ROSH HASHANAH 7 - Dedicated by Mrs. Tzippora Lipschutz, in prayer that the merit of learning Torah and teaching it to thousands will bring a Refu'ah Sheleimah for her sister, Chayah Miryam bas Sarah.

[7a - 53 lines; 7b - 36 lines]

1)[line 1]בבעל מוםBA'AL MUM

(a)An animal that has a Mum (physical blemish) may not be offered as a Korban. Invalidating blemishes include blindness, lameness, cataracts, crushed or missing testicles, and certain warts and other growths (Vayikra 22:22-25).

(b)If an animal had such a Mum before its owner attempted to sanctify it, then it does not receive the Kedushah of a Korban. If it developed the Mum afterward, then it should be sold, in which case the Kedushah transfers to the money. The money is then used to purchase a replacement Korban. A Bechor born with a Mum may not be offered as a Korban, and may instead be eaten by a Kohen (see Background to Beitzah 28:11).

(c)Only an animal with a Mum Kavu'a (permanent blemish) may never be offered upon the Mizbe'ach. If the Mum is Over (temporary), such as boils, then once it passes the animal is once again fit as a Korban.

2)[line 1]מי מצי אכיל ליה?MI MATZI ACHIL LEI?- is he able to eat it? Until an animal is eight days old, it is not yet clear that it will not die as a result of having been born prematurely. If it is, indeed, destined to die prematurely, then it is not kosher.

3)[line 2]דקים ליה ביה שכלו לו חדשיוD'KIM LEI BEI SHE'KALU LO CHADASHAV- (the Gemara answers that the situation is one in) which he is sure that its mother carried it to full term (five months for a Behemah Dakah [sheep and goats], and nine for a Behemah Gasah [cattle]; Bechoros 8a)

4)[line 3]לחדשיםL'CHODASHIM- for months; i.e., it is the first of the twelve lunar months of the Jewish calendar year

5)[line 3]ולעיבוריןL'IBURIN- (at this point, the Gemara understands this to mean that this is the month) in which [Beis Din determine whether or not the following year should be] a leap year (see Background to 6:29)

6)[line 3]ולתרומת שקליםL'TERUMAS SHEKALIM (SHEKALIM)

(a)Many sacrifices are offered on behalf of the public in the Beis ha'Mikdash, such as the daily Temidim and the Korbenos Musaf of Rosh Chodesh and the festivals. The funds used to purchase the animals for these Korbanos are taken from a treasury known as the Terumas ha'Lishkah. Every Jewish male, regardless of whether he lives in Eretz Yisrael or the Golah or how wealthy he is, is required by the Torah to contribute one half-Shekel annually to this Lishkah.

(b)These half Shekalim are collected prior to Rosh Chodesh Nisan, in order that the Korbanos of each year (which begins with the month of Nisan with regard to Korbanos) would be purchased from the money collected for that year. One month earlier, on the first of Adar, Beis Din would begin the drive to collect the Shekalim (see Insights to Beitzah 2a). Despite this early effort, some commentaries explain that some Shekalim would not arrive until after Rosh Chodesh Nisan. Others understand that all of the Shekalim would arrive by Rosh Chodesh Nisan, as the collection from areas distant from Yerushalayim began earlier in the year. This appears to be the conclusion of the Yerushalmi (Maseches Beitzah 2a; see Mishnas Eliyahu ibid.) as well.

(c)The RAMBAM maintains that this yearly donation was not fixed at exactly half a Shekel; it was set as half of the "Matbe'a ha'Yotzei" (basic monetary unit in use at the time). If, however, the value of the Matbe'a ha'Yotzei was less than the value of one half-Shekel, then a larger coin was required. The RA'AVAD and RAMBAN, however, are of the opinion that the value of the half-Shekel remains constant.

