera said to his attendant:
(1) Lev. XXIII, 24.
(2) Lit., ‘occupying himself’. And we are told infra that one who blows merely to pass the time does not fulfil his obligation.
(3) And only mumbles the words.
(4) Lit., ‘he who causes to hear’.
(5) And in such a case he does not perform the precept of blowing the shofar, which would show that such performance requires intention.
(6) I.e., produces only half the requisite sound.
(8) V. Glos.
(9) Because the commandment is to sleep there only seven days, and he is adding to the commandment even if he does not mean to, v. Deut. IV, 2.
(10) Heb. דוכן
(11) Deut. I, 11.
(12) Ibid. IV, 2.
(13) Before he adds his own blessing.
(14) Of the three priestly blessings.
(15) And we may still hold that commandments cannot be transgressed by adding to them save in their proper time.
(16) E.g., the blood of the firstborn of cattle when brought as a sacrifice. Lit., ‘has to be given in a single gift’.
(17) E.g., the blood of burnt-offerings and peace-offerings which had to be sprinkled on four corners of the altar.
(18) Because he sprinkles in one instalment blood which should be sprinkled in four.
(19) Because he sprinkles in four instalments blood which should be sprinkled in one.
(20) Lit., ‘when it (the instrument of the religious act) is by itself’.
(21) I.e., the sin is one of omission only.
(22) I.e., the sin is one of commission, v. Zeb. 80a.
(23) So that this Mishnah affords no support for the distinction made above in regard to the blessing of the priest and thus the objection against Raba stands.
(24) In trying to bring support from the Mishnah to the above distinction.
(25) Lit., ‘there is no way of not giving’; if he gets other blood.
(26) He does not intend to sprinkle the blood of the firstborn in the last three installments.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 29a
Put your mind to it and blow [the shofar] for me. I gather from this that in his opinion the performer requires to put his mind to it.1 The following was raised in objection against this view: IF HE WAS PASSING BEHIND THE SYNAGOGUE, OR IF HIS HOUSE WAS ADJOINING THE SYNAGOGUE AND HE HEARD THE SOUND OF THE SHOFAR OR THE READING OF THE MEGILLAH, IF HE PUT HIS MIND TO IT HE THEREBY PERFORMED HIS RELIGIOUS DUTY, BUT IF NOT HE DID NOT. And if he did put his mind to it, what difference does it make [on your theory], seeing that the other [the performer] was not consciously performing for him? — We are here speaking of a congregational reader who performs consciously for all.
Come and hear: ‘If the hearer put his mind to it but not the performer, or if the performer put his mind to it but not the hearer, he did not perform his religious duty; [he does not do so] until both the hearer and the performer put their mind to it’. Here he mentions the performer in the same breath with the hearer, [to indicate that] just as the hearer hears for himself, so the performer performs for himself, and [in such a case] he states that ‘he did not perform his religious duty’?2 — There is a difference on this point between Tannaim, as it has been taught: The hearer hears for himself, and the performer performs for all and sundry.3 R. Jose said: This applies only to a congregational reader, but an ordinary individual does not perform his religious duty until both the hearer and the performer put their mind to it.
MISHNAH. [IT IS WRITTEN] AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN MOSES HELD UP HIS HAND THAT ISRAEL PREVAILED, ETC.4 NOW DID THE HANDS OF MOSES WAGE WAR OR CRUSH THE ENEMY?5 NOT SO; ONLY THE TEXT SIGNIFIES THAT SO LONG AS ISRAEL TURNED THEIR THOUGHTS ABOVE AND SUBJECTED THEIR HEARTS TO THEIR FATHER IN HEAVEN THEY PREVAILED, BUT OTHERWISE THEY FELL. THE SAME LESSON MAY BE TAUGHT THUS. [IT IS WRITTEN], MAKE THEE A FIERY SERPENT AND SET IT UP ON A POLE, AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS THAT EVERYONE THAT IS BITTEN, WHEN HE SEETH IT, SHALL LIVE.6 NOW DID THE SERPENT KILL OR DID THE SERPENT KEEP A LIVE? NO; [WHAT IT INDICATES IS THAT] WHEN ISRAEL TURNED THEIR THOUGHTS ABOVE AND SUBJECTED THEIR HEARTS TO THEIR FATHER IN HEAVEN, THEY WERE HEALED, BUT OTHERWISE THEY PINED AWAY.7
A DEAF-MUTE, A LUNATIC AND A MINOR CANNOT PERFORM A RELIGIOUS DUTY ON BEHALF OF A CONGREGATION.8 THIS IS THE GENERAL PRINCIPLE: ONE WHO IS NOT HIMSELF UNDER OBLIGATION TO PERFORM A RELIGIOUS DUTY CANNOT PERFORM IT ON BEHALF OF A CONGREGATION.
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: ‘All [males] are under obligation to blow the shofar, Priests, Levites and lay Israelites, proselytes and emancipated slaves, tumtum9 and androgynus,10 and one who is half slave and half free.11 A tumtum cannot perform [a religious duty] either for a fellow-tumtum or for anyone else.12 An androgynus can perform [a religious duty] for a fellow-androgynus13 but nor for anyone else. One who is half a slave and half free can perform [a religious duty] neither for one in the same condition nor for anyone else’.14
The Master has here said, ‘All are under obligation to blow the shofar, Priests, Levites and lay Israelites’. Is not this self-evident? If these have not the duty, who has? — This had to be stated. For you might have argued, Seeing that it is written, A day of blowing the trumpet it shall be to you,15 this obligation devolves upon those who have not to blow save on one day a year, but since these priests participate in the blowings all through the year, as it is written, And ye shall blow with your trumpets over your burnt-offerings,16 I might think that they are not bound [to observe this blowing]. Therefore we are told [that this is not so]. Is there any analogy? You cite trumpets and we speak of shofar! No; [what you must say is], This had to be stated. For I might argue that since we have learnt, ‘The Jubilee is on the same footing as New Year in respect of blowing the shofar and blessings’,17 those to whom the injunction of the Jubilee applies have to keep the precept of New Year, and since these priests do not come under the obligations of the Jubilee, as we have learnt, ‘Priests and Levites may sell at any time and redeem at any time’,18 therefore they are not bound to keep the precept of New Year. Therefore we are told [that this is not so].
‘One who is half a slave and half free can perform [a religious duty] neither for one who is in the same condition nor for anyone else’. R. Huna said: He may, however, perform [the duty] for himself. Said R. Nahman to R. Huna: What is the reason why he may not perform [it] for others? Because the side of slavery [in himself] cannot perform [the duty] for the side of freedom [in others]. In regard to himself similarly, the side of slavery should not be able to perform [the duty] for the side of freedom in himself? No, said R. Nahman; he cannot perform [the duty] for himself either. It has been taught to the same effect: One who is half slave and half free cannot perform the [religious duty] even for himself.
Ahabah the son of R. Zera learnt: Any blessing which one has already recited on behalf of himself, he can recite again on behalf of others,19 save the blessing over bread and the blessing over wine.20 These if he has not yet recited on behalf of himself21 he may recite on behalf of others,22 but if he has already recited them for himself he cannot recite them on behalf of others.23 Raba inquired:
(1) I.e., to perform consciously for the benefit of the hearer.
(2) [This is difficult, v. Marginal Glosses, Bezaleel Ronsburg. Read with MS.M.: ‘and it states (in such a case, i.e., where the performer performs for himself provided the hearer puts his mind to it) he performed his duty.]
(3) Lit., ‘according to his way’; i.e., he need not consciously perform for the benefit of the listener.
(4) Ex. XVII, 11.
(5) Lit., ‘break war’.
(6) Num. XXI, 8.
(7) This disquisition in the Mishnah is suggested by the references above to ‘religious intention’ (v. Maharsha).
(8) Lit., ‘cannot take the public out of the power of their obligation’.
(9) One of uncertain sex.
(10) A hermaphrodite.
(11) E.g., a slave of two masters, one of whom has released him.
(12) Because possibly the tumtum is a female and as no obligation. Lit., ‘either for his own species or not for his own species’.
(13) In virtue of the male part common to both of them.
(14) As the slave side of the performer cannot delegate for the free side of the hearer.
(15) Num. XXIX, 1.
(16) Ibid. X, 10.
(17) V. supra 26b.
(18) ‘Ar. 33b. A better reading is, ‘may sanctify at any time and redeem etc’. (v. Tosaf. s.v. דתנן), the reference being to the right of a priest or Levite to sanctify or redeem at any time a field even if it has been sold by the treasurer of the sanctuary, which was not permissible to a lay Israelite; v. ‘Ar. 26b and 33b.
(19) Lit., ‘in respect of all other blessings, though he emerged from his responsibility, he can bring (others) forth’. The blessings referred to are those said over the performance of religious precepts, and the reason is that all Israelites are responsible for one another in regard to the performance of religious precepts.
(20) This includes blessings over food and scents generally, which are only said because it is forbidden to enjoy the goods of this world without a blessing, not because the partaking is a religious duty.
(21) Lit., ‘if he does not emerge (from his responsibility)’.
(22) Lit., ‘he brings forth (from their responsibility)’.
(23) Because, as there is no religious duty involved, he is not responsible for their partaking.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 29b
What is the rule with regard to the blessing for bread said over the mazzah and the blessing for wine said in the sanctification?1 Do we say that since [the partaking of these] is obligatory, he can perform [the duty] for others, or have we here perhaps only an [optional] blessing, not an obligation?2 — Come and hear, since R. Ashi said: When we were at the house of R. Papi, he used to say the sanctification for us, and when his tenants came from the fields he used to make the sanctification for them.3
Our Rabbis taught: A man should not break bread4 for visitors unless he eats with them, but he may break bread for his children and the members of his household so as to train them in the performance of religious duties. In the reciting of [the blessing over] Hallel and the Megillah, even though he has already performed [the duty] for himself, he may perform it for others.
MISHNAH. IF THE FESTIVE DAY OF NEW YEAR FELL ON A SABBATH, THEY USED TO BLOW THE SHOFAR IN THE TEMPLE BUT NOT IN THE COUNTRY:5 AFTER THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE, RABBAN JOHANAN BEN ZACCAI ORDAINED THAT IT SHOULD BE BLOWN [ON SABBATH] IN EVERY PLACE WHERE THERE WAS A BETH DIN. R. ELIEZER SAID: RABBAN JOHANAN BEN ZACCAI LAID DOWN THIS RULE FOR JABNEH ONLY.6 THEY SAID TO HIM: IT APPLIES EQUALLY TO JABNEH AND TO ANY PLACE WHERE THERE IS A BETH DIN. JERUSALEM HAD THIS FURTHER7 SUPERIORITY OVER JABNEH, THAT IN EVERY CITY FROM WHICH IT COULD BE SEEN OR HEARD AND WHICH WAS NEAR AND FROM WHICH IT WAS ACCESSIBLE THEY USED TO BLOW [ON SABBATH],8 WHEREAS IN JABNEH THEY USED TO BLOW IN THE BETH DIN ONLY.9
GEMARA. Whence [in the Scripture] is this rule10 derived? — R. Levi b. Lahma said: One verse says, a solemn rest, a memorial of blast of horns,11 while another verse says,it is a day of blowing the horn unto you!12 [Yet] there is no contradiction, as one refers to a festival which falls on Sabbath13 and the other to a festival which falls on a weekday. Raba said: If the prohibition [on Sabbath] is from the Written Law, how comes the shofar to be blown in the Temple? And besides, [the blowing] is no work14 that a text should be needed to except it.15 For it was taught in the school of Samuel:16 [When it says], Ye shall do no servile work [on New Year],17 this excludes the blowing of the shofar and the taking of bread from the oven,18 these being kinds of skill and not work! — No, said Raba. According to the Written Law it is allowed, and it is the Rabbis who prohibited it as a precaution; as stated by Rabbah; for Rabbah said, All are under obligation to blow the shofar but not all are skilled in the blowing of the shofar. [Hence] there is a danger that perhaps one will take it in his hand [on Sabbath] and go to an expert to learn and carry it four cubits in public domain.19 The same reason applies to the lulab and the same reason to the Megillah.20
AFTER THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE RABBAN JOHANAN BEN ZACCAI ORDAINED etc. Our Rabbis taught: Once New Year fell on a Sabbath [and all the towns assembled],21 and Rabban Johanan said to the Bene Bathyra,22 Let us blow the shofar. They said to him, Let us discuss the matter.23 He said to them, Let us blow and afterwards discuss. After they had blown they said to him, Let us now discuss the question. He replied: The horn has already been heard in Jabneh, and what has been done is no longer open to discussion.24
R. ELIEZER SAID: RABBAN JOHANAN BEN ZACCAI LAID DOWN THIS RULE FOR JABNEH ONLY. THEY SAID TO HIM: IT APPLIES EQUALLY TO JABNEH AND TO ANY PLACE WHERE THERE IS A BETH DIN. [What] THEY SAID TO HIM is the same as the dictum of the first Tanna?25 — There is a difference between them, namely, in the case of a temporary Beth din.26
THEY SAID TO HIM: IT APPLIES EQUALLY TO JABNEH AND TO ANY PLACE WHERE THERE IS A BETH DIN. R. Huna said
(1) The eating of unleavened bread on the first night of Passover and the sanctification of Sabbaths are religious duties and as such have to be prefaced with blessings. In addition, the ordinary blessing is said over the mazzah and the wine as articles of physical enjoyment. Raba's question relates to these latter blessings.
