More Discussions for this daf
1. Shir ha'Leviyim 2. Fear of Chametz on Pesach 3. Litra Ketziyos and an egg
4. Machlokes Rav & Rav Yochanan 5. Yom Tov Sheni 6. Davar she'Yesh Lo Matirin
7. Yom Tov Sheni ba'Zman ha'Zeh 8. A Minhag From the Talmud 9. ביצה נולדה ביום ראשון

Baruch asked:

Rashi DH D'Gazri HaMalkhut Gzeira says that the motivation behind two days of Yom Tov is lest a decree lead people to forget Sod Ha'Eeboor, such that people will mistakenly eat Chametz on Pesach.

1) That reasoning would be equally applicable in Eretz Yisroel!

2) That reasoning excludes Shavuot and Sukkot!

3a) That reasoning only justifies a second Seder night / Yom Tov, not a Shmini Shel Pesach! {The Adar before Nissan is always 29 days; Thus, a "mistake" would be a 30-day Adar, which would start and end Pesach one day late}.

3b) BUT if that was the mistake, the Gzeira wouldn't help! People would be celebrating the wrong two days (15 & 16 Nissan, instead of 14 & 15 Nissan)!

4) Being that Mo'adim, unlike Shabbat, are set by Bnei Yisrael (Mikadesh Yisrael V'Hazmanim), I can't help wondering whether according to Rashi's statement there couldn't be a more elegant solution.

5) This one is a comment, for your opinion, not a question. Back in Sukka (42b), Rashi explained that Bizman HaMikdash Aiyn Osim Yom Tov Sheni. Presumably, Rashi means that: a) all Jews will be in Eretz Yisrael; b) there won't be a fear of a jewish community making a mistake; c) any Jew who might be in galut would be considered a transient, and only have to celebrate one day.

Kol Tuv

The Kollel replies:

1) The Rabanan were not afraid that Sod ha'Ibur would be forgotten in Eretz Yisrael, as the verse says, "Ki mi'Tzion Tetze Torah" (see also ME'IRI, Chidushim to Beitzah 5a, DH u'Masik).

2) The reasoning also applies to Shavuos and Sukos, in which cases an incorrect reckoning of the new month can lead to the transgression of Isurei Lav, such as doing Melachah on Yom Tov when they think that it is not Yom Tov. Rashi, though, mentions Pesach, because there is a much more severe problem which can occur as a result of an incorrect reckoning of the new month: eating Chametz on Pesach, which is an Isur Kares.

3a,b) The fear is not that they will start the month a day late . Rather, having forgotten how to calculate the new month, when they see the new moon, they will not be sure whether that is the first day it has appeared, or the second (and it was just not visible the evening before). As such, they will consider the previous day to be the first of the month (when in reality, the day that they saw the new moon was the first of the month). What they observe as the 2nd of Nisan is really the 1st of Nisan. If so, they will begin Pesach a day early (on what really is the 14th), and end Pesach a day early.

Therefore, they are required to observe two days of Yom Tov at both ends, so that they accommodate for their error (their second day of Yom Tov at the beginning of Pesach will be the actual First Day of Pesach, while their second day of Yom Tov at the end of the festival will be the actual Seventh Day of Pesach), while still covering the actual days of Yom Tov in case they are not in error.

However, there is never a fear that they will think that the new month begins a day after it actually begins (because they all see the new moon, and will either think that the new month begins on that day, or the day before, when the moon was not yet visible). In short, when in doubt they will make the new month earlier, rather than later.

4) When Chazal derived from the Torah that the months are sanctified even in error (Sifra, Emor), that applies only when Beis Din of Eretz Yisrael that is Mekadesh the Chodesh sanctifies the month based on the testimony of witnesses, in error. It does not apply when the people determined the new month incorrectly by making an error in calculating the new month.

5) Apparently, you understand Rashi to be saying that even in Chutz la'Aretz there will not be Yom Tov Sheni at the time of the Beis ha'Mikdash. If this is indeed the intention of Rashi, then Rashi has already addressed your comment earlier (44a, DH b'Gevulin) when he wrote, "In the times of the Beis ha'Mikdash, when everyone lived in Eretz Yisrael and was near to Beis Din ...." However, if one person (or even community), a transient as you called him, happened to be traveling outside of Eretz Yisrael when the festival arrived, he would certainly observe two days, because the reason for two days would then exist for him (i.e. a Safek when the actual Yom Tov is).

However, it does not seem that Rashi's intention here is to say that in Chutz la'Aretz there was no Yom Tov Sheni in the times of the Beis ha'Mikdash. After all, the Mishnah is referring to the "Chalil" in the Beis ha'Mikdash, and not to the Simchah that is done in Chutz la'Aretz, and thus there is no reason for Rashi to be referring to Chutz la'Aretz at all.

Rather, instead of implying that during the time of the Mikdash, two days of Yom Tov are not observed in Chutz la'Aretz, Rashi is implying that even in Eretz Yisrael, in the times when there is no Beis ha'Mikdash two days of Yom Tov are observed! Although this is certainly difficult to understand, it is consistent with what Rashi himself writes in Pesachim 47a end of DH Shnei Yamim (see the TZELACH there, who puzzles over the strange implication in Rashi there; we discussed this at length in our Insights there).

If Rashi indeed maintains that when there is no Beis ha'Mikdash two days of Yom Tov are observed in Eretz Yisrael, he no doubt learns this from the Gemara in Sukah (44a), which says that the Rabanan decreed that the Lulav not be held in Eretz Yisrael on the first day of Sukos that occurs on Shabbos, because the people in Chutz la'Aretz cannot hold the Lulav on that day (because they may not know which day of the month is really the first day of Sukos, and therefore the Rabanan made a Gezeirah stopping those in Eretz Yisrael from taking the Lulav on Shabbos to prevent divergent Minhagim, "Lo Sisgodedu" -- Rashi ibid.). The question that is asked, then, is if the Rabanan wanted to prevent different practices, why did they let the people in Chutz la'Aretz observe two days of Yom Tov while the people in Eretz Yisrael observe only one (see Insights there)? Rashi perhaps answered that indeed, the Rabanan enacted that two days of Yom Tov be observed in Eretz Yisrael as well! (This is not so far-fetched as it sounds; we do find that the RAMBAM (Hilchos Kidush ha'Chodesh 5:12) writes that there are places in Eretz Yisrael which observe two days of Yom Tov.) If this is correct, all the Gemaras (Beitzah 5; Pesachim 52; Eruvin 39 etc.) and Mishnayos which discuss the "two Yomim Tovim of Galus ", must be discussing the period before the Gezeirah to keep two days in Eretz Yisrael (to prevent Lo Sisgodedu) was instituted. (This is the time period to which the Mishnah in Sukah 42 is referring, when it says that the Lulav is taken on Shabbos on the first day.)

I think this is a very unconventional approach, though, to say the least, and would welcome any comments you may have on it.

Best wishes,