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December 8, 2021 | ד׳ בטבת תשפ״ב | TODAY'S DAF: Taanit 26

Today's Daf Yomi

October 12, 2021 | ו׳ במרחשון תשפ״ב

Masechet Rosh Hashanah is dedicated anonymously in honor of Rabbanit Michelle Farber whose dedication to learning and teaching the daf continues to inspire so many people around the world.

This month's shiurim are dedicated by Tamara Katz in memory of her maternal grandparents, Sarah bat Chaya v'Tzvi Hirsh and Meir Leib ben Esther v'Harav Yehoshua Zelig whose yahrzeits are both this month.

A month of shiurim are sponsored for a refuah shleima for Noam Eliezer ben Yael Chaya v'Aytan Yehoshua.

Rosh Hashanah 3

Today’s daf is sponsored by Glenda Sacks Jaffe in honor of Rhona, Sharna & Diana “and my amazing San Diego Chavruta” and by Shmulik and Ronit Shavit in honor of the birth of their grandson, son of Lior and Yosi Weiss.

How do we know that Aharon died before Moshe began his speech, thereby proving that the counting from the Exodus began from the first of Nissan and not from the first of Tishrei? Because Moshe spoke after the killing of Sichon and the verse tells us that the Canaanite King of Arad came to attack upon hearing of Aharon’s death which had brought about the removal of the cloud of glory that had protected the Jews in the desert. What is the connection between the Caananite and Sichon? How do we know that it wasn’t from Iyar, Sivan, Tamuz, Av or Adar, all of which could have been the month the counting began and still the verses with Aharon and Moshe would have worked. Different verses, some from the Torah and one from Chronicles are brought to prove it. Rav Chisda says that the Rosh Hashana for kings that is on the first of Nissan is only for Jewish kings, but kings of other nations are counted from the first of Tishrei. He derives it from Nechemia 1:1 and Nechemia 2:1. Rav Yosef questions Rav Chisda based on verses from Chagai 1:15 and Chagai 2:1 regarding Darius’s (Daryavesh) reign. Rabbi Abahu answers by saying that Cyrus (Coresh) was a good king to the Jews as he allowed them to rebuild the Temple and therefore his years were counted like Jewish kings. Rav Yosef asks two questions – one, other verses about Darius in Ezra 6:15 and Ezra 7:8 seem to follow the calendar for kings of other nations and secondly, Rav Yosef was talking about Darius and Rabbi Abahu talked about Cyrus! The Gemara answers the second question by bringing a braita in which it states that they were the same person. The answer to the first question is that Darius was good to the Jews but then turned against them. Once things changed, his reign was counted like the kings of the nations of the world.

וישמע הכנעני מלך ערד מה שמועה שמע שמע שמת אהרן ונסתלקו ענני כבוד וכסבור ניתנה רשות להלחם בישראל והיינו דכתיב ויראו כל העדה כי גוע אהרן

“And when the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who dwelt in the South, heard tell that Israel came by the way of Atharim; and he fought against Israel” (Numbers 21:1). What report did he hear? He heard that Aaron had died, and that the clouds of glory had withdrawn from the Jewish people, and he thought that he had been granted permission to wage war against the Jewish people. And this is as it is written: “And all the congregation saw that [ki] Aaron was dead, and they wept for Aaron thirty days, all the house of Israel” (Numbers 20:29).

ואמר רבי אבהו אל תקרי ויראו אלא וייראו כדריש לקיש דאמר ריש לקיש כי משמש בארבע לשונות אי דילמא אלא דהא

About this, Rabbi Abbahu said: Do not read the verse as: “And they saw [vayiru]”; rather, read it as: “And they were seen [vayeira’u]” by others, because the cover of the clouds of glory had been removed from them. And the next word, “that [ki],” should be understood as meaning because, in accordance with the statement of Reish Lakish, as Reish Lakish said: The word ki is used in the Bible in four senses: If, perhaps, but, and because. Therefore, the verse should be understood as follows: And all the congregation was seen, i.e., revealed, because Aaron had died. This shows that at the time of Aaron’s death Sihon was still alive; perforce, Moses’ oration, which was delivered after he had slain Sihon, must have occurred later.