(2) I.e., is the blessing on this occasion on a par with the blessing on other occasions when the partaking is optional?
(3) This would show that in this case the one who recites the blessing over bread and wine, though he had already recited it for himself, can recite it again for others.
(4) I.e., recite the blessing.
(5) Including Jerusalem (Rashi). [Maim.: excluding Jerusalem].
(6) Where there was a ‘Great Beth din’ or Sanhedrin of seventy-two members. [A small town on the N.W. border of Judah, the Jabneel of Josh. XV, 11. It was a seat of learning as early as the days of R. Gamaliel the Elder. At the request of R. Johanan b. Zaccai it was spared by Vespasian at the time of the destruction of the Temple. when the Great Sanhedrin removed there and was presided over by R. Johanan b. Zaccai.]
(7) The meaning of this expression is discussed in the Gemara.
(8) After the destruction of the Temple.
(9) And not in the surrounding towns.
(10) That the shofar should not be blown on Sabbath.
(11) Lev. XXIII, 24.
(12) Num. XXIX, 1. How reconcile the two texts?
(13) When there is to be only a ‘memorial’ or mention of the blowing of the shofar, not actual blowing.
(14) [Read with MS.M. and Rashi: ‘Is it work that etc.’.]
(15) From the general Prohibition of work on Sabbath.
(16) [Var. lec., R. Ishmael.]
(17) Num. XXIX, 1.
(18) After it is baked. V. Tosaf., s.v. רדײת
(19) But this carrying was not forbidden in the Temple.
(20) V. GIos,
(21) To Jabneh in order to hear the blowing of the shofar by the representatives of the Beth din. The brackets appear in the text.
(22) Descendants of the leaders of the Sanhedrin who resigned their position in favour of Hillel. V. Pes. 66a.
(23) Whether the prohibition should be extended to a Place where there is a Beth din.
(24) Lest we should have to stigmatize ourselves as having committed an error.
(25) That R. Johanan b. Zaccai ordained that the shofar should be blown on Sabbath wherever there was a Beth din.
(26) The latter authority requires that the Beth dill should be a permanent one like that of Jabneh.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 30a
, [The shofar on Sabbath is blown only] with the Beth din. What is meant by ‘with the Beth din’? — In the presence of the Beth din, [and he means] to except [from the permission] any blowing [on Sabbath] not in the presence of the Beth din.
Raba raised the following objection against this view: JERUSALEM HAD THIS FURTHER SUPERIORITY OVER JABNEH etc. What does THIS FURTHER imply? Shall I say that [the text] is to be taken as it stands?1 Then it should have said THIS simply!2 Again, should it imply that in Jerusalem private individuals used to blow and in Jabneh private individuals did not blow, [I would ask,] but did not private individuals blow in Jabneh? When R. Isaac b. Joseph came, did he not report that when the congregational reader had finished blowing in Jabneh, a man could not hear his own voice3 for the noise of the blowing [of individuals]?4 What then must be said is that in Jerusalem the shofar was blown whether during the hours when the Beth din sat5 or the hours when they did not sit, but in Jabneh it was blown during the hours when they sat but not when they did not sit. You admit then that during the hours when the Beth din sat at any rate they blew away from the Beth din?6 — No; [what it implies7 is that] in Jerusalem they blew whether in the presence of the Beth din or not in their presence, but in Jabneh they did blow in the presence of the Beth din, but otherwise not.
Some attach R. Huna's dictum to [the exposition of] the text, On the day of Atonement ye shall cause a shofar to pass through all your land,8 [thus]: This teaches that every individual is under obligation to blow. R. Huna said: It must be with the Beth din. What is meant by ‘with the Beth din’? At the time when the Beth din sits,9 to exclude [from the permission] the time when the Beth din does not sit. Raba raised the following objection: The blowing of the shofar on New Year and Jubilee overrides Sabbath in the country10 [for] a man and his house. What is meant by ‘a man and his house’? Shall I say it means a man and his wife? Has then a woman to perform this duty, seeing that it is a duty for which there is a specific time,11 and women are not liable to perform any duties for which there is a specific time? What it therefore must mean is, every man in this house’, and even [I presume] during the hours when the Beth din does not sit? — No; it means in fact during the hours when the Beth din does sit.
R. Shesheth raised the following objection [against this view]: ‘The Jubilee is on the same footing as New Year for blowing the shofar and for blessings, only on the Jubilee they blew [on Sabbath] alike in a Beth din in which the New Moon had been sanctified and in a Beth din in which the New Moon had not been sanctified, and every individual was under obligation to blow, whereas on New Year they blew only in a Beth din in which the New Moon had been sanctified and private individuals were not under obligation to blow’. What is meant by ‘private individuals were not under obligation to blow’? Shall I say that on the Jubilee individuals used to blow a shofar and on New Year individuals did not blow? [This cannot be], because when R. Isaac b. Joseph came he said that when the congregational reader in Jabneh finished blowing a man could not hear his own voice for the noise [of the blowings] of individuals. It must mean then that on the Jubilee they blow both during the hours when the Beth din sits and also when the Beth din does not sit, but on New Year they blow when the Beth din sits but not when the Beth din does not sit. Now it states here at any rate that on the Jubilee [it is blown] whether when the Beth din is sitting or when it is not sitting?12 — No; what indeed is meant is, when the Beth din sits, and the statement should be understood thus: On the Jubilee [it is blown] during the hours when the Beth din sits whether in the presence of the Beth din or not in the presence of the Beth din; but on New Year it is blown only when the Beth din sits and in the presence of the Beth din. It has also been stated [elsewhere]: R. Hiyya b. Gamda said in the name of R. Jose b. Saul, who had it from Rabbi: The shofar is blown only during the hours that the Beth din sits.
R. Zera inquired: If they have made ready13 to rise, what is the rule? Is it necessary that the Beth din should be still seated, and this condition is fulfilled, or is it necessary that it should be during the sitting of the Beth din, and this condition is not fulfilled? — This question is left undecided.
JERUSALEM HAD THIS FURTHER SUPERIORITY OVER JABNEH etc. FROM WHICH IT COULD BE SEEN: this excludes one situated in a valley. OR HEARD: this excludes one situated on the top of a mountain. OR NEAR: this excludes one situated beyond the Sabbath limit.14 OR FROM WHICH IT WAS ACCESSIBLE: this excludes one separated from it by a river.
MISHNAH. ORIGINALLY THE LULAB WAS SHAKEN15 IN THE SANCTUARY DURING SEVEN DAYS AND IN THE COUNTRY ONLY ONE DAY.16 WHEN THE TEMPLE WAS DESTROYED RABBAN JOHANNAN B. ZACCAI ORDAINED THAT THE LULAB SHOULD BE SHAKEN IN THE COUNTRY SEVEN DAYS, IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE SANCTUARY. [HE] ALSO [ORDAINED] THAT DURING THE WHOLE OF THE DAY OF THE WAVING [OF THE ‘OMER]17 THE NEW CORN SHOULD BE FORBIDDEN.
GEMARA. What is our warrant for doing things in remembrance of the Temple? — Because the Scripture says, For I will restore health unto thee and I will heal thee of thy wound, saith the Lord, because they have called thee an outcast, ‘she is Zion, there is none that inquireth after her’.18 From this we gather that she ought to be inquired after.
THAT THE WHOLE OF THE DAY OF WAVING THE ‘OMER THE NEW CORN SHOULD BE FORBIDDEN. What is the reason? — The Temple, [let us hope], will speedily be rebuilt, and [the Jews] will [then] say, ‘Last year did we not eat [the new corn] from daybreak?19 Now too let us eat’, they not knowing that last year when there was no [waving of the] ‘omer it was daybreak which rendered the new corn permissible, but now that there is the ‘omer it is the ‘omer which renders it permissible. When [are we supposing] it will be built? Shall I say it will be built on the sixteenth [of Nisan]? Then daybreak [of the sixteenth] will render the new corn permissible.20 Shall I say then that it will be built on the fifteenth?21 Then let [the new corn] become Permissible from midday [on the sixteenth], since we have learnt: ‘Those who are at a distance [from the Temple] are allowed to eat [the new corn] from midday, because the Beth din do not procrastinate [with the ‘omer]’!22 -The rule is necessary in case the Temple will be built on the fifteenth shortly before sunset,23 or also in case it will be built by night.24
R. Nahman b. Isaac [however] said: Rabban Johanan b. Zaccai
(1) I.e., that there is no omission to be supplied.
(2) Because no superiority has so far been mentioned.
(3) Lit., ‘ears’. [MS.M.: voice in his ears’.]
(4) In the text the words ‘of individuals’ are in brackets.
(5) I.e.,till six hours (midday) — Rashi.
(6) Which refutes R. Huna's statement that in Jabneh the permission to blow on Sabbath was only in the presence of the Beth dill.
(7) As to the superiority of Jerusalem.
(8) Lev. XXV, 9.
(9) And not, as above, in the presence of the Beth din, this being excluded by through all your land including places where there is no Beth din.
(10) Lit., ‘the borders’, i.e., outside the Sanctuary.
(11) Lit., ‘which time causes (its observance)’.
(12) Which is contrary to the opinion of R. Huna as explained above.
(13) Lit., ‘shaken themselves’.
(14) I.e., more than two thousand cubits from the wall of Jerusalem.
(15) Lit., ‘taken’, ‘lifted up’. On lulab v. Glos.
(16) V Suk. 41a.
(17) I.e., the sixteenth of Nisan; v. Glos. s.V.
(18) Jer. XXX, 17.
(19) The text says, Ye shall not eat bread . . . until this selfsame day, until ye have brought the offering (of the ‘omer). — Lev. XXIII, 14. The Rabbis learn from this (Men. 68), that when the ‘omer is brought the new corn may be eaten as soon as it is brought, and when it is not brought the new corn may be eaten from daybreak on the sixteenth of Nisan.
(20) The Temple not yet having been built.
(21) [I.e.,it will have been built by the fifteenth so that there would be time to make all the preparation necessary for the offering of the ‘omer v. Rashi Suk. 41a.]
(22) And it may be safely assumed that they have brought it by midday.
(23) [The law that the building of the Temple does not override the Sabbath (v. Sheb. 15b) does not apply to the future Temple which will be wrought by the hands of Heaven (Rashi). MS.M. (v. also Tosaf. Suk. 41a S.V. אי) omit fifteenth, the reference being to the fourteenth day before sunset when there would not be ample time to provide for many of the preliminaries to the offering of the ‘omer, which had to be attended to on the eve of the Festival (v. Men. 65a).]
