וְאוֹמֵר מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן בְּכֹהֲנָיו וּשְׁמוּאֵל בְּקוֹרְאֵי שְׁמוֹ שָׁקַל הַכָּתוּב שְׁלֹשָׁה קַלֵּי עוֹלָם כִּשְׁלֹשָׁה חֲמוּרֵי עוֹלָם And it says in another verse: “Moses and Aaron among His priests, and Samuel among those who call His name; they called upon the Lord, and He answered them” (Psalms 99:6). This verse equates Samuel to Moses and Aaron. In this manner, the verse weighed three light ones of the world, i.e., it considered the three less distinguished figures of Gideon, Samson, and Jephthah as equal to three significant ones of the world, Moses, Aaron, and Samuel, three of the greatest leaders of the Jewish people.
לוֹמַר לָךְ יְרוּבַּעַל בְּדוֹרוֹ כְּמֹשֶׁה בְּדוֹרוֹ בְּדָן בְּדוֹרוֹ כְּאַהֲרֹן בְּדוֹרוֹ יִפְתָּח בְּדוֹרוֹ כִּשְׁמוּאֵל בְּדוֹרוֹ לְלַמֶּדְךָ שֶׁאֲפִילּוּ קַל שֶׁבַּקַּלִּין וְנִתְמַנָּה פַּרְנָס עַל הַצִּבּוּר הֲרֵי הוּא כְּאַבִּיר שֶׁבָּאַבִּירִים This comes to tell you that Jerubaal in his generation is worthy of being treated like Moses in his generation; Bedan in his generation is like Aaron in his generation; and Jephthah in his generation is like Samuel in his generation. This serves to teach you that even the lightest of the light, i.e., the least distinguished individual, once he has been appointed as a leader over the community, he must be treated like the greatest of the great, and all are required to heed him and obey his rulings.
וְאוֹמֵר וּבָאתָ אֶל הַכֹּהֲנִים הַלְוִיִּם וְאֶל הַשֹּׁפֵט אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם וְכִי תַּעֲלֶה עַל דַּעְתְּךָ שֶׁאָדָם הוֹלֵךְ אֵצֶל הַדַּיָּין שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה בְּיָמָיו הָא אֵין לְךָ לֵילֵךְ אֶלָּא אֵצֶל שׁוֹפֵט שֶׁבְּיָמָיו וְאוֹמֵר אַל תֹּאמַר מֶה הָיָה שֶׁהַיָּמִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים הָיוּ טוֹבִים מֵאֵלֶּה: And it further says: “And you shall come to the priests, the Levites, and to the judge who shall be in those days” (Deuteronomy 17:9). But can it enter your mind that a person can go to a judge that is not alive in his days? What, then, is the meaning of the phrase “in those days”? It teaches that you need to go only to the judge in one’s days, i.e., he is authorized to judge and decide matters. And it also says: “Do not say: How was it that the former days were better than these? For it is not out of wisdom that you inquire concerning this” (Ecclesiastes 7:10). Instead, one must accept the rulings of the leaders of his generation.
נָטַל מַקְלוֹ וּמְעוֹתָיו בְּיָדוֹ תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן כֵּיוָן שֶׁרָאָה אוֹתוֹ עָמַד מִכִּסְּאוֹ וּנְשָׁקוֹ עַל רֹאשׁוֹ אָמַר לוֹ שָׁלוֹם עָלֶיךָ רַבִּי וְתַלְמִידִי רַבִּי שֶׁלִּמַּדְתַּנִי תּוֹרָה בָּרַבִּים וְתַלְמִידִי שֶׁאֲנִי גּוֹזֵר עָלֶיךָ גְּזֵירָה וְאַתָּה מְקַיְּימָהּ כְּתַלְמִיד אַשְׁרֵי הַדּוֹר שֶׁהַגְּדוֹלִים נִשְׁמָעִים לַקְּטַנִּים קַל וָחוֹמֶר קְטַנִּים לַגְּדוֹלִים § The mishna taught: Rabbi Yehoshua took his staff and his money in his hand, and appeared before Rabban Gamliel on the day on which Yom Kippur occurred according to his calculation, as Rabban Gamliel had ordered him to do. The Sages taught in a baraita: When Rabban Gamliel saw Rabbi Yehoshua, he rose from his chair and kissed him on his head and said to him: Peace be on you, my teacher and my student. My teacher, as you have taught me Torah in public, and my student, as I issue a decree against you and you fulfill it like a student of mine. Fortunate is the generation in which the greater heed the lesser, and it is an a fortiori inference that the generation in which the lesser heed the greater is certainly fortunate as well.