מי דמי התם כנען הכא סיחון תנא הוא סיחון הוא ערד הוא כנען סיחון שדומה לסייח במדבר כנען על שם מלכותו ומה שמו ערד שמו איכא דאמרי ערד שדומה לערוד במדבר כנען על שם מלכותו ומה שמו סיחון שמו

The Gemara raises an objection against this proof: Is it comparable? There, the verse is speaking of Canaan, king of Arad, whereas here, the verse is speaking of Sihon. What proof, then, can be brought from the one with regard to the other? The Gemara explains: A Sage taught in a baraita: All three names are referring to the same person: He is Sihon, and he is Arad, and he is also Canaan. He was called Sihon because he was similar in his wildness to a foal [seyyaḥ] in the desert; and he was called Canaan after his kingdom, as he ruled over the Canaanite people; and what was his real name? Arad was his name. Some say an alternative explanation: He was called Arad because he was similar to a wild ass [arod] in the desert; and he was called Canaan after his kingdom; and what was his real name? Sihon was his name.

ואימא ראש השנה אייר

The Gemara raises another question: Granted, when counting the years from the exodus from Egypt, Av and the following Shevat are both part of the same year, but it has not been established that the counting of years from the Exodus is specifically from Nisan. Say that the New Year for this purpose is in the following month, the month of Iyyar.

לא סלקא דעתך דכתיב ויהי בחדש הראשון בשנה השנית באחד לחדש הוקם המשכן וכתיב ויהי בשנה השנית בחדש השני נעלה הענן מעל משכן העדות מדקאי בניסן וקרי לה שנה שנית וקאי באייר וקרי לה שנה שנית מכלל דראש השנה לאו אייר הוא

The Gemara rejects this proposal: It should not enter your mind to say this, as it is written: “And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the Tabernacle was established” (Exodus 40:17), and it is written: “And it came to pass in the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month, that the cloud was taken up from over the Tabernacle of the testimony” (Numbers 10:11). It may be argued as follows: From the fact that when the Bible speaks of Nisan, which is the first month, it calls it “the second year,” and when it speaks of the following Iyyar, which is the second month, it also calls it “the second year,” by inference, Rosh HaShana is not at the beginning of Iyyar. Were it the case that the New Year begins in Iyyar, Nisan and the following Iyyar would not occur in the same year, as the year would have changed in Iyyar.

ואימא ראש השנה סיון לא סלקא דעתך דכתיב בחדש השלישי לצאת בני ישראל מארץ מצרים ואם איתא בחדש השלישי בשנה השנית לצאת וגו׳ מיבעי ליה

The Gemara asks further: And say that the New Year for this purpose is in the third month, the month of Sivan. The Gemara rejects this suggestion: It should not enter your mind to say this, as it is written: “In the third month, after the children of Israel were gone out of the land of Egypt, the same day they came into the wilderness of Sinai” (Exodus 19:1). And if it is so that the New Year is the beginning of Sivan, the verse should have said: In the third month, in the second year after the children of Israel were gone out of the land of Egypt, as a new year had started.

ואימא תמוז ואימא אב ואימא אדר

The Gemara continues: But perhaps one could say that the New Year for counting the Exodus is in the fourth month, the month of Tammuz; or say that it is in the fifth month, the month of Av; or say that it is in the twelfth month, the month of Adar. There is no clear refutation that these months are not the New Year.

אלא אמר רבי אלעזר מהכא ויחל לבנות בחדש השני בשני בשנת ארבע למלכותו מאי שני לאו שני לירח שמונין בו למלכותו

Rather, Rabbi Elazar said: It is from here that it is derived that the years of a king’s rule are counted from Nisan, as it is stated: “And he began to build in the second month, in the second, in the fourth year of his reign” (II Chronicles 3:2). What is the meaning of the words “the second”? Doesn’t it mean second to the month from which Solomon’s reign is counted? This is clear proof that the years of a king’s rule are counted from the first month, i.e., the month of Nisan.

מתקיף לה רבינא ואימא שני בחדש אם כן שני בחדש בהדיה הוה כתיב ביה

Ravina strongly objects to this: Why not say that the words “the second” are referring to the second day of the month? The Gemara answers: If so, it should have explicitly stated: “On the second of the month,” as that is the formulation usually used in the Bible to refer to a specific day of the month.

ואימא בשני בשבת חדא דלא אשכחן שני בשבת דכתיב ועוד מקיש שני בתרא לשני קמא מה שני קמא חדש אף שני בתרא חדש

The Gemara raises another objection: Why not say that the words “the second” are referring to the second day of the week? This argument is rejected for two reasons: First, we have not found the second day of the week ever being written; nowhere does the Bible give the day of the week on which a particular event transpired. And further, the verse juxtaposes the second instance of the word “second” to the first instance of the word “second”: Just as the first “second” is referring to a month, so too, the latter “second” is referring to a month.

