Rosh Hashanah 31b:16ראש השנה ל״א ב:טז
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31bל״א ב

ומיבנה לאושא ומאושא ליבנה ומיבנה לאושא ומאושא לשפרעם ומשפרעם לבית שערים ומבית שערים לצפורי ומצפורי לטבריא וטבריא עמוקה מכולן שנאמר (ישעיהו כט, ד) ושפלת מארץ תדברי

and from Yavne to Usha; and from Usha it returned to Yavne; and from Yavne it went back to Usha; and from Usha to Shefaram; and from Shefaram to Beit She’arim; and from Beit She’arim to Tzippori; and from Tzippori to Tiberias. And Tiberias is lower than all of them, as it is in the Jordan Valley. A verse alludes to these movements, as it is stated: “And brought down, you shall speak out of the ground” (Isaiah 29:4).

רבי אלעזר אומר שש גלות שנאמר (ישעיהו כו, ה) כי השח יושבי מרום קריה נשגבה ישפילנה ישפילה עד ארץ יגיענה עד עפר א"ר יוחנן ומשם עתידין ליגאל שנאמר (ישעיהו נב, ב) התנערי מעפר קומי שבי:

Rabbi Elazar says: There are six exiles, if you count only the places, not the number of journeys, and a different verse alludes to this, as it is stated: “For He has brought down those who dwell high, the lofty city laying it low, laying it low, to the ground, bringing it to the dust” (Isaiah 26:5). This verse mentions six expressions of lowering: Brought down, laying it low, laying it low, to the ground, bringing it, and to the dust. Rabbi Yoḥanan said: And from there, i.e., from their lowest place of descent, they are destined to be redeemed in the future, as it is stated: “Shake yourself from the dust, arise, sit, Jerusalem” (Isaiah 52:2).

מתני׳ אמר ר' יהושע בן קרחה ועוד זאת התקין רבן יוחנן בן זכאי שאפילו ראש בית דין בכל מקום שלא יהו העדים הולכין אלא למקום הוועד:

MISHNA: Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥa said: And this, too, Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai instituted, that even if the head of the court of seventy-one is in any other place, not where the Great Sanhedrin is in session, the witnesses should nevertheless go only to the place where the Great Sanhedrin gathers to deliver testimony to determine the start of the month. Although the date of the month is dependent on the head of the Great Sanhedrin, as it is he who declares that the month is sanctified (see 24a), nevertheless, Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai instituted that the members of the Great Sanhedrin may sanctify the month in the absence of the head of the court.

גמ׳ ההיא איתתא דאזמנוה לדינא קמיה דאמימר בנהרדעי אזל אמימר למחוזא ולא אזלה בתריה כתב פתיחא עילווה אמר ליה רב אשי לאמימר והא אנן תנן אפילו ראש בית דין בכל מקום שלא יהו העדים הולכין אלא למקום הוועד

GEMARA: The Gemara relates: There was a certain woman who was called to judgment before Ameimar in Neharde’a. Ameimar temporarily went to Meḥoza, and she did not follow him to be judged there. He wrote a document of excommunication [petiḥa] concerning her, for disobeying the court. Rav Ashi said to Ameimar: Didn’t we learn in the mishna: Even if the head of the court of seventy-one is in any other place, the witnesses should go only to the place where the Great Sanhedrin gathers? This shows that one must appear in the court itself, rather than follow the head of the court.

א"ל הנ"מ לענין עדות החדש דא"כ נמצאת מכשילן לעתיד לבא אבל הכא (משלי כב, ז) עבד לוה לאיש מלוה

Ameimar said to him: This applies only to testimony to determine the start of the month, for which it is necessary to have a fixed place. The reason is that if so, if the witnesses come to court when the head of the court is absent and they will have to go to another place, consequently you will be obstructing them for future occasions, as they will consider it too much trouble and perhaps they will not come the next time. Therefore, the Sages said that these witnesses should go to the regular place where the Great Sanehdrin meets. However, here, with regard to monetary claims, the verse states: “The borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7), i.e., the defendant must act as is convenient to the claimant and the court.

