Former and Latter Rains - References

Article Index

[1] The first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

[2] Deut. XI, 14.

[3] Alfas 12b

[4] As explained infra.

[5] Or, you complete your pi1grimages then, Tabernacles being the third and last pilgrimage festival of the year (M.K.).

[6] Rain ceases then (Radal).

[7] I.e., the year is reckoned to commence at different dates for different purposes, as the Mishna goes on to specify.

[8] The first month of the Jewish calendar (in Biblical times known as `the month of Abib', or the springing corn), commencing in the latter half of March or the earlier part of April.

[9] If a document is dated with a certain year in a king's reign, the year is reckoned to have commenced in Nisan, no matter in what month the king came to the throne. The Gemara discusses what kinds of kings are meant _ whether Israelitish or other.

[10] The meaning of this is discussed infra in the Gemara.

[11] The sixth month of the Jewish calendar.

[12] For purposes of tithe it was necessary to specify the year in which cattle were born, because cattle born in one year could not be given as tithe for cattle born in another, v. Lev. XXVII, 32.

[13] So that according to these authorities there were only three New Years.

[14] The seventh month.

[15] I.e., from the first of Tishri in these years ploughing and similar operations were forbidden. V. Lev. XXV, 4, 11.

[16] For reckoning the years of `uncircumcision'. V. Lev. XIX, 23.

[17] I.e., those gathered after this date could not be used as tithe for those gathered before. Cf. n. 6.

[18] The eleventh month.

[19] For tithing the fruit. V. notes 6 and 11.

[20] Deut. XI,14.

[21] Joshua I, 8.

[22] Sc. the words of the Torah.

[23] Isa. LXI, 5.

[24] Tosaf. point out that this homily conflicts with that given above on the same verse by R. Hanina b. Papa.

[25] Deut. XXVIII, 48.

[26] Nisan being the time of the ripening of the corn and Tishri of the vintage and olive pressing.

[27] In reply to the objection from the last cited Baraitha.

[28] The first and seventh months of the Jewish year, corresponding roughly to mid-March-April and mid-September-October.

[29] By the watchers for the new moon, who are allowed to exceed the two thousand cubit limit in order to report their observation to the Beth din in Jerusalem. V. infra 23b.

[30] Since the New Moon can be fixed without actual observation.

[31] Even though the observation is not necessary for the purpose.

[32] I.e., in all such cases we can make Adar thirty days, and if the watchers have seen the new moon on Sabbath, they need not report till the next day.

[33] Hence we do not make New Moon on the thirtieth day, the new moon not yet having been observed, and it is not permitted to make it on the thirty-second.

[34] By witnesses who have seen the new moon, in order that they may give information in Jerusalem at the earliest possible moment. V. supra.

[35] It is difficult to see what reason this furnishes for allowing the witnesses to break the Sabbath. Rashi explains that if the witnesses are not allowed to bring the news on Sabbath, the New Moon will not be sanctified till Sunday, and so the messengers instead of setting out as soon as Sabbath is over will not set out till several hours later, and this might make them late in some places in giving notice of the date of Passover. V. Rashi and Tosaf.

[36] Lit., ‘for the proper adjustment of the sacrifice’.

[37] R. H. 2a.

[38] The reign of a Jewish King was always reckoned from Nisan, so that even if it began in the preceding month, it would be in its second year in Nisan.

[39] The year given in dating legal documents was that of the reign of the present king.

[40] V. above note.

[41] For the purpose of dating documents Tishri is to be regarded as the beginning of the year.

[42] According to the early part of the Mishnah the year should begin with Nisan, while in the latter part it is said to begin with Tishri.

[43] Since the Exodus occurred in Nisan.

[44] Tabernacles, which commences on the 15th of Tishri.

[45] The feast of lights, commencing on the 25th of Kislev.

[46] The passage is difficult. Both assume that AT THE END OF DAYS means at the end of one of the seasons of the year; and that Abel was murdered on the very day of the sacrifice. R. Eliezer applies it to autumn, R. Joshua to spring, so that AT THE END OF DAYS will mean about mid-winter (about 21st December) or midsummer (about 21st June), after which the seasons begin to change, and Hanukkah and Pentecost fall about these dates respectively. But ‘Passover’ and ‘Tabernacles’ are employed here loosely, the beginning of Nisan or Tishri being actually meant, and similarly Pentecost and Hanukkah, a date about a fortnight before being meant--otherwise the period is above 60 days. If on the other hand these are exact, then 50 days is only stated approximately.

[47] Mark 1:1

[48] Sotah 2a, Sanhedrin 22a

[49] According to Bnei Yesakhar, a Hassidic teaching by R. Zvi Elimelekh Shapira of Dinov, p. 112d, translated by Ivan Ickovits

[50] Mishna: Seder Moed: Tractate Rosh HaShanah: 1:1

[51] Rosh Hashanah 10b

[52] Shulchan Aruch 229:2 Mishna Brura 7

[53] As taught to me by His Eminence, Hakham Dr. Yoseph ben Haggai.