תניא כוותיה דרבי יוחנן מניין שאין מונין להם למלכים אלא מניסן שנאמר ויהי בשמונים שנה וארבע מאות שנה לצאת בני ישראל מארץ מצרים וגו׳ וכתיב ויעל אהרן הכהן אל הר ההר על פי ה׳ וגו׳ וכתיב ויהי בארבעים שנה בעשתי עשר חדש

It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan: From where is it derived that one counts the years of kings’ reigns only from the month of Nisan? As it is stated: “And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord” (I Kings 6:1). And it is written: “And Aaron the priest went up to Mount Hor at the commandment of the Lord, and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fifth month, on the first day of the month” (Numbers 33:38). And it is later written: “And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, that Moses spoke to the children of Israel” (Deuteronomy 1:3).

וכתיב אחרי הכותו את סיחון וגו׳ ואומר וישמע הכנעני וגו׳ ואומר ויראו כל העדה כי גוע אהרן וגו׳ ואומר ויהי בחדש הראשון בשנה השנית וגו׳

And it is written: “After he had slain Sihon, the king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon” (Deuteronomy 1:4). And it says: “And when the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who dwelt in the South, heard” (Numbers 33:40). And it says: “And all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, and they wept for Aaron thirty days” (Numbers 20:29). And it says: “And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the Tabernacle was established” (Exodus 40:17).

ואומר ויהי בשנה השנית בחדש השני וגו׳ ואומר בחדש השלישי לצאת בני ישראל וגו׳ ואומר ויחל לבנות וגו׳

And it says: “And it came to pass in the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month, that the cloud was taken up from off the Tabernacle of the testimony” (Numbers 10:11). And it says: “In the third month, after the children of Israel were gone out of the land of Egypt, the same day they came into the wilderness of Sinai” (Exodus 19:1). And it says: “And he began to build in the second month, in the second, in the fourth year of his reign” (II Chronicles 3:2). This list of verses summarizes Rabbi Yoḥanan’s explanation.

אמר רב חסדא לא שנו אלא למלכי ישראל אבל למלכי אומות העולם מתשרי מנינן שנאמר דברי נחמיה בן חכליה ויהי בחדש כסליו שנת עשרים וגו׳ וכתיב ויהי בחדש ניסן שנת עשרים לארתחשסתא וגו׳

§ Rav Ḥisda said: They taught that the years of a king’s rule are counted from the first of Nisan only with regard to the Jewish kings of Israel, but the years of the kings of the gentile nations of the world are counted from Tishrei, as it is stated: “The words of Nehemiah, son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Kislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the capital” (Nehemiah 1:1). And it is written: “And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him, and I took up the wine, and gave it to the king” (Nehemiah 2:1).

מדקאי בכסליו וקרי ליה שנת עשרים וקאי בניסן וקרי ליה שנת עשרים מכלל דראש השנה לאו ניסן הוא

From the fact that when the Bible speaks of the month of Kislev it calls it the twentieth year, and when it speaks of the following Nisan it also calls it the twentieth year, by inference, the New Year for gentile kings does not begin in Nisan. Were it the case that the New Year did begin in Nisan, Kislev and the following Nisan would not occur in the same year.

בשלמא היאך מפרש דלארתחשסתא אלא האי ממאי דלארתחשסתא דילמא

The Gemara raises an objection: Granted, in this second verse it is explicitly stated that the count relates to the years of Artaxerxes. But as for that first verse, from where is it known that the count relates to the years of Artaxerxes? Perhaps

למנינא אחרינא הוא אמר רב פפא שנת עשרים שנת עשרים לגזירה שוה מה התם לארתחשסתא אף הכא לארתחשסתא

it follows some other count. Rav Pappa said: The meaning of the first instance of the expression “the twentieth year” may be inferred from the second instance of the expression “the twentieth year” by way of a verbal analogy: Just as there the reference is to the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, so too, here the reference is to the twentieth year of Artaxerxes.

וממאי דמעשה דכסליו קדים דילמא מעשה דניסן קדים

The Gemara raises another question: Even though those two events took place in the same year, from where is it known that the incident that occurred in Kislev took place first? Perhaps the incident that occurred in Nisan took place first, in which case it is possible that even the years of gentile kings are counted from Nisan.

לא סלקא דעתך דתניא דברים שאמר חנני לנחמיה בכסליו אמרן נחמיה למלך בניסן

The Gemara answers: It should not enter your mind to say this, as it is taught in a baraita: The words that Hanani told Nehemiah in the month of Kislev, Nehemiah told the king in the month of Nisan.