(d)The Shekel in use at the time of Moshe Rabeinu, which is that referred to by the Torah in the phrase "Machatzis ha'Shekel" (Shemos 30:13), is equivalent to the Sela prevalent during the period when the Gemara was written. Half of such a Shekel, then, is half a Sela, or two Dinarim. People began referring to a half-Sela coin as a "Shekel," due to that which they "gave it" ("Shoklim" Oso) annually in fulfillment of the Mitzvah of Machatzis ha'Shekel (RAMBAN ibid.).

7)[line 4]לשכירות בתיםL'SECHIRUS BATIM- for [marking the end of a] house rental [contract when it specifies "this year"]

8a)[line 10]חדש האביבCHODESH HA'AVIV- the month of spring

b)[line 11]שיש בו אביבSHE'YESH BO AVIV- in which grain ripens

c)[line 13]רוב אביבROV HA'AVIV- [the time in which] most grain ripens

9)[line 17]אסיפהASIFAH- the gathering of the harvest [which had been drying all summer long in the fields, into a silo]

10)[line 23]לעשתי עשר חדשASHTEI ASAR CHODESH- the eleventh month

11)[line 23]"ביום עשרים וארבעה לעשתי עשר חדש הוא חדש שבט בשנת שתים לדרויש היה דבר ה' אל זכריה בן ברכיהו בן עדוא הנביא לאמר""B'YOM ESRIM V'ARBA'AH L'ASHTEI ASAR CHODESH HU CHODESH SHEVAT B'SHETAYIM L'DARYAVESH HAYAH DEVAR HASH-M EL ZECHARYAH BEN BERECHYAHU BEN IDO HANAVI LEIMOR..." - "On the twenty-fourth of the eleventh month, that is the month of Shevat, in the second year of Daryavesh, the word of HaSh-m came to Zecharyah, son of Berechyah son of Ido the prophet, saying, ['I saw in the night, and behold a man riding on a red horse.]" (Zecharyah 7:1) (PROPHESYING THE DOWNFALL OF BAVEL)

(a)In this chapter, Zecharyah prays for HaSh-m to have mercy over the ruins of Yerushalayim, and he receives a positive response, together with a prophecy predicting the downfall of Persia, who was subjugating Yisrael at that time.

(b)The Malbim explains that above dream referred to Alexander the Great and his armies, who defeated the Persians.

12)[line 25]"ותלקח אסתר אל המלך אחשורוש אל בית מלכותו בחדש העשירי הוא חדש טבת בשנת שבע למלכותו""VA'TILAKACH ESTHER EL HA'MELECH ACHASHVEROSH, EL BEIS MALCHUSO, BA'CHODESH HA'ASIRI HU CHODESH TEVES BI'SHENAS SHEVA L'MALCHUSO..." - "And Esther was brought to King Achashverosh, to his royal palace, in the tenth month of Teves, in the seventh year of his reign. And the King loved Esther more than all the women... and he placed the royal crown on her head, and he crowned her in place of Vashti." (Esther 2:16) (ESTHER IS CHOSEN AS QUEEN OF PERSIA)

(a)Achashverosh, king of Persia, ordered his queen Vashti put to death after she refused to appear before him. Following his almost immediate regret, his advisors recommended a nationwide search for a new queen. All women were to participate in this selection, whether they consented or not.

(b)Mordechai, one of the leaders of the Jewish people, had raised his niece Esther from a young age. According to some Midrashic accounts, she was his wife as well. Both Mordechai and Esther were prophets. Although Esther had no desire to become queen, she was taken to the palace, as the verse here relates.

13)[line 29]"ויקראו ספרי המלך בעת ההיא בחדש השלישי הוא חדש סיון""VA'YIKAR'U SOFREI HA'MELECH BA'ES HA'HI, BA'CHODESH HA'SHELISHI HU CHODESH SIVAN" - "And the King's scribes were summoned at that time in the third month, the month of Sivan, [on the twenty-third of the month. And there was written all that Mordechai had commanded about the Jews and about the satraps, the governors, and the officials of the provinces from Hodu until Kush, one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, each province in its own script and each people in its own language; and to the Jews in their script and in their language.]" (Esther 8:9) (THE JEWS OF PERSIA ARE GIVEN ROYAL PERMISSION TO DEFEND THEMSELVES)

(a)Haman, wicked advisor and second in command to King Achashverosh, devised a plan to wipe out all of the Jews in the Persian Empire. The king, under Haman's influence, affixed his royal approval to letters sent to all of his subjects permitting them to attack all Jews in their vicinity on the fourteenth of Adar.