(24) And in such a case there will not be time to bring the ‘omer by midday, and if the Jews should eat the new corn then they will transgress.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 30b
based his rule on the view enunciated [later] by R. Judah, who said: [Ye shall neither eat bread . . .] until this selfsame day:1 this means, until the termination2 of the day, and he was of the opinion that the expression ‘until’ is inclusive [of its object]. But did Rabban Johanan concur with him [R. Judah]? Did he not join issue with him, as we have learnt:3 ‘When the Temple was destroyed, Rabban Johanan b. Zaccai ordained that during the whole of the day of waving the ‘omer the new corn should be forbidden. Said R. Judah: Is it not forbidden from the Torah, [as it is written, until this selfsame day]?4 — On that occasion it was R. Judah who made a mistake. He thought that Rabban Johanan b. Zaccai declared it only Rabbinically forbidden, but this is not the case: he declared it forbidden from the Pentateuch. But it is stated that ‘he ordained’?5 — What is meant [here] by ‘ordained’? It means, he expounded [the text] and ordained’.6
MISHNAH. ORIGINALLY THEY USED TO ACCEPT TESTIMONY WITH REGARD TO THE NEW MOON DURING THE WHOLE OF THE DAY. ON ONE OCCASION7 THE WITNESSES WERE LATE IN ARRIVING, AND THE LEVITES WENT WRONG IN THE DAILY HYMN.8 IT WAS THEREFORE ORDAINED THAT TESTIMONY SHOULD BE ACCEPTED [ON NEW YEAR] ONLY UNTIL THE AFTERNOON SACRIFICE, AND THAT IF WITNESSES CAME AFTER THE AFTERNOON SACRIFICE THAT DAY9 SHOULD BE KEPT AS HOLY10 AND ALSO THE NEXT DAY. AFTER THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE RABBAN JOHANAN B. ZACCAI ORDAINED THAT TESTIMONY WITH REGARD TO THE NEW MOON SHOULD BE RECEIVED DURING THE WHOLE OF THE DAY.
GEMARA. How did the Levites go wrong in the daily Psalm?11 — Here [in Babylon] it was explained that they did not say any psalm at all.12 R. Zera, however, said that they recited the weekday psalm along with the regular sacrifice of the afternoon.13 Said R. Zera to Ahabah his son: Go and cite to them [the Babylonians] [the following Baraitha]: ‘They made a rule that testimony with regard to the new moon should not be received unless there was still time left to offer the regular sacrifices and the additional sacrifices and their drink-offerings and to recite the psalm without confusion’.14 Now if you hold that they said the weekday psalm, we understand how there is a possibility of confusion, but if they did not say any psalm at all, how could there be confusion? — Since they did not say a psalm at all, there could be no confusion15 greater than this.
R. Aha b. Huna raised the following objection [against this latter view]: The regular morning sacrifice on New Year is offered In the usual way.16 Over the additional sacrifice what psalm is said? [The one commencing], Sing aloud unto God our strength, make a teru'ah17 unto the God of Jacob.18 At the afternoon sacrifice what did they say? [The psalm containing the words], The voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness.19 When New Year fell on a Thursday, for which the regular psalm is ‘Sing aloud unto God our strength’,20 they did not say ‘Sing aloud’ at the morning service because the same section was afterwards repeated. What then did they say? I removed his shoulder from the burden.21 If, however, witnesses came after the regular morning sacrifice,22 they said ‘Sing aloud’, although the verse might afterwards have to be repeated’. Now if you hold that wherever there is a doubt we say the weekday psalm, we understand the statement here that ‘it might be repeated’. But if you hold that they said no psalm at all, what is meant by repeating it’? —
(1) Lev. XXIII, 14.
(2) Heb. עצמו של יום lit., ‘the very self of the day’.
(3) Men. 68b.
(4) These words in the text are bracketed.
(5) Heb. התקין a term usually applied to ordinances of the Rabbis not derived from the written text.
(6) That henceforth they should be forbidden to eat the new corn the whole of the sixteenth, this being an injunction of the Scripture.
(7) On the occasion of a New Year (Rashi).
(8) The meaning of this is discussed infra in the Gemara.
(9) I.e., the thirtieth day of the month.
(10) In point of fact it had already been kept as holy from the previous sunset, out of doubt. The rest of it was now to be kept as holy, although the New Moon would not be sanctified till to-morrow, the thirty-first day, which naturally would also be holy. The reason why the rest of the thirtieth clay was declared holy was as a precaution lest, if the public were allowed to keep this part as a weekday, they might in future years keep the whole day as a weekday on the assumption that after all the witnesses would not come, or not come till late (Rashi).
(11) Lit., ‘song’. It was the custom for the Levites to chant a psalm while the drink-offering accompanying the daily sacrifices was being offered, as explained in the Gemara infra.
(12) Being in doubt whether to recite the festival psalm or that of the weekday, V. infra.
(13) Whereas, since the day was eventually declared holy, they should have recited the festival psalm. [No special psalm was instituted to be recited in connection with the morning sacrifice on New Year as witnesses rarely came so early.]
(14) The Hebrew word is שיבוש which R. Zera apparently understands in the sense of ‘gabbling’.
(15) The word שבוש being taken in the sense of ‘error’.
(16) I.e., it is accompanied by the weekday psalm, v. p. 144, n. 5.
(17) E.V. ‘shout’.
(18) Ps. LXXXI, 2. The words ‘make a teru'ah’ were of course appropriate to the day of teru'ah, — New Year.
(19) Ps. XXIX, 8. This verse is reminiscent of the shofar blown at the giving of the Law.
(20) V. infra, in the list of the daily psalms.
(21) Ps. LXXXI, 7. This verse was said because it refers to Joseph who was supposed to have been liberated on New Year (v. supra 11a). Apparently the latter half of this psalm was said with the morning sacrifice and the first half with the additional sacrifice.
(22) So that at the time of the sacrifice they did not yet know if the day would be holy.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 31a
There the case is different, because it is the psalm of the day.1
It has been taught: ‘R. Judah said in the name of R. Akiba: On the first day [of the week] what [psalm] did they [the Levites] say? [The one commencing] The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof,2 because He took possession and gave possession3 and was [sole] ruler in His universe.4 On the second day what did they say? [The one commencing], Great is the Lord and highly to be praised,5 because he divided His works6 and reigned over them like a king.7 On the third day they said, God standeth in the congregation of God,8 because He revealed the earth in His wisdom and established the world for His community.9 On the fourth day they said, O Lord, Thou God, to whom vengeance belongeth,10 because He created the sun and the moon and will one day punish those who serve them. On the fifth day they said, Sing aloud to the God of our strength,11 because He created fishes and birds to praise His name.12 On the sixth day they said, The Lord reigneth, He is clothed in majesty,13 because He completed His work and reigned over His creatures. On the seventh day they said, A psalm a song for the Sabbath day,14 to wit,for the day which will be all Sabbath.15 Said R. Nehemiah: What ground had the Sages16 for making a difference between these sections?17 No. On the first day [the reason for the psalm said is] because He took possession and gave possession and was [sole] ruler in His world; on the second day because He divided and ruled over them; on the third day because He revealed the earth in His wisdom and established the world for His community; on the fourth day, because He created the sun and the moon and will one day punish those who serve them; on the fifth day because He created birds and fishes to praise His name; on the sixth day because He completed His work and reigned over His creatures; on the seventh day, because He rested. The point at issue between them18 is whether to accept or not the dictum of R. Kattina; for R. Kattina said: The world is to last six thousand years, and one thousand it will be desolate, as it says, And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.19 Abaye, however, said: It will be desolate two thousand, as it says, After two days He will revive us.20
At the additional sacrifice of Sabbath what did they say? — R. Anan21 b. Raba said in the name of Rab: Hazyw Lak.22 R. Hanan b. Raba said also in the name of Rab: As these sections are divided here, so they are divided [when read on Sabbath] in the synagogue.23 At the afternoon sacrifice of Sabbath what did they say? — R. Johanan said: Then sang,24 and Who is like thee,25 and Then sang.26
The question was raised: Were all these portions said on each Sabbath, or was only one said on every Sabbath? — Come and hear, since it has been taught: ‘R. Jose said: By the time the first of these sections27 has come round once, the second has come round twice’.28 This shows that each Sabbath one portion was said: and this may be taken as proved.
R. Judah b. Idi said in the name of R. Johanan: The Divine Presence [so to speak] left Israel by ten stages29 — this we know from references in Scripture — and the Sanhedrin correspondingly wandered to ten places of banishment30 — this we know from tradition. ‘The Divine Presence left Israel by ten stages — this we know from references in Scripture’: [it went] from the Ark-cover to the Cherub31 and from the Cherub to the threshold [of the Holy of Holies], and from the threshold to the court, and from the court to the altar,32 and from the altar to the roof [of the Temple], and from the roof to the wall, and from the wall to the town, and from the town to the mountain, and from the mountain to the wilderness, and from the wilderness it ascended and abode in its own place,33 as it says, I will go and return to my place.34 ‘From the Ark-cover to the Cherub35 and from the Cherub to the threshold’, as it is written, And there will I meet with thee . . . from above the ark-cover,36 and it is written, And the glory of the Lord was gone up from the cherub whereupon it was to the threshold of the house.37 ‘And from the threshold to the court’, as it is written, And the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord's glory,38 ‘From the court to the altar’, as it is written, I saw the Lord standing on the altar.39 ‘And from the altar to the roof’, as it is written, It is better to dwell it, a corner of the housetop [than in a house in common with a contentious woman].40 ‘From the roof to the wall’,as it is written, Behold, the Lord stood by a wall made by a plumbline.41 ‘From the wall to the town’, as it is written, The voice of the Lord crieth unto the city.42 ‘And from the city to the mountain’, as it is written, And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.43 ‘And from the mountain to the wilderness as it is written, It is better to dwell in a desert land [than with a contentious woman].44 ‘And from the wilderness it went and abode in its own place’, as it is written, I shall go and return to my place until they acknowledge their guilt.45
R. Johanan said: The Divine Presence tarried for Israel in the wilderness six months in the hope that they would repent. When [it saw that] they did not repent, it said, Let their soul expire, as it says, But the eyes of the wicked shall fail and they shall have no way to flee and their hope shall be the expiry of the soul.46
‘Correspondingly the Sanhedrin wandered to ten places of banishment, as we know from tradition’, namely, from the Chamber of Hewn Stone47 to Hanuth,48 and from Hanuth to Jerusalem, and from Jerusalem to Jabneh,49
(1) And therefore was said in spite of the doubt.
(2) Ps. XXIV, 1.
(3) To the sons of men (Rashi), cf. Ps. CXV, 16. Maharsha: He made something which could subsequently be acquired, as it says, ‘Who shall go up in the Mount of the Lord’ etc.
(4) I.e., without angels, who were created on the second day.
(5) Ps. XLVIII, 2.
(6) I.e., the upper and lower worlds.
(7) This apparently means, reigned over the lower world from the heavens, referred to in the psalm as ‘beautiful in elevation in the city of a great king’. [R. Hananel: Thus did He set aside Jerusalem to become ‘the city of our God, the mountain of his holiness’.]
(8) Ps. LXXXII.
(9) Cf. Gen. I, 9.
(10) Ps. XCIV.
(11) Ps. LXXXI, 2.
(12) I.e., to manifest His glory.
(13) Ps. XCIII.
(14) Ps. XCII.
(15) When God shall be alone, between the end of the world and the resurrection of the dead (Rashi).
(16) Var. lec., ‘R. Akiba’, who in any case is meant.
(17) Viz., the psalms for the first six days, all of which they take to refer to the past, and that for the seventh day, which they take to refer to the future.
(18) R. Akiba and R. Nehemiah.
(19) Isa. II, 11. A ‘day’ of God is reckoned as a thousand years, on the basis of Ps. XC, 4, ‘For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday’; v. Sanh. 97a.
(20) Hos. VI, 2. Cf. p. 146, n. 11, R. Nehemiah holds with Abaye, and therefore cannot refer to this period as a Sabbath day.
(21) Var. lec. Hanan.