דברים שאמר חנני לנחמיה בכסליו שנאמר דברי נחמיה בן חכליה ויהי בחדש כסליו שנת עשרים ואני הייתי בשושן הבירה ויבא חנני אחד מאחי הוא ואנשים מיהודה ואשאלם על היהודים הפליטה אשר נשארו מן השבי ועל ירושלם ויאמרו לי הנשארים אשר נשארו מן השבי שם במדינה ברעה גדולה ובחרפה וחומת ירושלם מפורצת ושעריה נצתו באש

The baraita explains: The words that Hanani said to Nehemiah in Kislev are as it is stated: “The words of Nehemiah, son of Hachaliah: And it came to pass in the month Kislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the capital, that Hanani, one of my brothers, came out of Judah, he and certain men; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said to me: The remnant who are left of the captivity there in the province suffer much hardship and insult; and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are burned with fire” (Nehemiah 1:1–3).

אמרן נחמיה למלך בניסן שנאמר ויהי בחדש ניסן שנת עשרים לארתחשסתא המלך יין לפניו ואשא את היין ואתנה למלך ולא הייתי רע לפניו ויאמר לי המלך מדוע פניך רעים ואתה אינך חולה אין זה כי אם רע לב ואירא הרבה מאד ואומר למלך המלך לעולם יחיה מדוע לא ירעו פני אשר העיר בית קברות אבותי חרבה ושעריה אוכלו באש

Nehemiah told these words to the king in Nisan, as it is stated: “And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him, and I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been before sad in his presence. And the king said to me: Why is your face sad, seeing that you are not sick? This is nothing else but sorrow of the heart. Then I was very much afraid, and I said to the king: Let the king live forever: Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of the tombs of my ancestors, lies waste, and its gates are consumed with fire?” (Nehemiah 2:1–3).

ויאמר לי המלך על מה זה אתה מבקש ואתפלל אל אלהי השמים ואומר למלך אם על המלך טוב ואם ייטב עבדך לפניך אשר תשלחני אל יהודה אל עיר קברות אבותי ואבננה ויאמר לי המלך והשגל יושבת אצלו עד מתי יהיה מהלכך ומתי תשוב וייטב לפני המלך וישלחני ואתנה לו זמן

“Then the king said to me: For what do you ask? So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king: If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you would send me to Judea, to the city of the graves of my ancestors, that I may rebuild it. And the king said to me, the consort also sitting by him: For how long shall your journey be? And when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time” (Nehemiah 2:4–6).

מתיב רב יוסף ביום עשרים וארבעה לחדש בששי בשנת שתים לדריוש וכתיב בשביעי בשנת שתים בעשרים ואחד לחדש ואם איתא בשביעי בשנת שלש מיבעי ליה

Rav Yosef raised an objection against the rule established by Rav Ḥisda that the years of gentile kings are counted from Tishrei from the verse that states: “On the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king” (Haggai 1:15), and it is written immediately afterward: “In the seventh month, in the second year, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the prophet Haggai, saying” (Haggai 2:1). And if it were so that the years of gentile kings are counted from Tishrei, what the verse needed to state is: In the seventh month in the third year, as a new year had already started for him.

אמר רבי אבהו כורש מלך כשר היה לפיכך מנו לו כמלכי ישראל

Rabbi Abbahu said in answer to this objection: Cyrus was a virtuous king, and consequently Haggai counted the years of his reign like those of the kings of Israel, i.e., from Nisan.

מתקיף לה רב יוסף חדא דאם כן קשו קראי אהדדי דכתיב ושיציא ביתא דנא עד יום תלתא לירח אדר די היא שנת שית למלכות דריוש מלכא ותניא באותו זמן לשנה הבאה עלה עזרא מבבל וגלותו עמו וכתיב ויבא ירושלם בחדש החמישי היא שנת השביעית למלך ואם איתא שנת השמינית מיבעי ליה

Rav Yosef strongly objects to this explanation for two reasons: One objection is that if this is so, the verses contradict each other, as it is written: “And this house was finished on the third of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king” (Ezra 6:15), and it is taught in a baraita: At that same time in the following year Ezra went up from Babylonia together with his company of exiles. And it is written in the Bible: “And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king” (Ezra 7:8). And if it were so that this king’s years were counted like those of the kings of Israel, what the verse needed to state is: Which was in the eighth year of the king.

ועוד מי דמי התם כורש הכא דריוש תנא הוא כורש הוא דריוש הוא ארתחשסתא כורש שמלך כשר היה ארתחשסתא על שם מלכותו ומה שמו דריוש שמו

And further, a second objection: Are Rav Yosef’s objection and Rabbi Abbahu’s resolution comparable? There, Rabbi Abbahu speaks of Cyrus, whereas here, the verses speak of Darius, and it was never said about Darius that he was a virtuous king. The Gemara explains: This is not difficult, as the Sages taught in a baraita: All three names are referring to the same person: He is Cyrus; he is Darius; and he is also Artaxerxes. He was called Cyrus [Koresh] because he was a virtuous [kasher] king; he was called Artaxerxes after his kingdom, i.e., this was his royal title; and what was his real name? Darius was his name.

