web analytics
November 21, 2014 / 28 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Daf Yomi

Daf-Yomi-logo

A Consequence Of Our Exile
‘Guard The Custom Of Your Forefathers’
(Beizah 4b)

The Gaonim write that the practice of keeping two days of Yom Tov outside of Eretz Yisrael was already observed in the days of Yechezkel and Daniel, who kept two days of Yom Tov in Bavel (see Otzar HaGaonim, Teshuvos, on our sugya).

What is the origin of this custom?

In the time of the Beis HaMikdash, beis din determined the date of Rosh Chodesh based on the testimony of witnesses who observed the new moon. If no one testified, or if the sky was too cloudy for the moon to be seen, beis din determined Rosh Chodesh based on astronomical calculations (Rambam, Hilchos Kiddush HaChodesh, 18).

Sefer Ir HaKodesh V’HaMikdash 3:19 notes four different periods in history in regards to how Rosh Chodesh was determined and announced. The first period began with the construction of the second Beis HaMikdash and continued after its destruction. During this period, the Jews in Eretz Yisrael would light fires at night on mountain tops, thus signaling to Jews living in distant places that Rosh Chodesh was announced. The Jews who saw these signals would then light their own fires, signaling to their brethren in even more distant cities. Thus, the message would quickly spread throughout Eretz Yisrael and the Diaspora (see Mishnah, Rosh Hashanah 22b, cited in our sugya).

If for some reason a person in a far-off region did not hear the news, and was therefore uncertain when the next Yom Tov should be observed, he would observe the holiday on two consecutive days. He didn’t do so because of a rabbinic enactment; he simply was covering his bases due to his uncertainty.

Trouble Makers

Eventually the fire signals were abandoned because of unscrupulous people who signaled falsely, intentionally confusing the Jews in the Diaspora. Thus began the second period, in which Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi decided that mounted messengers would be sent on Rosh Chodesh as far as possible to announce when the next Yom Tov should be observed (see Yerushalmi, Rosh Hashanah 2:1).

People living in areas outside the messengers’ range were forced to constantly observe two days of Yom Tov out of doubt. Again, they weren’t following a rabbinic enactment; they simply were unsure what to do and kept two days to be safe.

The third period began in the second generation of Amoraim, in which Rabbi Elazar ben P’das cautioned Diaspora Jews to “guard the custom of their forefathers” and observe two days of Yom Tov. Even if they knew for certain when a certain Yom Tov should be observed, they should still celebrate the Yom Tov for two days due to a rabbinic enactment.

Enter The Modern Calendar

The fourth period began seven years after the death of Rava (4118) when Hillel, the last Nassi (not to be confused with Hillel the Elder, founder of Beis Hillel), established a calendar to be used by all future generations. By means of this calendar, Jewish communities throughout the world always know when a Yom Tov should properly be observed. Nevertheless, the rabbinic enactment of observing two days of Yom Tov in chutz la’aretz remains.

Why? The Gemara explains that gentile authorities may forbid us to study Torah and we may forget the mathematical basis of Hillel’s calendar. We may then start observing the Yamim Tovim on the wrong days and accidentally violate biblical prohibitions such as eating chametz on Pesach. Therefore, we must “guard the custom of our forefathers” and observe two days of Yom Tov.

However, this rabbinic enactment only applies to communities in chutz la’aretz that have always kept two days of Yom Tov. Those places in Eretz Yisrael within range of beis din’s messengers keep one day of Yom Tov as they always did. Our Sages did not wish to change the practice observed by each community before Hillel developed his calendar (Ran, Sukkah 44a s.v. Itmar; the Meiri adds that in Eretz Yisrael there was no fear that the Jewish people would be forced to cease studying Torah).

About the Author: RABBI YAAKOV KLASS, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com. RABBI GERSHON TANNENBAUM, rav of Congregation Bnai Israel of Linden Heights, Boro Park, Brooklyn, is the Director of Igud HaRabbanim – The Rabbinical Alliance of America.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Daf Yomi”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Colleagues of the hanged Arab bus driver whose death continues to be referred to as murder despite autopsy finding of suicide. These are Arab drivers of Egged buses, claiming they suffer discrimination by Israelis.
Arab Pathologist Singing New Tune: Murder (By Jews) Not Suicide
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Avi Weiss

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

Weiss-112114-Sufganiot

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

Though braggarts come across as conceited, their boasting often reflects a low sense of self-regard

Nimchinsky-112114-Learning

Not every child can live up to our hopes or expectations, but every child is loved by Hashem.

Leaders must always pay attention to the importance of timing.

While our leaders have been shepherds, the vast majority of the Children of Israel were farmers.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

Ever Vigilant
‘When Unworthy, One’s Number Of Years Is Reduced’
(Yevamos 50a)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Ramban interprets Korban as self-sacrifice, each Jew should attempt to recreate Akeidas Yitzchak.

Dr. Schwartz had no other alternatives up his sleeve. He suggested my mother go home and think about what she wanted to do.

Why does Lavan’s speaking before his father show that he was wicked? Disrespectful, yes. Rude, certainly. But a rasha?

We find that in certain circumstances before the Torah was actually given, people were permitted to make calculations as to what would better serve Hashem, even if it were against a mitzvah or aveirah.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass and Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum
Daf-Yomi-logo

Ever Vigilant
‘When Unworthy, One’s Number Of Years Is Reduced’
(Yevamos 50a)

Daf-Yomi-logo

Where Frequency Matters
‘We Forbid Haircutting And Laundering’
(Yevamos 43b)

Informing The Decision
‘Found To Be With Child’
(Yevamos 35b)

The Ban Of The Communities
‘Impaired Chalitzah’
(Yevamos 26b)

Law-Abiding Citizen
‘That Which Is Crooked Cannot Be Made Straight…’
(Yevamos 22a-b)

For Appearance’s Sake
‘Shammai Did Not Follow Their Own Ruling’
(Yevamos 13b 14a)

Being Overly Burdensome
My Sabbaths Shall You Observe’
(Yevamos 6a)

Chatzitzah And Its Applications
‘Greater Stringency Applies To Hallowed Things…’
(Chagiga 20b-21a)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-123/2014/04/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: