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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sanhedrin
Now, which view do they adopt?8 If they hold that the Tekufah day9 is the completion [of the previous season]: then, even if it were not so,10 it will meet with the requirement neither of him who holds that the whole Festival [must be included,] nor of him who holds that only part of it [is necessary]! — 11 One must say therefore that they both hold that the Tekufah day begins [the new Tekufah].
An objection is raised: The Tekufah day concludes [the previous season]: this is R. Judah's view. R. Jose maintains that it commences [the new].12 Further has it been taught: A year is not intercalated unless the [summer] Tekufah is short of completion by the greater part of the month [Tishri]. And how much is that? Sixteen days. R. Judah said: Two thirds13 of the month. And how much is that? Twenty days.14 R. Jose ruled: It is to be calculated thus: [If there are] sixteen [days short of completing the Tekufah] which precedes Passover,15 the year is to be intercalated.16 [If, however, there are] sixteen [short of completing the Tekufah] which precedes the Feast [of Tabernacles],17 the year is not to be intercalated.18 R. Simeon maintained: Even where there are sixteen [days short of completing the Tekufah] which precedes the Feast [of Tabernacles], the year is intercalated.19 Others say [that the year is intercalated even if the Tekufah is short of completion] by the lesser part of the month. And how much is that? Fourteen days?20 — The difficulty remained unsolved.
The Master has said: 'R. Judah said: Two thirds of the month. And how much is that? Twenty days. R. Jose ruled: It is to be calculated [thus: if there are] sixteen [days short of completing the Tekufah] which precedes Passover, the year is to be intercalated.'21 But is not this view identical with R. Judah's?22 — They differ as to whether the Tekufah day completes [the previous] or begins [the new cycle].23
The Master has said: '[R. Jose holds that] if there are sixteen [days short of completing the Tekufah] which precedes the Feast [of Tabernacles], the year is not intercalated.' According to R. Jose, then, only if there are sixteen [days short of completing the Tekufah] preceding the Feast [of Tabernacles is intercalation] not [permitted]; but if there are seventeen or eighteen [days short], the year is intercalated. But has he not himself said: If there are sixteen [days short of completing the Tekufah] which precedes Passover, we may intercalate, but not if less?24 — But no; in neither case25 may we intercalate. But seeing that he spoke of the number sixteen [with regard to the Tekufah] preceding Passover,26 he gives it also [in connection with the Tekufah] preceding the Feast [of Tabernacles].
[It was stated above]: 'R. Simeon maintained:27 Even where there are sixteen [days short of completing the Tekufah] which precedes the Feast [of Tabernacles], the year is intercalated.' But is not this view the same as that of the first Tanna?
Sanhedrin 13b— They differ as to whether the Tekufah day completes [the previous] or begins [the new season].1 But their views were not defined.2
[Again it was stated:] 'Others say: [That the year is intercalated even where there is a shortage] by the lesser part of the month. And how much is that? Fourteen days.' Now, which view do they adopt? Do they hold that the Tekufah day completes [the previous season], and that we require the whole Feast [of Ingathering to be included in the new Tekufah?] But surely in our case, it is so.3 [Why then intercalate?] — The 'Others', says R. Samuel son of R. Isaac, speak of the Nisan Tekufah, for it is written, Observe the month of Abib [spring];4 i.e., take heed that the beginning5 of the vernal Tekufah shall occur on a day in Nisan [when the moon is still in the process of renewal].6
But why not intercalate a day in Adar?7 — R. Aha b. Jacob said: The Tanna reckons from higher numbers downward, and says as follows: [If there is a deficiency] as far as [i.e., by more than] the lesser part of the month,8 the year is intercalated.9 And how much is that? Fourteen days.'
Rabina said: In reality, the 'Others' refer to the Tishri Tekufah, but they hold that the whole Feast [of Ingathering]10 must fall [in the new Tekufah] including also the first [day of the Feast].11 '[Including] the first day'?12 But is it not written, The Feast of Ingathering [shall be] at the Tekufah of the year; [meaning the day on which ingathering is permitted]? — [They interpret it as] 'The Feast which occurs in the season of ingathering.'
THE LAYING ON [OF HANDS] BY THE ELDERS. Our Rabbis taught: [And the elders … shall lay, etc.:]13 it might be assumed that it means ordinary people advanced in age;14 Scripture therefore adds, of the congregation.15 Now, if [you emphasised] congregation, I might think, [it referred to] the minor members of the congregation:16 therefore it is stated, 'the congregation',17 [meaning] the distinguished of the congregation.18 And how many are required? — The plural of 'wesameku'19  ['and they shall lay'] implies two; similarly, 'zikne' ['the elders'] implies two, and as there can be no court with an even number, another is added; hence five in all are required: this is R. Judah's view. R. Simeon said: 'Zikne' ['elders'] indicates two, and as a court cannot consist of an even number, another is added, making three in all. But according to R. Simeon, is it not written 'wesameku' ['and they shall lay']? — That is needed for the text itself.]20 And R. Judah?21 — That is not needed for the text itself, since if the word wesameku has no significance for deduction, the text could have read [without it]: The Elders, their hands [being] on the head of the bullock.22 And R. Simeon?23 — Had it been so written,24 I might have translated 'al[on], 'in proximity'.25 And R. Judah?26 — He deduces this [actual contact] from the use of the word rosh [head] in this case and in connection with the burnt offering.27 And R. Simeon? — He does not admit the deduction of head written here and in the case of the burnt offering.28
It is taught: The laying on [of hands], and the laying on [of hands] of the Elders is performed by three. What is meant by, 'Laying on [of hands]', and 'Laying on [of hands] of the Elders'? — R. Johanan said: [The latter] refers to the ordination of Elders.
Abaye asked R. Joseph: Whence do we deduce that three are required for the ordination of Elders? Shall we say, from the verse, And he [Moses] laid his hand upon him [Joshua]29 If so, one should be sufficient! And should you say, Moses stood in place of seventy-one,30 then seventy-one should be the right number! — The difficulty remained unanswered.
R. Aha the son of Raba, asked R. Ashi: Is ordination effected by the literal laying on of hands? — [No,] he answered; it is by the conferring of the degree: He is designated by the title of Rabbi and granted the authority to adjudicate cases of kenas.31
Cannot one man alone ordain? Did not Rab Judah say in Rab's name: 'May this man indeed be remembered for blessing — his name is R. Judah b. Baba; were it not for him, the laws of kenas would have been forgotten in Israel.' Forgotten? Then they could have been learned. But
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