מכל מקום קשיא אמר רבי יצחק לא קשיא כאן קודם שהחמיץ כאן לאחר שהחמיץ

The Gemara notes: In any case, it is difficult, as in one place his years are counted from Nisan, whereas in another place they are counted from Tishrei. Rabbi Yitzḥak said: This is not difficult, as it can be explained as follows: Here, where his years are counted from Nisan like the kings of Israel, it speaks of him before he became corrupt, whereas there, where his years are counted from Tishrei, it speaks of him after he became corrupt.

מתקיף לה רב כהנא ומי החמיץ והכתיב

Rav Kahana strongly objects to this explanation: Did he really become corrupt after Ezra went to Eretz Yisrael? But isn’t it written:

Masechet Rosh Hashana  is dedicated anonymously in honor of Rabbanit Michelle Farber whose dedication to learning and teaching the daf continues to inspire so many people around the world.

This month's shiurim are dedicated by Tamara Katz in memory of her maternal grandparents, Sarah bat Chaya v'Tzvi Hirsh and Meir Leib ben Esther v'Harav Yehoshua Zelig whose yahrzeits are both this month.

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וישמע הכנעני מלך ערד מה שמועה שמע שמע שמת אהרן ונסתלקו ענני כבוד וכסבור ניתנה רשות להלחם בישראל והיינו דכתיב ויראו כל העדה כי גוע אהרן

“And when the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who dwelt in the South, heard tell that Israel came by the way of Atharim; and he fought against Israel” (Numbers 21:1). What report did he hear? He heard that Aaron had died, and that the clouds of glory had withdrawn from the Jewish people, and he thought that he had been granted permission to wage war against the Jewish people. And this is as it is written: “And all the congregation saw that [ki] Aaron was dead, and they wept for Aaron thirty days, all the house of Israel” (Numbers 20:29).

ואמר רבי אבהו אל תקרי ויראו אלא וייראו כדריש לקיש דאמר ריש לקיש כי משמש בארבע לשונות אי דילמא אלא דהא

About this, Rabbi Abbahu said: Do not read the verse as: “And they saw [vayiru]”; rather, read it as: “And they were seen [vayeira’u]” by others, because the cover of the clouds of glory had been removed from them. And the next word, “that [ki],” should be understood as meaning because, in accordance with the statement of Reish Lakish, as Reish Lakish said: The word ki is used in the Bible in four senses: If, perhaps, but, and because. Therefore, the verse should be understood as follows: And all the congregation was seen, i.e., revealed, because Aaron had died. This shows that at the time of Aaron’s death Sihon was still alive; perforce, Moses’ oration, which was delivered after he had slain Sihon, must have occurred later.

מי דמי התם כנען הכא סיחון תנא הוא סיחון הוא ערד הוא כנען סיחון שדומה לסייח במדבר כנען על שם מלכותו ומה שמו ערד שמו איכא דאמרי ערד שדומה לערוד במדבר כנען על שם מלכותו ומה שמו סיחון שמו

The Gemara raises an objection against this proof: Is it comparable? There, the verse is speaking of Canaan, king of Arad, whereas here, the verse is speaking of Sihon. What proof, then, can be brought from the one with regard to the other? The Gemara explains: A Sage taught in a baraita: All three names are referring to the same person: He is Sihon, and he is Arad, and he is also Canaan. He was called Sihon because he was similar in his wildness to a foal [seyyaḥ] in the desert; and he was called Canaan after his kingdom, as he ruled over the Canaanite people; and what was his real name? Arad was his name. Some say an alternative explanation: He was called Arad because he was similar to a wild ass [arod] in the desert; and he was called Canaan after his kingdom; and what was his real name? Sihon was his name.

ואימא ראש השנה אייר

The Gemara raises another question: Granted, when counting the years from the exodus from Egypt, Av and the following Shevat are both part of the same year, but it has not been established that the counting of years from the Exodus is specifically from Nisan. Say that the New Year for this purpose is in the following month, the month of Iyyar.

