וְעַרְבִית בַּמַּעֲרָב. אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בֶּן נוּרִי: עֵדֵי שֶׁקֶר הֵם. כְּשֶׁבָּאוּ לְיַבְנֶה קִיבְּלָן רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל. וְעוֹד, בָּאוּ שְׁנַיִם וְאָמְרוּ: רְאִינוּהוּ בִּזְמַנּוֹ, וּבְלֵיל עִיבּוּרוֹ לֹא נִרְאָה, וְקִיבְּלָן רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל. אָמַר רַבִּי דּוֹסָא בֶּן הוֹרְכִּינָס: עֵדֵי שֶׁקֶר הֵן, הֵיאַךְ מְעִידִים עַל הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁיָּלְדָה וּלְמָחָר כְּרֵיסָהּ בֵּין שִׁינֶּיהָ? אָמַר לוֹ רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ: רוֹאֶה אֲנִי אֶת דְּבָרֶיךָ. שָׁלַח לוֹ רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל: גּוֹזְרַנִי עָלֶיךָ שֶׁתָּבֹא אֶצְלִי בְּמַקֶּלְךָ וּבִמְעוֹתֶיךָ בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים שֶׁחָל לִהְיוֹת בְּחֶשְׁבּוֹנֶךָ. הָלַךְ וּמְצָאוֹ רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא מֵיצֵר, אָמַר לוֹ: יֵשׁ לִי לִלְמוֹד שֶׁכׇּל מַה שֶּׁעָשָׂה רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל עָשׂוּי, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״אֵלֶּה מוֹעֲדֵי ה׳ מִקְרָאֵי קֹדֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר תִּקְרְאוּ אֹתָם״, בֵּין בִּזְמַנָּן בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא בִּזְמַנָּן — אֵין לִי מוֹעֲדוֹת אֶלָּא אֵלּוּ. בָּא לוֹ אֵצֶל רַבִּי דּוֹסָא בֶּן הוֹרְכִּינָס, אָמַר לוֹ: אִם בָּאִין אָנוּ לָדוּן אַחַר בֵּית דִּינוֹ שֶׁל רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל, צְרִיכִין אָנוּ לָדוּן אַחַר כׇּל בֵּית דִּין וּבֵית דִּין שֶׁעָמַד מִימוֹת מֹשֶׁה וְעַד עַכְשָׁיו. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וַיַּעַל מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן נָדָב וַאֲבִיהוּא וְשִׁבְעִים מִזִּקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל״, וְלָמָּה לֹא נִתְפָּרְשׁוּ שְׁמוֹתָן שֶׁל זְקֵנִים? אֶלָּא לְלַמֵּד שֶׁכׇּל שְׁלֹשָׁה וּשְׁלֹשָׁה שֶׁעָמְדוּ בֵּית דִּין עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל — הֲרֵי הוּא כְּבֵית דִּינוֹ שֶׁל מֹשֶׁה. נָטַל מַקְלוֹ וּמְעוֹתָיו בְּיָדוֹ, וְהָלַךְ לְיַבְנֶה אֵצֶל רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל בַּיּוֹם שֶׁחָל יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים לִהְיוֹת בְּחֶשְׁבּוֹנוֹ. עָמַד רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל וּנְשָׁקוֹ עַל רֹאשׁוֹ, אָמַר לוֹ: בּוֹא בְּשָׁלוֹם רַבִּי וְתַלְמִידִי! רַבִּי — בְּחׇכְמָה, וְתַלְמִידִי — שֶׁקִּבַּלְתָּ אֶת דְּבָרַי. גְּמָ׳ תַּנְיָא, אָמַר לָהֶם רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל לַחֲכָמִים: כָּךְ מְקוּבְּלַנִי מִבֵּית אֲבִי אַבָּא — פְּעָמִים שֶׁבָּא בַּאֲרוּכָּה וּפְעָמִים שֶׁבָּא בִּקְצָרָה. אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן: מַאי טַעְמָא דְּבֵי רַבִּי, דִּכְתִיב: ״עָשָׂה יָרֵחַ לְמוֹעֲדִים שֶׁמֶשׁ יָדַע מְבוֹאוֹ״ — שֶׁמֶשׁ הוּא דְּיָדַע מְבוֹאוֹ, יָרֵחַ לֹא יָדַע מְבוֹאוֹ. רַבִּי חִיָּיא חַזְיֵיא לְסֵיהֲרָא דַּהֲוָה קָאֵי בְּצַפְרָא דְּעֶשְׂרִים וְתִשְׁעָה. שְׁקַל קָלָא פְּתַק בֵּיהּ, אֲמַר: לְאוּרְתָּא בָּעֵינַן לְקַדּוֹשֵׁי בָּךְ, וְאַתְּ קָיְימַתְּ הָכָא?! זִיל אִיכַּסִּי. אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַבִּי לְרַבִּי חִיָּיא: זִיל לְעֵין טָב וְקַדְּשֵׁיהּ לְיַרְחָא, וּשְׁלַח לִי סִימָנָא: ״דָּוִד מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל חַי וְקַיָּם״. תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן: פַּעַם אַחַת נִתְקַשְּׁרוּ שָׁמַיִם בְּעָבִים, וְנִרְאֵית דְּמוּת לְבָנָה בְּעֶשְׂרִים וְתִשְׁעָה לַחֹדֶשׁ. כִּסְבוּרִים הָעָם לוֹמַר רֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ, וּבִקְּשׁוּ בֵּית דִּין לְקַדְּשׁוֹ. אָמַר לָהֶם רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל: כָּךְ מְקוּבְּלַנִי מִבֵּית אֲבִי אַבָּא — אֵין חִדּוּשָׁהּ שֶׁל לְבָנָה פְּחוּתָה מֵעֶשְׂרִים וְתִשְׁעָה יוֹם וּמֶחֱצָה וּשְׁנֵי שְׁלִישֵׁי שָׁעָה וְשִׁבְעִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה חֲלָקִים. וְאוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם מֵתָה אִמּוֹ שֶׁל בֶּן זָזָא, וְהִסְפִּידָהּ רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל הֶסְפֵּד גָּדוֹל. לֹא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁרְאוּיָה לְכָךְ, אֶלָּא כְּדֵי שֶׁיֵּדְעוּ הָעָם שֶׁלֹּא קִידְּשׁוּ בֵּית דִּין אֶת הַחֹדֶשׁ. הָלַךְ רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא וּמְצָאוֹ מֵיצֵר כּוּ׳. אִיבַּעְיָא לְהוּ: מִי מֵיצֵר? רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא מֵיצֵר, אוֹ רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ מֵיצֵר? תָּא שְׁמַע, דְּתַנְיָא: הָלַךְ רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא וּמְצָאוֹ לְרַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ כְּשֶׁהוּא מֵיצֵר, אָמַר לוֹ: [רַבִּי] מִפְּנֵי מָה אַתָּה מֵיצֵר? אָמַר לוֹ: רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא, רָאוּי לוֹ שֶׁיִּפּוֹל לַמִּטָּה שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ, וְאַל יִגְזוֹר עָלָיו גְּזֵירָה זוֹ. אָמַר לוֹ: רַבִּי, תַּרְשֵׁינִי לוֹמַר לְפָנֶיךָ דָּבָר אֶחָד שֶׁלִּמַּדְתַּנִי. אָמַר לוֹ: אֱמוֹר. אָמַר לוֹ: הֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר ״אֹתָם״ ״אֹתָם״ ״אֹתָם״ שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים. ״אַתֶּם״ — אֲפִילּוּ שׁוֹגְגִין, ״אַתֶּם״ — אֲפִילּוּ מְזִידִין, ״אַתֶּם״ — אֲפִילּוּ מוּטְעִין. בַּלָּשׁוֹן הַזֶּה אָמַר לוֹ: עֲקִיבָא נִחַמְתַּנִי, נִחַמְתַּנִי. בָּא לוֹ אֵצֶל רַבִּי דּוֹסָא בֶּן הוֹרְכִּינָס כּוּ׳. תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן: לָמָּה לֹא נִתְפָּרְשׁוּ שְׁמוֹתָם שֶׁל זְקֵנִים הַלָּלוּ? שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמַר אָדָם: פְּלוֹנִי כְּמֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן? פְּלוֹנִי כְּנָדָב וַאֲבִיהוּא? פְּלוֹנִי כְּאֶלְדָּד וּמֵידָד? וְאוֹמֵר: ״וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל אֶל הָעָם ה׳ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה אֶת מֹשֶׁה וְאֶת אַהֲרֹן״. וְאוֹמֵר: ״וַיִּשְׁלַח ה׳ אֶת יְרוּבַּעַל וְאֶת בְּדָן וְאֶת יִפְתָּח וְאֶת שְׁמוּאֵל״. ״יְרוּבַּעַל״ — זֶה גִּדְעוֹן, וְלָמָּה נִקְרָא שְׁמוֹ יְרוּבַּעַל — שֶׁעָשָׂה מְרִיבָה עִם הַבַּעַל. ״בְּדָן״ — זֶה שִׁמְשׁוֹן, וְלָמָּה נִקְרָא שְׁמוֹ בְּדָן — דְּאָתֵי מִדָּן. יִפְתָּח — כְּמַשְׁמָעוֹ. וְאוֹמֵר: ״מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן בְּכֹהֲנָיו וּשְׁמוּאֵל בְּקוֹרְאֵי שְׁמוֹ״, שָׁקַל הַכָּתוּב שְׁלֹשָׁה קַלֵּי עוֹלָם כִּשְׁלֹשָׁה חֲמוּרֵי עוֹלָם, 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. 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״. 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. קַל וָחוֹמֶר?! חִיּוּבָא הוּא! אֶלָּא: מִתּוֹךְ שֶׁהַגְּדוֹלִים נִשְׁמָעִים לַקְּטַנִּים — נוֹשְׂאִין קְטַנִּים קַל וָחוֹמֶר בְּעַצְמָן.
הֲדַרַן עֲלָךְ אִם אֵינָן מַכִּירִין
