[5a - 24 lines; 5b - 36 lines]


(a)Shir refers to the song of the day. The Leviyim sing chapters of Tehilim as the Nesachim (wine libations; see Background to Yoma 61:26) of a Korban Tzibur are poured. Those chapters sang over the offering of the Korban Tamid (see Background to Sukah 42:11), both morning and night, correspond to those chapters that we currently recite as the Shir Shel Yom [Tamid 6:7]). Musical instruments are played by the Leviyim to accompany their singing.

(b)On festivals, other chapters of Tehilim whose subject matter was connected to the Chag were substituted for the regular Shir Shel Yom (Maseches Sofrim 18:2-3, 19:2).

(c)On the first day that could possibly have been Rosh Hashanah, no one performed any Melachah since it was likely that witnesses would arrive that day and it would be declared Yom Tov. However, the Leviyim always recited the regular Shir Shel Yom while the morning Tamid was offered, since the witnesses rarely arrived before it was offered. On the year that the witnesses came late on that day, the Leviyim had already recited the regular Shir Shel Yom over the offering of the afternoon Tamid as well. This was a bungling of the special Rosh Hashanah Shir that should have been recited for the afternoon Tamid of Rosh Hashanah.

2)[line 2] AD HA'MINCHAH- until the offering of the afternoon Korban Tamid (see Background to Sukah 42:11)

3)[line 3] NOHAGIN OSO YOM KODESH UL'MACHAR KODESH- they would treat both that day and the next as Rosh Hashanah. Since the witnesses were not accepted until the next day, the first day of Tishrei did not start until then. Furthermore, since Beis Din was fully aware that the day upon which the witnesses arrived would be the thirtieth of Elul, the remainder of that day (and for that matter, the whole day, retroactively) should not have been Kodesh. Yet, the decree of the Chachamim was that it should be treated as Rosh Hashanah along with the next day. As this was not a result of ambiguity regarding the proper day of Rosh Hashanah, clearly the two days of Rosh Hashanah following this enactment are one long Kedushah.

4)[line 7] SHE'YEHU MEKABLIN EDUS HA'CHODESH KOL HA'YOM- that [the original protocol should be followed and] they should accept witnesses the entire day [since there was no longer a Korban Tamid whose Shir could be bungled]

5)[line 9] AMINA LACH ANA RABAN YOCHANAN BEN ZAKAI- I am quoting to you from Raban Yochanan ben Zakai [who was a Tana who lived at the time of the destruction of the Beis ha'Mikdash]

6a)[line 11] HA LAN- this [ruling of Rav and Shmuel] is for us [in Bavel]. Since we still observe two days of Rosh Hashanah as a result of having no knowledge of when the witnesses were accepted in Eretz Yisrael, we must presume that we are still operating on the decree that ordained one Kedushah for the two days of Rosh Hashanah

b)[line 11] V'HA LEHU- and this [ruling of Rabah] is for them [in a) Eretz Yisrael (RASHI); b) Yerushalayim (BA'AL HA'ME'OR, MEIRI; see Insights)]. The decree of Raban Yochanan ben Zakai reinstated the original modus operandi. Therefore, even if witnesses did not show until the second day and two days of Rosh Hashanah were observed, this was a result of doubt and not a single Kedushah.


(a)When the Sanhedrin (Jewish Supreme Court) of any generation issues an edict or institutes a custom that becomes accepted in Klal Yisrael (a "Davar sheb'Minyan), it reaches the status of Halachah. No other Beis Din has the ability to rescind these laws or customs unless: 1. they are greater than the first in wisdom, and 2. more Talmidei Chachamim exist in their generation than did in that of the first Beis Din (court). (The term "Minyan" refers to the number of Talmidei Chachamim in the generation. It cannot refer to the number of judges, since every Beis Din under discussion consists of seventy-one judges.) (RAMBAM Hilchos Mamrim 2:2)

(b)This restriction exists even if the underlying cause or reasoning of the first court is no longer applicable. Some Rishonim rule that in this case as well the second Beis Din must be greater than the first (RAMBAM ibid.). Others, however, maintain that this clause is not necessary when the reason for the original decree is no longer relevant (RA'AVAD ibid.).