לא סלקא דעתך דכתיב ויהי בחדש הראשון בשנה השנית באחד לחדש הוקם המשכן וכתיב ויהי בשנה השנית בחדש השני נעלה הענן מעל משכן העדות מדקאי בניסן וקרי לה שנה שנית וקאי באייר וקרי לה שנה שנית מכלל דראש השנה לאו אייר הוא

The Gemara rejects this proposal: It should not enter your mind to say this, as it is written: “And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the Tabernacle was established” (Exodus 40:17), and it is written: “And it came to pass in the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month, that the cloud was taken up from over the Tabernacle of the testimony” (Numbers 10:11). It may be argued as follows: From the fact that when the Bible speaks of Nisan, which is the first month, it calls it “the second year,” and when it speaks of the following Iyyar, which is the second month, it also calls it “the second year,” by inference, Rosh HaShana is not at the beginning of Iyyar. Were it the case that the New Year begins in Iyyar, Nisan and the following Iyyar would not occur in the same year, as the year would have changed in Iyyar.

ואימא ראש השנה סיון לא סלקא דעתך דכתיב בחדש השלישי לצאת בני ישראל מארץ מצרים ואם איתא בחדש השלישי בשנה השנית לצאת וגו׳ מיבעי ליה

The Gemara asks further: And say that the New Year for this purpose is in the third month, the month of Sivan. The Gemara rejects this suggestion: It should not enter your mind to say this, as it is written: “In the third month, after the children of Israel were gone out of the land of Egypt, the same day they came into the wilderness of Sinai” (Exodus 19:1). And if it is so that the New Year is the beginning of Sivan, the verse should have said: In the third month, in the second year after the children of Israel were gone out of the land of Egypt, as a new year had started.

ואימא תמוז ואימא אב ואימא אדר

The Gemara continues: But perhaps one could say that the New Year for counting the Exodus is in the fourth month, the month of Tammuz; or say that it is in the fifth month, the month of Av; or say that it is in the twelfth month, the month of Adar. There is no clear refutation that these months are not the New Year.

אלא אמר רבי אלעזר מהכא ויחל לבנות בחדש השני בשני בשנת ארבע למלכותו מאי שני לאו שני לירח שמונין בו למלכותו

Rather, Rabbi Elazar said: It is from here that it is derived that the years of a king’s rule are counted from Nisan, as it is stated: “And he began to build in the second month, in the second, in the fourth year of his reign” (II Chronicles 3:2). What is the meaning of the words “the second”? Doesn’t it mean second to the month from which Solomon’s reign is counted? This is clear proof that the years of a king’s rule are counted from the first month, i.e., the month of Nisan.

מתקיף לה רבינא ואימא שני בחדש אם כן שני בחדש בהדיה הוה כתיב ביה

Ravina strongly objects to this: Why not say that the words “the second” are referring to the second day of the month? The Gemara answers: If so, it should have explicitly stated: “On the second of the month,” as that is the formulation usually used in the Bible to refer to a specific day of the month.

ואימא בשני בשבת חדא דלא אשכחן שני בשבת דכתיב ועוד מקיש שני בתרא לשני קמא מה שני קמא חדש אף שני בתרא חדש

The Gemara raises another objection: Why not say that the words “the second” are referring to the second day of the week? This argument is rejected for two reasons: First, we have not found the second day of the week ever being written; nowhere does the Bible give the day of the week on which a particular event transpired. And further, the verse juxtaposes the second instance of the word “second” to the first instance of the word “second”: Just as the first “second” is referring to a month, so too, the latter “second” is referring to a month.

תניא כוותיה דרבי יוחנן מניין שאין מונין להם למלכים אלא מניסן שנאמר ויהי בשמונים שנה וארבע מאות שנה לצאת בני ישראל מארץ מצרים וגו׳ וכתיב ויעל אהרן הכהן אל הר ההר על פי ה׳ וגו׳ וכתיב ויהי בארבעים שנה בעשתי עשר חדש

It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan: From where is it derived that one counts the years of kings’ reigns only from the month of Nisan? As it is stated: “And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord” (I Kings 6:1). And it is written: “And Aaron the priest went up to Mount Hor at the commandment of the Lord, and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fifth month, on the first day of the month” (Numbers 33:38). And it is later written: “And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, that Moses spoke to the children of Israel” (Deuteronomy 1:3).

וכתיב אחרי הכותו את סיחון וגו׳ ואומר וישמע הכנעני וגו׳ ואומר ויראו כל העדה כי גוע אהרן וגו׳ ואומר ויהי בחדש הראשון בשנה השנית וגו׳

And it is written: “After he had slain Sihon, the king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon” (Deuteronomy 1:4). And it says: “And when the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who dwelt in the South, heard” (Numbers 33:40). And it says: “And all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, and they wept for Aaron thirty days” (Numbers 20:29). And it says: “And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the Tabernacle was established” (Exodus 40:17).