(22) Mnemonic (lit., ‘the splendour of thine’). I.e., Ha'azinu, (give ear), Zekor, (remember), Yarkibehu (He made him ride), Wayar (and he saw), Lule (but that), Ki (when), the first words of verses 1, 7, 13, 19, 27 and 36 in Deut. XXXII, the ‘Song of Ha'azinu’.
(23) I.e.,the divisions of the sidra are at the same verses.
(24) The ‘song of Moses’, Ex. XV, up to v. 9.
(25) The rest of the song of Moses.
(26) The ‘song of the well’, Num. XXI, 17ff
(27) I.e., Ha'azinu.
(28) Because the first had six portions and the second three.
(29) Lit., ‘made ten journeys’, before the destruction of the first Temple.
(30) Before and after the destruction of the second Temple.
(31) The text here incorrectly inserts, ‘and from one cherub to the other’.
(32) Of sacrifice.
(33) I.e., heaven.
(34) Hos. V, 15.
(35) The text here incorrectly inserts, ‘and from one cherub to the other’.
(36) Ex. XXV, 22. This shows that the original abode of the Shechinah was over the ark-cover. The text here inserts, ‘and it is written, And he rode upon a cherub and did fly’ (II Sam. XXII, 11), which is omitted by Rashi.
(37) Ezek. IX, 3, describing the departure of the divine glory from the Temple.
(38) Ibid. X, 4.
(39) Amos IX, I. These words were spoken long before the destruction of the Temple, but they are taken by the Talmud as prophetic.
(40) Prov. XXI, 9. These words are put by the Talmud in the mouth of the Shechinah, the ‘contentious woman’ being the idol which was placed in the Temple.
(41) Amos VII, 7. Cf. supra n. 8.
(42) Micah VI, 9. Cf. supra n. 8.
(43) Ezek. XI, 23.
(44) Prov. XXI, 19. Cf. supra n. 9.
(45) Hos. V, 15.
(46) Job. XI, 20.
(47) [Lishkath ha-Gazith in the inner court of the Temple, v. J.E. XII, p. 576].
(48) Lit., ‘shop’, ‘bazaar’, to which the Sanhedrin removed when they ceased to judge capital cases. [Hanuth was a place on the Temple Mount outside the Chamber of Hewn Stone. Derenbourg, Essai p. 467, identifies it with the Chamber of the Sons of Hanan (a powerful priestly family, cf. Jer. XXXV, 4) mentioned in J. Pe'ah 1,5.]
(49) Jamnia, in Judea. This was in the time of R. Johanan b. Zaccai.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 31b
and from Jabneh to Usha,1 and from Usha [back] to Jabneh, and from Jabneh [back] to Usha, and from Usha to Shefar'am,2 and from Shefar'am to Beth She'arim, and from Beth She'arim to Sepphoris, and from Sepphoris to Tiberias;3 and Tiberias is the lowest-lying of them all,4 as it says, And brought down thou shalt speak out of the ground.5 R. Eleazar says: There were six banishments, as it says, For he hath brought down them that dwell on high, the lofty city, laying it low, laying it low even to the ground, bringing it even to the dust.6 Said R. Johanan: And from there they are destined to be redeemed, as it says, Shake thyself from the dust, arise.7
MISHNAH. R. JOSHUA B. KORHA SAID: THIS FURTHER REGULATION DID R. JOHANAN B. ZACCAI MAKE, THAT SHOULD THE HEAD OF THE BETH DIN BE IN SOME OTHER PLACE THE WITNESSES SHOULD STILL PROCEED ONLY TO THE PLACE OF THE ASSEMBLY.8
GEMARA. A certain woman was summoned to appear before Amemar in Nehardea. Meanwhile Amemar went to Mahuza, but she did not follow him. He accordingly wrote out a summons [under the penalty of the ban]9 against her. Said R. Ashi to Amemar: [Is this right] seeing that we have learnt: SHOULD THE HEAD OF THE BETH DIN BE IN SOME OTHER PLACE THE WITNESSES SHOULD STILL PROCEED ONLY TO THE PLACE OF THE ASSEMBLY? — He replied: This refers only to the testimony with regard to the new moon, and [the reason for it is that] if this10 [were to be insisted on], the result might be to put a stumbling block in their way for the future;11 but in this case, the borrower is a servant to the lender.12
Our Rabbis have taught: ‘The priests are not permitted to ascend the duchan13 in their sandals, and this is one of the nine regulations laid down by Rabban Johanan b. Zaccai’. [What are these nine?] — Six mentioned in this chapter14 and one in the preceding chapter15 and the following one, as it has been taught: ‘One who becomes a proselyte at the present time16 must set aside a quarter17 for a nest of pigeons’.18 Said R. Simeon b. Eleazar: Rabban Johanan took a vote on it and annulled this rule, because it may lead to wrongdoing.19 As to the last,20 there is a difference of opinion between R. Papa and R. Nahman b. Isaac. R. Papa said it was [the regulation] regarding a vine of the fourth year, whereas R. Nahman b. Isaac said it was the one regarding the thread21 of scarlet. ‘R. Papa said it was the regulation regarding the vine of the fourth year’, for we have learnt: [The fruit of] a vine in the fourth year was taken to Jerusalem from any point within a day's journey on all sides.22 The boundary of this area was as follows: Elath on the north, Akrabath on the south,23 Lydda on the west, and Jordan on the east’. [In reference to this] ‘Ulla
(or as some say, Rabbah b. ‘Ulla) said in the name of R. Johanan: What was the reason? To decorate the streets of Jerusalem with fruit.24 It has been further taught: ‘R. Eliezer had a vine in its fourth year east of Lydda25 at the side of Kefar Tabi, and R. Eliezer had a mind to declare it free to the poor,26 but his disciples said to him, Rabbi, your colleagues have already taken a vote on it and declared it permitted’.27 Who are his ‘colleagues’? — Rabban Johanan b. Zacca.
‘R. Nahman b. Isaac said it was the tongue of scarlet’, as it has been taught: ‘Originally they used to fasten the thread of scarlet on the door of the [Temple] court on the outside.28 If it turned white the people used to rejoice,29 and if it did not turn white they were sad. They therefore made a rule that it should be fastened to the door of the court on the inside. People, however, still peeped in and saw, and if it turned white they rejoiced and if it did not turn white they were sad. They therefore made a rule that half of it should be fastened to the rock and half between the horns of the goat that was sent [to the wilderness]’. Why did not R. Nahman b. Isaac accept the view of R. Papa? — He could reply: If you assume that it was R. Johanan b. Zaccai [who made the rule about the vine], was he the colleague of R. Eliezer? He was his teacher! [What replies] the other [to this]? — Since they were his disciples [who reported the rule to him], it was not polite of them to say to their teacher, ‘your teacher’. Why did not R. Papa accept the view of R. Nahman b. Isaac? — He could reply: If you assume It was R. Johanan b. Zaccai [who made the rule], was there in the days of R. Johanan b. Zaccai a thread of scarlet [which turned white]? Has it not been taught: ‘R. Johanan b. Zaccai lived altogether a hundred and twenty years. For forty years he was in business, forty years he studied, and forty years he taught’, and it has further been taught: ‘For forty years before the destruction of the Temple the thread of scarlet never turned white but it remained red’.30 Further, the statement of the Mishnah is, ‘After the destruction of the Temple R. Johanan b. Zaccai made a rule’.31 [What says] the other [to this]? — During those forty years that he studied32 his status was that of a disciple sitting before his teacher, and he would offer a suggestion and make good his reasons
(1) This was in the time of Rabban Gamaliel II.
(2) The last three in the time of R. Simeon b. Gamaliel. [The Sanhedrin met at Usha mostly after the Hadrianic persecutions, and apparently ceased functioning during the reign of Verus, and re-established in Shefar'am under Marcus Aurelius; v. Horowitz, Palestine, p. 34.]
(3) The last three were in the time of Rabbi.
(4) Being on Lake Galilee below sea-level. This is a figurative way of saying that at Tiberias the authority of the Sanhedrin sank to its lowest level.
(5) Isa. XXIX, 4.
(6) Ibid. XXVI, 5. The six are (i) he hath brought down, (ii) laying it low, (iii) laying it low, (iv) even to the ground, (v) bringing it, (vi) even to the dust.
(7) Ibid. LII, 2.
(8) And the Beth din should declare the New Moon hallowed without the head, though by rights this was his privilege, v. sura 24a.
(9) Heb. פתיחא lit., ‘opening’ of legal proceedings.
(10) Viz., that they should go after the head.
(11) As the messengers will refrain from going to all this trouble in order to give evidence.
(12) Quoted from Prov. XXII, 7.
(13) V. Glos.
(14) Viz., (i) that the shofar should be blown on Sabbath wherever there is a Beth din, (ii) that the lulab should be taken in the provinces seven days, (iii) that new corn should be forbidden the whole of the sixteenth of Nisan, (iv) that testimony with regard to the new moon should be received the whole day, (v) that witnesses should go only to the place of assembly, (vi) and that the priests should not ascend the duchan in their sandals. [Read with R. Hananel: ‘One, the one (first stated), five in this chapter’.]
(15) That the witnesses should be allowed to profane Sabbath only for Nisan and Tishri, v. supra 21b.
(16) I.e., when there is no Temple.
(17) It is not certain whether this means a quarter of a shekel (== half a denar) or a quarter of a denar. V. Tosaf. s.v. רובע
(18) While the Temple stood a new convert had to bring a sacrifice (v. Ker. 9a), a couple of pigeons being the smallest, and after the destruction of the Temple the Rabbis still insisted on his bringing them in case the Temple should be rebuilt.
(19) Because the money set aside might be used for secular purposes.
(20) Lit., ‘and the other’.
(21) Lit., tongue’. The explanation follows immediately.
(22) According to Lev. XIX, 24 fruit produced by a tree in its fourth year was to be ‘holy for giving praise to the Lord’ and the Rabbis interpreted this to mean that it was to be consumed in Jerusalem. If, however, the tree was not in the Jerusalem district, the money value of the fruit could be taken to Jerusalem instead of the fruit itself.
(23) [Mishnah M.Sh. V, 2 reverses: Elath on the south, Akrabath on the north. Akrabath is perhaps the modern Akrabah twenty-five miles north of Jerusalem, and Elath is identified with (a) Eleutheropolis (Horowitz, Palestine, p. 41) (b) Beth Elonim near Hebron (Klein, D.J. s.v.).]
(24) Hence all this area was put by the Rabbis under the same rule as Jerusalem itself.
(25) I.e., between Lydda and Jerusalem.
(26) So as not to have the trouble of taking it to Jerusalem.
(27) Because as there was no longer a Temple, there was no point any more in decorating the streets of Jerusalem.
(28) After the High Priest had performed the service on the Day of Atonement. V. Yoma, 67a.
(29) This being a sign that their sins had been forgiven.
(30) When then could R Johanan have had an opportunity of making this rule?
(31) This applies presumably to all his rules and regulations.
(32) While the Temple still existed.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 32a
and his teacher would make it a definite rule in his name.
MISHNAH. THE ORDER OF BLESSINGS [IN THE MUSAF ‘AMIDAH1 IS AS FOLLOWS]: [THE READER SAYS THE BLESSING OF] THE PATRIARCHS,2 [THAT OF] MIGHTINESS3 AND THAT OF THE SANCTIFICATION OF THE NAME4 AND INCLUDES THE KINGSHIP-VERSES5 WITH THEM AND DOES NOT BLOW THE SHOFAR. HE THEN SAYS THE SANCTIFICATION OF THE DAY6 AND BLOWS, THE REMEMBRANCE-VERSES5 AND BLOWS, AND THE SHOFAR-VERSES5 AND BLOWS; AND HE THEN SAYS THE BLESSING OF THE TEMPLE SERVlce7 AND THE ONE OF THANKSGIVING8 AND THE BLESSING OF THE PRIESTS.9 THIS IS THE VIEW OF R. JOHANAN B. NURI. SAID R. AKIBA TO HIM: IF HE DOES NOT BLOW THE SHOFAR FOR THE KINGSHIP-VERSES, WHY SHOULD HE SAY THEM? NO; [THE RULE IS AS FOLLOWS]. HE SAYS [THE BLESSING OF] THE PATRIARCHS AND OF THE RESURRECTION AND OF THE SANCTIFICATION OF THE NAME, AND SAYS THE KINGSHIP-VERSES ALONG WITH THE SANCTIFICATION OF THE DAY AND BLOWS THE SHOFAR, THEN HE SAYS THE REMEMBRANCE-VERSES AND BLOWS, AND THE SHOFAR-VERSES AND BLOWS. THEN HE SAYS THE TEMPLE SERVICE BLESSING AND THE THANKSGIVING AND THE BLESSING OF THE PRIEST.
