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Mishnayos Rosh Hashanah Perek 4 Mishnah 4

ראש השנה פרק ד׳ משנה ד׳


Initially, they would accept testimony to determine the start of the month throughout the entire thirtieth day from the beginning of the month of Elul, before Rosh HaShana, and if witnesses arrived from afar and testified that they had sighted the New Moon the previous night, they would declare that day the Festival. Once, the witnesses tarried coming until the hour was late, and the Levites erred with regard to the song, i.e., the psalm that they were supposed to recite, as they did not know at the time whether it was a Festival or an ordinary weekday. From that point on, the Sages instituted that they would accept testimony to determine the start of the month only until minḥa time. If witnesses had not arrived by that hour, they would declare Elul a thirty-day month and calculate the dates of the Festivals accordingly. And if witnesses came from minḥa time onward, although the calculations for the dates of the Festivals would begin from the following day, the people would nevertheless observe that day, on which the witnesses arrived, as sacred, so that in future years they would not treat the entire day as a weekday and engage in labor from the morning on the assumption that the witnesses will arrive only after minḥa time. And they would also observe the following day as sacred. On the second day, they observed Rosh HaShana in full, both by sacrificing its offerings as well as by calculating the upcoming Festivals from that date. After the Temple was destroyed and there was no longer any reason for this ordinance, Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai instituted that they would once again accept testimony to determine the start of the month the entire day. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥa said: And this, too, Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai instituted, that even if the head of the court of seventy-one is in any other place, not where the Great Sanhedrin is in session, the witnesses should nevertheless go only to the place where the Great Sanhedrin gathers to deliver testimony to determine the start of the month. Although the date of the month is dependent on the head of the Great Sanhedrin, as it is he who declares that the month is sanctified (see 24a), nevertheless, Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai instituted that the members of the Great Sanhedrin may sanctify the month in the absence of the head of the court.

בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה הָיוּ מְקַבְּלִין עֵדוּת הַחֹדֶשׁ כָּל הַיּוֹם. פַּעַם אַחַת נִשְׁתַּהוּ הָעֵדִים מִלָּבֹא, וְנִתְקַלְקְלוּ הַלְוִיִּם בַּשִּׁיר. הִתְקִינוּ שֶׁלֹּא יְהוּ מְקַבְּלִין אֶלָּא עַד הַמִּנְחָה. וְאִם בָּאוּ עֵדִים מִן הַמִּנְחָה וּלְמַעְלָה, נוֹהֲגִין אוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם קֹדֶשׁ וּלְמָחָר קֹדֶשׁ. מִשֶּׁחָרַב בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הִתְקִין רַבָּן יוֹחָנָן בֶּן זַכַּאי, שֶׁיְּהוּ מְקַבְּלִין עֵדוּת הַחֹדֶשׁ כָּל הַיּוֹם. אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן קָרְחָה, וְעוֹד זֹאת הִתְקִין רַבָּן יוֹחָנָן בֶּן זַכַּאי, שֶׁאֲפִלּוּ רֹאשׁ בֵּית דִּין בְּכָל מָקוֹם, שֶׁלֹּא יְהוּ הָעֵדִים הוֹלְכִין אֶלָּא לִמְקוֹם הַוָּעַד:


ונתקלקלו הלוים בשיר – of the daily offering of the time between the beginning of the decline of the sun and sunset (i.e., at 3:30 pm), and they did not recite the Song at all, because most times, the witnesses would come before Minhah; therefore, they ordained the Song of Yom Tov with the daily offering of the time between the beginning of the decline of the sun and sunset. And regarding the daily offering of the morning, where most of the time, the witnesses have not [yet] come and they did not know if the day would be sanctified or not, they did not ordain the Song/Psalm of Yom Tov, but rather the Song/Psalm of the weekday would be recited. And at the same time, when the time arrived for the offering of the daily offering of the time between the beginning of the decline of the sun and sunset, and the witnesses had not yet come, and the Levites did not know if they should say the weekday Song/Psalm or the Song/Psalm for Yom Tov, and they did not say a Song/Psalm at all.

נוהגין אותו היום קודש – that when it became dark on the night after the twenty-nineth of Elul, they had the practice of [making it] holy, lest witnesses should come tomorrow and that the Jewish court would sanctify it and it be found that this was in the nighttime of the night of Yom Tov, and similarly, regarding the next day, all day long until Minhah. But if the witnesses came close to Minhah, the Jewish court would sanctify the [New] Month and it would known that they acted well [regarding it] by declaring it holy. And if the witnesses came from Minhah onwards, even though the Jewish court does not sanctify it today (i.e., Rosh Hashanah), they would intercalate Elul and sanctify it for the morrow. Nevertheless, we treat it with holiness and it is prohibited to [do] work, lest perhaps they would disregard it the next year and do work on it all day. And they would say: Last year, we treated it as holy for no reason, and from Minhah and beyond, we returned and treated it like a weekday.

שאפילו ראש ב"ד בכל מקום – for it was necessary for him to separate from the place of the scholar’s meeting place to another place, and the essence of he Mitzvah of [Sanctification] of the Month is dependent upon him, as it is taught in the Mishnah [in Chapter Two, Mishnah 7] above that he as head of the Jewish court says, “It is sanctified.” Nevertheless, it was not necessary for the witnesses to walk after him other than to the place of the scholar’s meeting place, where the Sanhedrin would sit, they should go, and the Sanhedrin would sanctify it without the Head of the Jewish court.

ונתקלקלו הלוים בשיר. של תמיד של בין הערבים, ולא אמרו בו שיר כלל. לפי שרוב פעמים היו העדים באים קודם המנחה לפיכך תקנו שיר של יו״ט בתמיד של בין הערבים. ובתמיד של שחר שרוב פעמים עדיין לא באו עדים ולא ידעו אם יתקדש היום אם לאו לא תקנו לו שיר של יו״ט, אלא שיר של חול היו אומרים. ואותו פעם שהגיע שעת הקרבת תמיד של בין הערבים ועדיין לא באו עדים, לא ידעו הלוים אם יאמרו שיר של חול או שיר של יו״ט, ולא אמרו שיר כלל:

נוהגין אותו היום קודש. דמשחשיכה ליל שלאחר כ״ט באלול נהגו בו קודש, שמא יבואו עדים מחר ויקדשוהו ב״ד ונמצא שבלילה ליל יו״ט הוא וכן למחר כל היום עד המנחה. ואם באו עדים קודם המנחה ב״ד מקדשין את החודש ונודע שיפה נהגו בו קודש. ואם מן המנחה ולמעלה באו עדים, אע״פ שאין ב״ד מקדשין אותו היום, ויעברו את אלול ויקדשוהו למחר, אעפ״כ נוהגין אותו בקדושה ואסור במלאכה, דלמא אתי לזלזולי ביה לשנה הבאה ויעשו בו מלאכה כל היום, ואמרי אשתקד נהגנו בו קודש בחנם ומן המנחה ולמעלה חזרנו ונהגנו בו חול:

שאפילו ראש ב״ד בכל מקום. שנצרך לפרוש ממקום הועד למקום אחר. והרי עיקר מצות [קידוש] החודש תלויה בו, כדתנן [בפ״ב] לעיל ראש ב״ד אומר מקודש, מ״מ לא יהיו צריכין עדים לילך אחריו אלא למקום הועד שהסנהדרין יושבין שם ילכו, וסנהדרין מקדשין אותו בלא ראש ב״ד: