מעשה שעברו יותר מארבעים זוג ועיכבן ר"ע כו': תניא אמר רבי יהודה ח"ו שר"ע עיכבן אלא שזפר ראשה של גדר עיכבן ושלח רבן גמליאל והורידוהו מגדולתו:
§ It was taught in the mishna: There was once an incident where more than forty pairs of witnesses were passing through on their way to Jerusalem to testify about the new moon, and Rabbi Akiva detained them in Lod, telling them that there was no need for them to desecrate Shabbat for this purpose. It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yehuda said: Heaven forbid that Rabbi Akiva detained them, for he would certainly not have made such an error. Rather, it was that Zefer, the head of the city of Geder, detained them. And Rabban Gamliel sent and they removed him from his high office because he had acted inappropriately.
מתני׳ אב ובנו שראו את החדש ילכו לא שמצטרפין זה עם זה אלא שאם יפסל אחד מהן יצטרף השני עם אחר ר"ש אומר אב ובנו וכל הקרובין כשרין לעדות החדש
MISHNA: If a father and his son saw the new moon, they should both go to the court in Jerusalem. It is not that they can join together to give testimony, for close relatives are disqualified from testifying together, but they both go so that if one of them is disqualified, the second may join together with another witness to testify about the new moon. Rabbi Shimon says: A father and his son and all their relatives are fit to combine together as witnesses for testimony to determine the start of the month.
א"ר יוסי מעשה בטוביה הרופא שראה את החדש בירושלים הוא ובנו ועבדו משוחרר וקבלו הכהנים אותו ואת בנו ופסלו את עבדו וכשבאו לפני בית דין קבלו אותו ואת עבדו ופסלו את בנו:
Rabbi Yosei said: There was an incident with Toviyya the doctor. When he saw the new moon in Jerusalem, he and his son and his freed slave all went to testify. The priests accepted him and his son as witnesses and disqualified his slave, for they ruled stringently that the month may be sanctified only on the basis of the testimony of those of Jewish lineage. And when they came before the court, they accepted him and his slave as witnesses and disqualified his son, due to the familial relationship.
גמ׳ א"ר לוי מאי טעמא דר"ש דכתיב (שמות יב, א) ויאמר ה' אל משה ואל אהרן בארץ מצרים לאמר החדש הזה לכם עדות זו תהא כשרה בכם
GEMARA: Rabbi Levi said: What is the reason for Rabbi Shimon’s opinion permitting relatives to jointly testify about the new moon, despite the fact that relatives are generally disqualified from testifying together? It is as it is written: “And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying: This month shall be to you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you” (Exodus 12:1–2). The words “to you” come to teach that this testimony concerning the new moon will be valid even when it is given by you two, i.e., Moses and Aaron, who are brothers and could not ordinarily testify together.
ורבנן עדות זו תהא מסורה לכם:
The Gemara asks: And with regard to the Rabbis, who disagree with Rabbi Shimon and prohibit relatives from testifying together about the new moon, how do they understand this verse? The Gemara answers: They interpret the verse as follows: This testimony is given over to you and others like you. That is to say, the months are to be established by the most outstanding authorities of each generation.
א"ר יוסי מעשה בטוביה הרופא כו': אמר רב חנן בר רבא הלכתא כר"ש א"ל רב הונא לרב חנן בר רבא רבי יוסי ומעשה ואת אמרת הלכתא כר"ש
§ The mishna taught: Rabbi Yosei said: There was an incident with Toviyya the doctor. When he saw the new moon in Jerusalem, he and his son and his freed slave all went to testify. Rav Ḥanan bar Rava said: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon. Relatives are permitted to testify together about the new moon. Rav Huna said to Rav Ḥanan bar Rava: But Rabbi Yosei, whose position is usually accepted over those of his colleagues, ruled otherwise, and also, there was an incident in which the court actually ruled against Rabbi Shimon, and yet you say that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon?
