ROSH HASHANAH 21-25 - Dedicated in memory of Max (Meir Menachem ben Shlomo ha'Levi) Turkel, by his children Eddie and Lawrence and his wife Jean Turkel/Rafalowicz. Max was a warm and loving husband and father and is missed dearly by his family and friends. His Yahrzeit is 5 Teves.


(a)If the witness said that the moon was north of the sun, his testimony stands; if he says it was south of it, his testimony is worthless.

1.Question: Surely it states the opposite in a Beraisa (as cited)!?

2.Answer: One is referring to summer (when the moon is south of the sun) and the other refers to winter.

(b)If one of the witnesses gives the height of the new moon as two saddle-cloths, and the other one as three, their testimony is accepted.

1.But if one were to say three saddle-cloths, and the other five, it is disqualified.

i.However, either can combine with other witnesses.

(c)If they saw the moon's reflection, or they saw it through a crystal, or through clouds, they cannot testify about it.

1.If they saw half of it in this way, they cannot testify about it.

i.Question: If they cannot testify when they saw the whole moon this way, isn't it obvious that they cannot testify when they only saw half of it this way?

ii.Answer: It means that they saw the other half of it in the sky directly.

(d)(Beraisa): If they say that they saw it but later they didn't see it, their testimony does not work.

1.Question: Surely they don't need to constantly keep it in view?

2.Answer: It means that they casually observed it but did not see it when they tried to inspect it for the purpose of testimony.

i.Their testimony is unacceptable because it might have been a cloud that they saw.


(a)The Rosh Beis Din pronounces "Mekudash!" and everyone repeats it twice.

(b)Whether the moon was seen on the 30th or 31st, this is done.

(c)(R. Elazar ben R. Tzadok): If it was seen on the 31st, it is not done, as it has already been sanctified by Heaven.


(a)Question: How do we know that the Rosh Beis Din does it first?

(b)Answer: Because the Pasuk states that Moshe told over the Mo'adim to the Bnei Yisrael.

(c)Question: How do we know that the people repeat it after him?

(d)Answer: Because the Pasuk that "they shall declare them" can be read as "you shall declare them."

(e)Alternate answer (R. Nachman bar Yitzchak): The source is a Pasuk which refers to "them" declaring the Mo'adim.

(f)Question: Why do they repeat it twice?

(g)Answer: As the Pasuk speaks of "Mikra'i Kodesh" in the plural.


(a)(R. Elazar ben R. Tzadok): If it was seen on the 31st, it is not sanctified, as it has already been sanctified by Heaven.

(b)(Plimo): It is only sanctified if seen on the 31st, not if seen on the 30th.

(c)(R. Elazar ben R. Shimon): In either case, it is not sanctified.

1.The source is that the Pasuk about consecrating the fiftieth year teaches us that only years are consecrated with a proclamation, and not new months.

(d)(R. Yehudah citing Shmuel): The halachah follows R. Elazar ben R. Tzadok.

(e)Support (Abaye): This is also evident from a later Mishnah:

1.(Mishnah): If Beis Din didn't manage to sanctify it before dark, it is a full month.

2.But it doesn't say that they sanctify it on the next day!

(f)Refutation: The Mishnah is not excluding this; the purpose of it is to stress that even though everyone saw the moon on the 30th, it is a full month if it wasn't sanctified before dark.


(a)Raban Gamliel had pictures of the moon to show people and ask which they saw.


(a)Question: Surely the Pasuk forbids making images of Hash-m's servants?

(b)Answer (Abaye): It only forbids making images of those servants which it is possible to make a replica of (but not of heavenly bodies):

1.(Beraisa): One may not make a replica of the Mikdash or anything in it.

2.One may make a Menorah as long as it doesn't have seven branches.


3.A seven-branched Menorah may not be made even from metals other than gold.

4.(R. Yosi bar Yehudah): It may not even be made from wood, as the Chashmona'im made a menorah from wood.

i.Rejection: Their menorah was made from iron and overlaid with tin (and later upgraded to silver and then to gold).

(c)Question: Surely it is not permitted to make images of the Heavenly bodies:

1.(Beraisa): We learn from a Pasuk that one may not make an image of anything that serves Hash-m in the Heavens.

(d)Answer (Abaye): Only the combined image of four creatures that is on Hash-m's throne is forbidden.

1.Question: This implies that an image of man alone is permitted, yet we see in a Beraisa that it is forbidden!?

2.Answer: The Pasuk also prohibits the image of Hash-m (which is that of a man in the visions of prophets).

(e)Question: We see in a Beraisa that images of other servants, such as Ofanim etc., are also forbidden!

(f)Answer (Abaye): It is only the servants in the upper Heavens that one may not make images of.

(g)Question: We see in a Beraisa that the Pasuk also prohibits making images of the sun, moon and other bodies in the lower Heavens?

(h)Answer: That is referring to making images for the sake of worship.

1.Question: For such purposes, even making the image of a worm is forbidden!?

2.Answer: True, and the continuation of the Pasuk includes that.

(i)Question: We see in a Beraisa that the Pasuk prohibits making images of the sun and moon even not for the sake of worship!?

(j)Answer: Raban Gamliel had non-Jews make the images for him.

(k)Question: When R. Yehudah had non-Jews make such images on a signet-ring for him, Shmuel rebuked him!?

(l)Answer: The images protruded from the ring, which risks suspicion of being an idol:

1.(Beraisa): A ring whose image protrudes may not be worn, but may be used for a seal;

2.If the image is sunken, it may be worn but not used for a seal.

i.Question: Surely there is no risk of suspicion, as we see that Rav, Shmuel and others would Daven in a Shul that had a statue in it!?

ii.There is no such suspicion in a public place.

(m)Question: Surely Raban Gamliel was an individual and there should be the risk of suspicion (even for a flat image, since that is how the moon appears anyway)?

(n)Answer: Since he was a prince, he would be visited by many people (and there is no suspicion in a public place).

(o)Alternate answer: They were not whole pictures, but rather were composites of partial pictures.

(p)Alternate answer: They were made for learning purposes, and the Pasuk only forbids making them for practical purposes.