web analytics
August 21, 2014 / 25 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Daf Yomi

Daf-Yomi-logo

Hillel’s Innovation
‘The Second Month Of Solomon’s Rule’
(Rosh Hashanah 2b)

The year of the Jew revolves around the moon’s monthly renewal and it is the Jewish people through beis din who proclaim the new month – kiddush hachodesh – which in turn determines the dates of the festivals. Today, we use a calendar that tells us in advance when the new moon will appear. However, in the time of the Gemara, before Hillel developed this calendar, rosh chodesh was declared by beis din based on the testimony of two witnesses who sighted the new moon. Beis din would interrogate the witnesses to ensure that their testimony was legitimate, and then announce: “Mekudash! – The new month is sanctified!” That day would then be declared as rosh chodesh.

In order to understand this process, we present here some basic background on the subject. The lunar month is calculated to roughly parallel the orbit of the moon around the earth. The moon makes one complete circuit every 29.5 days. However, we cannot declare rosh chodesh in the middle of the day. Therefore, we must alternate between 29- and 30-day months.

 The Waxing and Waning of the Moon

Why does the moon wax and wane each month? The moon does not produce its own light. Rather, it reflects the light of the sun. Therefore, only the side of the moon that faces the sun is illuminated. When the moon stands between the sun and Earth, the far side of the moon is illuminated, whereas its near side is left totally dark. The moon is therefore invisible at this point of the month. As the moon circles around the earth, the illuminated half slowly comes into our view, until the 15th of the month when the moon appears full. At this point, the earth is situated between the moon and the sun, and we can see the entire illuminated side of the moon as it stands opposite the sun. After the 15th, the moon continues its orbit, and wanes, as the illuminated side circles out of view.

The Development of the Calendar

Until the days of the Amora Hillel (a descendant of R’ Yehuda HaNassi, not to be confused with Hillel the Elder, founder of Beis Hillel), the new month was inaugurated based on the testimony of witnesses who spotted the new moon as it emerged from its position between the sun and Earth. However, when the Jewish people were plagued with a series of terrible calamities, and there was no longer a beis din authorized to sanctify the new moon, Hillel developed a calendar by which the new months could be calculated until Moshiach’s arrival. May he arrive soon.

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
Rabbi Shai Piron (L) and Yair Lapid, Yesh Atid party chairman. (archive)
Education Minister: Hamas Terror Won’t Prevent Israel’s Children from Learning
Latest Judaism Stories
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

If we regard pain and suffering as mere coincidence, we will feel no motivation to examine our lives

Rabbi Sacks

Culture is not nature. There are causes in nature, but only in culture are there meanings.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Rabbinic law is pivotal but it’s important to understand which laws are rabbinic and which biblical.

Reeh

We give slave gifts? If he wants to stay, we pierce his ear?!

A bit of (non-Jewish) history can help us understand this week’s Torah portion: In the early 1500s, the Catholic church was being fundamentally challenged by movements which claimed it had monopolized religious power and used to enrich the church and its officials. The most radical of these movements were a particular sect of Anabaptists. Anabaptists […]

“When a mother plays with her child there is an acute awareness of the child. But even when the mother works at a job or is distracted by some other activity, there is a natural, latent awareness of her child’s existence.

“Guess what?” Benzion exclaimed when he returned home. “I just won an identical Mishnah Berurah in the avos u’banim raffle.”

While it’s clear to you and to me that a 14,000-pound creature can easily break away from the light ropes holding it, the reality is that it cannot.

An Outcast
‘He Shall Dwell Outside His Tent’
(Moed Katan 7b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

Based on the opinion of the Ramban, the Territorial School believes that leaving any territory of the Land of Israel in the possession of non-Jews is a violation of a biblical mandate.

“But they told me to come in today,” she said. They gave me this date months ago. It’s not my fault if it’s the wrong day.”

Tosafos there takes issue with Rashi’s view that the letters that are formed in the knots of the tefillin are considered part of the name of Hashem.

Blind obedience is not a virtue in Judaism. God wants us to understand the laws He has commanded us

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

An Outcast
‘He Shall Dwell Outside His Tent’
(Moed Katan 7b)

Daf-Yomi-logo

Pondering A Kapandria
“It Should Not Be Used As A Shortcut”
(Megillah 29a)

The Gender Factor
‘Where There Is Loss Of Work…
Three Are Called To The Torah’
(Megillah 22b)

Hallel On Purim?
“Its Reading Is Its Praise”
(Megillah 14a)

Ancient Cities, Ancient Walls
(Megillah 3b-4a)

Birchas Kohanim On A Fast Day
‘Because of Intoxication…’
(Taanis 26b)

A Siyum Validates It
‘Thereupon The Decrees Were Annulled’
(Ta’anis 18a)

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-128/2014/05/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: