Contact Us

Kiddush HaChodesh - Chapter Eight

Kiddush HaChodesh - Chapter Eight

 Email
Show content in:
1

A lunar month is twenty-nine and one half days, and 793 units, as we have explained.1 It is impossible for Rosh Chodesh to begin in the middle of the day - i.e., that a portion of the day would be part of the previous month and a portion of the day would be part of the following month - as [implied by Numbers 11:20]: "For a month of days...." According to the Oral Tradition,2 this was interpreted [to mean], "You count the days of a month; you do not count the hours [of a month]."

א

חדשה של לבנה תשעה ועשרים יום ומחצה ותשצ"ג חלקים כמו שביארנו. ואי אפשר לומר שראש החדש יהיה במקצת היום עד שיהיה מקצת היום מחדש שעבר ומקצתו מהבא. שנאמר עד חדש ימים מפי השמועה למדו שימים אתה מחשב לחדש ואי אתה מחשב שעות:

2

Therefore, some lunar months are established as lacking [a day], and others as full. A month that is lacking has only twenty- nine days, even though a lunar month is several hours longer. A full month is thirty days, even though a lunar month is several hours shorter. In this manner, the months will be calculated according to complete days, not according to hours.

ב

לפיכך עושין חדשי הלבנה מהן חדש חסר ומהם חדש מלא. חדש חסר תשעה ועשרים יום בלבד ואע"פ שחדשה של לבנה יתר על זה בשעות. וחדש מלא משלשים יום ואף על פי שחדשה של לבנה פחות מזה בשעות. כדי שלא לחשב שעות בחדש אלא ימים שלמים:

3

If a lunar month were exactly twenty-nine and a half days [long], the years [would be divided evenly] into full and lacking months, and there would be exactly 354 days to a lunar year. Thus, there would be six full months and six lacking months. It is the units that exist in every month that exceed the half day - which ultimately add up to hours and days - that cause certain years to have more lacking months than full months, and other years to have more full months than lacking months.

ג

אילו היה חדשה של לבנה תשעה ועשרים יום ומחצה בלבד היו כל השנים חדש מלא וחדש חסר. ויהיו ימי שנת הלבנה שנ"ד, ששה חדשים חסרים וששה חדשים מלאים. אבל מפני החלקים שיש בכל חדש וחדש יותר על חצי היום יתקבץ מהן שעות וימים. עד שיהיו מקצת השנים חדשים חסרים יותר על המלאים ובמקצת השנים חדשים מלאים יותר על החסרים:

4

According to this reckoning, the thirtieth day of the month is always established as Rosh Chodesh. If the month is lacking, the thirtieth day will be Rosh Chodesh of the coming month.

If the month is full [the coming month will have two days that are Rosh Chodesh]. The thirtieth day will be Rosh Chodesh, since a portion of it is [fit to be] Rosh Chodesh. [Nevertheless,] it will be counted as the completion of the previous month, which was full. The thirty-first day also will be Rosh Chodesh, and the reckoning [of the days of the coming month] will start from it. It is the day established [as Rosh Chodesh].

Thus, according to this calculation, there are some months that have only one day Rosh Chodesh, and other months that have two days Rosh Chodesh.

ד

יום שלשים לעולם עושין אותו ראש חדש בחשבון זה. אם היה החדש שעבר חסר יהיה יום שלשים ראש חדש הבא. ואם יהיה החדש שעבר מלא יהיה יום שלשים ראש חדש הואיל ומקצתו ראש חדש. ויהיה תשלום החדש המלא שעבר. ויהיה יום אחד ושלשים ראש חדש הבא וממנו הוא המנין. והוא יום הקביעה. ולפיכך עושין ראשי חדשים בחשבון זה חדש אחד יום אחד בלבד וחדש אחד שני ימים:

5

The following is the order of the full and lacking months according to [our] fixed calendar: Tishrei is always full. Tevet is always lacking. From Tevet on, there is one full month and one lacking month in sequence.

What is implied? Tevet is lacking; Shevat is full; Adar is lacking; Nisan is full; Iyar, lacking; Sivan, full; Tammuz, lacking; Av, full; Elul, lacking. In a leap year, the first Adar is full,3 and the second Adar is lacking.

ה

סדר החדשים המלאים והחסרים לפי חשבון זה כך הוא. תשרי לעולם מלא. וטבת לעולם חסר. ומטבת ואילך אחד מלא ואחד חסר על הסדר. כיצד טבת חסר שבט מלא. אדר חסר ניסן מלא. אייר חסר סיון מלא. תמוז חסר אב מלא. אלול חסר. ובשנה המעוברת אדר ראשון מלא ואדר שני חסר:

6

Two months remain: Marcheshvan and Kislev. Sometimes they are [both] full; sometimes they are [both] lacking; and sometimes Marcheshvan is lacking and Kislev is full.