רָאוּהוּ בֵּית דִּין וְכׇל יִשְׂרָאֵל, נֶחְקְרוּ הָעֵדִים וְלֹא הִסְפִּיקוּ לוֹמַר ״מְקוּדָּשׁ״ עַד שֶׁחָשֵׁיכָה — הֲרֵי זֶה מְעוּבָּר. 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. 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. 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. וְכֵיוָן דִּתְנָא עַד שֶׁחָשֵׁיכָה הֲרֵי זֶה מְעוּבָּר — לְמָה לִי לְמִיתְנְיַיהּ חֲקִירַת הָעֵדִים כְּלָל? אִיצְטְרִיךְ, סָלְקָא דַּעְתָּךְ אָמֵינָא: תֶּיהְוֵי חֲקִירַת עֵדִים כִּתְחִילַּת דִּין, וּ״מְקוּדָּשׁ מְקוּדָּשׁ״ כִּגְמַר דִּין, וּלְקַדְּשֵׁיהּ בְּלֵילְיָא, מִידֵּי דְּהָוֵה אַדִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת, דִּתְנַן: דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת דָּנִין בַּיּוֹם וְגוֹמְרִין בַּלַּיְלָה — הָכָא נָמֵי מְקַדְּשִׁין בְּלֵילְיָא, קָא מַשְׁמַע לַן. 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. רָאוּהוּ בֵּית דִּין — יַעַמְדוּ שְׁנַיִם וְיָעִידוּ בִּפְנֵיהֶם. וְאַמַּאי? לֹא תְּהֵא שְׁמִיעָה גְּדוֹלָה מֵרְאִיָּיה! אָמַר רַבִּי זֵירָא: כְּגוֹן שֶׁרָאוּהוּ בַּלַּיְלָה. 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! 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. 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״. לְמֵימְרָא דְּעֵד נַעֲשֶׂה דַּיָּין? לֵימָא מַתְנִיתִין דְּלָא כְּרַבִּי עֲקִיבָא, דְּתַנְיָא: סַנְהֶדְרִין שֶׁרָאוּ אֶחָד שֶׁהָרַג אֶת הַנֶּפֶשׁ —
and that same day we saw the new moon in the evening in the west. Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Nuri said: They are false witnesses, as it is impossible to see the new moon so soon after the last sighting of the waning moon. However, when they arrived in Yavne, Rabban Gamliel accepted them as witnesses without concern. And there was another incident in which two witnesses came and said: We saw the new moon at its anticipated time, i.e., on the night of the thirtieth day of the previous month; however, on the following night, i.e., the start of the thirty-first, which is often the determinant of a full, thirty-day month, it was not seen. And nevertheless Rabban Gamliel accepted their testimony and established the New Moon on the thirtieth day. Rabbi Dosa ben Horkinas disagreed and said: They are false witnesses; how can witnesses testify that a woman gave birth and the next day her belly is between her teeth, i.e., she is obviously still pregnant? If the new moon was already visible at its anticipated time, how could it not be seen a day later? Rabbi Yehoshua said to him: I see the logic of your statement; the New Moon must be established a day later. Upon hearing that Rabbi Yehoshua had challenged his ruling, Rabban Gamliel sent a message to him: I decree against you that you must appear before me with your staff and with your money on the day on which Yom Kippur occurs according to your calculation; according to my calculation, that day is the eleventh of Tishrei, the day after Yom Kippur. Rabbi Akiva went and found Rabbi Yehoshua distressed that the head of the Great Sanhedrin was forcing him to desecrate the day that he maintained was Yom Kippur. In an attempt to console him, Rabbi Akiva said to Rabbi Yehoshua: I can learn from a verse that everything that Rabban Gamliel did in sanctifying the month is done, i.e., it is valid. As it is stated: “These are the appointed seasons of the Lord, sacred convocations, which you shall proclaim in their season” (Leviticus 23:4). This verse indicates that whether you have proclaimed them at their proper time or whether you have declared them not at their proper time, I have only these Festivals as established by the representatives of the Jewish people. Rabbi Yehoshua then came to Rabbi Dosa ben Horkinas, who said to him: If we come to debate and question the rulings of the court of Rabban Gamliel, we must debate and question the rulings of every court that has stood from the days