POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
by R. Nosson Slifkin
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous dafRosh Hashanah 22
ROSH HASHANAH 21 & 22 (12,13 Av) - dedicated by Rabbi Kornfeld's
grandmother, Mrs. G. Turkel, to the memory of her husband, Reb Yisrael
Shimon (Isi) ha'Levi Turkel, who loved Torah and worked to support Torah
until his last breath. He passed away on 10 Av 5780.
1) THE DETAINAL OF THE WITNESSES
(a) It wasn't R. Akiva that detained the witnesses, but
rather Shazfar, magistrate of Gader.
2) MISHNAH: COMBINATIONS OF WITNESSES
(b) R. Gamliel responded by removing him from his position.
(a) A father and son who saw the moon should both go to Beis
3) THE REASONS AND THE HALACHAH
1. Even though they can't testify together, if one is
invalidated, the other can join another person's
(b) (R. Shimon) All relatives can combine for testimony about
(c) (R. Yosi) Tuvia, his son and his freed servant went to
testify about the moon;
1. The Kohanim accepted him and his son;
2. Beis Din accepted him and his servant.
(a) R. Shimon's reason is that Hashem gave over the mitzvah
of sanctifying Rosh Chodesh to Moshe and Aharon, who were
4) MISHNAH: INVALID WITNESSES
(b) The others explain it just to mean that the
responsibility of handling the testimony was given to the
leaders of the generation.
(c) (R. Chanan bar Rava) The Halachah follows R. Shimon.
(d) (R. Huna) How can you go against the cited story in the
(e) (R. Chanan bar Rava) I said this many times to Rav and he
(f) (R. Huna) This was because you learned the opposite
positions; that R. Shimon disqualifies certain
(g) (Citing Shmuel) The Halachah follows R. Shimon.
(a) The following people are disqualified from giving
5) IMPLICATIONS OF THE MISHNAH
(b) The rule is that any testimony for which a woman is
invalid, these are also invalid.
2. Those who lend on interest,
3. Pigeon racers,
4. Those who trade in Shemitah produce,
(a) From the Mishnah we see that if women are valid for
certain testimony, so are these people.
***** Hadran Alach, 'Arba'ah Roshei Shanim' *****
1. (R. Ashi) Thus, a thief according to Rabbinical law
is valid to give testimony that a woman could give.
***** Perek 'Im Einan Makirin' *****
6) MISHNAH: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR WITNESSES
(a) If a witness is unable to walk, we put him on a donkey
(even on Shabbos) or stretcher.
7) MISHNAH: ACCEPTABLE WITNESSES
(b) His attendants can take sticks for self-defense.
(c) They can also take provisions if the journey will be long
(a day's journey may be taken and Shabbos transgressed).
(a) If Beis Din don't know a witness, a character witness is
sent with him.
(b) Originally, all people were accepted as witnesses;
(c) After the Baytusim sabotaged the process, it was decreed
that only recognized people would be accepted.
8) CHARACTER WITNESSES
(a) Question: How many people would be required as character
9) THE BAYTUSIM
(b) Answer: One
(c) Question: Surely one alone is not believed; we see in an
anecdote that more came!?
(d) Answer (R. Papa): It means that one pair is required.
1. This is also clear from the Mishnah referring to the
witness not being recognized by Beis Din.
(e) Question: Surely only one character witness is required,
as we find that R. Nehorai accomplished it!
2. It must be referring to a pair of witnesses, as two
3. So, too, the character witnesses being referred to
are a pair.
(f) Answer: R. Nehorai was accompanied by another witness,
who was not mentioned out of respect for R. Nehorai.
(g) Alternate answer (R. Ashi): R. Nehorai was going to join
up with another witness.
1. Question: If so, what is the Chidush?
(h) Ulla attested that Rosh Chodesh had been declared in
2. Answer: We might have thought that because of the
risk that he may not be able to find him, he may not
1. (R. Kahana) Even a lesser person than Ulla would be
2. The reason is that people wouldn't lie about
something that is due to be discovered by everyone.
3. A Beraisa likewise states that even a witness from
the other side of the world is believed to attest
that Beis Din sanctified Rosh Chodesh.
(a) The Baytusim (who wanted the Omer to begin on Sunday)
once hired false witnesses to deceive Beis Din about the
10) MISHNAH: THE FIRE SIGNALS
(b) One of them was on our side, and told Beis Din (by way of
metaphor) that he had been hired to trick them.
(c) Beis Din awarded him the money that he had been paid and
gave Malkus to the Baytusim.
(d) From that time, it was decreed that only people
recognized as non-Baytusim would be accepted for
(a) Originally, there was a relay of fires to transmit the
message about Rosh Chodesh.
11) WHEN THE FIRE SIGNALS WERE DONE
1. When the Kusim sabotaged the process, they sent
(b) The fire signals were made from wood and flax, and were
waved from atop a mountain until the person on the next
mountain did the same.
(c) The message was thereby relayed from Har ha'Mishchah to
Beis Baltin, where the Diaspora could see it lit up like
(a) We see from a Pasuk that the Masu'os spoken of in the
Mishnah are fires.
(b) (Beraisa) The fire signals were done only for new moons
that appeared on time, and they were done on the eve of
the 30th day.
(c) Question: Why were they only done for abridged months?
(d) Answer (R. Zeira): As a Gezerah in case of the end of an
abridged month which fell on a Friday, when the fire can
only be lit on Motzai Shabbos:
1. If fires are lit for both types of month, people
won't know if a fire on Motzai Shabbos is being lit
on time for a full month or if it was an abridged
month and it was delayed because of Shabbos.
(e) Question: Let fires be lit only for full months?
2. Question: Let fires be lit for both months, and when
Rosh Chodesh is on Friday, let no fire be lit (and
people will work out that it must be an abridged
3. Answer: People will consider that it might be a full
month and something prevented them from lighting a
(f) Answer (Abaye): It would result in two days' loss of
work, as people don't know when Rosh Chodesh is until the