(b)After Haman's plot was revealed by Esther and Mordechai, Achashverosh angrily had him executed. Due to Persian law, it was impossible to recall the first missive. In order to reverse the plot, the king approved a second letter to be sent to all of his subjects, this time granting the Jews of his kingdom official permission to defend themselves. This action showed that the king looked favorably upon the Jews, at which point the Nochrim were on the defensive.

14)[line 31]"הפיל פור הוא הגורל לפני המן מיום ליום ומחדש לחדש שנים עשר הוא חדש אדר""HIPIL PUR HU HA'GORAL LIFNEI HAMAN MI'YOM L'YOM UME'CHODESH L'CHODESH SHNEIM ASAR HU CHODESH ADAR" - "[In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Achashverosh,] the lot was cast in the presence of Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar." (Esther 3:7) (THE LOTS CAST BY HAMAN)

Once Haman decided to strike against the Jews, he needed to determine the best time to do so. Haman first attempted to determine if there was a certain day of the week that was particularly suited to harming Klal Yisrael. When that failed, he considered and rejected each month, until he finally settled upon the twelfth (and last) month, Adar. He figured that this was a good sign, since Moshe Rabeinu died in Adar. What he was not aware of was that Moshe had been born in this month as well.

15)[line 34]וכולהו מאי טעמא לא אמרי מהאי?V'KULHU, MAI TAIMA LO AMRU ME'HAI?- and why did not all of those [who quoted the other, less direct verses] not offer this one [as proof]?

16)[line 35]ראשון למילתיהRISHON L'MILSEI- the first month in which [Haman wished to strike against Klal Yisrael]

17)[line 36]ותנא דידןV'TANA DIDAN- and the Tana of our Mishnah [did not list the first of Nisan as a Rosh Hashanah for months because]

18)[line 38]מפני הדחקMI'PNEI HA'DECHAK- due to pressure [for fear that the Nochrim will pass a decree preventing the establishment of a leap year, or that the Nasi (head of the Beis Din who must initiate the leap year process) will be summoned to the court of the king]

19)[line 39]אין מעברין אלא אדרEIN ME'ABRIN ELA ADAR- the only month which may be doubled is Adar

20)[line 39]הפסקת עיבוריןHAFSAKAS IBURIN- that once the new month is pronounced Nisan, it may no longer be declared the second Adar of the previous yea

21)[line 40]הן העידוHEN HE'IDU- [Rebbi Yehoshua and Rebbi Papyas] bore witness

22)[line 41]שואלין בהלכות הפסח קודם לפסח שלשים יוםSHO'ALIN B'HILCHOS HA'PESACH KODEM L'PESACH SHELOSHIM YOM

Beginning thirty days prior to the festival is a period of time especially suited to learning the laws pertaining to that festival. Some Rishonim understand this to apply only to a student who wishes to ask questions of his Rebbi, whereas others maintain that during this time frame a Rav should publicly expound upon the Halachos of the festival. An additional question is whether this concept applies only to Pesach, or to all of the three Regalim of Pesach, Shavuos, and Sukos. See Insights to Megilah 32:2 for a full treatment of this topic.