A year in which both of these months are full is called a year of complete months. A year in which both these months are lacking is called a year of lacking months. And a year in which Marcheshvan is full and Kislev is lacking is called a year whose months [proceed] in order.4

ו

נשארו שני החדשים שהן מרחשון וכסליו. פעמים יהיו שניהם מלאים ופעמים יהיו שניהם חסרים ופעמים יהיה מרחשון חסר וכסליו מלא. ושנה שיהיה בה שני חדשים אלו מלאים היא שנקראו חדשיה שלמים. ושנה שיהיו בה שני חדשים אלו חסרים נקראו חדשיה חסרין. ושנה שיהיה בה מרחשון חסר וכסליו מלא נקראו חדשיה כסדרן:

7

The way to know whether the months of a year will be lacking, will be complete, or will [proceed] in order [can be explained] as follows: First, determine the day on which Rosh HaShanah will fall in the year about whose months you desire to know, as explained in Chapter 7. Then determine the day on which Rosh HaShanah will fall in the year that follows.

Afterwards, count the number of days between them without including the day on which Rosh HaShanah falls in either of these years. If there are only two days between them,5 the months of the year will be lacking. If there are three days between them,6 the months of the year will proceed in order. And if there are four days between them,7 the months of the year will be complete.

ז

דרך ידיעת השנה אם חדשיה מלאים או חסרין או כסדרן לפי חשבון זה כך הוא. תדע תחלה יום שנקבע בו ראש השנה שתרצה לידע סדור חדשיה כמו שביארנו בפרק שביעי. ותדע יום שיקבע בו ראש השנה שלאחריה, ותחשב מנין הימים שביניהן חוץ מיום הקביעה של זו ושל זו. אם תמצא ביניהן שני ימים יהיו חדשי השנה חסרין. ואם תמצא ביניהם שלשה ימים יהיו כסדרן. ואם תמצא ביניהם ארבעה ימים יהיו חדשי השנה שלמים:

8

When does the above apply? When the year in question is an ordinary year. When, however, [the year in question] is a leap year [different rules apply]: If there are only four days between the day on which [Rosh HaShanah] is established [in the leap year] and the day on which it will be established in the following year, the months of the year will be lacking.8 If there are five days between these [two days], the months of the year will proceed in order. And if there are six days between them, the months of the year will be complete.

ח

במה דברים אמורים כשהיתה השנה שתרצה לידע סדור חדשיה פשוטה. אבל אם היתה מעוברת. אם תמצא בין יום קביעתה ובין יום קביעת שנה שלאחריה ארבעה ימים יהיו חדשי אותה שנה המעוברת חסרים. ואם תמצא ביניהם חמשה ימים יהיו כסדרן. ואם תמצא ביניהם ששה יהיו שלמים:

9

What is implied? If we desire to know the order of the months of the present year, and [we know the following]: Rosh HaShanah falls on Thursday; it is an ordinary year; and in the following year Rosh HaShanah falls on Monday, there are three days between them and the months of the year proceed in order.9

If Rosh HaShanah falls on Tuesday in the following year, the months of the year will be complete.10 If Rosh HaShanah falls on the Sabbath in the present year, and on Tuesday in the following year, the months of the year will be lacking.11 Similar concepts should be applied regarding the calculation [of the order of the months] of a leap year, as was explained.

ט

כיצד הרי שרצינו לידע סידור חדשי שנה זו. והיה ראש השנה בחמישי והיא פשוטה וראש השנה שלאחריה בשני בשבת. נמצא ביניהן שלשה ימים. ידענו ששנה זו חדשיה כסדרן. ואילו היה ראש השנה שלאחריה בשלישי היו חדשי השנה זו שלמים. ואילו היה ראש השנה בשנה זו בשבת ובשנה שלאחריה בשלישי בשבת היו חדשי שנה זו חסרין. ועל דרך זו תחשב לשנה המעוברת כמו שביארנו:

10

There are certain indications upon which one can rely, so that one will not err regarding the calculation of the order of the months of a year. These principles are based on the fundamental principles of the fixed calendar and the determination of the days on which Rosh HaShanah will be established and those that will cause it to be postponed, as we explained previously.

