(2) At first, bonfires were lighted on the tops of the mountains [to transmit the appearance of the new moon]; but when the Cutheans [the Samaritans] corrupted [the process], it was ordained that messengers should be sent out.
(3) How were these mountain fires lighted? They brought long staves of cedar wood, and shoots, and sticks from oil trees, and the scraps of flax, which were [all] tied on the top of [the staves] with twine; [with these, the court's agent] went to the top of the mountain, and lighted the fire; and waved them to and fro, upward and downward, until he could see his fellow, [and] that [the latter] was doing the same on the top of the next mountain; and so too, [this process was repeated with regards to the next fellow] on the top of the third mountain.
(4) And from where did they light these mountain fires? From the Mount of Olives to Sartava, and from Sartava to Grofina, and from Grofina to Havran, and from Havran to Beit Biltin; and from Beit Biltin, [the agents] did not move from there, but [rather] he would wave [the flaming brands] to and fro, upward and downward, until he could see the whole Diaspora in front of him [lit up] like a torch fire.
(5) There was a large courtyard in Jerusalem and it was called Beit Ya'azek; it was there that all the witnesses gathered, and the court would examine them there. Large meals were made for them, in order that they be accustomed to come [and testify]. At first, they did not move from [that courtyard] all day [on Shabbat. Later,] Rabban Gamliel the Elder ordained that they would [be permitted to] go two thousand amot [a specific unit of length] on every side; and it is not only [witnesses that were given this dispensation on Shabbat], but also the midwife, who comes to deliver [a baby]; and one who comes to save [others] from a fire, or from [the attack of a hostile] troop, or from a [flood], or from under the ruins of fallen buildings; behold they are considered as inhabitants of that town [to which they arrived on Shabbat], and [hence] they have two thousand amot on every side [of the town in which they are allowed to move].