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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.
1. The Gemara discusses cases of discrepancies in the testimony of a pair of witnesses.
2. If the testimony is deemed valid, the head of Beis Din proclaims, "Mekudash!" -- "[the new month is] sanctified!"
3. The Mishnah discusses whether this process (#2) is followed when witnesses do not come on the thirtieth day of the month to testimony about the new moon.
4. The Gemara quotes two other opinions regarding the sanctification of the new moon.
5. Raban Gamliel had various images of the new moon that he would use when questioning witnesses.
A BIT MORE
1. For example, if one witness said that he saw the moon when it was two Merda'os (a measurement of distance) high, and the other says it was three Merda'os high, their testimony is considered consistent. However, if one says three Merda'os and the other says five, they may not combine to form a pair of witnesses (but each one may combine with another witness who agrees with his testimony about the height).
2. Everyone present answers after him, "Mekudash, Mekudash."
3. When witnesses do not testimony about the new moon, the next day is automatically deemed to be Rosh Chodesh, as there is no Jewish month with thirty-one days. Tana Kama: Beis Din still proclaims the month to be Mekudash. Rebbi Elazar bar Tzadok: Beis Din does so only when witnesses successfully testify that the thirtieth day is Rosh Chodesh.
4. Plimo: Beis Din sanctified the new month only when nobody testifies on time, in order to strengthen the fact that it is Rosh Chodesh despite the fact that nobody testified about the new moon. Rebbi Eliezer b'Rebbi Shimon: Beis Din never sanctifies a new month; the Torah states only that Beis Din must sanctify years (the counting of years towards Yovel), not months.
5. The Gemara gives various explanations as to how Raban Gamliel was allowed to have such images, since generally it is prohibited for a person to have images of the moon (this causes suspicion that he is worshipping the moon).
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