GEMARA. SAID R. AKIBA TO HIM, IF HE DOES NOT BLOW THE SHOFAR FOR THE KINGSHIP-VERSES, WHY DOES HE SAY THEM? [He asks], Why does he say them! But the All-Merciful enjoined that they should be said!10 — What he really means is, why say ten verses? Why not only nine,11 because if there is a difference [in one particular]12 so there may as well be a difference [in another]?13
Our Rabbis taught: Whence do we learn in the Scripture that we are to say [the blessing of] the Patriarchs? Because it says, Ascribe unto the Lord, O ye sons of might.14 And whence do we learn that we say the blessing of mightiness? Because it says, Ascribe unto the Lord glory and strength.15 And whence that we say sanctifications? Because it says, Ascribe unto the Lord the glory of his name, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.16 Whence do we learn that we are to say kingship, remembrance and shofar17 [verses]? R. Eliezer says: Because it is written, a solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with the blast of trumpets, a holy convocation.18 ‘A solemn rest’; this indicates the sanctification of the day. ‘A memorial’: this indicates remembrance verses. ‘Proclaimed with the blast of horns’: this indicates shofar verses. ‘A holy convocation’: sanctify it by [abstaining from] the doing of work. Said R. Akiba to him: Why should we not interpret ‘a solemn rest’ to apply to the abstention from work, seeing that the text placed this first?19 No; [we should interpret thus]: ‘A solemn rest’: sanctify it by [abstaining from] the doing of work — ‘A memorial’: this indicates the remembrance verses. ‘Proclaimed with the blowing of horns’: this indicates shofar-verses. ‘A holy convocation’: this indicates the sanctification of the day. Whence [then] do we learn that we say kingship-verses? — It has been taught: Rabbi says, I am the Lord your God,20 [and immediately afterwards], In the seventh month,21 this [juxtaposition]22 indicates kingship-verses. R. Jose b. Judah said: There is no need [of such an interpretation]. For Scripture says, And they [the trumpets] shall be to you for a memorial before your God.23 This makes superfluous [the succeeding words], I am the Lord your God. What then is the point of the words, I am the Lord your God’? This creates a general pattern24 for all places where we say remembrance verses, [to show] that kingship verses should accompany them.
Where is the blessing of the sanctification of the day to be said? — It has been taught: Rabbi says, It should be said with the kingship verses. For just as on every other occasion25 we find that it comes fourth [in the order of blessings], so here it should come fourth. Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel says: It should be said with the remembrance verses. Just as we find that on all other occasions it is said in the middle,26 so here it should be in the middle.27
When the Beth din sanctified the New Moon in Usha, R. Johanan b. Beroka went down [before the ark]28 in the presence of Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel, and read as prescribed by R. Johanan b. Nuri.29 Rabban Simeon said to him: That was not the way they used to do in Jabneh.30 On the second day, R. Hanina the son of R. Jose the Galilean went down and read as prescribed by R. Akiba.31 Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel said: So they used to do in Jabneh. This would seem to show that R. Simeon b. Gamaliel was of the same opinion as R. Akiba. But [how can this be seeing that] R. Akiba said that the kingship verses are to be joined with the sanctification of the day, whereas R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said that the sanctification of the day is to be joined with the remembrance verses? — R. Zera replied: What it indicates is that [in R. Simeon's opinion] the shofar is blown with the kingship verses.
‘On the second day R. Hanina went down’. What is meant by second’? Shall I say, the second day of the holyday, which would imply that Elul had been prolonged?32 [But this cannot be] seeing that R. Hanina b. Kahana has said that from the time of Ezra there has been no case known of Elul being prolonged? R. Hisda replied: What is meant by ‘second’? It means the same holyday in the next year.
MISHNAH. THERE SHOULD BE RECITED NOT LESS THAN TEN KINGSHIP VERSES, TEN REMEMBRANCE VERSES, AND TEN SHOFAR VERSES. R. JOHANAN B. NURI SAID: IF THE READER SAYS THREE FROM EACH SET33 HE HAS FULFILLED HIS OBLIGATION.
GEMARA. To what do these ten kingship verses correspond? — R. Levi said, To the ten praises that David uttered in the book of Psalms. But there are a large number of praises there? — It means, those among which occurs, Praise him with the blowing of the shofar.34 R. Joseph said: To the ten commandments that were spoken to Moses on Sinai.35 R. Johanan said: To the ten Utterances by means of which the world was created.36 Which are they? The phrase ‘and he said’ occurs in the account of the creation only nine times? — The words ‘in the beginning’ are also an utterance, as it is written, By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.37
R. JOHANAN B. NURI SAID: IF HE SAYS THREE OF EACH SET HE HAS FULFILLED HIS OBLIGATION. The question was raised: How is this to be understood? Three from the Pentateuch, three from, the Prophets and three from the Writings, which would make nine [for each set], so that there is a difference of one between the two authorities, or is it one from the Pentateuch, one from the Prophets and one from the Writings,38 making three for each set, so that they differ considerably? — Come and hear, since it has been taught: ‘There must be recited not less than ten kingship verses, ten remembrance verses, and ten shofar verses, but one who said seven of all of them has fulfilled his obligation, these corresponding to seven firmaments. R. Johanan b. Nuri said: The lowest number one should say is seven,39 but if he said [even] three of them he has fulfilled his obligation, these corresponding to the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings, or, as others report, to Priests, Levites, and lay Israelites’. R. Huna said in the name of Samuel: The halachah is as laid down by R. Johanan b. Nuri.
MISHNAH. NO MENTION IS MADE OF KINGSHIP, REMEMBRANCE AND SHOFAR VERSES THAT SIGNIFY PUNISHMENT. IT IS PROPER TO BEGIN WITH THE TORAH40 AND CONCLUDE WITH THE PROPHETS. R. JOSE SAID: IF ONE CONCLUDES WITH THE TORAH HE HAS FULFILLED HIS OBLIGATION.
(1) On New Year, v. P.B. pp. 245-254; on Musaf and ‘Amidah, v. Glos.
(2) The one ending, ‘Blessed art thou, O Lord, shield of Abraham’.
(3) Lit., ‘mightinesses’: the one ending ‘Blessed art thou, O Lord, who revivest the dead’.
(4) The one ending, ‘the holy king’. These are the first three benedictions of every ‘Amidah. V. P.B. pp. 44-45.
(5) Ten verses, v. infra.
(6) The passage ending, ‘Blessed art thou, O Lord, who dost sanctify Israel and the day of memorial’.
(7) The passage ending, ‘Blessed art thou . . . who restorest thy divine presence to Zion’.
(8) The one ending, ‘Blessed art thou . . . to thee it is fitting to give thanks’.
(9) Which precede the last benediction of every ‘Amidah, v. P.B. p. 53.
(10) As explained infra.
(11) I.e., three each from the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings.
(12) Viz., in the blowing of the shofar.
(13) So as to have nine verses instead of ten.
(14) Ps. XXIX, 1. By ‘the sons of might’ the Patriarchs are understood.
(16) Ibid. 2.
(17) Heb. Malkeyoth, Zikronoth, Shoferoth.
(18) Lev. XXIII, 24.
(19) And abstention from work is the first mark of the day.
(20) Lev. XXIII, 22.
(21) Ibid. 24.
(22) The intervening words, And the Lord spoke unto Moses saying, Speak unto the children of Israel saying, are not counted.
(23) Num. X, 10.
(24) Lit., ‘this builds a father’.
(25) I.e., in the ‘Amidah of the other festivals.
(26) I.e., it is the fourth out of seven blessings that constitute the ‘Amidah of the festivals except the one in question.
(27) I.e., it should be the fifth, as the New Year Musaf ‘Amidah has nine blessings.
(28) To act as reader.
(29) I.e., he joined the kingship verses with the third blessing and did not blow the shofar after them. V. Mishnah.
(30) In the days of his father Rabban Gamaliel, when the seat of the Sanhedrin was in Jabneh.
(31) I. e., he joined the kingship verses with the sanctification of the day and blew the shofar after them. V. Mishnah.
(32) So that the thirtieth day was kept as New Moon out of doubt, but the new month was not sanctified till the thirty-first.
(33) The meaning of this is discussed infra in the Gemara.
(34) Ps. CL, 3.
(35) Because these were prefaced by the blowing of the shofar.
(36) New Year being the anniversary of the creation.
(37) Ps. XXXIII, 6. Hence the first verse of Genesis is equivalent to ‘In the beginning God said, Let there be heaven and earth’.
(38) And we translate in the Mishnah, ‘three in all’, i.e., in each set of the kingship, remembrance and shofar verses.
(39) Obviously this means seven altogether in each set.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 32b
GEMARA. [What are] KINGSHIP VERSES [signifying punishment]? — For instance, As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with fury poured out will I be king over you,1 and although R. Nahman said, Let the Holy One, blessed be He, be as furious as all this with us so only that He [finally] redeem us, yet since this was spoken in wrath, we do not call wrath to mind at the beginning of the year. REMEMBRANCE VERSES, as for instance, And he remembered that they were flesh2 etc. SHOFAR VERSES, as for instance, Blow ye the horn in Gibeah3 etc. If, however, he desires to recite kingship, remembrance and shofar verses mentioning the punishment of idolaters, he may do so. ‘Kingship verses’, as for instance, The Lord reigneth, let the peoples tremble,4 or, The Lord is king for ever and ever, the nations are perished out of his land.5
‘Remembrance verses’, as for instance, Remember, O Lord, against the children of Edom6 etc. ‘Shofar verses’, as for instance, And the Lord God will blow the horn and will go with whirlwinds of the south,7 and the text continues, The Lord of hosts will defend them.8 [On the other hand] a verse mentioning the remembrance of an individual is not recited, even if it is for good, as for instance, Remember me, O Lord, when thou favourest thy people,9 or, Remember unto to me, O my God, for good.10 ‘Visitation’ is equivalent to ‘remembrance’, as, for instance, in the verse, And the Lord visited Sarah,11 or, I have surely visited you.12 This is the view of R. Jose; R. Judah, however, says that ‘visitation’ is not equivalent to ‘remembrance’. Now on R. Jose's view, even granting that ‘visitation’ is equivalent to ‘remembrance’, the text, ‘And the Lord visited Sarah’ refers to the visitation of an individual,13 [does it not]? — Since a multitude issued from her,14 it is as good as a multitude.
[In the text], Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, that the king of glory may come in. Who is the king of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle, Lift up your heads, O ye gates, yea, lift them up, ye everlasting doors, that the king of glory may come in. Who is the king of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the king of glory,15 the first [apostrophe] contains two mentions [of God's kingship]16 and the second three. So R. Jose; R. Judah, however, says that the first contains one and the second two.17 [In the text], Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises unto our king, sing praises. For God is the king of all the earth,18 there are two mentions [of God's kingship]; so R. Jose. R. Judah, however, says there is only one.19 They agree, however, that in the verse, God reigneth over the nations, God sitteth upon his holy throne,20 there is only one.
