More Discussions for this daf
1. Two days of Rosh Hashanah 2. Rosh Hashanah - 1 Day or 2 3. The Bais ha'Mikdash will...
4. Rosh Hashanah 5. Insights: Annuling an enactment of Beis Din 6. Akravas and Eilat
7. Mistake in Outlines 8. bi'Meshoch ha'Yovel 9. Niskalkelu ha'Leviyim b'Shir
10. Ha Lan Ha Lehu 11. When did the witnesses see the new moon 12. "Meherah Yibaneh"
13. Pushing off Rosh Chodesh 14. Two days of Rosh Hashanah, two Dinim 15. Egg laid on two days of ...
16. Saying the wrong Shir Shel Yom 17. Expiration of a Takanah 18. Covering an Egg
19. מהרה יבנה בית המקדש
DAF DISCUSSIONS - BEITZAH 5

Sam Kosofsky asked:

Rabbotai,

The Gemara tells us that they made a takana not to receive witnesses who saw the moon after mincha. A) Mincha k'tanah or mincha g'dolah? B) If it's mincha g'dolah - Is the moon really always or usually visible at midday (6/12 shaot zemaniyot into the day)? I often see it towards evening time but I don't recall seeing it in midafternoon.

B'kavod,

Sam Kosofsky

The Kollel replies:

The new moon can only be seen in the evening, immediately after sunset, and for only a few minutes (and then the new moon itself sets, just behind the sun).

The Gemara is referring to the time that the Korban Minchah was generally brought (after Minchah Gedolah). The Mishnah in Pesachim (58a) says that the Korban Minchah was slaughtered at 8 1/2 hours into the day, and offered upon the Mizbe'ach at 9 1/2 hours into the day.

Y. Shaw

Sam Kosofsky asked:

Thank you for your response. This, of course, means that there was a very small "window of opportunity," for anyone to give eidut on seeing the molad - one hour. Anyone giving testimony would have have to live within an hour's walk, (or horse, camel, donkey...ride), of the Bet Din in Yerushalayim. It seems to me that the gemara's discussion of this process elsewhere discusses those who lived some distance from the bet din and how they could be carried if need be etc. Would that have been before the gezerah was made only to accept testimony at the time that the mincha was offered?

B'kavod,

Sam Kosofsky

The Kollel replies:

The witnesses had a full day to come to Beis Din to testify about the new moon that they saw the evening before. That is, a few minutes after sunset on the 29th of Elul, two people spot the new moon just above the western horizon. It appears for only a few minutes, and then it dips below the horizon, out of sight. Those two witnesses have all night and most of the next day to travel to Yerushalayim to give testimony about what they saw.

Once, it happened that they arrived quite late -- after the time of the Minchah-offering (the day following the night during which they saw the new moon in the evening).

This clarification should resolve your questions.

All the best,

Y. Shaw