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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 explains that it was Shazfar, not Rebbi Akiva, who stopped the witnesses from desecrating Shabbos.
2. There is a dispute about whether relatives may testify together regarding the new moon.
3. There is a dispute about whether an Eved Kena'ani who was freed may testify about the new moon.
4. The Mishnah lists people who may not testify about the new moon.
5. Originally, Beis Din would accept as a valid witness anyone who claimed to have seen the new moon.


1. The Mishnah (21b) relates that Rebbi Akiva stopped forty pairs of witnesses from transgressing Shabbos in order to testify, since the new moon was already very apparent. Raban Gamliel was upset that this occurred, as this would cause people not to testify even on occasions when the new moon was not apparent to everyone.
2. Generally, witnesses may not be related to each other. The Tana Kama says that this law applies to the new moon as well. Rebbi Shimon says that relatives may testify together about the new moon.
3. The Mishnah relates that the Kohanim in the Beis ha'Mikdash did not allow the freed slave of Tuvyah ha'Rofei to testify about the new moon. They maintained that only Jews from birth may testify about the new moon. However, the Beis Din at the time did not agree with them and did allow him to testify.
4. These include gamblers, those who lend money with interest, pigeon racers, those who sell Shemitah produce, and Kena'ani servants.
5. However, the Baitusim started hiring false witnesses to sabotage the Jewish calendar. Therefore, the Chachamim decreed that only recognized people would be accepted as valid witnesses by the Beis Din.

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