Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Daf Yomi - Rosh Hashana 7 - Highlights


We learned before that a bechor must be eaten within a year. The Gemora presents two opinions as to when this year begins and the Gemora concludes that there is no disagreement. Rav Acha bar Yaakov is referring to a bechor without a blemish and its year begins at the age of eight days since then it is fit to be brought on the mizbeach as a korban. Abaye is referring to an animal with a blemish that cannot be offered as a korban and therefore its year begins on the day it was born since that it when it is fit to be eaten. (6b – 7a)


The Gemora cites a braisa which lists the importance of the first of Nissan in regards to other matters (besides for the prohibition of delaying one’s korbanos). Nissan is considered the New Year regarding the counting of the months. There are different verses throughout the Prophets and the Writings which indicate that Nissan is the first month of the year. (7a)
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The braisa states that the first of Nissan is the New Year for the calculations for a leap year. The Gemora questions this from a different braisa which states explicitly that these calculations would be done as close to the month of Adar as possible and certainly not by Nissan. The Gemora answers that our braisa is referring to the last possible time that a leap year can be proclaimed. There is a dissenting opinion cited in a Mishna in Eduyos that the leap year must be announced before Purim. (7a)


The braisa states that the first of Nissan is considered the New Year for the separation of the shekalim. Every Nissan, they would start to purchase animals for the korbanos from the donated shekalim. Rav Yehuda learned in the name of Shmuel that public offerings that were brought on the first of Nissan from the funds of the previous year are valid but the mitzvah was not done in the best manner. Public offerings which were purchased using money which was sincerely donated to the public by an individual are valid. (7a – 7b)


The braisa cited an opinion that maintains that Nissan is regarded as the New Year for the rental of houses. If one rents a house to another person and he stipulates that the lease was for this year, the lease terminates on the first of Nissan. The Gemora explains as to why Nissan was chosen to be the New Year for the renting of houses and not Tishrei because generally a person anticipates renting a house for the entire winter season, which is until Nissan. (7b)


The Mishna had stated that there are four New Years when actually there are five. The first of Nissan is the New Year for the kings. The fifteenth is the New Year in regards to the prohibition against delaying one’s vows. The first of Elul is the New Year for animal tithing. The first of Tishrei is the New Year for Shemitah and Yovel. The fifteenth of Shevat is the New Year for the trees. Why does our Mishna state that there are four when in fact there seems to be five New Years?

Rava answers that there are at least four New Years according to all Tanaim. Rabbi Meir does not hold of the fifteenth of Nissan being the New Year for the festivals since he maintains that one is subject to the prohibition against delaying at the first festival that passes. Rabbi Shimon does not agree that the first of Elul is the New Year for animal tithing. He holds that the New Year for animal tithing is the first of Tishrei and that is already counted as one of the New Years. According to Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Shimon, there are only four New Years.

Rav Nachman answers that the Mishna means that there are four months which contain in them many New Years. (7b)