קַל וָחוֹמֶר חִיּוּבָא הוּא אֶלָּא מִתּוֹךְ שֶׁהַגְּדוֹלִים נִשְׁמָעִים לַקְּטַנִּים נוֹשְׂאִין קְטַנִּים קַל וָחוֹמֶר בְּעַצְמָן: The Gemara questions this last point: Is this derived by an a fortiori inference? This is incorrect, as it is an obligation for the lesser to heed those who are greater than them. Rather, Rabbi Gamliel meant the following: Since the greater heed the lesser, the lesser apply an a fortiori inference to themselves and heed the leaders of the generation.
הֲדַרַן עֲלָךְ אִם אֵינָן מַכִּירִין
רָאוּהוּ בֵּית דִּין וְכׇל יִשְׂרָאֵל נֶחְקְרוּ הָעֵדִים וְלֹא הִסְפִּיקוּ לוֹמַר מְקוּדָּשׁ עַד שֶׁחָשֵׁיכָה הֲרֵי זֶה מְעוּבָּר MISHNA: 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.
רָאוּהוּ בֵּית דִּין בִּלְבַד יַעַמְדוּ שְׁנַיִם וְיָעִידוּ בִּפְנֵיהֶם וְיֹאמְרוּ מְקוּדָּשׁ מְקוּדָּשׁ רָאוּהוּ שְׁלֹשָׁה וְהֵן בֵּית דִּין יַעַמְדוּ הַשְּׁנַיִם וְיוֹשִׁיבוּ מֵחֲבֵירֵיהֶם אֵצֶל הַיָּחִיד וְיָעִידוּ בִּפְנֵיהֶם וְיֹאמְרוּ מְקוּדָּשׁ מְקוּדָּשׁ שֶׁאֵין הַיָּחִיד נֶאֱמָן עַל יְדֵי עַצְמוֹ: 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.
גְּמָ׳ לְמָה לִי לְמִיתְנֵא רָאוּהוּ בֵּית דִּין וְכׇל יִשְׂרָאֵל אִיצְטְרִיךְ סָלְקָא דַּעְתָּךְ אָמֵינָא הוֹאִיל וְרָאוּהוּ בֵּית דִּין וְכׇל יִשְׂרָאֵל אִיפַּרְסְמָא לַהּ וְלָא לִיעַבְּרוּהּ קָא מַשְׁמַע לַן GEMARA: The Gemara asks: Why do I need the mishna to teach: If the court and all of the Jewish people saw the new moon? Merely stating that the court saw the moon would have sufficed, since its sanctification depends on them. The Gemara answers: It was necessary for the mishna to teach that even in that case, the month is intercalated. As it might enter your mind to say that since the court and all of the Jewish people saw the new moon, it was publicized that it was the New Moon that day, and let them no longer intercalate the month. Therefore, the tanna of the mishna teaches us that even in the case where all the Jewish people saw the new moon, the New Moon must be declared by the court.