אמר לו והא זמנין סגיאין אמרית קמיה דרב הלכתא כר"ש ולא אמר לי ולא מידי א"ל היכי תנית א"ל אפכא א"ל משום הכי לא אמר לך ולא מידי אמר טבי בריה דמרי טבי אמר מר עוקבא אמר שמואל הלכתא כר"ש:
Rav Ḥanan bar Rava said to him: But many times I said before Rav that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon on this matter, and never did he say anything to me to indicate that he disagreed. Rav Huna said to him: How did you teach the mishna? Rav Ḥanan bar Rava said to him: With the opposite attributions, that is say, the position that is attributed in the mishna to Rabbi Yosei, I would teach in the name of Rabbi Shimon. Rav Huna said to him: Due to that reason, he never said anything to you, for according to your version you ruled correctly. Tavi, son of Mari Tavi, said that Mar Ukva said that Shmuel said: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon.
מתני׳ אלו הן הפסולין המשחק בקוביא ומלוי ברבית ומפריחי יונים וסוחרי שביעית ועבדים זה הכלל כל עדות שאין האשה כשירה לה אף הן אינן כשירין לה:
MISHNA: The following are unfit to give testimony, as they are considered thieves and robbers: One who plays with dice [kubbiyya] or other games of chance for money; and those who lend money with interest; and those who race pigeons and place wagers on the outcome; and merchants who deal in produce of the Sabbatical Year, which may be eaten, but may not be an object of commerce; and slaves. This is the principle: Any testimony for which a woman is unfit, these too are unfit. Although in certain cases a woman’s testimony is accepted, e.g., to testify to the death of someone’s husband, in the majority of cases her testimony is not valid.
גמ׳ הא אשה כשירה לה אף הן כשירין לה אמר רב אשי זאת אומרת גזלן דדבריהם כשירין לעדות אשה:
GEMARA: This implies that any testimony for which a woman is fit, these too are fit. Rav Ashi said: That is to say, one who is regarded as a robber by rabbinic law, i.e., one who illegally came into possession of money but did not actually steal it from another, is like those mentioned in the mishna. Although they are generally unfit to give testimony, they are fit to give testimony to enable a woman to remarry.
מתני׳ מי שראה את החדש ואינו יכול להלך מוליכים אותו על החמור אפי' במטה ואם צודה להם לוקחין בידן מקלות
MISHNA: With regard to one who saw the new moon but is unable to go to Jerusalem by foot because he is sick or has difficulty walking, others may bring him on a donkey or even in a bed, even on Shabbat if necessary. And if the witnesses are concerned that bandits may be lying in wait for them along the road, they may take clubs or other weapons in their hands, even on Shabbat.
ואם היתה דרך רחוקה לוקחין בידם מזונות שעל מהלך לילה ויום מחללין את השבת ויוצאין לעדות החדש שנאמר (ויקרא כג, לז) אלה מועדי ה' אשר תקראו אותם במועדם:
And if it was a long journey to Jerusalem, they may take sustenance with them, although it is ordinarily prohibited to carry on Shabbat, since for a distance of a walk of a night and a day, the witnesses may desecrate Shabbat and go out to give testimony to determine the start of the month. This is as it is stated: “These are the Festivals of the Lord, sacred gatherings, which you shall declare in their seasons” (Leviticus 23:4). This teaches that, in all cases, the Festivals must be fixed at their proper times, even if it entails the transgression of Torah prohibitions.
הדרן עלך ארבעה ראשי שנים
מתני׳ אם אינן מכירין אותו משלחין עמו אחר להעידו בראשונה היו מקבלין עדות החדש מכל אדם משקלקלו הבייתוסים התקינו שלא יהו מקבלין אלא מן המכירין:
MISHNA: If the members of the Great Sanhedrin in Jerusalem are not familiar with that one who saw the new moon, i.e., that he is a valid witness, the members of his local court of twenty-three send another with him to testify about him. The mishna adds: Initially, the court would accept testimony to determine the start of the month from any person, as all are presumed to be qualified witnesses, absent any disqualifying factors. However, when the Boethusians, a sect whose members had their own opinions with regard to the establishment of the Festivals, corrupted the process by sending false witnesses to testify about the new moon, the Sages instituted that they would accept this testimony only from those men familiar to the Sanhedrin as valid witnesses.
גמ׳ מאי אחר חד
GEMARA: The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the statement in the mishna that another would be sent along to testify with regard to the qualification of the witness to the new moon? If it means that one other individual would be sent,