ת"ר אין כהנים רשאין לעלות בסנדליהן לדוכן וזו אחד מתשע תקנות שהתקין ריב"ז שית דהאי פירקא וחדא דפירקא קמא

§ The Sages taught in a baraita: Priests are not allowed to ascend with their sandals to the platform to recite the Priestly Blessing in the synagogue. And this is one of the nine ordinances that Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai instituted. Six are mentioned in this chapter: Sounding the shofar on Shabbat in Yavne, taking the lulav all seven days, the prohibition against eating new grain the entire day of waving, accepting testimony to determine the start of the month all day, having the witnesses to the New Moon go to the place of meeting, and reciting the Priestly Blessing without sandals. And one is stated in the first chapter, that the witnesses to the New Moon may desecrate Shabbat only for the months of Tishrei and Nisan.

ואידך דתני' גר שנתגייר בזמן הזה צריך שיפריש רובע לקינו אמר רשב"א כבר נמנה עליה רבן יוחנן וביטלה מפני התקלה

And the other, as it is taught in a baraita: A convert who converts nowadays is required to set aside a quarter-shekel for his nest, i.e., his pair of doves. By Torah law a convert must bring two burnt-offerings of birds, in addition to his immersion and circumcision. After the destruction, it was instituted that he must set aside the value of two young pigeons in anticipation of the rebuilding of the Temple. Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar said: Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai already assembled a majority who voted and rescinded the ordinance due to a potential mishap. If a convert is obligated to set aside money, someone might unwittingly use this money, thereby violating the prohibition against misuse of consecrated property.

ואידך פלוגתא דרב פפא ורב נחמן בר יצחק רב פפא אמר כרם רבעי רב נחמן בר יצחק אמר לשון של זהורית

And the other ordinance, the ninth, is the subject of a dispute between Rav Pappa and Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak. Rav Pappa said: The ordinance concerned the fruit of a fourth-year grapevine. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: It was with regard to the strip of crimson wool.

רב פפא אמר כרם רבעי (דתניא) כרם רבעי היה עולה לירושלים מהלך יום לכל צד וזו היא תחומה אילת מן (הצפון) ועקרבת מן (הדרום) לוד מן המערב וירדן מן המזרח

The Gemara elaborates: Rav Pappa said that the ordinance is referring to the fruit of a fourth-year grapevine, as it is taught in a mishna (Beitza 5a): The fruit of a fourth-year grapevine has the status of second-tithe fruits, and therefore their owner would ascend to Jerusalem and eat the grapes there. If he is unable to do so, due to the distance involved or the weight of the load, he may redeem the fruits with money where he is, and later redeem that money for other fruits in Jerusalem. However, the Sages decreed that fruit from the environs of Jerusalem should not be redeemed; rather, the owners should bring the fruit itself to Jerusalem. The environs of Jerusalem for this purpose were defined as a day’s walk in each direction. And this is its boundary: Eilat to the north, Akrabat to the south, Lod to the west, and the Jordan river to the east.

ואמר עולא ואיתימא רבה בר עולא א"ר יוחנן מה טעם כדי לעטר שוקי ירושלים בפירות

And Ulla said, and some say Rabba bar Ulla said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: For what reason did the Sages institute this ordinance, that one who lives near Jerusalem must bring his fruit there? In order to adorn the markets of Jerusalem with fruit, as this decree ensures that there is always an abundance of fruit in Jerusalem.

ותניא כרם רבעי היה לו לרבי אליעזר במזרח לוד בצד כפר טבי וביקש ר' אליעזר להפקירו לעניים

And it was further taught in a baraita: Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus, a student of Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai, had a fourth-year grapevine located between Lod and Jerusalem, to the east of Lod alongside the village of Tavi. The vine was within the boundaries of Jerusalem for the purpose of this halakha. Rabbi Eliezer could not bring the fruit to the Temple, as the Temple had been destroyed, and Rabbi Eliezer sought to render the fruit ownerless in favor of the poor, for whom it would be worth the effort to bring the fruit to Jerusalem.

אמרו לו תלמידיו רבי כבר נמנו חבריך עליו והתירוהו מאן חבריך רבן יוחנן בן זכאי

His students said to him: Our teacher, there is no need to do so, as your colleagues have already voted on the matter and permitted it, as after the destruction of the Temple there is no need to adorn the markets of Jerusalem. The Gemara explains: Who are: Your colleagues? This is referring to Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai.

