For the week ending 10 May 2014 / 10 Iyyar 5774

Rosh Hashana 2 - 8

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • More than one Rosh Hashana
  • When the year of the Jewish king begins
  • Counting the years from the Exodus
  • Nechemia and the Persian king
  • Where the Persian king went wrong
  • Bal-te'acheir - the prohibition against procrastination
  • What each of the three Festivals teaches about the others
  • The lost Korban Pesach's deadline for offering
  • Why two passages (Devarim 23:22 and 24) are needed for bal-te'acheir
  • Status of the animal which wasn't sacrificed in time
  • Bal-te'acheir rule of the animal replacing a flawed sacrifice
  • Difference between a neder and a nedava
  • When a vow of charity to the poor must be fulfilled
  • A year without three Festivals and vice versa
  • Women in regard to bal-te'acheir and mitzvah of simcha
  • When the year starts and ends regarding rental of homes
  • From when and till when can there be discussion re a leap year
  • The order of the months
  • The Rosh Hashanas omitted in the mishna and why
  • Rosh Hashana for tithing of animals
  • When the year of the non-Jewish king begins
  • When the world was created and how solar cycle is calculated
  • Rosh Hashana as day of judgment
  • Shemitah (seventh year) and Yovel (fiftieth year)

Paying a Pledge On Time

  • Rosh Hashana 6b

In the time of the Beit Hamikdash if one was obligated to bring an animal as a sacrifice either as a sin offering or as a fulfillment of a vow, he had to do so before three Festivals passed in order to avoid transgressing the command of bal-te'acheir (don't delay).

The Torah passages (Devarim 23:22 and 24) that contain this rule include the need to avoid delay in fulfilling a vow made to give charity to the poor. It would seem from this that the deadline of “Three Festivals” applies to charity as well. The Sage Rava, however, declares that one is obligated to immediately fulfill his vow to charity since there are poor people immediately available as recipients. Three different resolutions of this problem are put forth by our early commentaries:

Tosefot differentiates between a situation in which there are poor people who are available recipients and one in which there is no such opportunity. In the first case one must immediately disburse the charity while in the second case he is only obligated to search for recipients after three Festivals have passed.

RaShbA (Rabbi Shlomo ben Aderet) contends that there is no difference between the two cases, but rather between the nature of the transgression. Even when poor recipients are available the one who fails to immediately fulfill his vow has failed to fulfill the positive command to do so but he is not guilty of transgressing the prohibition of bal-te'acheir until three Festivals have passed.

RaN (Rabbeinu Nissini) rejects both of the above positions. If there are poor recipients available and one fails to fulfill his vow, he has indeed transgressed the prohibition of bal-te'acheir but he has no obligation to search for them even after three Festivals have passed.

This last opinion is the one cited in Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De’ah 257:3.

What the Sages Say

"Israel is judged on Rosh Hashana before all other nations because it is only fitting that when a king and his people are to be judged the king be given precedence."

  • Rabbi Chisda (Rosh Hashana 8b)

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