23)[line 42]אתי לזלזולי בחמץASI L'ZILZULEI B'CHAMETZ- people may come to treat the prohibition against [owning or eating] Chametz lightly [on Pesach, since they will not accept that Pesach had not fallen one month earlier following the Halachic discussions that had taken place then]

24a)[line 42]דשתא מעברתא בחושבנא תליא מלתאD'SHATA ME'ABARTA B'CHUSHBENA TALYA MILSA- that [the determination of] a leap year is dependent upon [seasonal] calculations (see Background to 6:29)

b)[line 43]וסברי חושבנא הוא דלא סליק להו לרבנן עד האידנאV'SAVRI CHUSHBENA HU D'LO SALIK LEHU L'RABANAN AD HA'IDNA- and they will figure that the Chachamim did not arrive at the correct calculations before now

25)[line 45]"...זאת עולת חדש בחדשו לחדשי השנה""... ZOS OLAS CHODESH B'CHADSHO, L'CHODSHEI HA'SHANAH"- "... this is the Olah offering of Rosh Chodesh every month, for each month of the year." (Bamidbar 28:14) - The root "Chodesh" appears in this verse more times than it seems necessary.

26)[line 48]שנה שיש עמה חדשיםSHANAH SHE'YESH IMAH CHODASHIM- the word "Shanah" written together with the word "Chodshei"


27)[line 1]יפה יפהYAFAH YAFAH- wholeheartedly

28)[line 2]לא פסיקא ליהLO PESIKA LEI- it was not clear-cut [enough] to him [to record it in the Mishnah]

29)[line 9]למיגרL'MEIGAR- to rent

30)[line 10]לבציר מתלתין יומיןBATZIR MI'TELASIN YOMIN- fewer than thirty days

31)[line 13]מישכח שכיח קיטריMISHKACH SHECHI'ACH KITREI- converging rain clouds are prevalent

32)[line 16]ולרגלים מני?VELI'REGALIM MANI?- and who is the author of [the opinion expressed earlier in the Mishnah, that Pesach is the Rosh Hashanah for the period of three] Regalim [within which one must offer a Korban before he has transgressed the prohibition of Bal Te'acher]?

33)[line 19]ונסיבNASIV- chose

34)[line 21]חמשה הווCHAMISHAH HAVU- there are five Roshei Hashanah. These are the first of Nisan, the fifteenth of Nisan, the first of Elul, the first of Tishrei, and Tu bi'Shevat. Until this point, it was possible to understand that the Tana of our Mishnah is Rebbi Shimon, who maintains that there is no Rosh Hashanah on the first of Elul. Now that the Gemara has explained that the Tana of our Mishnah is Rebbi, who agrees with both Rebbi Shimon regarding Bal Te'acher and Rebbi Meir regarding Ma'asar Behemah, it appears that he should have referred to five Roshei Hashanah.

35)[line 22]דלD AL- remove

36)[line 26]לעומרOMER (KORBAN HA'OMER)

(a)It is a Mitzvah to offer the Korban ha'Omer on the second day of Pesach. A large quantity of barley is reaped after nightfall following the first day of Pesach. At this time the grain is still moist, and the process of extracting one Omer (approximately 2.2, 2.5 or 4.3 liters, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions) of barley flour is extremely difficult. The flour is then baked and offered as a Korban Minchah on the sixteenth of Nisan, which is also known as the Yom ha'Nef (the day of waving). This is because Tenufah - waving in the four directions of the compass as well as up and down - is performed with this Minchah. (This Korban is also referred to as the Minchas Bikurim - Vayikra 2:14-16). A lamb is offered as an Olah along with the Minchah (Vayikra 23:12).

(b)Chadash refers to grain that begins to take root after the Korban ha'Omer is brought on the second day of Pesach. This grain may not be eaten until the following year's Korban ha'Omer is offered, as the Torah states in Vayikra 23:14. When there is no Beis ha'Mikdash, Chadash may not be eaten until after the second day of Pesach, which is when the Korban Omer would have been offered. The sixteenth of Nisan is a Rosh Hashanah in the sense that from that point onward, it is permitted to eat Chadash.