of Moses until now. As it is stated: “Then Moses went up, and Aaron, Nadav and Avihu, and seventy of the Elders of Israel” (Exodus 24:9). But why were the names of these seventy Elders not specified? Rather, this comes to teach that every set of three judges that stands as a court over the Jewish people has the same status as the court of Moses. Since it is not revealed who sat on that court, apparently it is enough that they were official judges in a Jewish court. When Rabbi Yehoshua heard that even Rabbi Dosa ben Horkinas maintained that they must submit to Rabban Gamliel’s decision, he took his staff and his money in his hand, and went to Yavne to Rabban Gamliel on the day on which Yom Kippur occurred according to his own calculation. Upon seeing him, Rabban Gamliel stood up and kissed him on his head. He said to him: Come in peace, my teacher and my student. You are my teacher in wisdom, as Rabbi Yehoshua was wiser than anyone else in his generation, and you are my student, as you accepted my statement, despite your disagreement. GEMARA: It is taught in a baraita that Rabban Gamliel said to the Sages, in explanation of his opinion that it is possible for the new moon to be visible so soon after the last sighting of the waning moon: This is the tradition that I received from the house of my father’s father: Sometimes the moon comes by a long path and sometimes it comes by a short one. Rabbi Yoḥanan said: What is the reason for the opinion of the house of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, i.e., the house of the heads of the Great Sanhedrin, the source of Rabban Gamliel’s ruling? As it is written: “Who appointed the moon for seasons; the sun knows its going down” (Psalms 104:19). This verse indicates that it is only the sun that knows its going down, i.e., its seasons and the times that it shines are the same every year. In contrast, the moon does not know its going down, as its course is not identical every month. § The Gemara relates that Rabbi Ḥiyya once saw the waning moon standing in the sky on the morning of the twenty-ninth of the month. He took a clump of earth and threw it at the moon, saying: This evening we need to sanctify you, i.e., the new moon must be visible tonight so that we may declare the thirtieth of the month as the New Moon, and you are still standing here? Go and cover yourself for now, so that the new moon will be seen only after nightfall. The Gemara further relates that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi once said to Rabbi Ḥiyya: Go to a place called Ein Tav and sanctify the New Moon there, and send me a sign that you have sanctified it. The sign is: David, king of Israel, lives and endures. The Sages taught in a baraita: Once the sky was covered with clouds, and the form of the moon was visible on the twenty-ninth of the month. The people thought to say that the day was the New Moon, and the court sought to sanctify it. However, Rabban Gamliel said to them: This is the tradition that I received from the house of my father’s father: The monthly cycle of the renewal of the moon takes no less than twenty-nine and a half days, plus two-thirds of an hour, plus seventy-three of the 1,080 subsections of an hour. The baraita continues: And on that day the mother of the Sage ben Zaza died, and Rabban Gamliel delivered a great eulogy on her behalf. He did this not because she was worthy of this honor; rather, he eulogized her so that the people would know that the court