ואומר ויהי בשנה השנית בחדש השני וגו׳ ואומר בחדש השלישי לצאת בני ישראל וגו׳ ואומר ויחל לבנות וגו׳

And it says: “And it came to pass in the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month, that the cloud was taken up from off the Tabernacle of the testimony” (Numbers 10:11). And it says: “In the third month, after the children of Israel were gone out of the land of Egypt, the same day they came into the wilderness of Sinai” (Exodus 19:1). And it says: “And he began to build in the second month, in the second, in the fourth year of his reign” (II Chronicles 3:2). This list of verses summarizes Rabbi Yoḥanan’s explanation.

אמר רב חסדא לא שנו אלא למלכי ישראל אבל למלכי אומות העולם מתשרי מנינן שנאמר דברי נחמיה בן חכליה ויהי בחדש כסליו שנת עשרים וגו׳ וכתיב ויהי בחדש ניסן שנת עשרים לארתחשסתא וגו׳

§ Rav Ḥisda said: They taught that the years of a king’s rule are counted from the first of Nisan only with regard to the Jewish kings of Israel, but the years of the kings of the gentile nations of the world are counted from Tishrei, as it is stated: “The words of Nehemiah, son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Kislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the capital” (Nehemiah 1:1). And it is written: “And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him, and I took up the wine, and gave it to the king” (Nehemiah 2:1).

מדקאי בכסליו וקרי ליה שנת עשרים וקאי בניסן וקרי ליה שנת עשרים מכלל דראש השנה לאו ניסן הוא

From the fact that when the Bible speaks of the month of Kislev it calls it the twentieth year, and when it speaks of the following Nisan it also calls it the twentieth year, by inference, the New Year for gentile kings does not begin in Nisan. Were it the case that the New Year did begin in Nisan, Kislev and the following Nisan would not occur in the same year.

בשלמא היאך מפרש דלארתחשסתא אלא האי ממאי דלארתחשסתא דילמא

The Gemara raises an objection: Granted, in this second verse it is explicitly stated that the count relates to the years of Artaxerxes. But as for that first verse, from where is it known that the count relates to the years of Artaxerxes? Perhaps

למנינא אחרינא הוא אמר רב פפא שנת עשרים שנת עשרים לגזירה שוה מה התם לארתחשסתא אף הכא לארתחשסתא

it follows some other count. Rav Pappa said: The meaning of the first instance of the expression “the twentieth year” may be inferred from the second instance of the expression “the twentieth year” by way of a verbal analogy: Just as there the reference is to the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, so too, here the reference is to the twentieth year of Artaxerxes.

וממאי דמעשה דכסליו קדים דילמא מעשה דניסן קדים

The Gemara raises another question: Even though those two events took place in the same year, from where is it known that the incident that occurred in Kislev took place first? Perhaps the incident that occurred in Nisan took place first, in which case it is possible that even the years of gentile kings are counted from Nisan.

לא סלקא דעתך דתניא דברים שאמר חנני לנחמיה בכסליו אמרן נחמיה למלך בניסן

The Gemara answers: It should not enter your mind to say this, as it is taught in a baraita: The words that Hanani told Nehemiah in the month of Kislev, Nehemiah told the king in the month of Nisan.

דברים שאמר חנני לנחמיה בכסליו שנאמר דברי נחמיה בן חכליה ויהי בחדש כסליו שנת עשרים ואני הייתי בשושן הבירה ויבא חנני אחד מאחי הוא ואנשים מיהודה ואשאלם על היהודים הפליטה אשר נשארו מן השבי ועל ירושלם ויאמרו לי הנשארים אשר נשארו מן השבי שם במדינה ברעה גדולה ובחרפה וחומת ירושלם מפורצת ושעריה נצתו באש

The baraita explains: The words that Hanani said to Nehemiah in Kislev are as it is stated: “The words of Nehemiah, son of Hachaliah: And it came to pass in the month Kislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the capital, that Hanani, one of my brothers, came out of Judah, he and certain men; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said to me: The remnant who are left of the captivity there in the province suffer much hardship and insult; and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are burned with fire” (Nehemiah 1:1–3).