וְכֵיוָן דִּתְנָא לֵיהּ רָאוּהוּ בֵּית דִּין וְכׇל יִשְׂרָאֵל נֶחְקְרוּ הָעֵדִים לְמָה לִי הָכִי קָאָמַר אִי נָמֵי נֶחְקְרוּ הָעֵדִים וְלֹא הִסְפִּיקוּ לוֹמַר מְקוּדָּשׁ עַד שֶׁחָשֵׁיכָה הֲרֵי זֶה מְעוּבָּר The Gemara asks further: But once the mishna states: If the court and all of the Jewish people saw the new moon, why do I need it to say: And the witnesses were interrogated? Why are witnesses necessary if the new moon was already seen by the court? The Gemara answers that this is what the tanna is saying: Alternatively, if the witnesses were interrogated, but the court had no time to say: Sanctified, before nightfall, the previous month is intercalated and rendered a full month of thirty days.
וְכֵיוָן דִּתְנָא עַד שֶׁחָשֵׁיכָה הֲרֵי זֶה מְעוּבָּר לְמָה לִי לְמִיתְנְיַיהּ חֲקִירַת הָעֵדִים כְּלָל The Gemara raises another difficulty. But once the mishna taught: But the court did not manage to say: Sanctified, before nightfall, the previous month is rendered a full, thirty-day month, why do I need the mishna to teach about the interrogation of the witnesses? This halakha was already stated with regard to a case where the court itself saw the new moon.
אִיצְטְרִיךְ סָלְקָא דַּעְתָּךְ אָמֵינָא תֶּיהְוֵי חֲקִירַת עֵדִים כִּתְחִילַּת דִּין וּמְקוּדָּשׁ מְקוּדָּשׁ כִּגְמַר דִּין וּלְקַדְּשֵׁיהּ בְּלֵילְיָא מִידֵּי דְּהָוֵה אַדִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת דִּתְנַן דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת דָּנִין בַּיּוֹם וְגוֹמְרִין בַּלַּיְלָה הָכָא נָמֵי מְקַדְּשִׁין בְּלֵילְיָא קָא מַשְׁמַע לַן The Gemara explains: It was necessary, as it might enter your mind to say: Let the interrogation of the witnesses be regarded as the beginning of the judicial process, and let the declaration: Sanctified, sanctified, be regarded as the conclusion of the judicial process, and let them sanctify the month at night, because the process began during the day. This process would then be just as it is in cases of monetary law, as we learned in a mishna: In cases of monetary law, although they must be adjudicated during the day, the court may judge the majority of a case during the day, and complete the trial and issue the ruling at night. Here too, one might assume that the court may sanctify the month at night, as the process began during the day. Therefore, the mishna teaches us that the court may not do so.
וְאֵימָא הָכִי נָמֵי אָמַר קְרָא כִּי חֹק לְיִשְׂרָאֵל הוּא מִשְׁפָּט לֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב אֵימַת הָוֵי חֹק בִּגְמַר דִּין וְקָא קָרֵי לֵיהּ רַחֲמָנָא מִשְׁפָּט מָה מִשְׁפָּט בַּיּוֹם אַף הָכָא נָמֵי בַּיּוֹם: The Gemara raises another difficulty: Why not say that, indeed, the sanctification of the month should be treated like monetary cases? The Gemara answers: The verse states with regard to Rosh HaShana: “For this is a statute for Israel, a judgment [mishpat] of the God of Jacob” (Psalms 81:5). When does the sanctification of the month become a statute? At the end of the judicial process, and the Merciful One calls it a judgment as well, thereby teaching that just as the primary time of a judgment is during the day, here too, with regard to the sanctification of the New Moon, the process must take place during the day, and not at night.
רָאוּהוּ בֵּית דִּין יַעַמְדוּ שְׁנַיִם וְיָעִידוּ בִּפְנֵיהֶם וְאַמַּאי לֹא תְּהֵא שְׁמִיעָה גְּדוֹלָה מֵרְאִיָּיה § The mishna continues: If the court alone saw the new moon, two members of the court should stand and testify before the others. The Gemara ponders: If the court saw the new moon, why is it necessary for two of its members to testify before the others? Hearing their testimony should not be greater than actually seeing the new moon.