A remembrance verse which also mentions blowing [teru'ah], as for instance, a memorial proclaimed with the blast of horns, a holy convocation may be recited either with the remembrance verses or with the shofar verses; so R. Jose. R. Judah, however, says that it may be recited only with the remembrance verses.21 A kingship verse which also contains mention of blowing, as, for instance, The Lord his God is with him and the shouting [teru'ath] for the king is among them,22 may be recited either with the kingship verses or with the shofar verses; so R. Jose. R. Judah, however, says that it may be recited only with the kingship verses.23 A verse mentioning simply blowing of the trumpet, as for instance, it is a day of blowing the horn [teru'ah] unto you,24 may be recited with the shofar verses; so R. Jose. R. Judah, however, says that it may not be recited at all.25
IT IS PROPER TO BEGIN WITH THE TORAH AND CONCLUDE WITH THE PROPHETS. R. JOSE SAID: IF ONE CONCLUDES WITH THE TORAH HE HAS FULFILLED HIS OBLIGATION. ‘IF ONE CONCLUDES’ [HE HAS FULFILLED]: that is to say, the deed having been done; but he should not do so in the first instance. [Is this correct] seeing that it has been taught: ‘R. Jose says, He who concludes with the Torah verses, he is to be commended’? — Read, ‘He concludes’. But it states [distinctly], IF HE CONCLUDES [etc.], [which implies that] what is done is done, but in the first instance it should not be done? — What is meant is this: ‘It is proper to commence with the Torah and conclude with the Prophets. R. Jose said: It is proper to conclude with the Torah, but if one concluded with the Prophets, he has fulfilled his obligation’. It has been taught to the same effect: ‘R. Eleazar b. R. Jose said: The wethikin,26 used to conclude with the Torah’.
We can understand this being done with the remembrance and shofar verses, because there are numbers of them [in the Pentateuch], but of kingship verses there are only three, viz., The Lord his God is with him and the shouting for the King is among them,27 And he was king in Jeshurun,28 and The Lord shall reign for ever and ever,29 and we require ten verses [in all]30 and [in this way] we cannot find them?31 — R. Huna replied: Come and hear. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God the Lord is one;32 this is a kingship verse according to R. Jose, though R. Judah says it is not a kingship verse. And thou shalt know on that day and lay it to thy heart that the Lord he is God, there is none else,33 is a kingship verse according to R. Jose, though R. Judah says it is not a kingship verse, Unto thee it was shown, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God, there is none else beside him34 is a kingship verse according to R. Jose, though R. Judah says it is not a kingship verse.
MISHNAH. OF THOSE WHO PASS BEFORE THE ARK35 ON THE HOLYDAY OF NEW YEAR, THE SECOND36 BLOWS37 THE SHOFAR. ON DAYS WHEN HALLEL IS SAID,38 THE FIRST39 READS ALOUD THE HALLEL.40
GEMARA. What special reason is there for the second to blow? [You must say], because of the maxim, In the multitude of people is the king's glory.41 But if that is so, Hallel should also be recited by the second because ‘in the multitude of people is the king's glory’? Should you say, however, that there is a special reason why Hallel is said by the first, because the zealous come early for the performance of religious duties, then let the blowing of the shofar be performed by the first because the zealous come early for the performance of religious duties! — R. Johanan replied: They made this rule at a time when the Government had forbidden [the blowing of the shofar].42
Since it says, ON DAYS WHEN HALLEL IS SAID, we infer that on New Year Hallel is not said. What is the reason? — R. Abbahu replied: The ministering angels said in the Presence of the Holy One, blessed be He: Sovereign of the Universe, why should Israel not chant hymns of praise before Thee on New Year and the Day of Atonement? He replied to them: Is it possible that the King should be sitting on the throne of justice with the books of life and death open before Him, and Israel should chant hymns of praise?
MISHNAH. [FOR THE SAKE OF] THE SHOFAR OF NEW YEAR IT IS NOT ALLOWED TO DISREGARD THE DISTANCE LIMIT43 NOR TO REMOVE DEBRIS NOR TO CLIMB A TREE NOR TO RIDE ON AN ANIMAL NOR TO SWIM ON THE WATER. IT MUST NOT BE SHAPED44 EITHER WITH AN IMPLEMENT THE USE OF WHICH IS FORBIDDEN ON ACCOUNT OF SHEBUTH45 OR WITH ONE THE USE OF WHICH IS FORBIDDEN BY EXPRESS PROHIBITION.46 IF ONE, HOWEVER, DESIRES TO POUR WINE OR WATER INTO IT HE MAY DO SO.47 CHILDREN NEED NOT BE STOPPED FROM BLOWING; ON THE CONTRARY, THEY MAY BE HELPED48 TILL THEY LEARN HOW TO BLOW. ONE WHO BLOWS MERELY TO PRACTISE49 DOES NOT THEREBY FULFIL HIS RELIGIOUS OBLIGATION, NOR DOES ONE WHO HEARS THE BLAST MADE BY ANOTHER WHEN PRACTISING.
GEMARA. What is the reason [why these things may not be done]? — The blowing of the shofar is [based on] a positive precept,50 whereas the observance of the holyday is [based both on] a positive51 and a negative precept,52 and a positive precept cannot override both a positive and a negative precept.
NOR TO CLIMB A TREE NOR TO RIDE ON AN ANIMAL etc, Seeing that you have not allowed even Rabbinical [prohibitions to be broken],53 need you mention Pentateuchal ones?54 — The Mishnah adopts the style of ‘A, and needless to say B’.
(1) Ezek. XX, 33.
(2) Ps. LXXVIII, 39.
(3) Hos. V, 8.
(4) Ps. XCIX, 1.
(5) Ps. X, 16.
(6) Ibid. CXXXVII, 7.
(7) Zech. IX, 14.
(8) Ibid. 15.
(9) Ps. CVI, 4.
(10) Neh. V ,19.
(11) Gen. XXI, 1. Heb. פקד
(12) Ex. III, 16.
(13) Which has just been declared inadmissible.
(14) Through this visitation.
(15) Ps. XXIV, 7-10.
(16) I.e., the expression ‘the king of glory’.
(17) R. Judah does not reckon the question ‘who is the king of glory’.
(18) Ps. XLVII, 7, 8.
(19) R. Judah does not reckon ‘Our King’, as this does not declare God king over the whole world.
(20) Ibid. 9.
(21) Because the mention of teru'ah is not equivalent to the mention of shofar.
(22) Num. XXIII, 21.
(23) V. n. 1.
(24) Num. XXIX, 1.
(25) V. n. 1.
(26) Lit., ‘ancients’: a name given to certain men of exceptional piety in the days of the Second Temple. [These are identified by some with the Essenes, v. J.E. V. p. 226. Others regard them as a community of priests who held a service in common; v. Blau, REJ, XXXI, pp. 184ff.]
(27) Num. XXIII, 21.
(28) Deut. XXXIII, 5.
(29) Ex. XV, 18.
(30) V. supra 32a.
(31) As the Torah verses come last, they should be four out of the ten
(32) Deut. VI, 4.
(33) Ibid. IV, 39.
(34) Ibid. 35.
(35) Lit., ‘he who passes etc.’. I.e., who read the service before the congregation. These were said to ‘pass’ or, more correctly, to ‘go down before the Ark’, because they stood in front of the Ark on a level lower than the Ark itself and the rest of the congregation.
(36) I.e., the one who reads the Musaf service (v. Glos.).
(37) מתקיע Hai Gaon takes it literally, ‘he causes to blow’, ‘he orders the blowing’. I.e., he recites the prayers introductory to the blowing, v. supra 32a, but the blowing itself is performed by another to avoid confusing the reader; cf. Ber. 34a.]
(38) Lit., ‘at the time of Hallel’: e.g., on the festivals.
(39) I.e., the one who reads the shaharith service (v. Glos).
(40) V. Glos.
(41) Prov. XIV, 28. The larger the congregation, the greater the honour paid to God. The implication is that there will be more persons present at the later than at the earlier service.
(42) And the blowing was less likely to be noticed if it was postponed to the second half of the service. Once made the rule was not altered even when the reason for it had disappeared, v. supra p. 61, n. 5.
(43) Lit., ‘to pass the limit’. I.e., to travel more than the permitted two thousand cubits in order to hear the shofar blown.
(44) Lit., ‘cut’.
(45) I.e., merely to make a distinction between Sabbath (or holydays) and weekdays, and not because any ‘work’ in the strict legal sense is involved. For shebuth, v. Glos.
(46) Found in or based on the Pentateuch.
(47) And we do not say that he is carrying out repairs, which is forbidden on the Sabbath or holydays.
(48) Lit., ‘we occupy ourselves with them’.
(49) Lit., ‘one who occupies himself’.
(50) Num. XXIX, 1. It shall be a day of blowing the horn unto you.
(51) Lev. XXIII, 24: In the seventh month . . . shall be a solemn rest unto you.
(52) Ibid. 25: Ye shall do no manner of servile work.
(53) The prohibitions to exceed the Sabbath limit and to remove debris are purely Rabbinical, without basis in the Pentateuch. (Rashi).
(54) Riding and climbing are forbidden because they might lead to the cutting or plucking of a branch, which is forbidden by the Pentateuch. The argument is very forced, and Rashi is inclined to regard the whole sentence as spurious. [R. Hananel takes the prohibitions regarding the Sabbath limit and removing the debris to be the Biblical prohibitions referred to.]
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 33a
IT MUST NOT BE SHAPED EITHER WITH AN IMPLEMENT THE USE OF WHICH IS FORBIDDEN ON ACCOUNT OF SHEBUTH OR WITH ONE THE USE OF WHICH IS FORBIDDEN BY EXPRESS PROHIBITION. ‘An instrument the use of which is forbidden on account of shebuth’ — as for instance, a sickle.1 ‘An implement which is forbidden by express prohibition’ — as for instance, a knife. Seeing that you disallow an implement prohibited on account of shebuth, need you mention one disallowed by express prohibition?2 — The Mishnah adopts the style of ‘A and needless to say B’.
IF ONE, HOWEVER, DESIRES TO POUR WINE OR WATER INTO IT HE MAY DO SO. Wine or water he may, but urine he may not. Which authority does our Mishnah follow? — That of Abba Saul, as it has been taught: ‘Abba Saul says, Wine or water is permissible, these serving to clean it, but urine is forbidden, as showing disrespect’.3
CHILDREN NEED NOT BE STOPPED FROM BLOWING. This would imply that women are stopped. [But how can this be], seeing that it has been taught: ‘Neither children nor women need be stopped from blowing the shofar on the Festival’? — Abaye replied: There is no discrepancy; the one statement follows R. Judah, the other R. Jose and R. Simeon, as it has been taught: ‘Speak unto the children [bene] of Israel:4 [this indicates that] the "sons" [bene] of Israel lay on hands but not the "daughters" of Israel. So R. Judah, R. Jose and R. Simeon say that women also have the option of laying on hands’.5
ON THE CONTRARY, THEY MAY BE HELPED UNTIL THEY LEARN HOW TO BLOW. R. Eleazar said: Even on Sabbath. it has been taught to the same effect: ‘They may be helped till they learn how to blow even on Sabbath, and children are not stopped from blowing on Sabbath, and needless to say on a [weekday] holyday’. This statement itself involves a contradiction. You say first, ‘They may be helped till they learn how to blow, even on Sabbath’, from which I should infer that we may actually tell them in the first instance to blow. Then it states, ‘They are not stopped’, which would indicate that we do not go so far as to stop them, but we do not tell them in the first instance to blow! — There is no contradiction: In the one case we speak of
(1) To cut ordinary articles with a scythe or sickle on Sabbath is not regarded legally as ‘work’ because the implement is not being used for its proper purpose. The Rabbis, however, forbade it on account of shebuth.
(2) The sanction for which is Pentateuchal and not merely Rabbinical.
(3) Lit., ‘because of respect’.
(4) Lev. I, 2, introducing the regulations of the sacrifice.
(5) Similarly R. Jose and R. Simeon hold that although women are not commanded to blow the shofar (this being a precept for which a definite time is fixed), they have the option of doing so, and therefore may practise.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 33b
a child old enough to be trained [in the performance of religious precepts],1 in the other of one not yet old enough to be trained.
ONE WHO BLOWS MERELY TO PRACTISE DOES NOT THEREBY FULFIL HIS RELIGIOUS OBLIGATION:2 I infer that one who blows to make musical sounds3 does thereby fulfil his religious obligation. May we say that this supports Raba, for Raba said that one who blows to make musical sounds fulfils his religious obligation?4 — Perhaps our authority includes ‘making music’ also under the head of ‘practising’.
