If the court and all of the Jewish people saw the new moon, and the witnesses were interrogated, but the court did not manage to say: Sanctified, before nightfall, so that the thirtieth day already passed, the previous month is rendered a full, thirty-day month, and the following day is observed as the New Moon. If the court alone saw the new moon, two members of the court should stand and testify before the others, and the court should say: Sanctified, sanctified. If three people saw the new moon, and they are themselves members of a court for this purpose, two of them should stand and seat two of their colleagues next to the individual who remains of the three, thereby forming a new court of three. The two standing judges should then testify before the three seated judges that they saw the new moon and the seated judges say: Sanctified, sanctified. This procedure is necessary because an individual is not authorized to declare the month sanctified by himself. Rather, a court of three is required.
The mishna begins to discuss the primary mitzva of Rosh HaShana, sounding the shofar. All shofarot are fit for blowing except for the horn of a cow, because it is a horn [keren] and not a shofar. Rabbi Yosei said: But aren’t all shofarot called horn, as it is stated: “And it shall come to pass, that when they sound a long blast with the horn [keren] of a ram [yovel]” (Joshua 6:5), and a ram’s horn is a shofar fit for sounding on Rosh HaShana?
The shofar that was used on Rosh HaShana in the Temple was made from the straight horn of an ibex, and its mouth, the mouthpiece into which one blows, was plated with gold. And there were two trumpets, one on each of the two sides of the person sounding the shofar. The shofar would sound a long blast, whereas the trumpets would sound a short blast, because the mitzva of the day is with the shofar.
And in contrast, the shofarot used on public fast days were made from the curved horns of rams, and their mouths were plated with silver. There were two trumpets in the middle between the shofarot, and the shofar would sound a short blast, whereas the trumpets would sound a long blast, for the mitzva of the day is with the trumpets.
Yom Kippur of the Jubilee Year is the same as Rosh HaShana with regard to both the shofar blasts that are sounded and the additional blessings that are recited in the Amida prayer. Rabbi Yehuda disagrees and says: There is a difference between the two days: On Rosh HaShana one blows with horns of rams, whereas in Jubilee Years one blows with horns of ibexes.
A shofar that was cracked and then glued together, even though it appears to be whole, is unfit. Similarly, if one glued together broken fragments of shofarot to form a complete shofar, the shofar is unfit. If the shofar was punctured and the puncture was sealed, if it impedes the blowing, the shofar is unfit, but if not, it is fit.
If one sounds a shofar into a pit, or into a cistern, or into a large jug, if he clearly heard the sound of the shofar, he has fulfilled his obligation; but if he heard the sound of an echo, he has not fulfilled his obligation. And similarly, if one was passing behind a synagogue,or his house was adjacent to the synagogue, and he heard the sound of the shofar or the sound of the Scroll of Esther being read, if he focused his heart, i.e. his intent, to fulfill his obligation, he has fulfilled his obligation; but if not, he has not fulfilled his obligation. It is therefore possible for two people to hear the shofar blasts, but only one of them fulfills his obligation. Even though this one heard and also the other one heard, nevertheless, this one focused his heart to fulfill his obligation and has therefore indeed fulfilled it, but the other one did not focus his heart, and so he has not fulfilled his obligation.
Incidental to the discussion of the required intent when sounding the shofar, the mishna cites the verse: “And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed” (Exodus 17:11). It may be asked: Did the hands of Moses make war when he raised them or break war when he lowered them? Rather, the verse comes to tell you that as long as the Jewish people turned their eyes upward and subjected their hearts to their Father in Heaven, they prevailed, but if not, they fell. Similarly, you can say: The verse states: “Make for yourself a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole; and it shall come to pass, that everyone that is bitten, when he sees it, he shall live” (Numbers 21:8). Once again it may be asked: Did the serpent kill, or did the serpent preserve life? Rather, when the Jewish people turned their eyes upward and subjected their hearts to their Father in Heaven, they were healed, but if not, they rotted from their snakebites. Returning to its halakhic discussion, the mishna continues: A deaf-mute, an imbecile, or a minor who sounds the shofar cannot discharge the obligation on behalf of the community. This is the principle with regard to similar matters: Whoever is not obligated to do a certain matter cannot discharge the obligation on behalf of the community.