THE YEARS AFTER THE CHURBAN
Question: Rome started to subjugate Yisrael more than 180 years before the Churban!
(R. Yosi b'Rebbi): The Parsim ruled for 34 years of the second Mikdash. The Yevanim ruled for 180 years, the Chashmona'im for 103 years, and Hordus and his seed for 103 years (206 years remained from when Rome overpowered Yavan)!
Answer (and culmination of the answer to (4:k on Daf 8b)): Rome honored their promise to Yisrael for 26 years, only after that they subjugated Yisrael.
(Rav Papa): If a Chacham (knows how many full centuries it has been since the Churban of the second Mikdash, but) does not know the excess (the number of years in the partial century above this), he should add 20 to the date written on Gitin. (Gitin are dated from Yavan's supremacy, which was 6 years after they started ruling, 380 years before the Churban. If he adds 20, this is 400 more than the years since the Churban. The excess (the years above a full number of centuries) is exactly what he wanted to learn. (The number of centuries is four more than it should be, but he already knew the correct number of centuries.))
A way to remember this is - "Zeh Li Esrim Shanah b'Veisecha."
If a scribe (knows the centuries but) does not know the excess (how many years it is since Yavan's supremacy, to write in a Get), he should deduct 20 from the number of years since the Churban.
A way to remember which is which is that a scribe deducts (some words must be written missing letters), and a Chacham adds (learns Tosefta).
(Tana d'Vei Eliyahu): Six thousand years were decreed upon the world: 2000 years of emptiness (without Torah), 2000 years of Torah, and 2000 years for (the days of) Mashi'ach;
Ours sins have caused that many of these years elapsed, and Mashi'ach still has not come.
Question: What signifies the beginning of the years of Torah?
Suggestion: It was the giving of the Torah.
Rejection: It was less than 2000 years from then (the year 2448) until the above teaching was taught (in the period of the Amora'im, and it said that many years of Mashi'ach have already elapsed)!
Answer: Rather, it is "ha'Nefesh Asher Asu v'Charan" (when Avraham and Sarah started teaching people Hash-m's ways);
Tradition teaches that Avraham was 52 at the time (in the year 2000);
It was another 448 years until the giving of the Torah.
(Rav Papa): If a Chacham (knows the centuries, but) does not know the excess (how many years of Mashi'ach (i.e. after the year 4000) have passed), he should add 48 to the number of years written in Gitin (dated from Yavan's supremacy, 380 years before the Churban, 552 years before the year 4000. If he adds 48, this is 600 more than the number of years since the year 4000, so it teaches him the excess.)
A way to remember this - "Arba'im u'Shmoneh Ir."
If a scribe does not know the excess (to write in a Get), he should deduct 48 from the number of years of Mashi'ach that have passed.
A way to remember which is which is that a scribe deducts, and a Chacham adds.
(Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua): If one does not know which year of the Shemitah cycle it is, he adds one year, calculates the centuries (after the Churban, which was in the year after Shemitah) according to Yovelos (like we explain below), and the remaining years according to Shemitos. (Rashi - to find the year of the Shemitah cycle, he first adds one year onto the number of years since the Churban, for the Churban was in the year after Shemitah, and calculates as follows);
Version #2 - R. Tam - (Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua): If one does not know which year of Shemitah it is, he first deducts two years from the number of years since the supremacy of Yavan (since that started 40 years after the start of the second Mikdash, two years before a Shemitah year, and calculates as follows); (end of Version #2)
For each century that has passed, he should count it like two years (because it contains 14 full Shemitah cycles and an extra two years), add this to the excess years, and take the remainder after dividing by seven (for these are full cycles).
A way to remember this - "Zeh Shenasayim ha'Ra'av b'Kerev ha'Aretz" (Rashi - two years are added for every 100; R. Tam - one deducts two years, or adds five (like the continuation of the verse, "v'Od Chamesh Shanim").
(R. Chanina): Do not waste money buying land 400 years after the Churban, even for a pittance, for surely Mashi'ach will come then (and land will revert to its rightful heirs based on the division in the days of Yehoshua bin Nun).
(Beraisa): Do not waste money buying land in the year 4231, even for a pittance, for surely Mashi'ach will come then.
The Beraisa predicts Mashi'ach three years later than R. Chanina.