NOR ONE WHO HEARS THE BLAST MADE BY ANOTHER WHEN PRACTISING. But one who hears the blast from another who is blowing for himself, we are to assume, does fulfil his obligation? If so, this would be a refutation of R. Zera; for R. Zera said to his attendant, ‘Blow with intent to clear me5 also’!6 — Perhaps our authority having mentioned ‘practising’ in the first clause used the same expression in the second.7
MISHNAH. THE ORDER OF THE BLASTS CONSISTS OF THREE SETS8 OF THREE EACH.9 THE LENGTH OF A TEKI'AH IS EQUAL TO THREE TERU'AHS,10 AND THE LENGTH OF A TERU'AH TO THREE YEBABOTH.11 IF ONE BLEW THE FIRST TEKI'AH12 [AS USUAL] AND PROLONGED THE SECOND SO AS TO MAKE IT EQUAL TO TWO, IT COUNTS ONLY AS ONE.13 IF ONE HAS SAID THE [NINE] BLESSINGS14 AND THEN PROCURES15 A SHOFAR, HE SOUNDS A TEKI'AH TERU'AH TEKI'AH THREE
prohibition, and therefore explains that it is the other one whom we may help, and this one we simply do not stop.
TIMES.16 JUST AS THE CONGREGATIONAL READER IS UNDER OBLIGATION, SO EVERY INDIVIDUAL IS UNDER OBLIGATION.17 RABBAN GAMALIEL, HOWEVER, SAID THAT THE CONGREGATIONAL READER CLEARS THE WHOLE CONGREGATION OF THEIR OBLIGATION.
GEMARA. [THE LENGTH OF THE TEKI'AH IS EQUAL TO THREE TERU'AHS]. But it has been taught that the length of a teki'ah is equal to a teru'ah? — Abaye replied: Our Tanna reckons the teki'ahs of all the sets and the teru'ahs of all the sets,18 whereas the external Tanna19 was reckoning one set and no more.20
THE LENGTH OF THE TERU'AH IS EQUAL TO THE LENGTH OF THREE YEBABOTH. But it has been taught, ‘The length of the teru'ah is equal to three shebarim’?21 — Abaye said: Here there is really a difference of opinion. It is written, It shall be a day of teru'ah unto you,22 and we translate [in Aramaic], a day of yebaba, and it is written of the mother of Sisera, Through the window she looked forth,23 [wa-teyabab]. One authority thought that this means drawing a long sigh,24 and the other that it means uttering short piercing cries.
Our Rabbis taught: ‘Whence do we know [that the blowing on New Year must be] with a shofar? Because it says, Thou, shalt make proclamation, with a shofar of teru'ah.25 I know this so far only of the Jubilee; how do I know it of New Year? The text says significantly, In the seventh month,26 when there is no real occasion for the expression, in the seventh month.27 Why then does it say, in the seventh month? To show that all the teru'ahs of the seventh month should be of the same character. How do we know that there must be a plain blast28 before it? Because it says, Thou, shalt make proclamation with a shofar of teru'ah.29 How do we know that there must be a plain blast30 after it? Because it says, Ye shall make proclamation with the shofar.31 I know this only of the Jubilee; how do I learn it of New Year also? It says significantly, in the seventh month32
(1) Such a one we may actually help to learn. So Rashi. Tosaf., however, (s.v. תניא) objects that this would involve telling him to break a Rabbinical
(2) Even if accidentally he produces the proper sounds.
(3) Without religious intention.
(4) V. supra 28b.
(5) From the obligation of blowing the shofar.
(6) This would show that in R. Zera's opinion it was not sufficient to hear another blowing merely for himself.
(7) But he meant to include one blowing for himself
(8) One set for the kingship, one for the remembrance and one for the shofar verses, v. supra 32a.
(9) A teki'ah, teru'ah and teki'ah in each set. For teki'ah and teru'ah v. Glos.
(10) V. infra in the Gemara.
(11) Lit., ‘moanings’. The meaning of this word is discussed in the Gemara infra.
(12) Of one set of three.
(13) I.e., he cannot count half for one set and half for the next.
(14) Of the Musaf prayer.
(15) Lit., ‘there was assigned to him’.
(16) For each of the three sets, cf. p. 164, n. 7.
(17) To say the daily prayers, v. Gemara.
(18) And we should translate: ‘the length of a teki'ah is the same as that of (each of) the three teru'ahs’.
(19) The Tanna of the Baraitha or ‘external’ Mishnah.
(20) And he meant just the same thing.
(21) Lit., ‘breakings’. These are somewhat longer than yebaboth.
(22) Num. XXIX, 1.
(23) Jud. V, 28. E.V. ‘and peered’.
(24) The one who held that a teru'ah is equal to three shebarim.
(25) Lev. XXV, 9, referring to the Jubilee. E.V. ‘blast of the horn’.
(27) Because it says immediately after, ‘on the day of atonement’.
(28) I.e., a teki'ah.
(29) Which is taken to mean ‘shofar (i.e., teki'ah) and teru'ah’.
(30) I.e., a teki'ah.
(31) Lev. XXV, 9. The repetition of the word shofar points to another teki'ah.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 34a
when there is no real occasion for the expression, "in the seventh month". Why then does it say, "in the seventh month"? To indicate that all the teru'ahs of the seventh month should be of the same character. How do we know that there must be three sets of three each? Because it says, Thou shalt make proclamation with the shofar of teru'ah,1 and again, a solemn rest, a memorial of teru'ah,2 and again, a day of teru'ah it shall be to you.3 And how do we know that we can utilize what is said in connection with one for purposes of the other and vice versa?4 The word "seventh" occurs twice5 to provide a gezerah shawah.6 How then is it carried out? There are three [sets] which are nine [blasts]. The length of the teki'ah is equal to that of the teru'ah. The length of the teru'ah is equal to three shebarim’.
This Tanna first derives his inference from an analogy7 and now he derives it from a gezerah shawah!8 — He reasons thus: ‘If there were no gezerah shawah, I would derive the inference from analogy; now, however, that there is a gezerah shawah, I do not require the analogy’.
The following Tanna derives the same lesson from a gezerah shawah [with the blowing of the horn ordained] in the wilderness, as it has been taught: And ye shall blow a teru'ah:9 this indicates that there shall be a separate teki'ah10 and a separate teru'ah. You say, there shall be a separate teki'ah and a separate teru'ah! But can it not be interpreted differently, namely, that the teki'ah and teru'ah are all one?11 When you come to the text, But when the assembly is to be gathered together ye shall blow a teki'ah but not a teru'ah,12 you must conclude that teki'ah and teru'ah are separate. And how do we know that a plain blast is to precede it [the teru'ah]? Because it says, And ye shall blow a teru'ah.’ And how do we know that a plain blast follows it? Because it says, a teru'ah shall they blow.13 R. Ishmael the son of R. Johanan b. Beroka said: This14 is not necessary. For the text says, And ye shall blow a teru'ah a second time.15 Here the words a second time’ are unnecessary.16 Why then are the words ‘a second time’ inserted? This furnishes a general rule17 that wherever teru'ah is mentioned a teki'ah should follow it.18 So far I know this only of the wilderness.19 On what ground can I apply it to New Year also? Because we find teru'ah [in one place] and teru'ah [in another place]20 to provide a gezerah shawah. Three teru'ahs are mentioned in connection with New Year — ‘a solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with teru'ah’; ‘a day of teru'ah’, and ‘thou shalt make proclamation with the shofar of teru'ah’. Each teru'ah is accompanied with two teki'ahs. We thus learn that three teru'ahs and six teki'ahs were prescribed for New Year. Two of these are ordained by the Torah and one by the Soferim:21 [The teru'ahs mentioned in] ‘a solemn rest, a memorial of teru'ah,’ and in ‘thou shalt make proclamation with the shofar of teru'ah’ are ordinances of the Torah; the text ‘a day of teru'ah it shall be to you’ is required for its own lesson.22 R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in the name of R. Jonathan: One is ordained by the Torah and two by the Soferim: [That mentioned in] ‘and thou shalt make proclamation with the shofar of teru'ah’ is ordained by the Torah. [The texts] ‘a solemn rest, a memorial of teru'ah’ and, ‘a day of teru'ah it shall be to you’, are required for their own lessons. What is meant by saying that ‘it [the latter] is required for its own lesson’?23 — It is required to show that [the blowing must be] in the daytime and not at night. Whence does the other authority derive the rule that the blowing must be by day and not by night? — He derives it from the expression On the Day of Atonement.24 But if he learns it from ‘On the Day of Atonement’, let him also learn from this text the rule that there is to be a plain blast before the teru'ah and a plain blast after it?25 — He does not accept the implication of the expressions ‘and thou shalt proclaim’, ‘ye shall proclaim’. How then does he expound these words? — [He expounds] ‘and thou shalt proclaim’ in the same way as R. Mattenah; for R. Mattenah said: ‘And thou shalt proclaim’: this means, in the usual manner of proclamation.26 The words ‘Ye shall proclaim’ mentioned by the All-Merciful indicate that the shofar should be taken in the hand,27 and the other, [what says he to this?] — The lesson of R. Mattenah you can learn from the fact that the text uses an unusual expression,28 but that the word means ‘taking in the hand’ you could not maintain, for one can compare the expression ‘passing’ here with the expression ‘passing’ used in connection with Moses.29 It is written here, And ye shall cause to pass a shofar of teru'ah, and it is written elsewhere, And Moses commanded, and they caused a voice to pass.30 Just as there the passing was of a sound, so here it is of a sound.
And to the Tanna who derives the rule [regarding the teki'ah] from [the blowing commanded] in the wilderness, [it may be objected that] just as there trumpets were to be used, so here [on New Year] trumpets should be used? — Therefore it is written, Blow ye the shofar at the New Moon, at the concealment for the day of our festival.31 Which is the festival on which the moon is concealed? You must say that this is New Year; and the All-Merciful prescribed the shofar [to be used on it].
R. Abbahu prescribed in Caesarea that there should be a teki'ah, three shebarim, a teru'ah and a teki'ah. How can this be justified?32 If [the sound of teru'ah] is a kind of wailing, then there should be teki'ah, teri'ah33 and teki'ah, and if it is a kind of groaning, there should be teki'ah, three shebarim, and teki'ah? — He was in doubt whether it was a kind of wailing or a kind of groaning.34 R. ‘Awira strongly demurred against this procedure, saying, Perhaps it is a kind of wailing, and the three shebarim make an interruption between the teru'ah and the [first] teki'ah? — We assume that he afterwards blows teki'ah, teru'ah, teki'ah. Rabina strongly demurred against this, saying, Perhaps it is a kind of sighing and the teru'ah makes an interruption between the shebarim and the [second] teki'ah? — We suppose that he afterwards blows teki'ah, shebarim, teki'ah. What then is the point of R. Abbahu's regulation?35 If it is a groaning sound, it has already been made,36 and if it is a wailing sound it has already been made?37 — He was in doubt whether it does not include both groaning and wailing. If so, the reverse should also be carried out, namely, teki'ah, teru'ah, three shebarim, teki'ah, since perhaps it is wailing and groaning? — Ordinarily when a man has a pain, he first groans and then wails.
IF ONE BLEW THE FIRST TEKI'AH AND PROLONGED THE SECOND SO AS TO MAKE IT EQUAL TO TWO. R. Johanan said: If one heard
(1) Lev. XXV, 9, referring to the Jubilee. E.V. ‘blast of the horn’,
(2) Ibid. XXIII, 24.
(3) Num. XXIX, 1.
(4) Two of the verses quoted occur in connection with the New Year and one in connection with the Jubilee. What right have we then to assume from this that there should be three teru'ahs on each?
(5) In the seventh month (Lev. XXIII, 24) in connection with New Year, and in the seventh month (Lev. XXV, 9) in connection with the Jubilee.
(6) V. Glos.
(7) On the basis of the superfluous ‘in the seventh month’.