(c)There is disagreement among the Rishonim whether a decree must be annulled by an additional Beis Din when it was originally given a time limit. RASHI (quoted by TOSFOS DH Kol Davar) says that a repeal must be issued even in such a case. Most Rishonim rule that this is not necessary; the edict automatically expires after the time stipulated. (TOSFOS ibid. and 5b DH Michdei). See Insights for a further discussion of this subject.

8)[line 15] ?MINA AMINA LAH?- how do I know [that a repeal of another Beis Din is necessary even when the reason for the original decree -- in this case, the concern over the correct Shir for the afternoon Tamid -- is no longer relevant]

9)[line 15]" , .""LECH EMOR LA'HEM, SHUVU LACHEM L'OHALEICHEM."- "Go say to them, 'Return to your tents [where your wives are]!'" (Devarim 5:26). This instruction was given to Moshe Rabeinu by Hash-m following the giving of the Torah. The Gemara (5b) will explain the proof from this statement.

10)[line 17]" , .""... BI'MSHOCH HA'YOVEL, HEMAH YA'ALU VA'HAR."- "... upon the extended Shofar blast, they may ascend the mountain" (Shemos 19:13). With this statement, Hash-m revealed that Klal Yisrael were allowed on Har Sinai once His presence (the Shechinah) departed from it, which was marked by a long Shofar blast. "Bi'Mshoch ha'Yovel" means either "when the Shofar blast extends beyond that of a normal blast (indicating the end of something)", or "when the extended Shofar blast finishes" (RASHI to 5b). The Gemara (5b) will explain the proof from this statement.

11)[line 18] KEREM REVA'I

(a)Fruit that grows in the fourth year, following those of Orlah, is called Reva'i. The Torah refers to these fruits as Kodesh (holy; Vayikra 19:24). They must be brought to Yerushalayim and eaten there while one is in a state of purity. Alternatively, one may be Podeh (redeem) the fruits, in which case the money equal to their value gains the status of the original fruits of Reva'i. It must be brought to Yerushalayim, and spent there to purchase food products that must be eaten while one is in a state of purity.

(b)The Gemara records a disagreement as to whether the laws of Reva'i apply to all fruits (Neta Reva'i) or only to grapes (Kerem Reva'i). In Eretz Yisrael, the Halachah follows the opinion that the laws of Neta Reva'i apply to all fruits (SHULCHAN ARUCH Yoreh De'ah 294:6).

12a)[line 18] HAYAH OLEH L'YERUSHALAYIM- was [decreed by the Chachamim to be] brought up to Yerushalayim [as unredeemable produce]

b)[line 18] MEHALECH YOM ECHAD L'CHOL TZAD- [from] a one-day's journey in every direction

13)[line 19]TECHUMAH- its borders [that were one day's journey away]

14)[line 20] () []AKRABAS MIN (HA'DAROM) [HA'TZAFON]- Akrabas to the north. (This may refer to the district of Akrabah in the Shomron, south of Shechem; see Atlas Da'as Mikra, Mosad ha'Rav Kook, 1993, p. 320, Ben Zion Segal's "Geography of the Mishnah," 1979, and Dikdukei Sofrim #300)

15)[line 23]L'ATER- to adorn

16)[last line]' L'REBBI ELIEZER- to Rebbi Eliezer. Rebbi Eliezer lived many years after the destruction of the Beis ha'Mikdash, when Yerushalayim was in the hands of Nochrim. The concept of adorning the marketplaces of Yerushalayim with produce was no longer relevant.