Whenever Rosh HaShanah is celebrated on a Tuesday, [the months of] the year will [proceed] in order. [This applies regardless of whether the year] is an ordinary year or a leap year.12

Whenever Rosh HaShanah is celebrated on the Sabbath or on a Monday, [the months of] the year will never [proceed] in order. [This applies regardless of whether the year] is an ordinary year or a leap year.13

[The following rules apply when] Rosh HaShanah falls on a Thursday. If the year is an ordinary year, it is impossible for its months to be lacking.14 If it is a leap year, it is impossible for its months to proceed in order.15

י

יש שם סימנין שתסמוך עליהם כדי שלא תטעה בחשבון סידור חדשי השנה והן בנויין על עיקרי זה החשבון והקביעות והדחיות שביארנו דרכם. ואלו הן. כל שנה שיהיה ראש השנה בה בשלישי תהיה לעולם כסדרן לפי חשבון זה. בין פשוטה בין מעוברת. ואם יהיה ראש השנה בשבת או בשני לא תהיה כסדרן לעולם בין בפשוטה בין במעוברת. ואם יהיה ראש השנה בחמישי. אם פשוטה היא אי אפשר שיהיו חדשיה חסרים לפי חשבון זה. ואם מעוברת היא אי אפשר שיהיו חדשיה כסדרן לפי חשבון זה

Footnotes
1.

Chapter 6, Halachah 3.

2.

Megillah 5a.

3.

This supports the Rambam's contention that it is the first Adar that is the extra month of the year. (See the notes on Chapter 4, Halachah 1.)

4.

For all the months of the year from Marcheshvan onward proceed in sequence, one full and one lacking.

5.

The Rambam gives examples in Halachah 9 to illustrate this situation and those that follow. When there are two days between the days on which Rosh HaShanah is celebrated in successive years, the year is 50 weeks and three days - i.e., 353 days - long.

6.

When there are three days between the days on which Rosh HaShanah is celebrated in successive years, the year is 50 weeks and four days - i.e., 354 days - long.

7.

When there are four days between the days on which Rosh HaShanah is celebrated in successive years, the year is 50 weeks and five days - i.e., 355 days - long. The remainder of an ordinary lunar year is slightly more than four days, producing a year whose months proceed in order. Frequently, however, the year will contain an extra day, if, because of the reasons mentioned in the previous chapter, the celebration of Rosh HaShanah is postponed. Similarly, it may lack a day, because the celebration of Rosh HaShanah was postponed in the previous year.

8.

In such a situation, there will be 54 weeks and five days in the year, a total of 383 days.

9.

For there are three days - Friday, the Sabbath, and Sunday - between the days on which Rosh HaShanah is celebrated in the years in question.

10.

For there are four days - Friday, the Sabbath, Sunday, and Monday - between the days on which Rosh HaShanah is celebrated in these successive years.

11.

For there are only two days between them.

12.

As mentioned, Rosh HaShanah cannot fall on Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday. Therefore, in an ordinary year, if Rosh HaShanah falls on a Tuesday, the following year it cannot fall on a Thursday, for then there would be only one day between them, producing a year of only 352 days. Nor can it fall on a Monday, for then the year would be 356 days long. Thus, the only day on which it can fall is the Sabbath, producing a year of 354 days. In such a year, the months proceed in order.

When Rosh HaShanah falls on Tuesday in a leap year, it cannot fall on Thursday or the Sabbath in the following year, for that would produce a year that is too short (380 or 382) days. Nor can it fall on Tuesday itself, for Rosh HaShanah falls on Tuesday only when the conjunction takes place not later than Tuesday, before noon. When the remainder of a leap year - 5 days, 21 hours, and 589 units - is added to noon time on Tuesday, the result is that the conjunction of the following year will take place on Sunday. Since Rosh HaShanah is never celebrated on Sunday, the holiday will be postponed until Monday. Thus, the length of the leap year will be 384 days, the length of a year whose months proceed in order.

13.

For the months of an ordinary year to proceed in order, the year must be 354 days long. That means that if Rosh HaShanah fell on the Sabbath, it would have to fall on Wednesday in the following year, which is impossible. Similarly, if Rosh HaShanah fell on Monday, it would have to fall on Friday in the following year, which is also impossible.

For the months of a leap year to proceed in order, the year must be 384 days long. That means that if Rosh HaShanah had fallen on the Sabbath, in the following year it would have to fall on Friday, which is impossible. Similarly, if Rosh HaShanah had fallen on Monday, in the following year it would have to fall on Sunday, which is also impossible.

14.

When the months of an ordinary year are lacking, the year has only 353 days. Thus, if Rosh HaShanah fell on Thursday, it would have to fall on Sunday in the following year, which is impossible.

15.

When the months of a leap year are lacking, the year has 383 days. Thus, if Rosh HaShanah fell on Thursday, it would have to fall on Wednesday in the following year, which is impossible.

Published and copyright by Moznaim Publications, all rights reserved.
To purchase this book or the entire series, please click here.
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email