Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Daf Yomi - Rosh Hashana 22 - Desecrating Shabbos

Tosfos learns that we even allow the confirming witness to desecrate the Shabbos in order that he should come to Beis Din and vouch that the testifying witness is trustworthy.

Turei Even asks that since Biblically every witness is qualified and the only reason confirming witnesses are required is because the Chachamim were concerned on the account of the Baysussim, how could the Chachamim institute that Shabbos can be desecrated outright? He states that it would seem from the Gemora and the Poskim that even a Biblical prohibition is permissible to violate.

The Turei Even answers that after the Chachamim instituted that Beis Din will only accept testimony from recognizable witnesses, the sanctifying of the new month is dependent on the confirming witnesses since without them, there are no valid testifying witnesses. They are therefore included in the general permissibility that the witnesses can desecrate Shabbos in order to be able to make Rosh Chodesh in the proper time and to fix the dates of the festivals accordingly.

The Pnei Yehoshua offers a similar answer regarding a different question. He asks that that the concern for the Baysussim was limited to the month of Nissan (since it was their intention to have the first day of Pesach occur on Shabbos), so why was it permitted for the confirming witnesses to desecrate Shabbos for every month? He answers that since it was established that every month requires recognizable witnesses because of Nissan, it emerges that sanctifying the new month requires the confirming witnesses as well and therefore they can desecrate the Shabbos in order to come to Beis Din.

Sefer Poseach Shaar states that the Ritva at the end of the previous perek seems to learn like this as well. The Mishna stated regarding one who saw the moon but is unable to travel to Beis Din; they may bring him by a donkey or carry him on a bed. This was permitted even on the Shabbos. If they were wary about an ambush, they were allowed to carry sticks with them to be utilized as weapons. The Ritva explains that the permission to desecrate the Shabbos was extended to the witnesses helpers as well since the reason for allowing the desecration of Shabbos was because we are interested in the result of Beis Din sanctifying the new month. Whatever is needed to get the witnesses to Beis Din safely and in a timely fashion is permitted.


Anonymous said...

Pnei Yehoshua states further that this is why the Mishna is out of order. First it says "if they don't recognize him, send someone along." Then it says about the Baisusim etc. This tells us that the first line of sending a confirming witness should be connected to previous Mishna which says that Shabbos can be overridden.