17)[last line] KEFAR TAVI- the village of Tavi [which was just to the east of Lod]


18)[line 1] U'BIKESH L'HAFKIRO L'ANIYIM- and he wished to renounce ownership of them in favor of the poor [since he could not be bothered to cart them to Yerushalayim]

19)[line 2] KVAR NIMNU ALECHA CHAVERECHA- your fellow has already counted [the requisite number for a Beis Din] against you[r ruling that it is necessary to bring the actual produce to Yerushalayim]

20)[line 5]"[ -,] ; - -.""[VA'YOMER EL HA'AM,] 'HEYU NECHONIM L'SHELOSHES YAMIM; AL TIGSHU EL ISHA'."- "[And he said to the nation,] 'Be prepared for [that which is to occur in] three days; do not approach any woman'" (Shemos 19:15). This instruction, delivered three days prior to the giving of the Torah, implied that the men were allowed to reunite with their wives following that event.


(a)Marriage creates a bond between husband and wife, which evinces itself in many ways. This bond is Halachically expressed as a familial relationship between a man and his wife, much like that between blood relatives. Chazal refer to this relationship as "She'er" (Yevamos 97a.) A marriage relationship obligates each of the parties to the other monetarily as well (see Background to Kidushin 2:1 for a full discussion of this topic).

(b)Among those things with which a husband must provide his wife are She'er (sustenance), Kesus (clothing), and Onah (marital relations). The performance of each of these obligations constitutes the fulfillment of a positive Mitzvah.

(C) Rav Yosef explains that the fact that Hash-m needed to instruct Klal Yisrael to return to their tents need not be construed as necessary to allow them to do so. It could be that although they were already allowed to return, they needed a push to leave the rarefied atmosphere of Har Sinai and fulfill their marital obligations.

22)[line 10]"[ - , - - -;] - - - .""... GAM HA'TZON VEHA'BAKAR AL YIR'U EL MUL HA'HAR HA'HU."- "[And no man should go up with you, nor should any man be seen on the entire mountain;] nor should the sheep and cattle graze opposite that mountain" (Shemos 34:3). The word "ha'Hu" -- "that" -- is seemingly unnecessary. It implies that the prohibition against remaining in Har Sinai was in effect only as long as Hash-m's presence rested there.

23)[line 14] KEREM REVA'I D'RABANAN- the prohibition against [redeeming] fruits of Reva'i [within a day's journey of Yerushalayim] is Rabbinic in origin

24)[line 21] BEI KELUCHIS- the name of a place

25)[line 23] MEHERA YIBANEH BEIS HA'MIKDASH- the Beis ha'Mikdash will be rebuilt speedily [and the original decree that witnesses not be accepted beyond the afternoon Tamid will be reenacted, in which case the two days of Rosh Hashanah will once again be Kedushah Achas]

26)[line 24]ESHTAKED- last year

27)[line 27] LO NEKABEL- we should not accept [past the time of the afternoon Tamid on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, unlike the decree of Raban Yochanan ben Zakai]

28)[line 30]MESURAH- is given over

29)[line 32] ...?MI LO MODEH RABAN YOCHANAN BEN ZAKAI ...?- Does Raban Yochanan ben Zakai not agree that there are still two days of Rosh Hashanah when the witnesses arrive after the time of the afternoon Tamid? This logic of Rava means: a) The only thing that was reinstated by Raban Yochanan ben Zakai was that the first of Tishrei will be on the day that the witnesses arrive, even if it is the day following the twenty-ninth of Elul after Minchah. The decree declaring that there would be two days of Rosh Hashanah in such a situation -- which have one single Kedushah -- remains in place (RASHI); b) Since two days of Rosh Hashanah had the status of Kedushah Achas before the destruction of the Beis ha'Mikdash, whenever two days of Rosh Hashanah subsequently occur -- even following the institution of Raban Yochanan ben Zakai -- they have the status of one single Kedushah (TOSFOS DH Mi, explaining Rashi); c) Even following the decree of Raban Yochanan ben Zakai, it is possible that witnesses will arrive so late that there is no time to cross-examine them before the end of the day. When that time arrives, the first day of Tishrei will clearly not be until the following day. Nevertheless, no one may perform Melachah for the last few minutes of that first day. In such a case the two days of Rosh Hashanah will share one Kedushah (TOSFOS DH Mi, citing RABEINU CHANANEL)