אמרן נחמיה למלך בניסן שנאמר ויהי בחדש ניסן שנת עשרים לארתחשסתא המלך יין לפניו ואשא את היין ואתנה למלך ולא הייתי רע לפניו ויאמר לי המלך מדוע פניך רעים ואתה אינך חולה אין זה כי אם רע לב ואירא הרבה מאד ואומר למלך המלך לעולם יחיה מדוע לא ירעו פני אשר העיר בית קברות אבותי חרבה ושעריה אוכלו באש

Nehemiah told these words to the king in Nisan, as it is stated: “And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him, and I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been before sad in his presence. And the king said to me: Why is your face sad, seeing that you are not sick? This is nothing else but sorrow of the heart. Then I was very much afraid, and I said to the king: Let the king live forever: Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of the tombs of my ancestors, lies waste, and its gates are consumed with fire?” (Nehemiah 2:1–3).

ויאמר לי המלך על מה זה אתה מבקש ואתפלל אל אלהי השמים ואומר למלך אם על המלך טוב ואם ייטב עבדך לפניך אשר תשלחני אל יהודה אל עיר קברות אבותי ואבננה ויאמר לי המלך והשגל יושבת אצלו עד מתי יהיה מהלכך ומתי תשוב וייטב לפני המלך וישלחני ואתנה לו זמן

“Then the king said to me: For what do you ask? So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king: If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you would send me to Judea, to the city of the graves of my ancestors, that I may rebuild it. And the king said to me, the consort also sitting by him: For how long shall your journey be? And when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time” (Nehemiah 2:4–6).

מתיב רב יוסף ביום עשרים וארבעה לחדש בששי בשנת שתים לדריוש וכתיב בשביעי בשנת שתים בעשרים ואחד לחדש ואם איתא בשביעי בשנת שלש מיבעי ליה

Rav Yosef raised an objection against the rule established by Rav Ḥisda that the years of gentile kings are counted from Tishrei from the verse that states: “On the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king” (Haggai 1:15), and it is written immediately afterward: “In the seventh month, in the second year, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the prophet Haggai, saying” (Haggai 2:1). And if it were so that the years of gentile kings are counted from Tishrei, what the verse needed to state is: In the seventh month in the third year, as a new year had already started for him.

אמר רבי אבהו כורש מלך כשר היה לפיכך מנו לו כמלכי ישראל

Rabbi Abbahu said in answer to this objection: Cyrus was a virtuous king, and consequently Haggai counted the years of his reign like those of the kings of Israel, i.e., from Nisan.

מתקיף לה רב יוסף חדא דאם כן קשו קראי אהדדי דכתיב ושיציא ביתא דנא עד יום תלתא לירח אדר די היא שנת שית למלכות דריוש מלכא ותניא באותו זמן לשנה הבאה עלה עזרא מבבל וגלותו עמו וכתיב ויבא ירושלם בחדש החמישי היא שנת השביעית למלך ואם איתא שנת השמינית מיבעי ליה

Rav Yosef strongly objects to this explanation for two reasons: One objection is that if this is so, the verses contradict each other, as it is written: “And this house was finished on the third of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king” (Ezra 6:15), and it is taught in a baraita: At that same time in the following year Ezra went up from Babylonia together with his company of exiles. And it is written in the Bible: “And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king” (Ezra 7:8). And if it were so that this king’s years were counted like those of the kings of Israel, what the verse needed to state is: Which was in the eighth year of the king.

ועוד מי דמי התם כורש הכא דריוש תנא הוא כורש הוא דריוש הוא ארתחשסתא כורש שמלך כשר היה ארתחשסתא על שם מלכותו ומה שמו דריוש שמו

And further, a second objection: Are Rav Yosef’s objection and Rabbi Abbahu’s resolution comparable? There, Rabbi Abbahu speaks of Cyrus, whereas here, the verses speak of Darius, and it was never said about Darius that he was a virtuous king. The Gemara explains: This is not difficult, as the Sages taught in a baraita: All three names are referring to the same person: He is Cyrus; he is Darius; and he is also Artaxerxes. He was called Cyrus [Koresh] because he was a virtuous [kasher] king; he was called Artaxerxes after his kingdom, i.e., this was his royal title; and what was his real name? Darius was his name.

מכל מקום קשיא אמר רבי יצחק לא קשיא כאן קודם שהחמיץ כאן לאחר שהחמיץ

The Gemara notes: In any case, it is difficult, as in one place his years are counted from Nisan, whereas in another place they are counted from Tishrei. Rabbi Yitzḥak said: This is not difficult, as it can be explained as follows: Here, where his years are counted from Nisan like the kings of Israel, it speaks of him before he became corrupt, whereas there, where his years are counted from Tishrei, it speaks of him after he became corrupt.

מתקיף לה רב כהנא ומי החמיץ והכתיב

Rav Kahana strongly objects to this explanation: Did he really become corrupt after Ezra went to Eretz Yisrael? But isn’t it written:

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