37)[line 27]לשתי הלחםSHTEI HA'LECHEM

(a)On Shavuos, a communal Korban known as the Shtei ha'Lechem is offered. It consists of two loaves of Chametz bread baked from Chadash (grain that began to take root after the Korban ha'Omer was offered on the second day of Pesach of the previous year; Vayikra 23:17). One loaf is given to the Kohen Gadol, and the other is divided among the rest of the Kohanim who are in the Mikdash at that time. They may be eaten on the day of Shavu'os as well as until midnight of the following night (RAMBAM Hilchos Temidin u'Musafin 8:11).

(b)Along with the Shtei ha'Lechem, seven sheep, one cow, and two rams are offered as Olos, and an additional goat and two sheep are offered as Korbenos Shelamim (these last two are known as Zivchei Shalmei Tzibur; Vayikra 23:18-19).

(c)Chadash refers to grain that begins to take root after the Korban ha'Omer is brought on the second day of Pesach. Following the offering of the Shtei ha'Lechem, Chadash may be used in Menachos (see Background to Menachos 2:1). The sixth of Sivan is a Rosh Hashanah in the sense that from that point onward, it is permitted to use Chadash in Menachos.

38a)[line 28]מידי דלא חייל מאורתאMIDI D'CHAYIL ME'URTA- those [Halachos relevant to the new year] that begin from the night [before, when the day starts]

39)[line 30]דלא חיילי מאורתאD'LO CHAYIL ME'URTA- that do not begin at night [since one may not offer a Korban at night]

40)[line 31]כיון שצריך לאיתויי מעיקרא מיחייב וקאיKEIVAN SHE'TZARICH L'ISUYEI ME'IKARA MICHAYEV V'KA'I- he is under an ongoing obligation to offer the Korban from the time that he pledged it [and the prohibition of Bal Te'acher therefore applies from the moment that Yom Tov begins and he has not done so]

41)[line 32]יובלות דלא חיילי מאורתא וקחשיבYOVLOS D'LO CHAILEI ME'URTA (YOVEL)

(a)The year after seven Shemitah cycles of seven years each is called the Yovel year. Tana'im disagree (Nedarim 61a) as to whether the fiftieth year follows those of the Shemitah cycle and does not count toward the next cycle, or whether it is both the Yovel year as well as the first year of the next Shemitah cycle.

(b)The Halachos of the Shemitah year that prohibit working the land and invest the produce that grows during that year with sanctity apply to the year of Yovel as well. In addition, at the start of the Yovel year, all Eved Ivrim (Jewish slaves; see Background to Erchin 25:10 and 29:2) are set free, and all properties sold since the previous Yovel return to their original owners. On Yom ha'Kipurim of the Yovel Year, a member of the Beis Din blows a Shofar to denote that the time has arrived to set the Avadim free (Vayikra 25:9).

(c)The Tana'im disagree as to when the Yovel year begins. The Chachamim rule that Yovel begins with the Shofar blast of Yom ha'Kipurim. Rebbi Yochanan ben Berokah maintains that it begins automatically with Rosh Hashanah, and the Shofar blast merely serves as a signal that the slaves should be freed (Rosh Hashanah 8b). Our Gemara assumes that our Mishnah follows the opinion of the Chachamim and that Yovel does not begin until the Shofar is blown on Yom ha'Kipurim, which occurs during the day.

42a)[line 36]מידי דלא תלי במעשהMIDI D'LO TALI B'MAISEH- that which is not dependent upon an action [such as the next year of a king's reign, which begins automatically]

b)[line 36]מידי דתלי במעשהMIDI D'TALI B'MAISEH- that which is dependent upon an action [such as the offering of the Korban ha'Omer or Shtei ha'Lechem]

43)[line 36]רגלים מידי דתלי במעשהREGALIM MIDI D'TALI B'MAISEH- the offering of a Korban, which is necessary to avoid Bal Te'acher (a) is dependent upon the offering of the morning Korban Tamid (see Background to Sukah 42:11), which is an action (RASHI); (b) is in and of itself an action (RABEINU CHANANEL)