Saturday, December 23, 2006

Daf Yomi - Rosh Hashana 18 - Question

Question from Michael Post

The Mishnah lists six months for which messengers were sent out – for reasons ranging from “major holidays” like Pesach & Sukkos to “minor holidays” like Chanukah. The Gemara then asks about Tammuz & Teves since they have minor fasts, and the conclusion is that during the times of the Beis HaMikdash, those were only optional. But what about Shevat? We learned not that long ago that Tu B’Shevat is the new year for the trees (for maaser purposes, I believe). So wouldn’t people need to know exactly when Tu B’Shevat is so that they handle their trees properly? Tithing the crops is a Biblical obligation, so I would think that this would take even higher precedence than say Kislev.