Thursday, January 04, 2007

Daf Yomi - Rosh Hashana 30 - Highlights


The Gemora cites a braisa which relates an incident that occurred in Yavneh after the Sanhedrin had been exiled there. Rosh Hashanah fell out on Shabbos and all the people from the surrounding cities came to Yavneh to hear the shofar. The Sages stated that they should resolve first if they are allowed to blow. Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai disagreed and they blew the shofar without ruling on its permissibility. Afterwards, they asked Rabban Yochanan to decide if this practice should be continued and he responded that they can continue to blow on Shabbos in Yavneh. He explained that since the shofar was blown already, we cannot contest what Beis Din has already done. (29b)

Rav Huna rules that a private individual may blow in Yavneh on Shabbos, providing that he is in the presence of Beis Din. In Yerushalayim, an individual was permitted to blow even when he was not in the presence of Beis Din. The Gemora unsuccessfully challenges Rav Huna from the Mishna. (29b – 30a)


 The Gemora offers a different version of Rav Huna’s ruling. He stated that every individual is obligated to blow the shofar on Yom Kippur of the Yovel year; however they can only blow during the time that the Beis Din is in session. The Gemora unsuccessfully challenges the viewpoint of Rav Huna from two different braisos. The Gemora cites a statement from Rebbe Chiya that corroborates the second version of Rav Huna. (30a)


 The Mishna had stated that any place which could see Yerushalayim, could hear, was near and could come to Yerushalayim was also able to blow on Shabbos. The Gemora clarifies as to which places are excluded based on these conditions. A city that rests in a valley cannot see Yerushalayim. A city which is on top of a mountain cannot hear sounds from Yerushalayim. A city that is located outside of the techum boundary of Yerushalayim is excluded because the people in that city are not close to Yerushalayim. If there is a river separating the city and Yerushalayim, this is regarded as a city where the people cannot come to Yerushalayim. All these cities will not be able to shofar on Rosh Hashanah when it falls out on Shabbos. (30a)


 The Mishna states that originally, the mitzvah of lulav was for seven days in the Beis Hamikdosh and for one day outside the Beis Hamikdosh. After the destruction of the second Beis Hamikdosh, Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai instituted that the lulav should be taken for all seven days of Sukkos as a commemoration to the Beis Hamikdosh.

Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai also instituted that one is not permitted to eat from the new grain the entire day of the sixteenth of Nissan. In the times of the Beis Hamikdosh, the new grain could only be eaten after the omer offering was brought on the sixteenth of Nissan. Subsequent to the destruction of the Beis Hamikdosh, one was biblically permitted to eat the new grain on the sixteenth of Nissan in the morning. Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakkai was concerned, however, that the Beis Hamikdosh may be built the following year on the night of the sixteenth of Nissan and there would not be enough time to prepare the omer offering. People might then say that the new grain will be permitted in the morning just as it was the previous year. This assumption would be erroneous, because the previous year there was no Beis Hamikdosh, thus there was no possibility of offering the omer, and for that reason the new grain was permitted in the morning. During the present year, however, there is a Beis Hamikdosh, and one must wait for the offering of the omer or one must wait until the end of the day. Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakkai therefore instituted that one was prohibited from eating the new grain the entire day of the sixteenth of Nissan. (30a)


 The Mishna states that initially the Sanhedrin, High Court, would accept all day the testimony of witnesses who had sighted the new moon. Once the witnesses were delayed in their arrival and the Leviim sang the wrong psalm to accompany the afternoon tamid sacrifice, because being that it was the thirtieth day of Elul, they sang the regular weekday psalm and afterwards they were informed that the day was declared to be Rosh Hashanah. The Chachamim thus instituted that witnesses would only be accepted until the afternoon tamid sacrifice was offered, and if the witnesses arrived after the afternoon tamid sacrifice was offered, then that day and the following day were deemed to be a Yom Tov. After the destruction of the Beis Hamikdosh, Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai instituted that they would accept the witnesses the entire day. (30b)


 The Gemora inquires as to what was the Leviim’s mistake regarding the psalm. In Bavel, they explained that the Leviim did not sing a psalm at all that day. Reb Zeira maintains that they recited the weekday psalm by the afternoon tamid. (30b)