(8) Heb. hekkesh. Having laid down from analogy the principle that all the teru'ahs of the seventh month must be of the same character, why does he require a gezerah shawah to show that there must be three both on New Year and on the Jubilee?
(9) Num. X, 5. E.V. ‘And when ye blow an alarm’.
(10) The word ותקעתם being taken to signify the blowing of a teki'ah.
(11) I.e., made in one blast. And the word ותקעתם means simply ‘and you shall blow’.
(12) Ibid. 7’ E.V. ‘ye shall blow but ye shall not sound an alarm’.
(13) Ibid. 6.
(14) I.e., to resort to so forced an exposition.
(15) Ibid. 6.
(16) Because one blowing of an alarm has already been mentioned in v. 5’
(17) Lit., ‘builds a father’.
(18) And we translate, ‘and ye shall blow a teki'ah’ as second to the teru'ah’.
(19) I.e., of the assembling of the people in the wilderness.
(20) Viz., in connection both with the wilderness and the New Year.
(21) V. Glos.
(22) I.e., to provide a gezerah shawah; and the third teru'ah is an ordinance of the Soferim.
(23) The gezerah shawah being provided by the other text.
(24) Lev. XXV, 9.
(25) . From the texts, ‘and thou shalt make proclamation’,’and ye shall make proclamation’, as supra 33b ad fin.
(26) I.e., the shofar must not be held the wrong way up, v. supra 27b.
(27) And not blown.
(28) The word והעברת lit., ‘and ye shall cause to pass’ instead of ‘you shall blow’.
(29) [This is apparently the meaning of this difficult passage].
(30) Ex. XXXVI, 6.
(31) Ps. LXXXI, 4. E.V. ‘at the full moon for our feast day, v. .supra 8a.
(32) Lit., ‘what is your desire?’, a formula for posing a dilemma.
(33) I.e., what is elsewhere called yebaba.
(34) And had both sounds blown.
(35) If he repeats both teki'ah, teru'ah, teki'ah, and teki'ah, shebarim, teru'ah.
(36) In teki'ah, teru'ah, teki'ah. [MS.M.: We are making it.]
(37) In teki'ah, shebarim, teki'ah. We then have a set containing four blasts.
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 34b
nine blasts at nine different times of the day, he has performed his religious obligation. It has been taught to the same effect: ‘If one heard nine blasts at nine different times of the day, he has performed his religious obligation. If, however, he heard nine different people at once, he has not performed his obligation.1 If he hears a teki'ah from one and a teru'ah from another, he has fulfilled his obligation, even if the intervals extended over the whole day’.
But could R. Johanan have said this,2 seeing that R. Johanan said in the name of R. Simeon b. Jehozadok: If in the midst of reciting Hallel and the Megillah3 one paused long enough to say the whole, he must go back to the beginning? — There is no contradiction: in one case he was giving his own opinion,in the other that of his teacher. But does not his own opinion [conflict with the above statement]? Was not R. Abbahu once following after R. Johanan reciting the shema’,3 and when he came to some dirty alley-ways he stopped, and after they had passed them he asked R. Johanan whether he should finish, and he replied, If you paused long enough to say the whole, you must start again from the beginning? What he meant to say to him was this: ‘I do not hold this view,4 but according to you who do hold it,5 if you have paused long enough to say the whole, you must start afresh’.
Our Rabbis taught: ‘[On most days]6 the omission of one blast is no bar to another, and the omission of one blessing7 is no bar to another, but on New Year and the Day of Atonement the omission of one blast or one blessing is a bar to the others’.8 What is the reason? — Rabbah said: God proclaimed: Recite before Me on New Year kingship, remembrance and shofar verses; kingship verses to declare Me king over you; remembrance verses, that the remembrance of you may come before Me for good; and through what? Through the shofar.
IF ONE HAS SAID THE [NINE] BLESSINGS AND THEN PROCURES A SHOFAR, HE SOUNDS A TEKI'AH, TERU'AH, TEKI'AH. The reason is that he had no shofar to begin with. This shows that if he had a shofar to begin with, when he hears the blasts he must hear them during the recital of the blessings.9 R. Papa b. Samuel rose to say his prayer, and at the same time said to his attendant, When I give you a sign,10 blow the shofar for me. Said Raba to him:11 This rule12 was laid down only for a congregation.13 It has been taught to the same effect: ‘When he hears the blasts, he must hear them in order, and during the recital of the blessings.14 When does this hold good? In a congregation; but when not praying with the congregation he must hear them in order but not necessarily during the recital of the blessings. If an individual has not blown [the shofar], another may blow it for him, but if an individual has not said the blessings another may not say them for him. It is a greater act of piety to hear the shofar than to say the blessings. Hence15 if there are two towns in one of which the shofar is being blown and in the other of which the blessings are being said, one should go rather to the place where they are blowing than to the place where they are saying the blessings’. Surely this is self-evident: the former precept is of Pentateuchal sanction, the latter [only] of Rabbinic! — It was necessary to state the rule, [to show that it still applies] even though he is certain of [finding an opportunity for] the latter and not certain of [finding an opportunity for] the former.16
JUST AS THE CONGREGATIONAL READER IS UNDER OBLIGATION, SO EVERY INDIVIDUAL etc. It has been taught: ‘They said to Rabban Gamaliel: Accepting your view,17 why do the congregation [first] say the [‘Amidah] prayer? He replied, So as to give the reader time to prepare his prayer.18 Rabban Gamaliel then said to them: Accepting your view,19 why does the reader go down [and stand] before the Ark?20 They replied: So as to clear from his obligation one who is not familiar [with the prayers]. He said to them: Just as he clears one who is not familiar, so he clears one who is familiar’.21
Rabbah b. bar Hanah said in the name of R. Johanan: The Sages gave Rabban Gamaliel right. Rab, however, said: The difference of opinion still remains.22 Hiyya the son of Rabbah b. Nahmani heard the argument [reported] and went and repeated it before R. Dimi b. Hinnena. He said to him: Thus said Rab: The difference of opinion still remains. The other said to him: This is what Rabbah b. bar Hanah also said, that when R. Johanan made this statement, Resh Lakish joined issue with him, saying: The difference of opinion still remains. But did R. Johanan say this? Has not R. Hanah of Sepphoris stated that R. Johanan said that the law23 follows the view of Rabban Gamaliel, and since he said the law is so, we infer that there is a difference of opinion?
(1) According to Tosaf. the reason is because he does not hear a teru'ah preceded and followed by a teki'ah. Rashi, however, reads: ‘If he heard nine people at once, a teki'ah from one and a teru'ah from another, he has fulfilled his obligation, and even if he heard at intervals’ etc. He points out that it has already been laid down above that two different sounds from two different persons can be discerned at once.
(2) That it is permissible to hear different blasts at different times.
(3) V. Glos.
(4) That it is necessary to pause on coming to a dirty place, (V. Ber. 24b) nor, again, that it is necessary to start afresh after a pause.
(5) And your difficulty is simply, how long the pause must be.
(6) E.g., on fast days.
(7) In the ‘Amidah. (V. Glos.).
(8) I.e., a teru'ah cannot be blown without a teki'ah before it, nor can remembrance verses be said unless kingship verses have first been said. V. Tosaf. 33b, s.v. שיעור sub fin.
(9) V. supra 32a.
(10) As a signal that I have finished a blessing which is to be followed by the blowing of the shofar.
(11) To reassure him.
(12) That the blasts must be heard during the recital of the blessings.
(13) חבר עיר v. Meg. Sonc. ed., p. 164, n. 1.
(14) Lit., ‘on the order of the blessings’.
(15) Lit., ‘how so?’.
(16) He can always find ten men to make a congregation, but he may come too late to hear the shofar.
(17) That the reader may recite on behalf of the congregation.
(18) I. e. , put himself in the proper frame of mind by thinking over the prayers, which in those days were recited from memory.
(19) That each individual must pray for himself.
(20) V. supra p. 160, n. 9.
(21) If he has accidentally omitted something. V. Tosaf. s.v. כך
(22) [This sentence is rightly omitted in MS.M.]
(23) [הלכתא read with MS.M. הלכה
Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 35a
. When R. Ammi returned from a sea-voyage,1 he explained it thus: ‘The Sages give Rabban Gamaliel right’ in regard to the blessings of New Year and the Day of Atonement; and ‘the halachah is so’, which implies that they differ in regard to the blessings of the rest of the year.2 But is this so? Did not R. Hanah of Sepphoris say in the name of R. Johanan, ‘The halachah follows Rabban Gamaliel in regard to the blessings of New Year and the Day of Atonement’?3 — No, said R. Nahman b. Isaac. Who is it that gave [Rabban Gamaliel] right? R. Meir;4 and the halachah is so’, which shows that the Rabbis5 refer to [the others]. For it has been taught: ‘In regard to the blessings of New Year and the Day of Atonement, the reader can clear the congregation of their obligation to say them’.
Why should a difference be made in respect of these [blessings]? Should you say it is because they contain many scriptural texts, has not R. Hananel said in the name of Rab, As soon as one has said,’And in thy Law it is written saying’,6 he need not recite any more [texts]? — No; the reason is because there is an extra large number of blessings.7
[To revert to] the [above] text — R. Hananel said in the name of Rab, As soon as one has said, "And in thy Law it is written saying", he need not recite any more [texts]’. It was presumed [in the Academy] that this applies only to an individual but not to a congregation. It has been stated, however, [elsewhere]: R. Joshua b. Levi said: [The rule] alike for an individual or a congregation is that as soon as they have said ‘And in thy Law it is written saying’, they need not recite any more [texts].
R. Eleazar said: A man should always first prepare himself for his prayer8 and then say it. R. Abba said: The dictum of R.
Eleazar appears to be well founded in respect of the blessings of New Year and the Day of Atonement and periodical [prayers]9 but not of the rest of the year. Is that so? Did not Rab Judah use always to prepare himself for his prayer before praying? — Rab Judah was exceptional; since he prayed only every thirty days,10 it was [to him] like a periodical [prayer].
R. Aha b. ‘Awira said in the name of R. Simeon the Pious: Rabban Gamaliel used to allow even the people in the fields to be cleared [by the reader in the synagogue], and needless to say those in town.11 On the contrary, [we should have expected the opposite, because] the former are prevented from coming and the latter are not prevented, in the same way as Abba the son of R. Benjamin b. Hiyya has stated, ‘The People who stand behind the priests are not included in the [priestly] benediction’! — The fact is that when Rabin came [from Palestine] he stated in the name of R. Jacob b. Idi that R. Simeon the Pious said: Rabban Gamaliel allowed only the people in the fields to be cleared [by the reader]. What is the reason? Because they are prevented by their work from coming [to synagogue]. Those in the town, however, are not cleared.12
(1) [מימי Aliter: From Jammi, a place in Naftali.]
(2) And thus both statements of R. Johanan might be correct.
(3) Which shows that even on this point the Sages continued to differ with him.
(4) Who agrees with him in regard to the blessings of New Year and the Day of Atonement, and not the Sages, as at first stated in the name of R. Johanan.
(5) Apart from R. Meir.
(6) I.e., the passage which runs in our prayer-book, ‘May we offer before thee the additional offerings of this day according to the commandment of thy will as thou hast prescribed for us in thy law’.
(7) Viz., nine instead of seven. [In point of fact the blessings on the Day of Atonement are only seven. [In point of fact the blessings on the Day of Atonement ‘blessings’ (v. Lewin, Otzar ha-Geonim, Rosh Hashanah p. 73; on this reading render: they (the benedictions) are lengthy. Ritba (a.l.) takes the Day of Atonement throughout this passage to refer to the Day of Atonement on the year of Jubilee, v. supra 33b].
(8) So as to be fluent and avoid all mistakes, v. supra p. 172, n. 2.
(9) For feasts, fasts, etc.
(10) Being occupied in the intervening period with study.
(11) Lit., ‘those who are here’.
(12) [Rashi: They themselves must say the prayer and not rely on the reader. Alfasi: They are not cleared by the reader unless they attend the synagogue and hear from him the prayers from beginning to end; v. Commentary of R. Nissim a.l.]
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