רב נחמן בר יצחק אמר לשון של זהורית דתניא בראשונה היו קושרין לשון של זהורית על פתח אולם מבחוץ הלבין היו שמחין לא הלבין היו עצבין התקינו שיהו קושרין אותו על פתח אולם מבפנים

Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: The ordinance was with regard to the strip of crimson wool used on Yom Kippur. As it is taught in a baraita: At first they would tie a strip of crimson wool to the opening of the Entrance Hall of the Temple on the outside. If, after the sacrificing of the offerings and the sending of the scapegoat, the strip turned white, the people would rejoice, as this indicated that their sins had been atoned for. If it did not turn white they would be sad. When the Sages saw that people were overly distressed on Yom Kippur, they instituted that they should tie the strip of crimson wool to the opening of the Entrance Hall on the inside, where only a few could enter to see it.

ועדיין היו מציצין ורואין הלבין היו שמחין לא הלבין היו עצבין התקינו שיהו קושרין אותו חציו בסלע וחציו בין קרניו של שעיר המשתלח

But people would still peek and see it, and once again, if it turned white they would rejoice, and if it did not turn white they would be sad. Therefore, the Sages instituted that they should tie half of the strip to a rock near the place where the one who sent the scapegoat stood and half of it between the horns of the scapegoat, so that the people would not know what happened to the strip until after the conclusion of Yom Kippur. This ordinance was instituted by Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai.

רב נחמן בר יצחק מאי טעמא לא אמר כרב פפא אמר לך אי סלקא דעתך רבן יוחנן בן זכאי חבריו דרבי אליעזר מי הוה רבו הוה ואידך כיון דתלמידים הוו לאו אורח ארעא למימרא ליה לרביה רבך

The Gemara explains this dispute: What is the reason that Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak did not state his opinion with regard to the ordinance in accordance with the opinion of Rav Pappa? He could have said to you: If it enters your mind to say that Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai rescinded the ordinance of the fruit of fourth-year grapevines, was he one of Rabbi Eliezer’s colleagues, that the students would have referred to him in this manner? He was his teacher. Therefore, Rabbi Yoḥanan cannot be the one who instituted this ordinance. And the other, Rav Pappa, what would he respond to this? He would say that since they were Rabbi Eliezer’s students it is not proper conduct for one to say to his teacher: Your teacher. Therefore, they referred to Rabbi Yoḥanan as Rabbi Eliezer’s colleague.

ורב פפא מאי טעמא לא אמר כרב נחמן בר יצחק אמר לך אי ס"ד רבן יוחנן בן זכאי בימי רבן יוחנן בן זכאי מי הוה לשון של זהורית והתניא כל שנותיו של רבן יוחנן בן זכאי מאה ועשרים שנה מ' שנה עסק בפרקמטיא מ' שנה למד מ' שנה לימד

The Gemara asks: And what is the reason that Rav Pappa did not state his opinion in accordance with the opinion of Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak? Rav Pappa could have said to you: If it enters your mind to say that this ordinance for Yom Kippur was instituted by Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai, in the days of Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai was there in fact a strip of crimson wool? Isn’t it taught in a baraita: All the years of Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai’s life were 120 years: Forty years he was involved in business so that he could achieve financial independence and study Torah, forty years he studied Torah, and forty years he taught Torah.

ותניא מ' שנה קודם שנחרב הבית לא היה לשון של זהורית מלבין אלא מאדים ותנן משחרב הבית התקין רבן יוחנן בן זכאי ואידך אותם ארבעים שנה דלמד תלמיד יושב לפני רבו הוה ואמר מילתא ואסתבר טעמיה

And it is taught in a baraita: During the forty years before the Second Temple was destroyed the strip of crimson wool would not turn white; rather, it would turn a deeper shade of red. And we learned in the mishna: When the Temple was destroyed Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai instituted his ordinances. This shows that Rabban Yoḥanan lived and taught Torah after the destruction. Therefore the ordinance of the crimson wool must have been made while Rabban Yoḥanan was still studying Torah, before he instituted any ordinances. The Gemara asks: And the other Sage, Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak, what would he answer? According to him, that ordinance was instituted during those forty years that he studied Torah. He was then a student sitting before his teacher, and he said a matter, i.e., he suggested this ordinance, and his reasoning made sense to the Sages,