אָמַר רַבִּי זֵירָא כְּגוֹן שֶׁרָאוּהוּ בַּלַּיְלָה: The Gemara responds that Rabbi Zeira said: The mishna is addressing a case where the court saw the new moon at night. Because they saw it at night, their testimony is inadmissible at that time, as testimonies are admissible only during the day. They must therefore wait until the following day and testify as any ordinary person would.
רָאוּהוּ שְׁלֹשָׁה וְהֵן בֵּית דִּין יַעַמְדוּ שְׁנַיִם וְיוֹשִׁיבוּ מֵחֲבֵירֵיהֶם אֵצֶל הַיָּחִיד אַמַּאי הָכָא נָמֵי נֵימָא לֹא תְּהֵא שְׁמִיעָה גְּדוֹלָה מֵרְאִיָּיה וְכִי תֵּימָא הָכָא נָמֵי כְּגוֹן שֶׁרָאוּהוּ בַּלַּיְלָה הַיְינוּ הָךְ The mishna continues: 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. The Gemara asks: Why is this necessary? Here too, let us say: Hearing their testimony should not be greater than actually seeing the new moon. And if you say that here too, the mishna is addressing a case where they saw the new moon at night, this case is identical to that previous one, and there would be no need for two separate rulings.
סֵיפָא אִיצְטְרִיכָא לֵיהּ דְּאֵין הַיָּחִיד נֶאֱמָן עַל יְדֵי עַצְמוֹ דְּסָלְקָא דַּעְתָּךְ אָמֵינָא הוֹאִיל וּתְנַן דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה וְאִם הָיָה מוּמְחֶה לְרַבִּים דָּן אֲפִילּוּ בְּיָחִיד הָכָא נָמֵי נִיקַדְּשֵׁיהּ בִּיחִידִי קָא מַשְׁמַע לַן The Gemara answers: It was necessary to teach the last clause, which states: Because an individual is not deemed credible and authorized to declare the month sanctified by himself. For it might enter your mind to say that since we learned in a baraita: Cases of monetary law are adjudicated by a court of three judges, but if a person was a publicly recognized expert, he may judge monetary matters even individually, then here too, one judge should be authorized to sanctify the month individually if he is a recognized expert. Therefore, the mishna teaches us that this is not so, and that three judges are required for the sanctification of the month.
וְאֵימָא הָכָא נָמֵי אֵין לְךָ מוּמְחֶה לְרַבִּים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל יוֹתֵר מִמֹּשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ וְקָאָמַר לֵיהּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עַד דְּאִיכָּא אַהֲרֹן בַּהֲדָךְ דִּכְתִיב וַיֹּאמֶר ה׳ אֶל מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל אַהֲרֹן בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לֵאמֹר הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם The Gemara asks: But why not say that here too, a recognized expert can sanctify the month individually? The Gemara rejects this possibility: But certainly there was no publicly recognized expert among the Jewish people greater than our teacher Moses, and nevertheless the Holy One, Blessed be He, said to him: You may not sanctify the new month until Aaron is with you, as it is written: “And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, this month shall be for you the beginning of months” (Exodus 12:1–2), where the word “you” is in the plural form. And since, to avoid deadlock, a court cannot be composed of an even number of judges, another judge must be added. It is therefore apparent that three judges are required for the sanctification of the month by Torah law.
לְמֵימְרָא דְּעֵד נַעֲשֶׂה דַּיָּין לֵימָא מַתְנִיתִין דְּלָא כְּרַבִּי עֲקִיבָא דְּתַנְיָא סַנְהֶדְרִין שֶׁרָאוּ אֶחָד שֶׁהָרַג אֶת הַנֶּפֶשׁ The Gemara asks: Is this to say that a witness becomes a judge, i.e., that one who witnessed an event can himself serve as a judge concerning the matter? Let us say that the mishna is not in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, for it was taught in a baraita: If the Sanhedrin saw someone kill another person,