REVIEW QUESTIONS ON GEMARA AND RASHI
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafRosh Hashanah 24
(a) According to one Beraisa, if the witnesses said that they saw the new
moon to the north of the sun, their words are accepted, but if they said to
the south, they are not; another Beraisa says the reverse.
How do we
reconcile the two Beraisos?
(b) What is the difference between a case where one of the witnesses gives
the height of the new moon as *two* saddle-cloths, and the other, as
*three*, on the one hand, and where one of them gives the height as *three*
saddle-cloths, and the other *five*, on the other?
(c) What does the Tana (of the Beraisa) mean when he adds 'Aval Mitztarfin
le'Eidus Acheres'? What is the reason for this (see Tosfos DH 'Aval')?
(a) Do we accept the testimony of witnesses who claim that they saw the moon
reflected in the water, through the glass of a lantern or behind the clouds?
(b) Then why does the Tana (of the Beraisa) need to add that if they saw
half of the moon in one of these situations and half in the other, that
their testimony is invalid? Is that not obvious?
(c) And what does the Tana (of another Beraisa) mean when he disqualifies
the testimony of witnesses who say that they saw the new moon one moment,
and when they looked again, it was gone. Does this mean that they must see
the new moon all night long?
(d) Why is their testimony invalid in this case?
(a) What do we learn from the Pasuk in Emor ...
(b) According to the Tana Kama of our Mishnah, Beis-Din declare Rosh
Chodesh, whether it is on the thirtieth of the month or on the thirty-first.
- ... "*va'Yedaber Moshe es Mo'adei Hashem* el B'nei Yisrael"?
- ... "Asher Tikre'u *Osom*" (which is missing a 'Vav')?
What does Rebbi Eliezer b'Rebbi Tzadok say?
(c) What exactly, did Beis-Din declare?
(a) The Beraisa cites two additional opinions regarding Beis-Din's
What does P'limu hold?
(b) Perhaps the most radical opinion of all is that of Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi
Shimon. What does *he* learn from the Pasuk in Behar "ve'Kidashtem es
*Sh'nas* ha'Chamishim ... "?
(c) Like which of the above opinions does Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel rule?
(d) A later Mishnah states that if Beis-Din and all Yisrael saw the new moon
... but they did not manage to declare Rosh Chodesh before night fell, the
month is full (i.e. Rosh Chodesh will only be on the following day). Why can
we not infer from the Tana's words 'the month is full', that it does not
require a declaration (a proof for Rav Yehudah's ruling like Rebbi Elazar
(a) How would Raban Gamliel cross-examine the witnesses as to whether they
had actually seen the moon or not?
Answers to questions
(b) Seeing as the Torah writes (in Yisro) "Lo Sa'asun Iti" (prohibiting even
the *making* of the image of any of Hashem's servants), how does Abaye
explain the fact that Raban Gamliel possessed such pictures in his house?
(c) One is prohibited from constructing a replica of the Heichal, the Ulam
or the Azarah. May one reconstruct the Holy *vessels* of the Beis-
(d) Under which conditions may one construct a Menorah of metal?
(a) The Tana Kama of the Beraisa forbids the construction of a seven-branch
Menorah out of metal, but permits it in wood.
What does Rebbi Yossi
b'Rebbi Yehudah say?
(b) Each one derives his opinion from the Pasuk in Terumah "ve'Asisa Menoras
Zahav Tahor, Mikshah Te'aseh ... ".
How will we explain this Pasuk,
according to ...
(c) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah proves his point from the Chashmona'im, who
used a wooden Menorah.
- ... the Tana Kama?
- ... Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah?
How do the Chachamim repudiate his proof?
(a) What does the Tana of another Beraisa learn from the same Pasuk (as we
quoted in 5b. - "Lo Sa'asun Iti") that refutes Abaye's answer (the current
contention that the Torah only forbids those servants that it is possible to
(b) How does Abaye explain 'ki'D'mus Shamashai ha'Meshamshin Lefanai
ba'Marom' to answer our Kashya on Raban Gamliel?
(c) On what grounds then does the Beraisa forbid the image of a human being
(d) Abaye changes his mind again when they ask him about another Beraisa
which forbids images Ofanim, Serafim, Chayos ha'Kodesh and Mal'achei
How does he now interpret "Iti"?
(a) In view of what we just learned, how do we explain the Beraisa which
includes in the Isur, the sun, moon, stars and constellations from the Pasuk
in Yisro "Asher ba'Shamayim mi'Ma'al"? Which Isur?
(b) What does the Beraisa learn from ...
(c) In view of the Beraisa that we quoted earlier "Lo Sa'asun Iti" 'Lo
Sa'asun ki'D'mus Shamashai ha'Meshamshin Lafanai ba'Marom", how could Raban
Gamliel keep a board with the pictures of the various phases of the moon?
- ... "Asher ba'Aretz"?
- ... "mi'Tachas"?
(a) We just learned that one is permitted to retain a picture that Nochrim
made (not with the intention of worshipping). What problem does that create
with regard to Shmuel? What did Shmuel instruct Rav Yehudah to do with his
(b) Why may a signet-ring whose seal (in the form of an image) ...
- ... protrudes, be used but not worn?
- ... is sunken, be worn but not used?
(a) Seeing as we just learned that it is forbidden to retain an image (even
if it was made by a Nochri), how will we explain the Shul of Shev ve'Yashiv
in Neherda'a that had an image in it, yet Rav and Shmuel and others would
Daven there without qualms?
(b) Who built the Shul of Shev ve'Yashiv, and what did they build it with?
(a) We ask how Raban Gamliel, who was an individual, could possibly allow a
board with pictures of the moon (even if Nochrim did make it for him).
Raban Gamliel's pictures were not three dimensional, so what is the problem
(see Tosfos DH 've'Ha')?
Answers to questions
(b) And we answer that, since Raban Gamliel was the prince, and there were
always guests by him, he had the Din of a community (to whom, we just
learned, Chashad does not apply).
What third answer do we give based on
the Pasuk "Lo Silmad La'asos"?
(c) What is the Gemara's second answer?