had not sanctified the month, as eulogies are prohibited on the New Moon. § The mishna taught that Rabbi Akiva went and found him distressed that the head of the Great Sanhedrin was forcing him to desecrate the day that he maintained was Yom Kippur. A dilemma was raised before the Sages: Who was distressed? Was Rabbi Akiva distressed or was Rabbi Yehoshua distressed? The Gemara answers: Come and hear, as it is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Akiva went and found Rabbi Yehoshua in a state of distress, and he said to him: My teacher, for what reason are you distressed? Rabbi Yehoshua said to him: Rabbi Akiva, it is fitting for one to fall sick in bed for twelve months, rather than to have this decree issued against him that he should have to desecrate Yom Kippur. Rabbi Akiva said to him: My teacher, allow me to say before you one matter that you yourself once taught me. He said to him: Speak. He said to him: It states with respect to the Festivals: “The appointed seasons of the Lord, which you shall proclaim them [otam] to be sacred convocations (Leviticus 23:2). And it is written: “These are the appointed seasons of the Lord, sacred convocations; you shall proclaim them [otam] in their season” (Leviticus 23:4). And it is written: “These are the appointed seasons of the Lord; you shall proclaim them [otam] to be sacred convocations” (Leviticus 23:37). Three times the verses use the term: Them [otam], which can also be read as you [atem], in plural. This comes to teach: You [atem] are authorized to determine the date of the new month, even if you unwittingly establish the New Moon on the wrong day; you, even if you do so intentionally; you, even if you are misled by false witnesses. In all cases, once the court establishes the day as the New Moon, it is sanctified, and God grants His consent. After hearing this, Rabbi Yehoshua said to him in these words: Akiva, you have consoled me; you have consoled me. § The mishna taught that Rabbi Yehoshua next came to Rabbi Dosa ben Horkinas, who proved to him that the court of Rabban Gamliel has the same legal status as the court of Moses. The Sages taught in a baraita: Why were the names of these seventy Elders who sat together with Moses on his court not specified? The reason is so that a person not say: Is so-and-so the judge in my time, like Moses and Aaron? Is so-and-so like Nadav and Avihu? Is so-and-so like Eldad and Medad? Therefore, the names of the other elders were not specified, so that there is no way of knowing the qualifications of the elders in the time of Moses to compare them to later judges. And similarly it says: “And Samuel said to the people: It is the Lord Who made Moses and Aaron” (I Samuel 12:6). And it says further: “And the Lord sent Jerubaal and Bedan and Jephthah and Samuel” (I Samuel 12:11). The Gemara explains: Jerubaal, this is Gideon. And why is he called Jerubaal? The reason is that he waged a quarrel against Baal. Bedan, this is Samson. And why is he called Bedan? As he came from the tribe of Dan. Jephthah, in accordance with its regular meaning, i.e., this is referring to Jephthah himself and is not a nickname. 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. 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. 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. § 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. § 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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,